Arizona Mountain Biking

Hawes au natural

Yesterday was the perfect day for a burn out of work early, hit the trail smiling kind of a ride. I wanted to do something different, something less Quad bypass like, so I dusted the neglect off the singlespeed and headed for Hawes, leaving all accessories behind. No Camelbak, no tools, no tubes, no gears, no GPS, no camera. Nothing but bike, shoes, shorts, shirt and helmet. This is freedom.

I usually pack a 100 oz Hawg with enough gear and tools to build a bike… I always have the GPS and camera, and more than enough food to last a night. Having nothing on my back felt like I was a kid again just playing around outside. Singlespeed hardtail does wonders bringing out the kid in me.

Hawes is an absolute blast. I rode it for years on a hardtail, always wishing I had plushness flowing beneath me. Now I savor the feel of the trail under me. I needed a challenge so I set off for mudflaps (aka cardiac hill). Since cardiac has never been “cardiac” for me on a geared bike, (it’s too easy to granny up it, and it’s not really that long), I though I’d see how a 34:20 ratio would climb. Results: surprisingly well. I think I owe it to the extra beef my legs picked up climbing the fourth pass on the Quad…

It was definitely a grunt, and my legs were aching, but I cleaned it. I started to think… “hey I should try the Quad Bypass on singlespeed…” then I remembered how it hurt just watching a singlespeeder climb as I followed him in granny. No, that’s not me. Atop the lookout, I kept going, who needs to rest anyway. On to Saddleback and the new unsanctioned bootstrapper trails. Beautiful stuff.

With the sun setting in my eyes I pedaled my way out of Hawes with a new determination. I’ve almost got a year under me on the singlespeed.