Upgraded to a Mountain Bike

Posted in Uncategorized on November 16, 2016 by electricdan

I spent two years on the 2015 Giant Roam 2 and was ready for an upgrade to a 2016 Giant Stance 2stance-275-2-black

Updated Bunny Loop Map

Posted in Trail Riding on September 28, 2014 by electricdan

I recorded my Fantasy Island Bunny Loop ride today using the Garmin Edge 200 and Garmin Connect software. I have exported the map in GPX format, comment on this post if you’re interested in a copy.

Bunny Loop All Map

Fantasy Island Bike Park – Bunny Trail Loop

Posted in Trail Riding on September 21, 2014 by electricdan

This morning I rode the complete Bunny Trail Loop and the two side loops, actually a side loop with a side loop, Snake Dance and Bunny’s Revenge.  Other than a few washes that were overly sandy due the recent torrential rains, the trail was easy and enjoyable.

Last time out I missed the Bunny Trail Loop cut back (I zigged when I should’ve zagged) and ended up on the main Lone Cactus Loop which kicked my novice butt.  For this trip I had found a map that specifically identified the Bunny Trail Loop (not the two side loops though) so this time I was able to find my way.

Capture

Bunny loop map minus the two side loops

Capture 2

Bunny Trail loop side loop – Snake Dance

Capture 3

Snake Dance side loop – Bunny’s Revenge

Capture 4a

When nature called this guy, he had to answer it

Next trip I’ll map the entire Bunny Trail Loop including the side loops.

I Found the Graveyard Loop

Posted in Trail Riding on September 14, 2014 by electricdan

Too windy to fly RC planes today so I hit Graveyard this morning around 7:15 AM.  I first road the .5 mile North part of the trail to see how the maintenance worked out and it was good.

I came back to the trail head fork and continued on the new South part I found the previous day.  Nice and easy as I was following my foot prints from the walk the evening before.  I then noticed another set of prints and followed them which led me across the large water flow area that had previously stopped me. Soon I was onto new territory and slightly climbing my way East.  The grade was shallow but I was feeling it nonetheless.  In fact according to my Garmin Edge 200 the overall elevation change for this ride was only 100 feet.

The trail was basically following a water runoff path and was pretty easy to see.  The hikers foot prints came in handy several times to reassure me that I was still on the trail.

I didn’t know where this trail was going but I was enjoying the ride.  I saw in the distance an old lone Saguaro which I named the Sentinel and decided I would stop there for a break.

Soon after continuing I saw the berm of a rather large wash and figured I might be at the end, but the trail made a turn North West and off I went on a gentle down hill slope.  Knowing in my head approximately where I was heading now I went with the flow (pun intended).  After a little while I came to the corner of a barbed wire fence and figured it was the same fence I came upon near the end of the North portion of the trail.  I followed the trail West which now ran parallel to the fence and figured that I would run into the portion of Graveyard that I had originally found. Sure enough it did which completed the loop!

I should also mention that I got my first tire puncture.  Rolled over a broken off piece of thorny cactus and heard the dreaded “hiss”.  As I was rolling forward the cactus came off of the front tire and immediately the hissing sound stopped.  The liquid tire sealant in the tube did it’s job and the pressure held.

Garmin Connect Ride Summary Data:

Feels like 73°
8 mph ESE wind
Humidity 57%

Distance:  2.4 mi (Not counting the back and forth of the North trail)
Time:  46:00 (Not counting the back and forth of the North trail)
Avg Speed:  3.1 mph
Max Speed:  9.3 mph
Calories:  162 C (Maybe for a fit person.  I felt like I burned 1,000 calories)
Elevation Gain:  100 ft
Elevation Loss:  100 ft
Min Elevation:   3,261 ft
Max Elevation:  3,361 ft

Keeping track of the different types of wildlife I’ve seen on this trail, I need to add a Rattle Snake!

So now I’ve seen: Roadrunners, many various sizes and types of lizards, Quail and other types of small birds, a Jack Rabbit, a squirrel and some type of a short tailed rat, and a Rattle Snake.

Graveyard Loop Course Map

The New Graveyard Trail Loop.

IMG_0719

Why Graveyard got its name.

IMG_0722

Desert Catapillar-asaurus or just a dead piece of cactus?

IMG_0724

Kickstands are bad ass!

IMG_0725

The Graveyard Trail Loop Sentinel.

