Saturday, March 18, 2006

Copper Canyon Tour: Part 4: The Aquaduct Trail

Today, Mexican coffee followed by breakfast. Did I mention that you will NOT lose weight on tours like this?

We head out of town the other direction today. The first part was some tech singletrack that followed an aquaduct. This track was awesome. Really fun with some rock sections like home.

I was in chase Enrique mode and was working it.
Eeez no problem.

The tech sections had some decent drop offs that were best walked in some cases. The single track turned into double track then a road. One must be real careful of the cactus and remember to bring plenty of extra tubes

How many guides does it take to fix a saddle?
Bill's saddle rail had popped out from his crash the other day. The guides were able to bend it back into place. It is amazing some of the field repairs these guys have to make.

This road had some serious steep ups that were putting the hurt on the legs.

We crossed several stream crossing that were refreshing as it was heating up

We rode to this very small village where we had lunch in the front yard of a local who sells sodas/water.
DSC00722 DSC00724

Before heading back the way we came, we toured a local gold mining operation. The actual mine is located up the canyon. There is a 4" PVC pipe network that funnels sifted dirt down to the river. The miner puts the dirt into this contraption

The water that has been diverted by piping and aquaducts turns this pin wheel. There are large boulders suspended from the arms. The rocks crush the dirt into a slurry. They then add Mercury. Yes the mad hatter stuff to the mash to separate out the gold or silver (hence the name quicksilver) He had all his EPA certifications and environmetal permits on file. NOT.

He's been doing this for 40+ years.

We headed back after this.
DSC00732 At a split some of the group headed to the road,

while some of us headed back on the technical track. If I had really known what we were up against tomorrow I would have gone back on the road too, instead of trying my hand at climbing the rocks.

I got to try and follow Simon and Enrique. It was amazing to watch them clean the rock sections especially Simon on his single speed. I cleaned this one heinous section and then promptly walked my bike down the backside because I was seeing spots.

Right after this section Simon got a flat

This scene is so typical of the area. The trail went right by these people's house. They came out to chat. Even the donkey came to check it out (look for it at the top of the stairs)

We finished the ride back under the main bridge

And hung out with Tecates one more day. I really worked the legs today trying to ride the steep fire road and the technical sections. In hindsight I wished had taken it a little easier. But then again, I'll probably only be riding that single track once in my life so better to leave my blood on it now or never.

Next Post: Eeez Big Up...Really Big Up... The climb out


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