May 16, 2015
|Scenic Overlook on Mingus Mountain above Jerome|
The brevet schedule in Arizona starts while most of our friends in the North and East are still in winter hibernation! Or course we start early because of the great winter weather in the Southwestern Desert, but also because we need to get the series done before the onset of triple digit temperatures!
This year, John Ingold established the Northern Arizona Randonneurs and has put together a great selection of Northern Arizona Brevets for a full ACP Super Randonneur series in May, June and July! First up; The Mingus Mountain 200km Brevet.
Eight riders lined up at the 0600 start at the Basha's parking lot in West Sedona, Arizona. The Cliff Castle Casino Hotel north of Camp Verde was only 30 minutes away from the start, so that would be the Friday night bivouac location. Clean, cheap, but with paper thin walls, it was fine until the drunk rush rolled in about 0300! Happily, the neighbors passed out quickly and the next sound was the alarm at 0500!
John Ingold pre-rode the course earlier in the week and was the trail boss for today. Eight riders pulled on the rain gear and rolled out for the first running of a wet Mingus Mountain 200. This also was John's first brevet as an official Regional Brevet Administrator (RBA) and he did a great job!
The group quickly split and I found myself with 3 Bullshifters (Mike Sturgill, Lee Wilkening, and Brian McGuire) rolling along the generally downhill route to the first informational control in Cornville Arizona. John was waiting at the the control and checked us through. Even in the rain, it was easy to hold a 20+ mph pace. This brevet covered a route that I had never cycled before, and it was an outstanding course with good road surfaces and tremendous views!
|Mike, Lee, and Brian in Cottonwood|
|Deb's sister and brother were born in Clarkdale!|
About halfway up the climb, the route enters the 'Ghost Town' of Jerome Arizona. Once a thriving mining community, it has transitioned to an eclectic combination of ghost town, counter culture pot mecca, Arizona Mining History, and Western chic and not so chic art galleries and antique stores. We rolled through early in the morning, after the spirits had called it a night, but before the mortals had hit the streets.
Enjoying the views and not really paying attention to the route, my Garmin suggested a wrong turn at the edge of town, after checking the route sheet, it was back on course, climbing the steep streets/switchbacks of Downtown Jerome.
John set up a staffed control at the scenic overlook just above Jerome. Now well into the clouds, the visibility was only a few hundred meters! Mike and Lee rolled out just as I rolled in.
|John Ingold Northern Arizona RBA|
|The 'scenic' view of the clouds|
|The 'Summit' at 7000+ feet|
|Traces of Snow on the Ridge|
Mike and Lee were heading out as I pulled into the Maverick store to get supplies and a receipt. After a quick call to Deb to update her on the progress of the ride, I was back on the climb of the back side of Mingus Mountain.
|Easier to take pictures on the uphill!|
|The Scenic View above Jerome|
Not a required stop, but wanting an 'after photo,' I made a quick stop at the Scenic View above Jerome, quite a difference. John warned us about the traffic we would encounter in Jerome, and he was right. Volunteers were controlling one-way traffic sections and numbers of oblivious tourists would step off the sidewalk right into the street not hearing a cyclist approaching!
Outside of town the E ticket ride continued to Clarkdale. After the long descent the route rolls through Cornville and approaches Sedona from the south. After a short rough patch, the road improves with a full bike lane.
|Clouds on the Horizon|
|The Road to Sedona|
This was a fantastic 200km brevet, and it could not have been better supported, bravo John! This was not a fast 200, with 9500+ feet of climbing, I was very happy to have it in the bag at 9 hours and 15 minutes, but even happier to have spent the day on such an outstanding route!
Thanks again John, looking forward to the next brevet on the Northern Arizona Series; the Grand Canyon 600!
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