Drink Deeply of the Posion That Is Mount Eldon

Pain, cursing, sweat, more pain, more sweat, more cursing = Top of the world.

Ouch that mountain hurts. Matt thought better of heading up to Flag this weekend because of the “festivities”. I, on the other hand don’t think to see what’s happening in a town before I go there. Instead, I show up in downtown en route to the mountain bike parking lot. “Oh, there’s a festival up here this weekend… Wow, that’s a big flag. And it’s a rainb - oh.” At least the people watching post ride was interesting.

‘ve determined I don’t like Flagstaff after today and it’s not because it’s sandy. It’s because of what it does to me. It makes me entertain thoughts of quiting my job, moving up there and flipping burgers in the evenings so I ran ride all day long. Not that there’s anything wrong with flipping burgers, but it just doesn’t pay as well as medical software programming.

My route today was pretty familiar. I wanted to hit some of the same trails I did on the big bike with a cross country bike and see how they were. I climbed Mt. Elden with five liters of water… Again, ouch. Made it to the top in 1:01 and change. I was pleased, but thought I was going to be a lot closer to 45 minutes. I got to what I thought was about the 75% point at 30 minutes, turns out it was the half way point. Anyhow, climbed well… the climb just goes on forever. I did everything but the last 200 yards after you pass the gate in my middle ring. That was with a 32 in the back on a 29’er, or like riding up a 8% climb for 7 miles in your middle ring at the 28 tooth on little bike.

A few minutes later and a Clifbar later, I was on my way down… for the next half hour! Man, that’s the beauty of climbing for that much time… there’s one sweet downhill waiting for you. I biffed it right before the Sunset/Heart intersection. Not sure what happened, my front wheel got loose, then sideways. I thought I saved it, but it didn’t roll when it needed to and I did a belly flop onto the trail. This is right after a section they call the Catwalk/Organ Donor. At least I didn’t get to see if the trail was aptly named.

From there it was down through the Hobit Forest, a fun section of rocks and switchbacks. I wimped out on one of the drops because of the taste of dust in my mouth from the fall. That section seemed a lot longer on my big bike last time. Before I knew it was on Little Bear which just goes on forever. I was in my big ring nearly the entire time down, including all those short ups. I was amazed at how big of a gear I was pushing all day.

Back up Little Elden to the Shultz Pass trail head. From there, I headed over to Weatherby and climbed up it for about 10 minutes before I decided I’d had enough climbing for the day so I headed back to the trail head to hit Brookbank over to Rocky Ridge and to the car. No one told me that Brookbank is a climb? 30 minutes or so later I popped out at the top of it and hit this unbelievable downhill. Roots, rocks, switchbacks… it was a riot.

From there I hopped out on the Mt. Elden service road down to Rocky Ridge and out. Except as I’m within a half mile from the car I’m spinning the big ring half way through the cassette when I here thud - crack… and boom, I’m on the ground. I had caught my pedal on a rock and really thought I shear part of my Eggbeater off. It was ok, but I landed on my right knee - the same one that broke my fall at Whiskey and the same one who’s scab just came off within the last few week. The impact busted the newly formed scar tissue straight off. Scar tissue is always stronger than the “real” skin it replaces, so I’m thinking when it grows back this time it will be some sort of TLD Combat Guard. :D

Two over the bars in one day, not good. Nothing got broke and I just have some scrapes to prove I rode this weekend, so all in all, it wasn’t a half bad Saturday. Now I’ve got to go check the Daily Sun for available burger flipping positions. :))