Spectacular Serpentines and Too MuchTraffic (19 May)

On the way to Flagstaff today's route promised the gorgeous Red Rocks of Sedona and the spectacular serpentines leading out of shady Oak Creek Canyon up to the vista point offering a fabulous view back down the canyon. I was looking forward to travelling up the serpentines on the perfectly paved road. However, the traffic was typical for the weekend and there were no pullouts for me to make a quick stop to catch my breath or let impatient drivers get past me. So, with a heavy heart I decided not to ride.

Mike beats Barry up the hill . The secret of his success, he admits, is that he started 30 minutes earlier.

Mike Ruag is first up the hill today

Since the tour was one of the shorter ones, Emil and I had time in the afternoon to go to Absolute Bikes to try to get extry spokes for his very special wheels. We were able to get the spokes, but some had to be cut to size and the shop sent us on to Cosmic Cycles to have this done. This was a tiny shop and appeared to be run by the owner alone. When we asked him about the spokes, he regretted that he was completely inundated with work and wouldn't be able to do it till next day. We mentioned we were going out to the Grand Canyon but would be back before he closed at 17:00. He looked at us with a harried expression, then smiled and said "come on, let's take care of you now". He cut the spokes and rethreaded them and we thanked him profusely. I wanted to publish a photo of him on the blog, but it didn't turn out well, so here is a photo of the decal he'd had especially made. Below is a photo of a horned toad which I made up at the vista point. The information guide there told me that the Native Americans considered the horned toad a bringer of good luck. This proved to be a welcome truth today, as all riders completed the tour fit and greatly pleased to have made the beautiful climb.


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