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Travel Day

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Today Kelly and I are traveling with two other couples to Death Valley.

But first, we stopped at a Las Vegas BassProShop parking lot (next to a casino obviously) to regroup while Kelly visits a nearby hair salon and our buddy awaits his wife to fly into town.

Tonight, we sleep in the desert.

 

Riding the McDowell Mountains

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I really need to be more consistent in reading the trail descriptions before pointing my bike towards the mountains on trails I’ve never ridden.

The final “big” climb I loaded onto my Garmin was essentially unridable, resulting in a miserable two mile hike-a-bike slog 1,300ft to the summit pass.

Fortunately, the back side of the mountain rewarded me with an ear-to-ear grin-inducing 1,700ft descent back to camp.

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Desert Riding

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Today I kickoff my Arizona winter riding season under blue skies and perfect temperatures.  All good here.

 

 

Back In The Desert

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On the heels of a nearly six-month hiatus from boon-docking (our preferred style of free camping), late yesterday we arrived to a great spot on public land just in time to catch our first Arizona sunset of the winter season.

Despite our summer and fall travels spent mostly in paid and crowded campgrounds across the Canadian Rockies and US Smokey Mountains, we quickly slid into the set-up routine without missing a beat … I even remembered to orient the rooftop solar panels to tilt facing south.

All is good again.

Remembering Domestic Terror

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Kelly and I visited the Oklahoma City bombing memorial today which honors the 168 killed in America’s deadliest domestic-based terror attack.

The experience was highly emotional and incredibly educational.  It serves as a reminder that political hatred needlessly cuts across all races, genders, and ages … ultimately most harming the innocent, who in the end have more commonality than not.

The entire venue is exceptionally well curated.

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Mountain Biking In Bentonville

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A few years ago I saw an indie film highlighting the MTB scene in Bentonville, Arkansas.  At the time, I had no idea this area had such a great trail network.

I recently learned that – led by two Walton grandchildren in conjunction with the Walton Foundation – the county has invested $73MM into all sorts of trails, features, and signage.

A recent economic impact study confirmed that visitors like me bring in $143MM annually.  Expect to see cars from all over at trailheads.

This place is bonkers; the variety of riding is awesome – loads of riding immediately accessed from the campground.

I’ve been on the bike every day this week, my personal favorite being the #theback40 … one of multiple 20+ mile XC loops.

Nashville Fairgrounds

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No one is going to claim the soon to be demolished Nashville fairgrounds is a beautiful place.

But if your plans – like ours did – include conveniently wandering this very cool city while eating your way through numerous hotspots, these dumpy racetrack sites overlooking turn-four do not disappoint.