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Old 01-22-14, 07:12 PM   #4776
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I learned while riding my motocycle with a camera in hand is to use a neck strap and let it hang from my neck when not in use. Also, if I have to guickly drop the camera to get both hands back on the handlebars I can just let it go and the strap will keep it from falling to the ground.
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Old 01-24-14, 06:10 PM   #4777
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Took a ride on the Foothills Trail to the Carbon River.
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Old 01-24-14, 07:04 PM   #4778
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I probably got around 40 local miles in today, on the Miele. It rides great, but just a little too aero for my tastes, the way it is now. I'm gonna put a taller stem on it, before riding again. But it was beautiful weather again today, so I had to get out. Now we're supposed to get rain for the next week or so, like normal.
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Old 01-25-14, 09:17 AM   #4779
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Morning ride

Early morning ride with a lot of crunchy salt, wind, and creaky traffic lights.







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Old 01-25-14, 12:35 PM   #4780
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^BRRR! Wonderful winter oceanfront photos Vonruden! Sent a chill through me. I'm about to head out into a cool 69*F afternoon. yes, wimpy.
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Old 01-25-14, 12:54 PM   #4781
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Yup, take a trip and never leave the farm. That's biking bolted in to a trainer up here, north of the 45th.
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Old 01-25-14, 12:58 PM   #4782
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^BRRR! Wonderful winter oceanfront photos Vonruden! Sent a chill through me. I'm about to head out into a cool 69*F afternoon. yes, wimpy.
Must be nice. It's 37F here now, but the sun's out pretty good, so it looks warmer, at least. I guess the fog & rain slowed down a day, till tomorrow. I might get out again later, but that would be 3 days in a row, & I'm kinda sluggish already. EDIT: I guess it is pretty foggy out there, I just didn't notice it, looking out the window. I guess the sun burns it off in sections.

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Old 01-25-14, 01:25 PM   #4783
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Must be nice. It's 37F here now, but the sun's out pretty good, so it looks warmer, at least. I guess the fog & rain slowed down a day, till tomorrow. I might get out again later, but that would be 3 days in a row, & I'm kinda sluggish already. EDIT: I guess it is pretty foggy out there, I just didn't notice it, looking out the window. I guess the sun burns it off in sections.
The fog has developed over the Sound as it's warmed up a bit.
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Old 01-25-14, 03:12 PM   #4784
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^BRRR! Wonderful winter oceanfront photos Vonruden! Sent a chill through me. I'm about to head out into a cool 69*F afternoon. yes, wimpy.
I'm so over this winter, I can't wait to see the 60's again. It was 18 degrees with 25mph winds, still enjoyable just being on the road.
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Old 01-25-14, 03:29 PM   #4785
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I'm so over this winter, I can't wait to see the 60's again. It was 18 degrees with 25mph winds, still enjoyable just being on the road.
I hear you.

We have a blizzard warning up for tonight and tomorrow.

Then the dangerous cold returns, as if that weren't enough.

-26 on the forecast for Monday night. That's straight air temp, not including the wind chill.

This winter has us in a strangle hold up here.
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Old 01-25-14, 04:09 PM   #4786
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I hear you.

We have a blizzard warning up for tonight and tomorrow.

Then the dangerous cold returns, as if that weren't enough.

-26 on the forecast for Monday night. That's straight air temp, not including the wind chill.

This winter has us in a strangle hold up here.
you guys are getting slammed. I was born in Grand Forks and my dad still lives there...brutal winter.
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Old 01-26-14, 12:47 PM   #4787
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Saturday afternoon had me returning to the Sonoran Trail System (Hawes) to try Saguaro Trail. A longer and ascending trail. The day turned partly cloudy, and it hampered my photos. The views as I went higher were great, one could see most of the East Valley, and could make out downtown Phoenix. The trail was tough, and another rider warned me where not to go, as it would be very hard, especially with my old rigid-hardtail drop bar.

I fell 3 times! Once, toppled over a ridge line when my bike lost momentum. Luckily I landed on 'soft' loose dirt and no cactii nearby. Snapped a toe clip on rocks, but no damage otherwise. Highlight of the ride, I reached an abandoned gold mine at the top of the Saguaro/Mine Trail.
Not that many great pics, but the sun did break through the clouds and I got a few decent ones.



