Zach Schmidt on Bandcamp
Zach's Band on Bandcamp
Zach on Twitter
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Stay tuned for an Introduction to Bikepacking tomorrow: because it's that time of year.
Music by my good friend Zach Schmidt - check him out:
Zach Schmidt on Bandcamp
Zach's Band on Bandcamp
Zach on Twitter
Bro... Davis Debard came through Flagstaff touring on ... duh duh duh duh... a fixed gear. This guy is GLTA-ing, for sure. Wow.
Davis rode from LA, through Vegas, around to the Grand Canyon and Tuba City, and was planning on heading down to Phoenix next. Along the way, he stopped in all cities that have Bike Polo leagues and played with the bros there - it sounded super cool. The Bike Polo community sounds awesome, I would love to learn more about it.
Until next time, y'all, be well and GLTA.
Beaster Sunday Round Dos
Remember the Beaster Egg Hunt from last year? Richardo put the grand race/event on again this year for the fourth consecutive year, so a whole host of bikers ranging from 'old church ladies' to '80's afro men' to 'The Krampus' showed up to chug... along... on bikes...
Per usual, after a casual 2,000 foot climb we held the shotgun-Lamont start and flew down the rocky, loose, switchbacking, thorny, gloriously ugly Heart trail. Scott blew away the competition once again, we drank more Beaster Eggs, and then tore down some beautiful singletrack on another 3 hour ride back. What a beautiful bit of life.
The bike: an extension of your body
My bike is a part of me. I have said this for a long time, and after riding it as my exclusive form of transportation over the past year and a half, I believe it more than ever.
Nothing confirms this belief like a good snow.
I woke up on Friday morning and opened my window to a beautiful scene: pure white snow covering the landscape outside my window. The streets were unplowed, the sidewalks unshoveled, and the pine tree outside my window held all of the snow up perfectly, offering it to me like a little child: "Look! It snowed last night!"
We had a two-hour delay at school, so I took a lot of extra time to cook and enjoy the scenery. Of course, I also had to switch out my tires for something a little more snow-appropriate. When it was time to go, I threw on my gear and headed out into the storm.
At first, the going was a bit sketchy. Every bump of ice underneath the snow worried me, and every time one of my tires slid or spun out I stopped completely to put a foot down and steady myself. I felt much the same way as I do when I walk on snow or ice for the first time.
After a day of riding, though, I could feel my balance coming back to me. Every time my tires slipped instead of over-correcting and stopping, I continued to press the pedals and regain balance. I flew over deep snow instead of getting stuck in it.
It took a day of slipping, but I have once again have my wheels under me again.
Here's to the First Snow
As I desired, on the dawn of the first snow I got up, ate lots of bacon, packed my gear, and headed off on a mini-tour down to Sedona. Makenzie was excited to have a new Fargo and joined me - company is always good on a tour.
We set off in Flagstaff with the fresh snow on the mountain glimmering in dawn's early light. As the sun rose, the light powder on the ground began to melt quickly.
We turned off onto Old Munds Highway - an old dirt road with log cabins, old farms, and a whole lot of character.
After ten miles or so we turned off onto FS 700 - a forest service road full of nothing but gravel, pines, and old, shot-at T.V.'s and couches. We continued to gain in elevation, eventually hitting fairly deep melting snow - a major challenge for riding. We slipped, spun out, and balanced through deep pools to get to FS 240, where we finally began to descend a bit and caught a glimpse of the Mogollon Rim with blue skies beyond!
We descended through the extremely righteous community of old wooden mansions and ski yurts at Munds Park, getting even colder by the second, and decided to skip a large portion of the forest roads for sake of getting to the Rim in a more timely manner... so we rode on Interstate-17 for about 3 miles before reaching Schnebly Hill Road, from where we hoped it would be all downhill...
We continued down Schnebly Hill Road for a few miles and quickly realized we were not quite to the rim yet. In fact, the mud kept getting deeper and deeper. Finally, we got to the point that mud was getting stuck on my tires. The result was that the mud was getting jammed between the tire and the frame of the bicycle and subsequently freezing, rendering both tires and the crank of my bicycle virtually immovable. We stopped for several minutes chipping ice off of my bike and deciding what to do before a man in a truck drove by and told us that the snow line was just a ways down the road! I decided to carry my bike to get there!
Just as we set back off again, me with my bike slung over my back, Makenzie's rear derailleur got caught in the rear spokes and snapped off of her bike. We couldn't do anything but laugh at this point.
We decided that if I could carry my bike to the snow line, she could take the derailleur off and coast/run the rest of the way into Sedona - after all, we were supposed to be close to the Rim anyway!
So, we did just that. Before we knew it, we hit the rim and could see red rocks in front of us... and a BIG downhill on the road ahead! Perfect! We began to coast... and coast... and coast! And the weather was clearing, it was getting warmer!
We reached a beautiful overlook and were simply stunned by the landscape before us. After riding through snow all day, we were now surrounded by lush green trees and bright red rocks.
Yet, just as swiftly as the warm weather had come on, a huge storm of snow appeared on the horizon and began to consume vast swaths of the red rocks and trees by the second.
Within a matter of minutes the storm was upon us, and we were in the middle of a red rock blizzard.
We booked it back on down the road (well, as fast as Makenzie could 'book it' with no chain or rear derailleur), and after about 20 minutes of descending, the storm cleared again.
We made it into Sedona just as dusk was settling on the town. Believe it or not, we decided to call our friends for a ride back to Flagstaff the next day instead of camping and riding back with no chain/derailleur :)
marshall moose moore is a meandering biogeochemist (a type of environmental scientist who studies elemental cycles) who is always on the lookout for good stories. The blog is a place to tell some of those fun stories. Check out The Course or The Brave Monkeys Speak Podcast for lessons and actionable goals to apply to YOUR life.
The Life-Adventurer's Manifesto: