MTB AZT
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Arizona Trail – Day 5 on a Mountain Bike

 APRIL 11 – Post 32 hour break

Day Goal – Climb Mt LemmonBikepacking gear

Get up before 4am and have the bike packed and loaded and did my last checks in the McDonald’s parking lot. The morning coffee did its job and when the mickey-ds lights came on I was the first in line to use their facilities.

Derrick Perrin at McDonalds, AZRested and with a bike that was back to 100% I was ready to take on the day.

 

The morning was cold and I really didn’t know what or how the day was a going to turn out. I had a good idea I would be running into rider Steve today.
Redington Road
5:30 am – With a fresh body, I marched through the sand pits at the end of Broadway and onto Rredington Road. A few motorbikes came buy and I wished my mountain bike had a motor. I trucked it up and down this craphole of a road. I found the ride enjoyable as I moved on at a good pace. My friend Robert text me and told me to slow down because it would be a long day. Not an hour went by and I met Steve getting ready to close a gate.

No hug, no handshake, just work. It was as if the past year had not  With little more than a head nod we were on the trail. We started to motor on down the trail. We hit a waterhole around 2pm. At this time I noticed I was missing one of my fork bottles.

We rested longer than expected before we started packing. In an attempt to know some sense into himself, Steve headbutted a tree branch. He was fussing a bit before I broke out my nurse kit, and then he was fussing a lot.


The Woundseal worked like a champ and we were off to find this Canyon named Mediera. As the sun set the blood moon was rising. Nature must have known about it. Right before we made the saddle a pair of deer showed us how easy it was to climb mountains. As we dropped into a national park campground we scared the piss out of some campers who didn’t expect nighttime riders.

The blood moon was absolutely amazing.

Must have been about 9:30 pm when we took a break for dinner. Hot camp meal for me, power mix pemican non-food for Steve. We had some coffee and were off to find pavement. This would be the pavement (Catalina Highway) to the top of the mountain.  It kept getting cooler it got later and we were ascending Mt. Lemmon. We had a cabin waiting for us in Summer Haven and were determined to get there.

As we stopped to put on another layer of clothing we heard running water. There was a creek below and we topped off with ice cold water. This problem was fixed in the making of coffee. Found this toad on the water run.

We rode some and hiked the pavement a lot. The road had very few travelers that time of night. I found myself waking up on my bike. It was just like nodding off while reading a book at home, but I was on a mountain in the middle of the night climbing. There were times when a quarter mile or more would separate me and Steve. His clip in pedals were killing his feet.  By 4 am he deemed it necessary to pull the cleats and improve his hiking comfort. As he pulled out his toolkit I curled up in the road’s gutter and took a nap.

It was this very moment that I realized my previous stops for camping were premature. I was not nearly exhausted enough. I needed to be “sleep in the gutter exhausted” before I set camp again.

By sunrise, we were near the top of the trail. I had been texting with my dad about progress as he was preparing to go to work for the day. I was spinning cranks going up a 9,000-foot mountain at 4 miles per hour talking on the phone and getting ready to put an end to a 24-hour push on the bike. Yea, I was feeling good about my accomplishment.

From the top of the mountain to the village of Summerhaven is downhill.
There are no free miles
Climbing up the mountain works your muscles good and creates warmth and sweat. Riding downhill will chill you to the bones as the wind helps your sweat a subzero nightmare. Well, it is not that bad, but it is not as enjoyable as you wanted it to be.

I reached the cabin 25 hours after taking off from Tucson. The mission of the day was a success. There were 2 riders behind us at this point and it would be nice to run into them, but we were going to take a full 24 hours off.

Move along the trail to day 6 – Derrick Perrin on the AZT300

I'm Derrick Perrin and I support this message! Thanks for reading and comment or post if you have time.

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