Graveyard Trail Maitenance

Posted in Trail Riding on September 14, 2014 by electricdan

Spent some time grooming the north portion of Graveyard.  It’s a bit over grown in some areas so I took a flat blade shovel and nicked off the ankle biter prickly pear leaves and cleared the dead ones from the trail.  These heavily desiccated, black and shriveled prickly pear leaves are hard to see among other types of vegetative litter and rocks and still have thrones that can remove air from your tires.

The trail ends in approximately .5 miles among some heavy tree over growth.  I worked my way past this (need to bring some heavy pruners to make the path more visible and easier to get through, even some of the trees out here have thorns!) but I hit a messy wash a hundred yards after.  I need to approach from the other side of the wash to see if it’s worth trying to get past this dead end.

I did discover a southern portion of the trail a little ways in from the trail head. I walked this and found it pretty clean but a little hard to see the actual trail in some places .  I think I walked a quarter mile then lost the trail in a large water flow area. We’ve had a lot of heavy rains this monsoon season so this will take some time to find the trail continuation.

Graveyard will never be a loop so I’m hoping to find or make a trail head that will allow me to run the length of the trail south to north, with a turnaround at the north end.

I’ll update this post with a video later today after I ride it with the GoPro.

During my walk I added two more types of wildlife I’ve seen on this trail in addition to the roadrunner, many various sizes and types of lizards, quail and other types of small birds and jack rabbits, I saw a squirrel and some type of short tailed rat.

First Real Desert Trail Ride – Fantasy Island – Tuscon, AZ (Video Added 9/12/2014)

Posted in Trail Riding on September 7, 2014 by electricdan
Bunny Trail Loop Entrance

Fantasy Island Bunny Trail Loop from the E. Valencia Rd. Entrance

I got to the E. Valencia Road Fantasy Island trail head at sunrise around 6:00am.  My plan was to ride the Bunny Trail loop which is a 5 mile beginners trail. The Valencia trail head starts on the Bunny Trail Loop so it was easy to pick up and get going. The trail was easy-going until I realized I had missed the return portion of the loop when things just real different with a lot of tough ravine crossings and elevation changes.  I had inadvertently continued on to the main trail named Lone Cactus and I ended up at the main trail head at Harrison and Irvington.

I stopped for a very needed rest and was concerned I’d have real problems getting back to Valencia. Physically I was drained and wasn’t bouncing back after several rests.

I hit the “wall” about a quarter of the the way.  To say that I was out of shape implies that at one time I was in shape.

I was told by a fellow cyclist of a “shortcut” that was very tame that would connect back to the Bunny Loop.  Sure enough it did and all was well.

The bike handled the trails very well.  I lowered the tire pressure to 25 lbs, had plenty of water in my CamelBak Podium 25 oz  bottle and CamelBak M.U.L.E NV 100 oz backpack and brought along some beef jerky.  The temperature was nice, in the 70’s and it had rained the night before.  The desert air smelled great.  Two hours later when I finished the ride the temperature was 83.  I had gone through the entire water bottle and half of the backpack.

This ride allowed me to really put my Garmin Edge 200 GPS Bike Computer to good use.  I had found a Fantasy Island trail map in GPX format and downloaded it to the Edge 200. Although the Edge 200 does not have detailed maps, it helped reassure me several times that I was on the trail and kept me updated with miles left to destination.  Also, when I went off trail taking the “shortcut” to the Bunny Trail Loop, I was able to see the main trail on the Edge 200 so I knew when and where I would get  back on the trail.  Again, very reassuring when you are in unfamiliar territory.

Fantasy Island Google Map Capture

Fantasy Island

09/12/2014-  

First Desert Trail Ride – Graveyard

Posted in Trail Riding on September 1, 2014 by electricdan

I braved my first off road adventure this evening. Looking at Google Maps I saw a trail just outside of my community so figured I’d give it a try.

The adventure here is that our desert trails consist of various types of cactus plants like Saguaros, Prickly Pear, Cholla, and Barrel just to name the larger size ones. This trail was a typical slow (average speed was 4 mph) single track and you wind your way precariously through the cactus. The recent rains made for several sandy patches which take some getting used to.

I named this trail Graveyard because the first striking feature I saw was a very large and tall grouping of Prickly Pear cactus that reminded me of graveyard headstones. I’m pretty sure the fear of winding my way through that made me think of death!

Graveyard

The cluster of Prickly Pear cacti (center of picture) that made me think of graveyard headstones

I’ll take pictures next time out as this time I really just wanted to get through this ride without getting a flat tire or having to pick thorns out my body.

Interesting wildlife I saw: a Roadrunner, many various sizes and types of lizards, quail and other types of small birds and jack rabbits.