GO AZ Motorcycles, Scottsdale, AZ – August 19, 2017
by El Presidente
Every year I write up the description of this ride, I always include the words “challenging loop.” Sometimes I get flak for using this phrase describing a trip to Sedona, but if you factor in the time of the year, you can get various challenges like, rain, cold, heat, sleet, and haboobs. Over the years of putting this ride on together with our sponsor, GO AZ Motorcycles, we’ve experienced all of the above! This year though, we were met with sunny skies and with temperatures that were not as hot as they could have been. Though, this year, the words “challenging loop” still applied!
The 48 participants met at GO AZ Motorcycles Scottsdale location early in the morning to enjoy coffee and pastries. After a rider’s meeting, 3 separate groups departed and headed to the Beeline to run north though Payson and Strawberry. Though there was construction on the Beeline which closed each direction down to one lane, we were traveling early enough in the morning that traffic didn’t really slow us down. We then made a left onto Lake Mary Rd where we encounter our “challenge” of the day: 8 miles of dirt road! This really sounds words than it does, the dirt section was due to construction and it was packed very well. If you stayed within the tire tracks, there were no soft spots. The worst of it was the blinding dust kicked up by the vehicles in front of us. We just backed off a bit to put some distance between us and and the trucks and visibility was restored. After a brief gas stop in Flagstaff, we then turned south on SR 89A towards Sedona. There, we encountered another construction zone with a hard packed dirt road. This one was fairly short, but by this time the group was used to it! We continued to motor on down the mountain into Oak Creek Canyon, past Slide Rock State Park and into the traffic of downtown Sedona. One group headed to the Mesa Grill at the Sedona Airport for lunch, my group and up at Tortas de Fuego for some great Mexican food, while the last group intended to stop at the Oak Creek Brewery and Grill but ended up changing plans due to an hour wait for a table.
All in all, this was a successful ride event with plenty of diverse participants and no incidents. Thanks to everyone that came out and made this a fun day out!