My big ride this Spring Fling was South Mountain. Sure SoMo is right there in my own backyard, but there was still plenty I hadn’t explored yet. So when the option to ride a National Coast to Coast to Coast with Chad Brown came up, I planned on it.
Not many other takers for this epic ride that morning. Most AZ Spring Flingers rode the B+, B, B- and C rides. We started out with 5, finished with 3. Chad led our group on his Lynskey Pro singlespeed. Why on Earth he would ride what we did on a singlespeed hardtail? Because he can.
We had a great ride. Up National, to Buena Vista where Cactus Joe was there with beverages. Then on to the less travelled west side on National. Here’s where the ride was new to me and believe me it did not disappoint. I’d heard good stuff about west National, but actually riding it was awesome. It’s so different than Pima to Buena Vista National, its more rugged, less travelled, and a freaking riot! Waterbars and drops galore, along with a sense of remoteness. And then comes the grandeur of the Estrallas as you get closer and closer to them… Parts of the ridgeline felt like Helipad on steroids and it just kept climbing.
At the junction with San Juan road we opted to not make the full National coast to Coast (we’d given up on the C2C2C a while back) and headed for the road climb back to Buena Vista. On the way we heard the siren call of Holbert… Wow. My first time down Holbert was more fun than I thought possible. Holbert is HUGE. I was taking lines I couldn’t even dream of, and I was staying on the bike! Sure I had to walk some of the suicide drops, but I managed to ride more of Holbert than I though I would.
After Holbert, I was grinning with pure joy and thanking the angel that sat on my back wheel the whole way down. We pedaled over to the Boy Scout camp and refueld with cold water. Met some of Clockwork’s shuttle crew then kept pedaling to the 24th St. trailhead. Climbing Mormon was sweet. Plenty of HAB but more rideable than not.
The descent back down National was clean and fast. Twenty 9 miles by my GPS. Chad led strong and never let me get too far behind. So much for taking pictures of the trail, I’m lucky I shot off the few I did. We rode with a cool guy named Drew from Santa Cruz, Ca. He was super strong and dialed in on the tech. Following him was like being enrolled in MTB 432, he climbed like a goat, and descended like a river. It was very fun for me to ride with a couple of pros. Chad’s ride report and pics.