Monthly Archives: March 2010


One of our favorite places to go to get a quiet spin in uninterrupted by cars.

Bosque. Reach 11 is a manmade retaining structure constructed to protect the C.A.P. Canal which runs from The Colorado River to the valley where Phoenix is. Reach 11 is, well, 11 miles long.

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Filed under Rides


It has been not quite a year since I have put the El Mariachi together as a singlespeed.

I enjoyed the simplicity and reliability of the single.  I remember the Cabin Loop! on it and it was fun.  I look last week at what was the Russian did.


Oh hey!  I can do it.

10 minutes.  That is how long it takes.

The rear shifter has a clamp that stays on the bar after you take the shifter pod itself off.  So no messy grip and bar-end removal.  Quick and easy.  1 bolt with a 5mm Allen head.  Unsightly clamp to deal with while riding.  I choose my battles.

Remove cable.  I remember once, long ago, there were cable stops welded on frames that did not have a slot on them to remove the cable without fishing the cable out from end to end.  A little thing, but oh-so-important.

Remove chain with that nice little master link.  Still, a special tool required to do it, but not as dirty as a proper chain pin remover.  Progress.  I have been running the cable set for the rear shitfer since the bike was new.  Time to replace.

Remove the X-9 rear mech.  5mm Allen.  Simple and effective.  2008.  It is getting old and used.  I told Karen that it will have to be replaced.

Remove rear wheel.  Leave it together, quick release and all.  The 9sp cassette is toast.  The main reason for the whole switch in the first place.  This too is news to Karen for needed replacement.  Oh, and the chain?  Forget about it.  It time for retirement.  Duly noted.

Cable guide on the BB shell?  It is okay.  It makes the cut for the next time it is needed.

The SS wheel had a 20T cog on it as well as my favorite 2.55LT WTB Weirwolf with a bit of knob left on it.  Bonus:  pre-Stanned tube.  It also has a G2 Avid brake rotor in really good shape that was bolted on and aching for action.  And a chain?  Well it was hanging there with it.  PC951 in reliable shape.   It is like I had planned it!

I put the wheel in.  I adjust the rear Elixer caliper to conform to the replacement wheel/rotor.  Strangely, it requires little modification.

I put on the chain.  It was short.  But hey!  Eccentric Bushnell BB comes to the rescue with a 1 bolt adjustment. Tension solved in a minute or less.

Simplicity once again.

Done! Sram, wondering what happened to the namesake rear mech.

On a side note.  Reading DrunkCyclist has made me make a contribution to the cause.  Seeing the daily reports of ‘cyclist down’ that are all to often and real make me really, really sad.  I like that DC chronicles this rather disgusting and horrible tragedy that is the dark side of cycling on the road.  Hopefully it makes people aware, and that is why I think they do it.  It surely makes me aware.  Be careful out there.

thanks Gnome.

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Filed under Bike Tech


It is what I need to learn to do.

That is the outcome of the recent overnighter ride out to The Maricopa Trail.

The piece we checked out was from the west end of Spur Cross to Black Canyon Trail at New river Road.  Very enjoyable trails in Cave Creek Regional Park and trails to connect them courtesy of The Town of Cave Creek and the Desert Foothills Land Trust.  Quite the system is developing to connect major trails together.  Exciting stuff


john henry

flume remnant, on the Flume Trail in the Cave Creek Regional Park.

overall, the signage was good. apparently someone was frustrated with this Maricopa Trail sign. Next time bring maps!

awesome all-day riding.

singlespeed bikepacker

Esbit. Quickly replacing the penny stove.

More at UpsideOut.

My story:

Friday.  March 19th.  5:15pm.
I found the table to be as it normally is.  Comfortable.  She did her
usual check over.  I lay there fully relaxed and prepared for what was
to come.  She did not surprise.  I knew what I had came for and she
had delivered it with no emotion.
“Take it easy the next few days” she said.  “Ok! see you next week!”
In the car, I see myself filling the next few days with riding,
routing and eating.  I get home after running around getting stuff
ready – a stop at REI to pad next years’ dividend and a stop for
Bushmills and peanut butter for the pack.  Too much food!  I always
think that and it is always true in the end.  Must cut…
At home, I finish up packing the bike and the pack.  Kinda bulky, need
a new sleeping bag…hmmm..REI dividend is coming soon…
4:36am.  Saturday, March 20th.
waking me up.
The ice bag is warm.  The back feels okay.  A little stiff.  I step on
Sprockets snout as I crawl to the bathroom.  Jesus.  Is this what old
people feel like every morning?
I get to the bathroom and take the haze in.  Feeling better already.
Do the clean and refresh and make myself to the kitchen for the coffee
kit and get dressed.  In the garage I check the weather one last
time.  Looks to be perfect.
The Russian arrives in an unusual state of unpreparedness.
I wait.
Electrical tape.  What the hell have you been doing all week?  Is this
the first time you have done this?  WTF?
6:10am Saturday , March 20th.
It is almost dawn.  Sky is a brilliant hazy burnt orange fire
overshadowed by deep dark blue waves of black.
We make way on the 51 path North.  We stop several times to fish out
an Allen wrench to adjust a seat post someone had stuffed into his
newly minted frame with a burr inside the seat tube somewhere.  This
takes two grown men to adjust.
Things start to look better when I get back on the bike.  They always look better on the bike.
The bike takes me effortlessly along.  I feel great on the bike.  The
issue flares only when I have to actually move around off the bike.
We talk of stretching and balls and sticks to help.  Whatever.  I am
here to ride.  Who cares what pain cave I crawl into?
The haze continues up the path and well into our route to New River at
Carefree Highway.  What a route!  No traffic on these trails and paths
and roads.  No one out here.  The desert is lush and quiet.  Awakened
only by my 2.55LT tires and the scratch of whatever the Russian has
shod his burr ridden steed with.
More haze.
The route comes together with no plans.  We travel along with general
ideas and harbor an attitude of what comes is.
We find an entry to Cave Creek Park with signs telling us not to use
these trails but to use the Flume Trail.  We home in on it without
delay and climb to an unknowing end.
Riparian desert areas are pretty sweet.  Such a joy to stumble upon
them and live within the confines of them on the bike for a few
minutes here and there.  Spring makes even that much nicer.  The sweet
smells along the meandering groomed trails that we climb up to The
Maricopa Trail are truly sublime.  Go John Trail is a piece of work.
Go John.
Oh my. What a trail.  Indeed, there is something to be said of
sanitized Sonoran trails.  Speed.  Traction. Cornering.
Lots of corners on the way up.  Like riding on rails on proper banked
concrete path.
Stoopid hikers out enjoying what they can before they pack back to
Ohio.  Interrupting our groove man.
The Maricopa Trail.
Signs.  They seem to point everywhichway.
Confusion?  Or just the haze?
Maybe I should eat.  The gnawing center of emptiness in the pit is
growing painful.  Peanut butter.  Gummi Bears.  A 1/2 package of fig
It does the trick.  Back on the bike.
We ride up.  We ride down.  Check that sign!  It leads to nowhere!
Someone fucked with it.  Has to be wrong.  Tell others!  Scratch it
Fuk it. Ride up and around the mountain.  Dirt roads.  More like rock
roads.  Lots of rocks.  Back hurts.  I dig the cave deeper.  It feels
Hit it hard.  It is downhill!  Rip it.
Where am I going?  I can make it to I17 real quick.  Where is the Russian?
Clearly, I have gone mad.  I turn around.  The Rusky is coming.
“you blew the turn!”
Meh, it is Saturday and I don’t have to be anywhere.  I ride this
road.  It takes us to a spur off of The Maricopa Trail.
We take the trail down to a store to reload.
Kids do not like bikepackers hanging out near their special carts made
to look like race cars.  The four year old makes me move my kit so she
can get on with the purchasing of the Kool-Aid.
Subway.  Quick and easy.  Sometimes I think they ask way to many
questions about your sandwich.  Just make it already.
Red Stripe in a can!
Pictures at 2:00pm.
I look in my camera.  3 pictures. What the hell am I thinking.  I make
a half-hearted commitment to slow down and snap the pics.
The break is over.  We head up The Maricopa Trail that we missed on the way
down.  I can’t say we missed much though.  Haphazard.  Someone hates
motorized vehicles.  Lots of big chunk to overcome that others have
placed in travel ways.  Poor signage again.
Let us Camp!
A good spot.  Pretty well hidden.
I am wasted.  Not riding long distances a lot takes a bit out of you.
3000′ measly feet of climbing and I am lying down napping and nipping
on the flask.
Get the fire pit ready.  I don’t do much.  I am not allowed.
Darkness falls.  Pandora is on.
Wait!  WTF is that??  Light on the trail.  Moving.  Pandora hard to
shut down.  Quiet!
We question the light.  No answers.  Pandora back on the speaker.
Light the fire!  Flame on these canned sausage things that taste like
spam on steroids.
Put cheese on it!
uh oh, it is bright.
Kill the fire!  Someone will surely see!
Kill the bushmills, it is time to sleep!
Rusky speaks of things while sleeping.
Morning comes and VIA is there to spark us up.
Eat up. Load up and ride.
It came and went without fail.
Till next time.


Filed under bikepacking