Saguaro Trail -003 by WNG555, on Flickr

Saguaro Trail -010 by WNG555, on Flickr

Saguaro Trail -011 by WNG555, on Flickr

Saguaro Trail -013 by WNG555, on Flickr

Saguaro Trail -020 by WNG555, on Flickr

I fell off the trail to the right, here! An abandoned mine is straight ahead.

Saguaro Trail -023 by WNG555, on Flickr

Abandoned Mine by WNG555, on Flickr



Saguaro Trail -029 by WNG555, on Flickr

Saguaro Trail -031 by WNG555, on Flickr

Saguaro Trail -032 by WNG555, on Flickr

Last edited by WNG; 02-12-14 at 04:05 AM.
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Old 01-26-14, 12:47 PM   #4788
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Cont'd...

The wrong turn yielded some nice spots for views and pics. But it turned terribly steep and rocky, I had to walk down some of it. My shoes had no traction, my front brake caused the rear of the bike to become airborne. There were 2-3 ft. drops in the fractured granite! I'm impressed if riders on modern mtbs can negotiate this stuff! The detour was an unnamed trail quickly to the highway. I got home by nightfall. I will have to return and TURN LEFT next time.


Saguaro Trail -033 by WNG555, on Flickr

Saguaro Trail -039 by WNG555, on Flickr

Saguaro Trail -045 by WNG555, on Flickr

Saguaro Trail -046 by WNG555, on Flickr

Saguaro Trail -042 by WNG555, on Flickr

Saguaro Trail -043 by WNG555, on Flickr


Saguaro Trail -019 by WNG555, on Flickr

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Old 01-26-14, 01:13 PM   #4789
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Nice pics, looks nice and warm.
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Old 01-26-14, 02:35 PM   #4790
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Nice photos. I see your bike parked against the remnants of a palm. Why do business owners in the northern Mid-Atlantic think that vacationers need to see palms to enjoy the experience? The trees are killed every year - I see the same thing in Maryland.

Oh, nice bike.
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Old 01-31-14, 06:07 PM   #4791
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Last Sunday, I had the opportunity to do my 50th Birthday Ride. I hit the big 5-0 this week! Officially Over-the-Hill. No longer means summitting a climb anymore.
I wanted to commemorate the milestone with an epic personal challenge. I recalled chatting in a past thread with PastorBobinlnh about riding the Apache Trail. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_Trail
It's a long winding narrow road with some tough climbs and breathtaking scenery. It's paved all the way to Tortilla Flat, once a Pony Express stop. But the mountainous sections are frost heaved. Many of the riding clubs and diehard roadies do this ride and risk the danger from drivers out sightseeing.
So, I checked the route and it is 50 miles from door to the Canyon Lake Marina and back. It's one of the man-made lakes used to supply water to Phoenix. It's one of the most prettiest spots in the PHX Metro region, IMHO. Where it begins, in the outskirts of the city of Apache Junction, the Trail is a 12+ miles of steady climbing and a steep sections of climbs and descents to the lake. http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/351046039

I prepared for the event by swapping the wheels of my Bianchi Premio. Member irvri gave me a set of Sansin hubbed wheels with bronze finished Araya rims. Same model as my original silver rims. I adorned them with a pair of Conti Gatorskins to give some thorn protection for this desert trek. I had a cheapo 7 speed freewheel with a 28t cog that I threaded on there. I needed all the low gearing I could muster. With the 39t inner ring of the Bianchi, I thought it would be enough. The Bianchi looked pretty snazzy with the bronze rims. Now, all I need is to find a set of Gran Compe or Suntour sidepulls to complete the Maeda Group theme of the bike. (presently Shimano 105 1050 calipers on there)

