Life on the road can be a bit hectic. Trying to balance bike advocacy with having a personal life, as well as trying to maintain a semblance of physical fitness has been a challenge, but after a few months of living on the road, we’re actually managing to get into a sort of non-routine-routine. If that makes any sense. If it does, let us know and explain it to us. <*insert some sort of dorky-winkey-smiley face icon here>
That said, here is Part Two of our blogging series documenting our work in our roles as a Subaru/ IMBA Trail Care Crew. We last left off with our visit to Phoenix, where we served more as cycling advocates and consultants to Phoenix Parks and Rec. After our visit to Phoenix, we had a respite from traveling and took our downtime with a vacation in Sedona, before heading to Payson, Arizona for our next job.
Mountain bikers in Payson have a troubling dilemma. The local area and the mountains around Payson are totally and completely gorgeous, but there is no single track riding to speak of. While they do have a number of places to ride, all the natural surface “trails” are also open to motorized use, and local mountain bikers live in constant conflict with motorized users. Complicating the situation is the fact that Payson is known as a destination for ORV users, especially quads.
Mick Wolf is the proprietor of of only bikeshop in Payson, Hike, Bike and Run.He requested the visit from the Subaru/ IMBA Trail Care Crew for a Tourism consult with the city council of Payson where the main subject was the addition of multi-use trails in addition to ORV trails to supplement city income and sustainable Tourism. One of the biggest obstacles was convincing the city to redefine their master plan to be inclusive of single track trails. Fortunately, the city was receptive to the idea that it is both possible to facilitate both single track and motorized user groups. We cited the wildly popular and successful Black Canyon Trail system less than two hours away from Payson, which is a pleasure to ride, and draws mountain bikers, as well as motorized users and hikers from all over as a destination trail.
Our visit included a Trail Building school, followed by a design demo in the afternoon, where Kelly and Inga taught trail design using inclinometers, and pin flagging a trail, while Collins and I taught trail analysis and did a rock armoring demo.
For Sunday’s social ride we headed to the before mentioned Black Canyon Trails where we had an epic ride that included running out of water, and general bonking by yours truly. Running out of water just halfway into the ride was a bad sign! Thanks to Collins and the rest of the group for bailing me out. As a group we traveled to the wall, and smashed through to the other side. I knew I was in trouble when I began dry heaving. It’s not an epic without a bit of craziness. Full ride report coming soon!