24th Street Climbing

About three weeks ago I grabbed lunch at Rubio’s on 24th Street and Baseline. Instead of eating inside the restaurant I thought it would be fun to eat out at the Mormon trailhead, just a mile away.

As two fish tacos were filling my tummy at the trailhead bench, memories of past rides up Mormon filled my head…the last time I climbed 24th St. was during the 2009 mtbr spring fling. I was on the last leg of my legs 26 miles into a 29 mile ride – one hard pedal stroke away from cramping, again, so I didn’t clean much. I remembered other climbs up Mormon too. Always on the tail end of a ride. It occurred to me that I should start a ride from here and see what fresh legs can do.

With a Barq’s in one hand and my Canon in the other I set out with my feet (shod in Doc Martins) as my only carriage. The goal: to the first saddle. Scoping out all the climbing lines as I hiked, solidified my desire to ride up with with fresh legs. BTW, Docs are a fine hiking shoe (for the short haul). They grip like crazy to the rock.

A sample of what would await me in the future…

From 24th Street Hike
From 24th Street Hike
From 24th Street Hike

November 10. The Climb.

With a pair of fresh legs I was pleasantly surprised at how much I could ride. Of course I did not clean everything, but cleaning everything is a worthy goal. I am not sure why I am finding the utmost joy in attempting such a ridiculous climb. The exhilaration of seeing an impossible set and going for it anyway is a bit addicting. I will admit though that I was very happy to get to National and see some buff trail ahead…

From National Stroll Sequence

The descent down National is pure Joy. A vacation from all the vacation climbing Mormon… I looped around to Mormon Loop and descended back down to 24th Street. If ever you are thinking about something that you just can’t shake, a work situation, a family situation, a lame song stuck in your head… the 24th Street Cure will clear your mind like nothing else. This descent hones all my focus right into the trail. Staying on the bike and staying alive. I love it. I passed a family hiking up as I rolled down and one little girl said to me, “That’s really dangerous.” I just laughed and kept on riding.

24th Street Mormon at EveryTrail

November 17th: The Climb, Again.
I did say that climbing is addictive, didn’t I? Yesterday I went back for more. Fresh legs again, but I attacked a few different lines. Cleaned new spots, dabbed on others I had previously cleaned. New day, new trail.

I did make progress up a difficult set of moves I had never made in a row. I felt serious flow climbing. It was the same feeling you get when you are in the middle of a really long ping pong rally…slam after slam the ball keeps hitting the table… you know it has to end, but the ball keeps on landing, then in an instant you lose faith and sink. But you cheer nonetheless because while you lost the point, the game is yours.

This week instead of down National I continued up National to Buena Vista lot and the Geronimo trailhead. I don’t ride Geronimo enough. I strapped on the Contour and let gravity take over. I stayed on the bike all the way down…until the last switchback, 100 yards from the end. I went wide and couldn’t cut back in, lost balance and flipped backwards, The Don taking the brunt of the impact.

Next up…climbing Geronimo. We’ll see if that’s still a good idea next week.

24th St. to Geronimo at EveryTrail

2 thoughts on “24th Street Climbing

  • December 1, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Climb climb climb. Climbing is addictive.

    Add this to your Casa Grande post:

    Directions: Exit 200 Sunland Gin Rd. from Phoenix/Chandler go right, from Tucson go left. First right is Arica rd. it will be after the truck stop. Follow Arica rd. and when you reach the unpaved area you will see signs posted.

    The Peart Rd exit sucks IMHO. I wanna get in and out, and the directions above really help with that.

  • December 1, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Im not sure i would even go down those , going up would only occur in my next rem dream

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