I began in the afternoon to let the day's temp rise to a comfortable level. I wouldn't need to wear a jacket and have to carry it later. It's in the 40s F during mornings in the desert, and hit 75-80 F by afternoon!
The ride began with 12 miles of local roads through the cities of Mesa and Apache Junction. I'm familiar with the route because I used to live there. And upon seeing these spots, I couldn't help having a bitterweet feeling. A melancholy overcame me and my ride excitement. It's hard to believe it's been nearly 2 years since my personal bad turn of events began. I have shared some details to the C&V Forum about it this past year, and consider the folks here my community. Many have helped me through my ordeal. To spare those of you who aren't interested and not following my situation, please feel free to skip to the next paragraph for the main course of this ride report.
I haven't been back since 2012! When I was forced out of my home, I took up temporary residence in Apache Junction for the Spring and Summer of 2012 while my legal issue was played out. I had my Crosscut and I rode each day to keep myself sane. So, I knew all the safe routes away from traffic. I was now back riding these roads to get to my destination. I saw the view of mountains that were seen from my backyard. I reached and turned onto Signal Butte Rd. the main cross street where my house, possessions, and bikes are still supposed to be. As I passed through my neighborhood, I entered Apache Junction. I rode on the same route I used to do. I felt bitter, and empty inside. I was thrusted back to when it all began, and how lost and stressful it felt then. My rides kept me healthy and hopeful. Even though I've overcome so much adversity since 2012, and realize how fortunate I am, there is no closure for the lack of accountability of what my ex-wife had done. A criminal, con artist, deceitful thief. That's what was discovered thanks to my attorney. I can't conceive how a person can plan to do this, and that the life we shared was a lie. A seven year lie. I was nothing more than a vehicle into the USA, and source of money to be defrauded. The thoughts were broken when I reached the end of the road. The house I stayed in was around the corner, but I didn't see it. And I'm glad for that. I'm now approaching Lost Dutchman Blvd. Rode straight through the city, 2 1/2 more miles and I'm already half way to the lake! I tried to shake my funk off and return to the positive effort. The view of Superstition Mountain, an imposing and majestic piece of volcanic upheaval, commands the area. I've always found it to be the most interesting mountain in the metro area. And Canyon Lake, one of the most picturesque locations. I first drove out there a month after I was married in 2009. And only returned in the Summer of 2012 when I had resided near. This will likely be my last time I return.


The ride commences. Bianchi with new red tape, rolling on smooth Sansin hubs.

Apache Trail -002 by WNG555, on Flickr

Heading East, with the sight of Superstition Mountain in the horizon. Mundane suburban roads and bike lanes for 10 miles.

Apache Trail -001 by WNG555, on Flickr

Pass Mountain, one of the mountains I could see from my backyard. Note the trail midway up it. I always wanted to hike there, maybe it's time to do so.

Apache Trail -004 by WNG555, on Flickr

I reached Signal Butte Rd. The main cross road in my old neighborhood. I felt like a victim returning to the scene of the crime. I turn south and retrace routes from 2 years ago.

Apache Trail -007 by WNG555, on Flickr

A custom luxury home on a hill along Signal Butte Rd.

Apache Trail -010 by WNG555, on Flickr

I reached the end of Apache Junction. The Trail begins a few miles ahead.

Apache Trail -012 by WNG555, on Flickr

Superstition Mountain with the Lost Dutchman Blvd as the vanishing point.

Apache Trail -016 by WNG555, on Flickr

Last edited by WNG; 02-01-14 at 01:35 AM.
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Old 01-31-14, 06:08 PM   #4792
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cont'd....

I reach the beginning of the Apache Trail, and hoped for the best as I merged into the flow of traffic. There are no bike lanes, no shoulders. It's tourist season so there are plenty of cars and motorcycles. I pedal onward and pass Goldfield Ghost Town, but didn't bother to stop, it was filled with people. I stopped near the base of Superstition to photograph its greatness. A group of riders (horses) were saddling up, and one fellow wished me luck and to be careful of the cars.
Once I leave this tourist stop, it will get very lonely, no gas stations, no stores, no water. The Trail slowly climbs for 12 miles. As it wraps around, the changing views of The Mountain are note worthy.


Apache Trail -022 by WNG555, on Flickr

Apache Trail -023 by WNG555, on Flickr

Apache Trail -025 by WNG555, on Flickr

Apache Trail -026 by WNG555, on Flickr


After miles of rolling road, I got to the first real climb. I went as far as I could and then pulled over to catch my wind. A good time to get a few shots. With the Superstition behind me, and you can make out the Trail, and the elevation gained.


Apache Trail -030 by WNG555, on Flickr

I go further until the climbing forced another stop to catch my breath. The traffic is glad to get by me. And I see some fellow road bikers flying down the opposite direction.

Apache Trail -028 by WNG555, on Flickr

Selfie and the varying terrain.


Apache Trail -037 by WNG555, on Flickr

Apache Trail -036 by WNG555, on Flickr

Last edited by WNG; 02-09-14 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 01-31-14, 06:09 PM   #4793
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cont'd...
The climbs ended soon enough and an exciting descent greeted me. It's all downhill to the lake.

