I am back to the grind after a quick 3 day break in AZ. It all went by so fast, it’s a bit of a blur. Dirty was an excellent host and showed Lar and I a really good time.
I landed in PHX on Sunday about 7:30am. Dirty and Lar picked me up. They were both a tad fatigued from a weekend of riding and drinking but saved some energy for me. After breakfast at a very dark bar with a stage for punk shows, we got ready to go pick up a demo bike from South Mountain Cycles. BJ popped into the shop with his girls for a few minutes. It was cool to meet him in the flesh finally.
We left from the shop and rode to South Mountain and met up with Turkey and Scandinavian Jesus. We were all riding the trail when Dirty realized I had broken the derailleur on the Specialized Stunt Jumper demo bike. He rode the demo bike in the granny gear for the remainder of the ride and I rode his Surly SS. It was rad. I love a SS. It’s way too confusing to have all those fucking gears. I ended up riding this bike for the remainder of the trip since we ride the same size bike. I didn’t have to fuck up his set up at all.
That night, Dirty had a BBQ. He surprised me with his cooking skills. He grilled up a shitload of meat and veggies and we chowed. They drank. I passed out early, the 20 hour day had to end at some point.
The next morning the weather was shitty. COLD and RAINING. And sunny. Freaky shit. After breakfast we headed north to ride some trails in Black Canyon City. That place was beautiful. Dirty said “the trails aren’t technical enough” which made me think “man I really suck at this”. After the ride, we had lunch, and then headed to Sedona. Dirty planned it perfectly so we saw the sunset. It was amazing. I was speechless at the beauty surrounding me. We had to be in Flag by 7pm to see Gnomer, so we rode back to the car at dusk.
Once in the car, we headed up, up and up some more. My ears were popping and the elevation made it fucking hard to breathe. I was glad we weren’t going for a ride. It was so fucking COLD. The dry air combined with freezing temps and wind was way harsher than anything we experience here in Cincinnati.
We met Gnomer at his place and I got to meet Tug and love on her a bunch. I was missing my own dogs. After changing into street clothes, we walked to Flagbrew and met up with Mike G. and a couple others. It was fun to see DC peeps and catch up with Gnome. After dinner we headed back to Gnomer’s and visited some more. What a great night! I slept in the truck on the way back to Tempe and crashed hard when we got back to Dirty’s.
The next morning I woke up in a panic. An ice storm was predicted for IND and 4500 flights were canceled. We drove Lar back to Tucson and I texted back and forth with Dominic about my flight. Then I called into my work and sure enough my flight was canceled. Once we got back from Tucson, I got in travel agent mode, called US Air, and had my flight changed to fly into CVG via a connection in CLT. Dirty took me to the airport with an hour to spare. It was all too stressful, but I got home that night, safe and sound. Thank GOD there was no sleeping in the airport for me.
All in all, it was a great trip. It was so great to meet Lar. I think she is probably one of the coolest girls I have ever met. Thanks again to Dirty and his RAD roommates for opening up their house to both Lar and I. Now it’s your turn to come to the mid-west!
Some pictures from the trip:
Me and Lar.
Seeing Gnomer was the highlight of my trip!
BJ’s girls like bikes.
The Surly SS I rode both days.
Dirty can downhill like a mother fucker.
Me and Lar again.