In the car heading North to Sedona. Hope of a quick drive out to I-17 via the 51 North to the 101 West are dashed. Seems everyone is heading home for the day. About 45 minutes later, I arrive at I-17 and am immediately cut off by the typical redneck chevy 4WD truck with driver on the phone oblivious to what is around him. Road rage ensues. I flash my lights several times and lay on the horn with a few beeps of anger. I keep my high-beams on the target. The target moves behind me and copies my anger. I take a deep breath and remember that we all just want to get going.
Typically, the ThNR consists of general debauchery and precision riding. No riding this Thursday though. Just driving and waiting. I meet up with the Russian and we drop one of the cars off at the Traildoc compound. We head to Flagstaff to park the other at the ever reliable Gnome house.
We load up and head up Shultz and camp out the night.
After a late wake up after a mess of brew, we head down to town and grab a burrito and coffee and get our stuff together for a jaunt down the trail.
We knew there was a new section of Arizona Trail, but we did not heed my advice.
We head on. I had really wanted to check it out. New trail and all. Fresh. Made with bikes in mind.
The recent wet weather made the cows hit the same trail we were on. Soft and post-holed singletrack along the lakes. Nice cap of snow on the peaks though.
This piece of trail, on the other hand, was sublime.
Good beer. Good for nothing. Our stop at a market allowed us to get supplies for a camp out near Mormon Lake. For future reference, do not purchase any kind of beer at that market except for Coors Light or similar. Any other kind of ‘craft’ beer is there purely for looks. Grand Canyon Brewing Company should be ashamed to have this product on the market in the condition that I found it. We made up for it in the morning. A direct morning ride to Munds Park allowed us to re-adjust ourselves.
A stop in the late morning at Bike and Bean in Sedona allowed Yuri to get new cleats and our tales of riding from Flagstaff also scored us a beer on the house! Later, we would get pizza and a pitcher of IPA of some sort down the street to further prepare us for the trail ahead of us.
The Cocomingo 250 is an ITT or a stage race that we had originally wanted to take a shot at – ThNR style. Unfortunately, the start day was the day after we had planned to start – I guess I was looking at last years’ plan. At any rate, Tour Divide winner Matthew Lee was on course and our smart phones allowed us to determine where we could do an intercept.
We were ready for the intercept.
After reviewing what we rode the previous 24 hours, we determined that this guy is hard. We merely admire the capabilities of what serious cyclists do.
Light set-up. “I won’t be camping out – I’m riding all the way through”. 250 miles. No backpack, sleeping bag or seat bag. 3 water bottles. There is a stretch on the course that has no water for something like 15 hours at the pace he is riding.
After the intercept we try to make our way to camp for the evening. ThNR still in effect, our load to the camp site was heavy.
Sunday Morning. Head out and back to normal activities.