Apache Trail -039 by WNG555, on Flickr

It's exciting and fast, but the road is frost-heaved and there is chip-sealed pea gravel at the shoulders. So, you don't feel that secure letting loose.
But it was still fun. I reach the Lake Vista and know I'm nearly there. I stop to enjoy the view and some tourists wished me a happy birthday.

Apache Trail -042 by WNG555, on Flickr

Apache Trail -049 by WNG555, on Flickr

Apache Trail -046 by WNG555, on Flickr

I saddle up and continue down to the lake below. The descent is sharp and fast. I pass a sheriff who just pulled over a motorcycle for speeding. Hmmm, I was probably speeding too. :-) I pulled over to enjoy the views of the lake.

Apache Trail -050 by WNG555, on Flickr

Apache Trail -052 by WNG555, on Flickr

Apache Trail -053 by WNG555, on Flickr

Apache Trail -059 by WNG555, on Flickr

Apache Trail -063 by WNG555, on Flickr

Apache Trail -067 by WNG555, on Flickr

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Old 01-31-14, 06:25 PM   #4794
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cont'd....

I reached the Marina and pulled in to have a late lunch. The lake's paddle cruiser, Dolly, pulled in.

Apache Trail -068 by WNG555, on Flickrkr

I enjoyed a great burger and fries, refilled my bottles and started back. It's 4:15pm.

Apache Trail -073 by WNG555, on Flickr

Apache Trail -081 by WNG555, on Flickr

I said goodbye to the Lake and began my tough climb.

Apache Trail -083 by WNG555, on Flickr

Apache Trail -084 by WNG555, on Flickr

Apache Trail -088 by WNG555, on Flickr

Stopped to rest...what's ahead of me, and what is behind me.

Apache Trail -090 by WNG555, on Flickr

Apache Trail -091 by WNG555, on Flickr

Apache Trail -094 by WNG555, on Flickr

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Old 01-31-14, 06:49 PM   #4795
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It was very slow going as I climbed. Stopped a few times, and had thumbs up given to me by some drivers. A couple on a motorcycle who took my photo earlier, passed me and waved. Eventually I reached the summit and was awarded a quick exciting descent and 12 miles downhill.
It's late and the light is making the desert look marvelous.


Apache Trail -096 by WNG555, on Flickr

Apache Trail -098 by WNG555, on Flickr

Apache Trail -102 by WNG555, on Flickr

Apache Trail -110 by WNG555, on Flickr

I pulled into Goldfield Ghost Town, it's now less crowded and the sunset gives the place a glow.


Apache Trail -116 by WNG555, on Flickr

Apache Trail -117 by WNG555, on Flickr

Apache Trail -118 by WNG555, on Flickr

One last photo of Superstition Mountain, in all its glory as the Sun sets. You can make out the homes built around its base.
I say goodbye to it. Turn back onto the Apache Trail and chase the sunset west for the last 12 miles home. I forgot my headlight. Night fell, and it was a calm quiet evening with little traffic. The ride was peaceful and I got home with no mechanical failures, feeling fresh and not tired, and relieved and overall, pretty good. I took some time to reflect on my day and the feelings I felt. And considered how I would share it with you folks.
The ride was personally rewarding and I'm glad I wanted to do it. But it opened some deep wounds. And proved I still have many more miles to do in order to close them.


Sunset on Superstition Mountain by WNG555, on Flickr

Apache Trail -120 by WNG555, on Flickr

Thanks for letting me share this moment.

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Old 01-31-14, 07:02 PM   #4796
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Awesome pics WNG...you sure don't look 5-0.
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Old 01-31-14, 07:06 PM   #4797
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Looks like a beautiful ride WNG! Happy birthday!
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Old 01-31-14, 07:09 PM   #4798
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Hey, WNG, congrats on your 50! As they say in the 50+ forum, have you scheduled you colonoscopy yet?

Your pics make my eyes hurt! I need to go through the whole travelogue when I have more time.
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Old 01-31-14, 07:23 PM   #4799
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Happy b'day, young man! Awesome pics, as usual. I got in probably about 35 miles today, on the Miele. We have a lot of foothills here, so a very similar up & down-hill journey, with steep hills mixed in. You just have to get the right rhythm going, pedal up, coast down.
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Old 01-31-14, 07:40 PM   #4800
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Vonruden, JJScaliger, spacemanz, jimmuler:

Thanks guys!

And no Jim, ain't any cameras where the Sun don't shine just yet!!
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