May 16, Billy's Epic, Getting our climb on.

Across the valley from Whistler/Blackcomb is where most of the new trail development seems to be happening.  Every year we find some fresh trails to ride.  Francine put together a great climbing loop from Rainbow Park.  Climbed almost 3,400 feet, with excellent views back at Whistler.  Trails down were typically rugged, and it was a little tough for Francine to get the flow on the downhill.   Black diamond trails at Whistler seem to mean "risk your life".   You have to really commit to the steep and rough lines.

Rode to Rainbow Lake before we hit the trails to higher views

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May 15 Whistler Cut yer Bars to Delineator to Bob's Rebob

We tried to get an early start today, since it was supposed to be 83 today, but we didn't get going until 10am.  Headed over to Cut Yer Bars area then over to the Alpine Meadows neighborhood on the paved Valley trail, to climb to the start of "Delineator", a blue square rated trail that we haven't ridden.  For a blue rated trail, it was as easy as it get in Whistler, as Francine was able to stay on the bike for the most part, even though it kept her on her toes. 

After Delineator we rode "Shit Happens", a black run for a short bit before the turnoff to "Creamsicle" a Blue Run.   Delineator/Creamsicle ended up at the Spring Creek neighborhood, where we found some benches, sat in the shade and had a snack.  Then we headed over to Alta Lake road to the bottom of "Mel's Dilemma".   Climbed "Mel's" to the first left intersection to "Nectar Connector" and climbed "Get Over It" to "Bob's Rebob Lower" back to Alta Lake Road.  Crossed the road and did a short section on "River Run's Thru It" to Rainbow Lake Park. 

After Rainbow park, we took the Valley Trail home.  15 miles.

May 14 - Whistler Lost Lake Singletrack "Zappa" themed trails

Rick has an opening in his quarter-share week in Whistler at The Montebello, so we are here in Whistler.  Rick has a sweet, 3 bed/3ba that we have stayed at multiple times for both skiing and mountain biking.  Francine picked up Kevin from work at the fire station, and at 8am they were on their way.  Traffic was super light thru Everett, the border, and even Vancouver.  I think leaving at that time meant that all the moms were still at home, putting the kids on the bus, and hadn't left the house yet.

80 degrees in Whistler.  Kevin had a long night at work, so after his 1 hour power nap, we headed out for a bike ride on the Lost Lake trails.  We've done these trail many times, and they are always a lot of fun.  Great "intermediate" trails, and easy to follow loop.  We pretty much did all the blue trails around the lake, with a detour to our standard lunch spot, the float plane dock on Green Lake.

There were plenty of people sunbathing at the Lost Lake park, and even swimming in the lake.  We stopped to check out Whistler Village and finally home.  10 miles.

One of many cedar bridges in Whistler trail system

Bike park opens on Friday.  Crews were shaping the trails to the lifts

April 26, Flagstaff

Today is our last day, as we fly out tomorrow, Friday.   We were originally going to ride the Hogs Trails, which would have taken us by Chicken Point, but opted for Flagstaff where it would be 10 degrees cooler.  The Hog Trails, (High on the Hog, Hog Haven and Hog Wash) were probably too technical for Francine on this trip, especially since she has been riding in a drug induced fog, where she has pretty much been totally out of it on the rides.  Chuckwagon is another trail that we didn't make it too.  Unfortunately, the first mile of Chuckwagon or so is now overrun by hikers, making their way to the Devil's Bridge hiking trail.  There is a huge parking lot for the trail, and the overflow has tons of cars lining the road near that parking lot.  Kevin is also interested in Hangover Trail, but Francine has no interest.  He said that Highline is only rated Advanced, while Hangover is rated Expert, so that is clearly out of Francine's interest.

We had smooth sailing on the 40mph road up Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff until the final climb.  We pretty much repeated the ride we did last year.

Climbed Fort Vally to Lower Moto turning right onto the AZT (Schultz Creek) to a right turn on Secret trail to the short 1/4 mile to the upper parking lot.  Climbed the Forest Road 6353 to Little Knarly.  Little Knarly has been turned to a forest road, probably from the fires in Flagstaff last summer.  Descended Lower Brookbank and started climbing Upper Brookbank to Sunset trail to climb to the top at 8800 feet.  Rode out to the viewpoint of the east valley that looks like a forest fire went thru recently.

The top half of Sunset was super smooth, bermed and riding great.  The lower half was still fun, but definitely had more pitch and you had to be on the brakes more.  We finished on Schultz Creek trail, which was fantastic.  It wasn't very steep, but just enough to barely need the brakes, and for a trail that can be shuttled, was still very narrow with super fun corners.  There were a few rocky sections thrown in to keep you on your toes.  We couldn't believe how fun and fast that trail was.  Great way to end our trip.

16 miles.

