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Arizona Trail Rincon Recon

March 15, 2010

Meet Mr. Ghost Shifter and Mrs. Sinking Seatpost, my companions on a reconnaissance of the Rincon Mountains section of the Arizona Trail 300 course. Mr. GS introduces himself almost immediately, the chain jumps around the cogs without any direction from me. I turn various cable gizmos and re-shift until Mr. GS settles down. It’s an uneasy relationship, but one that seems to work.

I ride on a jeep road into a streambed then decide I am not actually on the Arizona Trail. I backtrack until I locate the happy brown carsonite signs marking the AZT. I’m riding from Pistol Hill Road south and east toward Colossal Cave. The trail zips around cholla and dips into ravines. Prickly pears and saguaros come thick and fast.

I pass a remote campground with a few tents, but no people. I continue on the trail until it hits a paved road that is covered in rushing water. I decide to turn back, returning on the road back toward the campground. Except, the road is the stream, the stream is the road. No way can I ride in that. The trail is a safer bet.

Mrs. Sinking Seatpost appears, and I undo the quick release, pull my saddle back to the correct height, tighten and re-clamp the quick release. About 15 minutes later, I do it all again. Mrs. SS is one stubborn old gal. My bike mechanic had warned me that the sinking seat post could be with me forever, my 1996 steel frame was just plain worn out.

At Pistol Hill Road, I continue north to explore a new section. This section is awesome, seemingly downhill, with great flow and no rocks! I reach X-9 Ranch Road and deal with Mrs. SS again. This time, the quick-release will not re-clamp tightly enough. The bolt spins and spins as if there are no threads. I wonder if duct tape would provide enough resistance to keep my saddle from sinking. But of course, I don’t have any duct tape with me. Mrs. SS has won this war. So I stand and pedal on my intended loop: X-9 south to Old Spanish Trail and back to my car. I hope it is not very far. X-9 is a beautifully smooth dirt road with some hills. Sometimes I sit softly on my sinking saddle, but mostly I stand. It’s new type of pedaling work-out, I tell myself.

I only have to ride about 20 minutes using soft sitting/standing method, and I’m back at my car at just the right time.

It’s been a great recon ride; I’m confident riding on this section of the trail and know that there is water available at the campground. And the omnipresence of Mrs. Sinking Seatpost gives me an excellent reason to get a new bike!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Carrie permalink
    March 15, 2010 9:51 pm

    Woohoo for a new bike! Mr GH and Mrs SS gotta go.. Love the scenery on your ride, but I imagine it’s hard to enjoy when your having to adjust things so often.

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