Each year it’s the same deal for us Calgarians and with winter in full effect I was itching to ride. My mom and her boyfriend have the right idea…they spend the winter down in Phoenix, Arizona and each year I have the pleasure of spending some time down in the sun. The past couple years I’ve been kicking myself for not bringing my bike down; this year things were going to be different. After speaking with my mom the day before I left things were looking grim with rain in the forecast everyday I was supposed to be there. I decided to go ahead with my plans as I would have been way more dissapointed if I didn’t have my bike and the weather held off than to have it just in case. I picked up a disposable camera to document what I hoped would be a good trip.
Everything boxed up and ready to hit the trails.
Welcome to America
Ready to go
White Tank Mountain park was on the menu for the first day. Only a short drive from the condo it proved to be a good place to get the legs warmed up.
White Tank is quite flat with a few dips and valleys along the trail. With a few loops to choose from I checked out a couple but was feeling I wasn’t really able to ride my bike how I was wanting to.
From the trail I spotted what I thought was a line way up in the hills. After hiking to the bottom I realized it was nothing other than a run-off channel but decided to try hiking up anyways. I found myself on top of a loose rocky slope with loose boulders ranging from fist size to beach balls.
Double flat at the bottom….
The Following day after some searching the internet I came across the South Mountain Trail system. The original plan was a lazy one with the hope of being shuttled but this didn’t pan out. On the last Sunday of every month, the day I was there, the park shuts the road down to eliminate the noise of vehicles in the park. I had to put my saddle up and make for the top and about fourty five minutes later was greeted with an amazing view.
The first trail I rode was a fast descent down a ridge into the valley below. A few steep and loose sections were along the way and this trail proved to be exactly the kind of ride I was hoping to find.
This is a shot from the second ascent I did. In this section I found the upper half to be high speed single track and the lower was some classic free ride, as seen below, with sharp loose rock and a tonne of line choices.
Pick a line….
At the very bottom I found this rock roll that was worth a couple trips up
Wide bars tall cacti
This trip proved to be a great chance to explore a new region I’ve never had my bike before. Knowing what I do now will only make my next trip that much better. Although I didn’t experience much of a mountain riding community I met a couple friendly people along the way who were able to share a couple things with me that helped me along the way. Next year the plan is to hopefully get in a couple more riding days and to put a bit more time into researching the areas near by. The weather has been holding up since I’ve been back so my bike is back together and I have been lucky to already have a snowy ride in the books.