Short walk to the view point

Kev at viewpoint, overlooking big valley that looks like it was on fire last summer.

April 25, Sedona - Highline Trail

We couldn't skip Highline Trail, even though Francine is still sick, coughing and hacking constantly.  So, again she loaded up on Afrin, Sudafed, Dayquil and Cough Syrup.

We didn't want to drive over to Oak Creek Village to start, so we opted to start at Red Rock Crossing.  Kevin rode down Herkenham Trail to Old Post Trail, while Francine drove down the mini-van to the bottom of the canyon to the Crescent Moon Picnic Site Park, paid our obligatory $10 to park and made our way across Oak Creek at Red Rock Crossing.  Water was a little high, and we didn't want to get our socks and shoes wet at the start of the ride, so we walked across barefoot, carrying our bikes.

Instead of turning left and riding on Baldwin and Templeton trails to the Highline trail turnoff, we went right and rode towards Oak Creek Village on the Verde Valley School Road (pavement).  Started Slim Shady Trail at the Red Agave, where we stayed on our first trip to Sedona in 2010.  The place is super cute and looks like they have been doing some sprucing up.  We would probably try to stay there if we are unable to get our sweet condos thru RCI Exchange from Pat and Larry.

Climbed Slim Shady to Highline intersection where we went left.  Reached the top in about 3 miles, and started a super fun descent swooping and rolling over the red rock.  Once we hit the notch, which is the start of the double black rating on the trail, we started walking down.  Once thru the super steep stuff (painful loss of elevation), we were out at the Baldwin Trail.  Went left for that loop and back to the Red Rock Crossing, where we kept shoes on and waded across, to our start.

12.5 miles for Francine.  15.5 miles for Kevin.

Francine heading up Highline Trail

Super fun downhill section on tons of Slickrock

This would be the DoubleDiamond section. 
Lose a lot of elevation hiking down.  

Short-cutting across Oak Creek

April 24, Sedona Teacup Trail, Soldiers Pass Trail, Grand Central Trail

Kevin on Teacup Trail

Francine is still hacking and coughing all night, but, amazingly,  she again rallied for a ride today.  This was another short ride but super fun, and beautiful area.  One of the locals mentioned Teacup trail as a favorite, so we put it on our list.

Parked at the Teacup parking lot, and climbed Teacup trail to Jordan.  A bit of hiking in the beginning, but lots of smooth sections and a nice swoopy finish down to Soldier's Pass road.  We added another fun section of trail by heading out Soldier's Pass Rd. then coming back on Soldier's Pass trail.  We saw more hikers on our fun descent on the Soldier's Pass trail, but they were all super friendly.  Checked out the 7 pools.  Currently more like 5 puddles.  It has been pretty dry.

Continued out on Jordan Trail, retracing our steps from a previous day to Ant Trail.  Kevin climbed up and over Ant Hill, and Francine continued around Ant Hill on Ant Trail to the second intersection with Grand Central.  We descended Grand Central to Crusty trail and climbed back to the Adobe jack trailhead parking area.  The descent was good, but not as fun as Javelina, which we rode down last time.   At the Adobe Jack trailhead, Francine recuperated in the shade and Kevin rode streets back to our starting point.  Another great loop!

Kev on Teacup

Francine on Teacup

Francine at the end of Soldiers Pass Trail

Soldiers Pass Trail - at the 7 Pools

Francine on Grand Central Trail

Sedona, April 23, Oak, Mescal, Aerie, Dawa, OK trails

Francine on Mescal
 Today, we finally did our favorite Dry Creek loop.  We really wanted to get Tom and Scott out on this ride, but a week is not nearly enough time for all the trails Sedona has to offer.  We decided to skip Chuck Wagon trail, originally made by mountain bikers, now overcrowded with hikers.

We drove down Dry Creek Rd. turned left and immediately looked to park.  This seemed like a good low point on which to loop back.

Started on Oak trail, a bypass to get bikers off the road.  Climbed up Mescal trail and rode as it contoured Mescal Mountain.  At the end of Mescal we went left on Long Pass Trail to start on Aerie Trail.  Aerie was super smooth and fun, with banked corners up and out of the washes.  Once we started the climb up Doe Mountain, the rocks and technical aspect came back.  Rode that up and around Doe Mountain to the intersection of Cockscomb Trail and Western Civilation Trail.  Descended on Cockscomb Trail to Rupp trail.  Here Francine wanted to explore more non-system trails (not official trails on any maps).  North of Rupp trail, is a maze of fairly obvious trails the locals are riding.  We finally made our way to Dawa Trail.  Went Right and descended to AZ Cypress Trial (real sandy).  Rode by Anaconda trail (which we originally planned to ride up and over Garnet Hill on Anaconda), but decided we were heading to the mini-van.  Went left onto AZ Cypress Trail.  Took a left and climbed a little on OK trail.

