30 March 2006

Roosevelt, part I (or, why it doesn't pay to be pigheaded)

This is my favorite sign in the world. Every year, when we head out to visit Kelli and the family, I look forward to my first ride up toward Tortilla Flats -- literally, a one-horse town up in the Superstitions. This is the sign that marks the start of the "real" riding -- a 5km climb, 6km descent, a couple of miles in the valley, then a 3km up and 3km down to town. Then the fun really begins!

This year, I decided to do the ride on Friday, Day 2 of our trip. And I was going to keep on going, even after the pavement ends!

This is a shot of Superstition Mountain. You kind of ride around it to get up into the mountains themselves.


This is a mileage sign, still before the real climbing begins. Note: it's 10 miles to TF, and 36 to Roosevelt.

Once over the fairly easy 5km climb, and then along the road in the valley, I encountered this new mileage sign. WTF??? I know I'm not climbing that well, and I'm in a headwind, but going backwards? Also note the mileage to Globe -- at this point, I was still only planning to go to the Roosevelt Dam and back, not onward to Globe.


This is a shot of TF from above. The smoke in the valley marks the "town." It's a great place to get ice cream!


This is where you come from to get to town. Pretty spectacular up there! The views of Canyon Lake are pretty awesome.


Looking west from town, you can see the steep hills that surround you! That' s the direction to home ... with a tailwind in the mornings!


This is the "Motel" in town. At this point, I did not think I needed to stop. I knew I could keep going. Besides, I'm not sure the beds here would be all that appealing?


This is the view leaving Tortilla Flats, heading east, STRAIGHT UP! It's a 10km climb, plus another 4-5km on the ridge, tough and steep! Vision Quest did their LT tests here a few years ago. Last year, the creek was flooded, so I didn't get to go up. No such luck this year!


This is the reason I ride a bike -- views like this. Every year, I curse myself as I head up out of TF, especially since there is usually a morning headwind (as there was this year). And every year, I get up here, look around, and fall in love again with the bike. (And then, usually, I get to go down -- it's about 25 minutes up, and I've done the descent in less than 15!!)


And here's what greets you at the top! No pavement! This is where I usually turn around and bomb back down -- but not this year!


NO, this year I was bound and determined to make it to the dam! 22 miles on a dirt road, riding Vittoria Pave tires? No problem-o! Will this become my new favorite sign?

ONLY 262 DAYS TO NATZ!!

1 comment:

JPEBIKES said...

Chris:
My Uncle lives in Chandler and looks out of his window towards the Superstitions.
I've ridden the Tortilla Flats Route maybe 10 times total and 2 times up to the ridge on the dirt road.
It's raining here today and your post made me want to be in AZ.
:-)
JPE