29 December 2008 - 20:13SSAZ09, it’s on!
The last ride of 2008 (for me at least) was a lot less than stellar. Having brought the bikes for the trip to PA for an abbreviated version of the holidays, we thought we’d try and give the trails at Jim Thorpe a try. Alas, the conditions weren’t so hot. In fact, despite the record breaking warm weather, they were still quite snowy.
We got a good climb in, up Flagstaff Mountain, and about 1/4 mile down one of the snow and ice infested trails along the top of the ridge, before calling no joy. I mean, I can only let so much air out of my tires to get any kind of traction. Turns out I had to let it all out to even get the slightest hint of traction. It was frustrating for sure. It isn’t the sort of riding made any easier by having only one gear, the slightest shift in weight would result in the bike sliding off course, and getting it back on track was next to impossible for me.
Days like that are a good reminder that December has the potential to be a pretty silly month to attempt a mountain bike ride in the northeast. An even sillier time can be January, unless you are riding in the southwest. Which is exactly where we are headed. Tucson, AZ to be exact, where the weather ought to be much nicer for riding bikes.
SSAZ09 is an event put on by Niner rider Dejay Birtch. From what I can find out (he is being tight lipped about the details), it is about a 50 mile “fun” ride with about 5000 ft of elevation gain. I’m told that the ride is bailout friendly, and that there will be “refreshments” provided along the way. While there is no requirement that you ride a singlespeed, it is recommended to alleviate some of the heckling that is likely to occur on a ride such as this. If you are going to be in the Tucson area on Jan 24th, maybe we can ride bikes together. Sign up can be found here.
I can’t imagine anywhere else I’d rather be in January.