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Brass Nipples!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The old saying goes when life gives you lemons...

One rider in my planned group had to bail because he was called in to work, the second had his car's transmission fail on the way up so he couldn't make it either. I started out by myself.

The climb of the JEM trail from the sheep bridge trailhead started OK, but after a couple of miles, the innocent looking trail turned to a mucky mess. I turned around after about 20 feet of the bad stuff and my tires were already completely coated and my fork and frame were starting to pack up. My shoes had an inch of clay covering the soles from the few steps I took turning the bike around.

I decided to abandon my planned JEM trail circuit and ride back down to the Hurricane Rim Trail instead. It's surface is sandier so it dries faster and doesn't pack up like the JEM's clay. I found a stick and cleaned the mud from my fork, frame and cleats.
 

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Brass Nipples!
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The Hurricane Rim Trail ended up being in great shape. Although temperatures were pretty cold for St. George, about 40 degrees, the sun was shining and the air was clear. My Sultan felt great. The creak I had complained about last year has been banished with the holes drilled in my pivot shafts. As I settled into a rhythm on the rolling trail, I had the feeling that all was well with the world. Gotta love that endorphin buzz.

After the rough start, I ended up having a great ride on the HRT. I even cleaned the one tough climb I've only mastered once before. It was truly a ride turned from lemons to lemonade.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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In AZ (mostly Northern) we call that "Death Mud".
 

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Jayem said:
In AZ (mostly Northern) we call that "Death Mud".
I found out the hard way last January in Sedona. :mad:

I climbed to the top of Munds and saw an extension of the trail going all the way to the top of the mesa. After a look at the map, I found a forest road that would take me to the top of the extension. From the overlook I set off on the fireroad for maybe 30 yards before deciding that the clay mud was way too deep and killer. I turned around and as I hit the main fireroad at the overlook I heard some crunching and there went the derailleur hanger and the derailleur on the bike.

After a quick singlespeed conversion, I enjoyed the ride down Munds and back to Bike'n'Bean for some bike TLC.
 

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Brass Nipples!
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Jayem said:
In AZ (mostly Northern) we call that "Death Mud".
Good name for it. I've run into it in Arizona, Utah, Colorado and N. Dakota.

I think the scientific name is bentonite clay, but I don't know enough geology to be sure. It seems to last forever when the soil gets saturated and the temperatures cycle above freezing in the day and below freezing at night.

Now I've learned to give up early when I get into it. I've had a few long slogs in the stuff and things only got worse the longer I tried to ride.
 

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Bob the Wheelbuilder said:
Good name for it. I've run into it in Arizona, Utah, Colorado and N. Dakota.

I think the scientific name is bentonite clay, but I don't know enough geology to be sure. It seems to last forever when the soil gets saturated and the temperatures cycle above freezing in the day and below freezing at night.

Now I've learned to give up early when I get into it. I've had a few long slogs in the stuff and things only got worse the longer I tried to ride.
The section of the Kokopeli Trail on Hazard Down (Porcupine Rim) and the last 100' of Hazard have that same mud. We walked all but the last 1/4 mile or so last May because of that stuff. We couldn't even roll the bikes next to us because an unweighted bike still picked up the mud. It was infuriating.

Bob, obviously you're a glass is half full kind of guy. Good work.
 
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