After each mountain bike ride I ask myself, did I enjoy the ride? No doubt I love moving onto areas of land it would take me longer to get to if I was walking. Add a beautiful sunny, non-windy day and I can enjoy this bicycle ride also as good physical and mental exercise.
I ready my backpack, set my Garmin so I eventually know how much hardship I endured during the ride, clip into my pedals and take off for a ride. I only ride easy, green circle, and intermediate trails, blue square on maps, and even still find my legs challenged at times, especially when at higher elevations. Why is there always a rock exactly where I want to pedal uphill? And believe it or not, some rocks are in the wrong place even when I want to be gravity-led downhill, so I just roll right over the top of them!
More mountain bike trails are available throughout our country and hikers, dog walkers and other mountain bikers are sharing the trails. Maps and apps make it easier for us all to find places to be outdoors and during this pandemic it is an easy way to social distance. I love trails where I can see ahead and be sure no one else is on the trail and knowing I am soon to enjoy the flat, singletrack.
You’ll notice I do not photograph trails full-of-rocks, steep uphill or downhill. I was surviving them through my smallest chain ring or walking! I find no shame in that walk. It simply allows me to get further out on a trail to enjoy another piece of scenery. We were on a segment of the Arizona Trail, originally designed as a 800+ hiking trail from Mexico to Utah, south to north through Arizona. Enough crazy people also started mountain biking it, but we thought a segment would be interesting since we had done other segments elsewhere in the state. After cursing the part I had to walk I was thrilled to go through this gate onto a grassland area. Yeah!
Further down the AZ Trail it intersected with Tom Moody Trail. Reading the trail signs, we discover petroglyphs in the area, so we check it out. A nice diversion and a place we returned to when hiking with our friends days later.
Now the ride back. The AZ Trail segment was okay, yet I also did hate the sandy areas. A good rain or snowfall is needed to tame sections of a sandy trail. Back to our main trail and finish our loop. Whew! Survived, no major falls, some aching body parts, I am done! Did I have a good time? Yes! It’ll be a few days before I mountain bike again. My body needs to recuperate from all the bouncing around and that is fine; I am not as young as I used to be. Till then a hike is just fine!