Originally Written December 19, 2019
After the Tucson Dual Sport ride December 7 and 8, Mike and I spent a week in the Tubac area exploring the jeep trails, single track and fire roads. On our last day in Tubac we spent 5 hours tackling the single track. The terrain we tackled veered from easy going to scary, pee your pants kinda trails. As I always say, it was an adventure!
Much to my chagrin, we ended up on the super gnarly trail we tackled with our friends on the first day. I’m going to admit, I was a bit angry and scared we ended up in that spot as there was no way to turn back and no chicken route out. The first long uphill, well I managed to ride halfway up before getting off balance, hitting a rather large boulder and spinning my bike around 180 degrees into a barrel cactus. It took us about 20 minutes to sort that conundrum out. However, I did that entire gnarly trail, with help only twice. After we got out of the super gnar, the rest of the trail, while still challenging, seemed like a piece of cake.
After hours of single-track riding, we took our time riding home. It was getting late in the day, we were sweaty, and tired. It began to get cold in the shadows of the canyons and we were out of water. So, the slow and easy way back it was for us; nobody needed to wipe out and get hurt now after all the challenges we had overcome so far.
It was a beautiful ride home. We took a sandy, dusty road alongside the railroad tracks that meandered south into Mexico. We caught up with a freight train that had a Canadian flag painted on the last yellow boxcar all the way back to camp. The bikes managed to stay in one piece and so did we.
Our time riding in Arizona was a memorable one to be sure. The scenery was absolutely beautiful, and the challenging terrain has certainly made me a better rider. Time for beer and tacos. 😊
Originally Written December 19, 2019
It’s day two of our ride. The boys are all tired and stiff today. I stretched immediately after our ride and they just laughed at me…who’s laughing now? Me, I’m ready to go after a pot of coffee. Today’s goal for the ride is to ride into Nogales for a lunch at a taco truck. Oh yeah, that was a goal worth keeping up with the boys I was willing to take on.
Our leader took us through a canyon, up a mountain fire access road that had been mostly eroded down by some heavy rains the day before to a breathtaking lookout spot. The trip down turned into an epic learning experience for me.
The narrow roads in that area were covered in granite rock slabs and granite dust - no sense using the back brake whatsoever. I am a confident front brake user but quickly found out that using front and back brakes was not a good idea. While I manage to stay on my bike while skidding down a steep slab of granite around a switch back, I had to stop and take a minute to catch my breath. Hoping that was the worst of the steep descents was over I threw my leg over my torn seat and headed into steeper territory. The switchbacks and steep descents went on for over 30 minutes until we were finally down into a valley and about 30 minutes to tacos.
I was excited about tacos and didn't realize, while there were no steep descents into Nogales, we still had a few miles to ride on some super gnarly narrow jeep trails. I lived and made it into town for amazing tacos. We (meaning me) decided to head back home via some breathtaking easier riding roads. I'm glad we did as it was getting cold, we were all tired, our bellies full of Mexican goodness and we were running out of gas and daylight. We rode 6 hours that day. I'm proud to say I had the skills to ride all the terrain, including terrain I was not confident riding. As the day wore on I got used to riding and it made me a better rider.
I wonder what challenges tomorrow's ride will bring!?
Originally written December 19, 2019
We have been riding here in Arizona for almost three weeks. Our adventures have taken us into desert areas that have you looking for Wiley Coyote and the Roadrunner, to awe inspiring views over endless mountain ranges in every direction.
We met up with a couple of Ontario riding peeps early December. One of the guys has a house near Tucson and lives here and rides 6 months of the year. He took us out for 2 days of epic riding.
Day one we met for breakfast in a little desert town and headed over to an area near Tubac to ride some newly built single track. After being lost on Jeep roads for a good 30 minutes one of us finally spotted a trail marker. The single track was a total of 28 miles, built in 2 mile sections. Most of my single track experience I have had has been in Ontario, rutted out, muddy, stumpy and nice flowy trails. Yup, this was a whole new experience and challenge for me personally.
The first two trails we did were challenging but I didn't have any problems. I did invent new swear words but made it through without anyone having to help me.
