Taco Air

It’s techy riding season in AZ, and I’m not complaining one bit. My legs, scraped up skin and cramped up calf muscle might have a complaint or two, but luckily I don’t take complaints from them.

So it was that it became Tuesday again, and Chad’s taco ride was on. The body said no, but the head and weather said GO!

When I first met Krista Park a few years ago and started showing her a few local trails, I would have never imagined that she’d willingly join the Techy Taco ride. I’d mention it, and say I was blowing off a ‘base miles’ road day in order to get my taco fix, and she would always roll her eyes and laugh. Then she started asking exactly what a techy taco was, and I’d give appropriately vague answers (because it is an undefinable concept). Then, this year, she shows up!

The corruption process is coming along nicely.

Also new on the taco ride was Rob, who in a good twist of fate, was there the day we chose to climb up to this little droppy. As you approach it with speed it looks and feels as if it’s going to launch you into Oro Valley, or maybe the Tortolitas. I watched Duncan hit it cleanly last year, followed by a crash into a prickly pear on the next try, and that put me out of the running.

Then Rob made it look easy.

And Chad only had to pull half a grimace to get ‘er done.

It had a very tangible moment where I questioned the wisdom of all the life choices that led to me approaching a rock ramp to Oro Valley, but it’s actually pretty smooth. I was thankful for the rain aided traction for control and cactus avoidance on the landing, though. Thanks Rob.

We proceeded to rail Alamo with reckless abandon, because that’s pretty much the only way you can get through it. Krista was tearing it up, proclaiming that her little bike could slice through turns and adjust lines better than our cumbersome but squishy ones. I was a believer since she was right behind us, despite it being her first run on it.

We had a good rhythm going and were nearly down when Chad saw his life flash before his eyes (his words) and nearly went into a barrel cactus. Once you lose it on Alamo, it’s hard to get it back. Since I had no rhythm anyway, I stopped and started taking photos.

Oops. Ouch! I take most of the blame for the crash, as the distracting camera man (Chad gets the rest, for stopping the flow). Luckily with full G-form armor there was no appreciable damage.

I had two fumbles myself, including one that caused my calf to seize up. That’s a new one on me – crash induced cramping.

Chad claimed the first clean run on the final drop to CDO, and there was much rejoicing before we headed taco-ward, and bliss-ward.

The next day I was up early hiking around Sabino Canyon, doing some trail layout with Mark Flint. It was great to see him out and cruising around, given the health challenges he’s been faced with lately. Cruising, of course, being a relative term on steep slopes and with our ever so friendly Sonoran desert plant life. We worked hard just to determine the feasibility of a very short piece of a proposed trail. It’s such fun “work,” I love it.

Andrew taking a leap

Sometimes a flying leap is what it takes, in life and in trail layout. It was much easier to negotiate the nicely rushing creek than fight our way back on the trail alignment. Water and fall color in AZ, you have to love it.

I pretty much have to love everything lately, actually. It’s been an incredible fall, full of good friends and good rides. I can feel it in my legs and in my soul. I think winter may be finally starting now, and I’m overly excited for it. First a trip to Salt Lake, then a whole slew of new adventures starts after that. I’m so cracked out on life right now I can hardly stand it. It’s a good place to be.

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