3 February 2012 - 10:39Snowdona
At last! The swelling in my knee subsided enough to where I could make a complete pedal stroke without wincing and buckling. This was good as this was to be the last day in Sedona for me this trip. It was pretty chilly when we woke, so Bruce and I set off to get some breakfast, and run a couple of errands in hopes that it would warm up.
We met up with a crew that Bruce knew from Harrisonburg, VA who were vacationing in Oak Creek. It was going to be a 2-3 hr ride, which based on my past experiences out here, was going to be about the max I thought I should subject my gimp knee to. We got ourselves ready and headed on out towards Cathedral.
When we set out, it was grey and spitting snow. Yes, snow, we were dressed for cold temps, but by the time we made out first climb up to singletrack, the sun had popped out from behind the clouds, and we started to roast. It was time to de-layer. My knee was feeling good, and I was able to make some of the ledgy ups and switchbacks pain free. I didn’t really know where we were headed, but after a while it was clear we were headed for adventure. After a while, the trail got a little too steep and chunky for the gear I was riding, and I ended up walking.
We “topped out” right at the base of where the buttes went vertical, after a pretty rugged hike-a-bike. The scenery was gorgeous, but the riding was a little bit on the edge of my comfort zone. We were pretty high up, and the trail was narrow and there was a good sized drop to my right. I had to keep in mind that my trail skills are pretty rusty, and I would not have been stoked with a tumble. Caution was the name of the game.
After some skirting around Cathedral we came out on some slickrock and dropped off the back into Verde Valley. It was rough going, and I was doing a lot of walking. Don’t get me wrong, it was a ton of fun, but I really had to pay attention to my knee. I didn’t come all the way out here to not ride SSAZ again. And the group was pretty much riding at a level far and above what I was capable of, so I decided to bail on the ride 2 hrs in. I knew where I was and slowly spun back to base.
The weather was pretty crazy, sunny and hot one moment, windy and snowy the next. It was absolutely awesome though.
A note on the Rocker:
Upon setting out, I felt that the new gearing was a bit on the spinny side. Upon getting on trail, it was a lot happier. The wheelbase is a bit tighter so the bike had a quicker feel to it. It was almost a bit too quick for me, but then again, my skills are lacking right now. I hope by the end of the trip this will be worked out. The Syncros tires haven’t fully earned my trust yet, but they are growing on me.