The third trail, well it started off nice, a few challenging rock steps and some deep water crossings but all within my skill set. Then I came around a blind corner and slamming on my brakes I just stared at the challenge in front of me. How the ‘H’ was I going to conquer a trail that started up a steep gravelly, loose, rocky incline, including several rock step switch backs and then a trail on a steep side incline with nothing but large boulders on the trail, a cliff ascending into the heavens on one side and a cliff descending into the depths of hell on the other? I had no confidence. However, I put my bike into first gear and tractored up as far as I could go before I wiped out. Our fearless leader, a highly accomplished rider, had to rescue me a couple times as the other two in our party were themselves having difficulties.
When the four of us finally found a spot to rest I made note I was the only person in our little posse not dying of heat stroke, lack of hydration or energy. I'm 120 pounds, my bike is approximately 240 pounds and I had 15 pounds of supplies in my backpack. After a brief rest and a snack, we rode the remaining mile out of that specific trail, and spent an hour finding our way back to our vehicles on some pretty gnarly jeep roads. I felt good about my riding and patted myself in the back.
Pumped and ready for Carne Asada with Mexican grilled bulb onions for dinner we headed back to the Canuck’s casa for dinner! And a beer or two…
Should I spend my money on a coach or a group workshop? I ask myself that question a lot. I have taken several coaching sessions, both in a large group and one-on-one. In most cases, I am happier spending the extra money on a one-on-one session, I feel I get more bang for the buck. Groups are great too, but I find groups usually contain a variety of skill levels and it's not always possible to get the attention I need in a large group situation.
I like that in a one-on-one situation I feel free to ask a myriad of questions, whether ridiculous or not. One-on-one allows me to fail without thinking my other ‘classmates’ are watching or judging. I can also practice one thing without having to move on to the next skill before I'm ready.
On the flip side, groups can be fun too, it could give the affordability to train with some pretty cool coaches. You also get feedback from other people and will probably make new friends. In addition to learning strictly from the coach, you can engage with and learn from others’ experiences.
So, ask yourself the question, “should I spend my money on a coach or a group workshop?” Decide for yourself which situation is right for you. My personal preference is one-on-one learning, whether I’m the coach or student.
The nice thing about FitRiders, is there are opportunities for learning from our community members, or you can opt into our one-one-one coaching program. Whether you need that additional accountability of having a one-on-one mentor, or if you just need to bounce some ideas off a supportive community, FitRiders has programs to suit your needs.
To join our group free for 60 days, visit www.fitriders.com. If you would prefer one-one-one coaching, try our FitRider Plus program. You get all of the community support of our FitRider Pro program, with the added bonus of having a coach work with you to reach your specific goals. What are you waiting for!
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Breakfast. A lot of people say they hate it. I'm not sure why, I get up in the morning, having not had anything to eat for 12+ hours and of course I feel not quite right with low blood sugar, grumbling tummy and all. I am lucky that I have always loved breakfast.
So why don't you take the time for breakfast? Too busy in the morning with kids, getting ready for work? Why not start eating breakfast, I bet it makes a world of difference in the long run. If your excuse is that you don't have any time, well I have a nutritious solution for you that takes 5 minutes the night before and a 2nd option that takes 5 minutes in the morning and doesn't include buying expensive, processed sugar laden commercial cereal. I sometimes eat these for lunch or dinner when I'm feeling lazy.
Since being in Mexico I have been unable to buy low fat dairy of any kind or any frozen berries, so I had to adapt to what was at hand. Here are my two favourite breakfast options, one I eat in Canada with low fat Greek yogurt and one tasty option for when I'm in Mexico! Try them both and see which one you like best!
1/2 cup low fat, plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp. Splenda or other sweetener
1/2 cup frozen raspberries, black berries, sour cherries or strawberries - whatever berry you love
1 tsp. hemp seeds
Optional 1/4 cup quick oats
Mix it all together - enjoy!
1 cup dry oats (whole)
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp Splenda or other sweetener
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup milk (preferably low fat) or almond, soy milk etc.
1/2 cup water
1/2 tbsp. cocoa nibs
Mix all dry ingredients in a jar or other container with a lid. Add water and milk, shake and put in the fridge over night. In the morning, give it a stir with the cocoa nibs - voila!!! My new fav.
Karl Tettmann, Co-Founder. Avid health and fitness coach who just loves to ride.