And if you can call out the origin of this blog title, you are grunge master-savant, and I buy you a beer next ride.
Anyway; in the interest of keeping this blog ride-beer oriented...a few weeks ago Stacie and I are about stark raving mad at the weather; extended zero sun/ vitamin d drains the soul; time to book a sunny weekend getaway in Phoenix. The Hilton Tapatio Cliffs is nestled adjacent to the North Mountain Preserve; an urban paradise of trails criss-crossing major thoroughfares, easily accessed from multiple trailheads at various locations.
But before the riding, I had an important McGyver-esque discovery...we buy stellar (unavailable in KC) beers (Kona, Dogfish), and quickly realize "no bottle opener". Oh. Stacie breaks a bottle on the hotel cabinet handle; honest mistake; when I realize I brought gear to ride, including my own eggbeater MTB pedals. Guess what...
So now we're in business with some of the finest brews in the world. If you haven't sampled Dogfish Head Brewing this is the very definition of American extreme brewing; perhaps an overused descriptive term but it can't be emphasized enough that American brewing is bar none, the most creative, diverse, and high quality in the world and this is something we should be proud of. Dogfish is an example of doing a lot of very unique things as a matter of course. Our own locals such as Boulevard and Free State have been doing great things for a long time.
Now to the ride. I rent a pig alum hardtail from a nearby shop. Right price, but a real pig-sled for the 2 hour grunt I'm about to tackle.
Shaw Butte is a 1.2 mile 1,000 foot climb...I'm checking out the 11 - 20% grades on my GPS as hikers are yelling at me about climbing this grunt on a bike...yeah I'm spinning the granny and this about as steep as it gets staying ridable; worst I've done since Puke Hill going up to the Wasatch years ago, but in far better condition on a much worse bike so I feel pretty good about cleaning it with little repercussion sans screaming hammies. The view from the top is worth the pain.
The next phase of the ride on Trail 100 features typical desert loose rock over hardpack with some technical grunts and smoother flatter sections for an overall good hard ride over 2 hours. After that I don the running skids and reel off a couple miles of trail to test the Du sticks. Things feel good but I'm getting into some dehydration and fatigue so I call it quits knowing a pool, more sun, and cold beers await in an afternoon of blissful leisure. I could write an entire blog about Phoenix dining, but...lets stay focused.
Stacie and I hike 5 miles the next day on Trail 100 and its every bit as good as riding with some steep offshoots and a different viewpoint.