Sunday, October 14, 2007

Retirement Tour Off to a Great Start

Matt and I have been having a great time during the first two days of our riding adventure. I flew into Phoenix yesterday, and we headed out to ride the old Cactus Cup course. This is a short loop, only about an hour, but mildly technical, and fun. Of course it was pretty damn hot, but that's par for the course in Phoenix. We'd met up with Fletcher, a friend of Matt's, who was in full racer mode during the ride (we saw him for about the first 15 minutes). After that, headed back to Fletcher's house for lunch, showers, then we jumped back in the Sportsmobile and headed to Flagstaff.

In Flag we returned the Niner RIP 9 I had rented, and I requested a refund on my 2nd day rental fee (Matt picked up the bike two days prior), as they were idiots and put what was likely an 18" flat handlebar on the bike. Seriously, no, really, I mean, I felt like I was riding with my hands on each side of the stem. Oh, also, they'd thought to replace the shift cables the day before, but negelected to stretch the cables, and so I had to re-adjust the rear derailleur. It doesn't end there... about half the threads in the pedal hole of the cranks arms were stripped/gone, and I actually had one of my pedals unscrew on the trail. Nice job guys, way to ensure your demo rider has a good experience on the bike!

Grand Canyon
Originally uploaded by Christopher Bailey

Anyway, grabbed a quick espresso and sandwich and hauled ass for the Grand Canyon.

Unfortunately we arrived after dark at the GC. But, thankfully I had my tripod and DSLR, and managed to get some shots that make it look like we were there during the day! Pretty amazing place - I'd never been before, need to go back.

Camp outside Moab
Originally uploaded by Christopher Bailey

After that we drove late into the night to 30 miles outside Moab, and found a clearing a ways off the road to spend the night. Nice and quiet and dark, perfect. Asleep before 2am Utah time (lost an hour). Up the next morning to a nice sunrise, got the espresso/moka flowin', and headed into Moab.

Click the photo to play the video

In Moab we hooked up with Michael and Sylvi, and four other friend's of Matt's, and rode Sovereign trail. Absolutely great trail. About a 2hr ride, on prime Moab terrain - very rocky/slickrock, sandy, technical stuff. I rode my rigid Niner, which was brutal at times, but actually quite nice at others (really nice for rolling up and over ledges). We had the helmet cam in full effect. Should have video avail, once we get a chance to edit down the couple hours we have. Matt wore the camera to chase Nicole (former pro DH racer) down, which was sweet (this woman can fly!). I am renting a full suspension bike for tomorrow, as we're doing a mega downhill shuttle (as long as it doesn't snow at the top).

Finally, back into town, had some food, hung out, then a great dinner with Michael and Sylvi at Buck's. Massive double pork chop, wine, stories. Now, back in the Sportsmobile, calling it a night soon, early shuttle ride tomorrow morning.

For all the pictures, check my Retirement Tour tag on Flickr.

1 comment:

Jay said...

Looks like fun, wish I could have joined!