I wanted to ride today but Tuesday is the weekly "Beckett's Ridge Fitness Hike" put on by the ALT hiking group. I have no idea what ALT means but it is a good group of fit hikers who organize a variety of hikes each week. Beckett's Ride is the hike out of Sabino Canyon although there are dozens of other trails this is the one everyone must do. Those who show up for the ALT hike know what are their best time, the times of their hiking companions, record times very competitive. From the parking lot to the top it is 2.81 miles with 1800' of climbing, almost all of it in the final 2 miles. Any time under an hour is considered very good and while my best time is 53:58, that is not accepted as official because I ran part of the trail, a no-no. Whatever. Above, snow on the neighboring Mount Wrightson.
Only 3 people showed up, including "Bob" a trainer of Tri-types and "Gary" a Canadian transplant. Bob and Gary walk very fast. They call it "fast walking" and since I had to walk/run to keep up on the opening flat mile, I did not understand why running is disqualified from official time but fast walking is ok. I doubted I could keep up given the inactivity of the last month but once we hit the opening ramps, Gary opened a gap and I ran around Bob to catch. I did not think I could hang with Gary but I stayed on his heels and at 100 yards from the top, ran around him to reach the top at 58:02. Running that first flatish mile makes a big difference so with no running, 58 minutes is a good time. Note Thimble Peak in the background.
A couple of people stopped us on the way down to say they saw a Gila Monster and while we looked for it, we did not see it. Snakes are out kind of early and last week, a guy was on a hike, walked by a wall of broken stone when the person behind, spotting a rattler, screamed "drop". The guy turned and was staring, neck high, at a black tail rattler that did not strike. Dang lucky.