Saturday, November 7, 2009

Gardner Canyon AZ Trail Loop

Best-laid plans. Enroute to Patagonia to ride the Harshaw loop, an oncoming gravel truck launched a rock into my windshield, spraying tiny shards of glass and startling the hell out of me. Rattled, I continued on to Sonoita, only to find that chip-sealing operations had narrowed highway 82 to alternating single-lane traffic (with a 20-minute delay), so I turned north to Gardner Canyon. Always wanted to ride the Arizona Trail north from Kentucky Camp anyhow.

Map your trip with EveryTrail

Route-finding was easy, thanks to the AZT stickers on the signs at every intersection. Still managed to miss the transition from Jeep trail to singletrack; the flub is visible as a little out-and-back excursion at the western end of my GPS track. 

Singletrack is not my specialty; I'm more of a dirt-roadie, but I did my best on the loose, rocky terrain. Dabbed a foot pretty often to avoid dabbing my head, and discovered a curious mechanism: the ass-kicking machine. On a steep descent I ended up stopped, straddling the bike. Front wheel was locked, but I was still slipping downhill. Every time I did so, the rear wheel would come off the ground, jabbing the nose of the seat into the small of my back. Happened about a dozen times in quick succession, forcing me to release the brakes, hop on and hope for the best. 

The last mile before Box Canyon Road was mostly smooth, punctuated with recently installed, nicely hoppable water bars. The short section of dirt road was badly corrugated, causing a dropped chain. Soon after, I was on pavement for a quick spin back to the Jeep. 

What I'm doing here. Geocaching has gotten me accustomed to keeping a diary of my weekly hikes and bike trips in the form of cache logs. As I've reduced my caching activity, I've started to miss the diarizing, so I've decided to mash together a blog with an everytrail account to take up the slack. Future entries will have more pictures!

No comments: