School of Spearfish Day Two: Slickrock isn’t. Hardrock is.

Day 2 of School of Spearfish…the first day of riding.

I’m going to cover the morning ride, as it was the more momentous of the two.  Morning at the Red Agave showed a beautiful scene.  The moon was just setting over the rocks as we arose.

And inside, the Spearfish were just starting to roll out of bed.

With our IGA food stock, we had breakfast at the Red Agave.  Our bikes were assembled, our gear was ready, and we departed around 9:15am.  At that time, it was still in the 40s.  Most of us had on long sleeves + a jacket of some sort, with either shorts or knickers.  The whole bunch at the beginning:

That’s BPaul, me, BPPhil, RTobie and GMatt, respectively.

After just a short few miles, we realized we were overdressed.  Everyone dropped a layer, and most dropped a hat.

Trails were excellent.  While I’m normally quite detail oriented as to what route is being taken, with a group of friends and nowhere to be, I just tagged along with the group.  So I can’t tell you what trails we took.  I can tell you that the route we took looked like this:

That was many miles of Sedona’s wonder.  As a local explained it to me, Sedona miles can be multiplied by a factor of 2-3.

There are trails for every level of difficulty here…ranging from fire roads to technical single track with significant drop-offs.  Route dangers range from the ever-present rocks to the aforementioned drop-offs.  Everything you see is sharp and will snag/cut/scrape you.  Every fall hurts–there are no soft landings.  Our group pretty much runs the gamut of mountain biking experience, and everyone had a good time.  Nearly everyone took away a few bumps and bruises.  And yes–there were some steep switchbacks that we walked.

On one relatively narrow ledge with a 20-ish foot drop off, the RATG editor experienced an unpleasant fall…fortunately, I was able to stop both myself and the bike from going completely off the ledge.  But the consequences for poor decisions are much greater here than they are back in good ol’ Illinois.  The payoff?  The rides are amazing.  A-MAAA-Zing. Amazing.  A-MAZing.  The views?  Even better.  The Salsa Spearfish?  Also Amazing.  Review to follow shortly.

And the reward for a long morning’s ride?  Mexican, of course.

There was an afternoon ride as well, but I think you get the picture.

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