Intersected with Dawa Trail again (sandy) and rode out to the paved road.  Went right for a little bit and ran into the mini-van.

11.85 miles.

Francine on Mescal Trail

Kev on Aerie Trail

Francine on the backside of Doe Mountain, on Aerie Trail

April 22, Sedona Girdner, non-system trails, Western Civilization

Cruising on Western Civilization trail
Pretty quiet around the condo.  We had a great time with the Davies and Sumners.   It's just Francine and I until friday.   Francine still hacking but we got out for a eleven mile ride from the condo.  1400 feet elevation gain/loss.  Getting warmer this week, but still not too hot.

Cruising on non-system trails south of Rupp Trail

Final climb home on Girdner

Started at the Cultural Center, about 1 minute ride from the condo, and rode out Girdner and turned left to descent on Western Frontier, taking a right to start climbing on Western Civilization.  Here we rode local, non-system trails, as indicated in yellow on the map, for a couple miles.  Rode those trails to the intersection with Rupp Trail.  Went left, and left onto Cockscomb.  And left again at an unmarked intersection onto Western Civilization trail for a couple miles, to the intersection with Western Frontier.  Western Civilization is an all-out cruise downhill swooping in and out of  the rises.  At Western Frontier, we retraced our steps on the stick portion of the lollipop loop.  11 miles.

April 20, Sedona, Az. Day 6

Afrin, Sudafed, Dayquil, Nyquil, Claritin, and Robitussin.  Francine and I are still fighting upper respiratory infections.  The dry air and dust blowing probably does not help our irritated throats.   We have our vicks humidifier running 24/7 in our room.  We are popping all the medications above and still sniffling and coughing.  However, we are still riding.  Each day we get out we are amazed at how good the trails are in Sedona.  The views are amazing, the trails are narrow, they vary from buttery smooth to challenging chunky rocks and ledges, cactus lean in and over the trail.   We typically have only bumped into a couple of other trail users.  By not riding the big name trails, we find ourselves alone in the national forest.   You could do incredibly long rides by linking together trails that really go everywhere.   Being in a slightly weakened state due to our colds and our less serious riding friends we have kept most of our rides in the 6 - 10 mile range.   That's some very high quality varied trail riding.  Today was another awesome ride.

Starting from Sedona Summit Condo, Skywalker, Old Post, (locals trail thru the wash), Old Post, Ridge Trail, Secret Slickrock, Ridge Trail.  Then pavement to car located at bottom of ride.  Around 7 miles.

Chillin' out in our condo backyard

April 19, Day 5 Sedona Adobe Jack and Javelina Trails

Francine on Ant Hill loop trail
We have Pat and Larry again, to thank for our access to our stay here at The Sedona Summit, thru their RCI Timeshare.  We booked a 2 bedroom for 2 weeks and a 1 bedroom for the first week, as we have Scott/Diane and Tom/Lori joining us.  Luckily, the resort was able to place our units right next to each other, which has been super convenient and fun.  Francine and Kevin are sick, so we were put into the 1 bedroom, and Scott/Di and Tom/Lori shared the 2 bedroom, which was actually a 1 bedroom and a studio lock off, so we all had separate spaces.

Francine has been sick the whole time, so Diane really stepped up, and has been prepping all our dinners.  Poor Di also got stuck with dishwasher duty all week as well, since we have been eating dinners in their unit.  Luckily, she has been a super trooper about it, and at least never needs to clean up the kitchen after dinner.

Tom and Lori left this morning bright and early to make their 3 day trek back to Seattle, as she has to test 4.5 year olds for early entry to Kindergarten for the school district.  She said of the hundred or so that they test, only 4-5 make it for early entry to Kindergarten.

We told Scott and Di they should be on their own today, so they drove up to Flagstaff, to find easy, green circle trails for Di.  The local bike shop recommended a route on the Mesa, unfortunately, it was super windy.  But, they got a short ride in and had fun.

Kevin told Francine to take a Sudafed, in addition to the dayquil and cough syrup already consumed, and get out for a short ride.  We parked at the Adobe Jack trailhead and climbed Adobe Jack to Jordan trail where we went left to view the sinkhole.
Adobe Jack trail

Devil's Kitchen Sinkhole

Then we headed east on Jordan trail to right onto Ant Hill and rode that .8mile loop, which was scenic and fun.  After re-joining Jordan continued right/east until Javelina trail.  Descended that fun, smooth curvy trail with a couple technical sections thrown in to give the Black Diamond rating.  At the bottom, we climbed Crusty to Coyote to Adobe Jack.  Here we went left onto Adobe Jack, and made our way to the car.  Super fun ride.  7.2 miles.

Kevin on Jordan Trail

Kev on Jordan Trail

Francine descending Javelina Trail