February has nearly passed by without me so much as having time to blink. Well, not quite, but this month has whipped right on past either way. Classes here at Prescott College started a couple weeks ago, and I am quite excited about both groups of students I have - enthusiastic, bright, and seemingly excited by all the field trips we've been and will be doing.
And somehow I've still been finding some time to pedal my bikes. I made the last-minute decision to head down to Tucson two weeks ago for the second Arizona Endurance Series race, a new event in the Tortolita Mountains put on by, you guessed it, Chad Brown. The course was an odd mix of very technical, rocky singletrack, pavement through a large, ritzy neighborhood, even more technical singletrack, a long dirt road descent, and then some overgrown, arm-slicing, occasionally-tough-to-follow singletrack to finish things off.
I really enjoyed the first part of the race. My legs felt mediocre after a couple tough weeks of training, but the trails were fun. I lost the lead after making a wrong turn and never could quite reel in Scott Morris. He was riding quite strongly, and for the longest time, he hung just a minute or two in front of me. But eventually my legs got a bit tired, and to be honest, I got a little bored. Then I couldn't find one turn so I lost some more time, my very worn-out rear tire started to annoy me (yet it is still on my bike weeks later), and I was missing the awesome trails from earlier in the day. I rolled up Chad's driveway (the finish) about ten minutes after Scott, and Chad was already there grilling up an inordinate amount of food. Lucky for us, a bolt on his frame broke, so he was back home and cooking before we finished. As soon as I got a bit of food in my belly, I was back to my normal self and enjoyed hanging out with everyone else as they returned from their adventures.
The past two weekends I've spent right here in Prescott. After a ton of traveling over the preceding month, it's felt nice to just explore our new backyard here. The snow keeps melting, the days have been disturbingly warm, and there's no shortage of new trails to follow.
Today I headed off with a photocopied map and no real destination in mind beyond the mountain just south of town. I ended up traversing a good chunk of the skyline to the south and east, spending the day on almost entirely ATV trails and old mine roads climbing over Maverick Mtn, Mt. Tritle, Mt. Union, and the south flank of Spruce Mtn.. This town may already have the 50-mile Circle Trail, the Whiskey 50 race course, and the Prescott Monstercross course, but I haven't heard of anyone putting together any sort of Skyline Traverse here. It'd be big, climby, and full of loose, cruddy trails that always put a smile on my face. I'm not sure that there'd be more than a handful of takers for such a route though. Too bad...singletrack only takes you so far!