Monday, April 2, 2007

Cosmic Energy - Part Two: We All Live In A Yellow Submarine

Channel Some New Age Singletrack with Rama and Stickums in Sedona, Arizona
by Dave Rich, Bike Magazine - April 1995


On the first morning, Golden Brainard, a Specialized team member from Flagstaff who logs winter miles in perpetually snowless Sedona, took us to Broken Arrow, about six miles from town. On weekends the area can be crowded with pink jeeps that a tour company uses as a gimmick, but we only passed four on a Friday morning.

Following broken, shelf-rock roads, we climbed onto Submarine Rock, a slickrock formation in the shape of what else?-a submarine. Like clouds, Sedona rock formations are named, including Coffee Pot Rock, revered by local riders; Snoopy Rock, which looks like Snoopy in repose on the roof of his dog house; and, I'm not making this up, Blow job Rock, which is an unlikely, horizontal rock shaft sticking out of a butte and almost into another rock's mouth-like opening. A local Puritan wanted to blow it up because he thought it obscene.

Off the back of Submarine Rock a singletrack leads to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a church built into the rock that is highly overrated as an attraction and looks like two vertical slabs of sidewalk sticking out of the sandstone. The trail is a good intro to the area's flora. Every 100 feet, Golden would yell back, identifying plants hazardous to bike and biker alike. The plants are ubiquitous to every ride: prickly pear cactus, wide, flat cacti the thickness of a T-bone with poison tipped spines; cat's claw, with grabbing, scratching branches: and agave, a member of the aloe family used to make tequila. The agave consists of a cluster of short, leathery leaves with needle sharp points that are as hard on your tires as the agave tequila is on your stomach.

When we got back to the car, a guy practicing yoga in Richard Simmons-length shorts approached Burney and me. Rather than the boring "Hi," he came right up and asked when we were born. Actually, he didn't seem to care when I was born. "You were born under the sign of the rooster," he told Burn and quickly followed with, "Do you have a boyfriend?" When she pointed to me, he looked surprised to see me standing there in front of him. "He was born in '68? He's a dog," he looked back at Burney. "You're not right for each other. I'm part Navajo," he said like he was bragging, even though he looked as pale as my legs in February. While I mounted the bikes on the roof, Steve Running Shorts, or whatever he claimed his name to be, tried to talk her into coming over to his van to look at his Rainbow Family Photo Album.

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