Archive for October, 2010

Great News

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Hello all, I got some great news today over at the JW Marriott, Ruben at the front desk told me about a story on channel 13 news about Mountain lions in the Tucson Mountains. I checked it out on line and sure enough, some researchers from the Uof A used infrared cameras to identify up to four mountain lions in the Tucsons. I saw pictures of them. This is great news to me as I thought human invasion had driven them from the area. Large predators are a sign of a functioning ecosystem.  Thank you big cats for staying around, and happy hunting!

Randy Young, Southwest Trekking Guide

Rain, Rain come all day and won’t you stay!

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

I know not quite the limerick we are all used to. But here in Az we don’t want the rain to go away.

Today we had a special hike. We had people from many Ritz Carlton’s all over the country. It was the coldest day of the year so far and i was kinda chili. Although our guests, many of whom are from cold rainy places felt right at home. I was fortunate to have my good buddy Randy as a co guide this morning.  Its really fun to have another prospective out there with you.

Today was a great day to take in the wonderful smells of the desert. The smell that is most prevalent is the creosote bush ( larea tridentata). One of the coolest aspects of the creosote bush is that they can live over 11,000 years. It is kind of tricky though. The same stems aren’t there for that long. The plant actually clones it’s self. The root ball and crown are the same but the stems do die back and new stems emerge.

Rick Gray


Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Hi there!

Wanted to mention that I made it around the Shootout for the first time this past weekend. These are the ‘big boys’ who ride their road bikes on Saturday mornings south of T-town. I guess the benefit to riding with this group is that, not only will it make you suffer, but they all know how to ride their bikes well. It gets a little tiring having to yell at other riders: “Hold you lines,” “Use hand signals when riding in a pack,” or “You’re not supposed to wear underwear with those!”



It’s still Rainin

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

How about the weather? It’s been rainin, I love it, if you haven’t gone out and enjoyed the beauty of our rains I suggest you wait til it’s comin down good run out in it and dance, smile and sing! Or if that would be an emotional breakdown for your tired soul,just sit and watch and enjoy as the plants drink it in and spring to life. The rainfall numbers around town vary greatly, but on the numbers here in the tucson mountains get as high as 14″ for this year. I can only hope that is close to what i am recieving at home.  That site is  also right by the Starr Pass trailhead so should be indicative of how drenched our trails are.  The growth on plants should break records this year. I am thankful to be wet.

Randy Young, Sothwest Trekking Guide

This and That

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Hello! Barker with another blog. Another day at the JW Marriott. Its starting to get busy here with people coming from all around the country to enjoy the cool desert weather. I took 8 people hiking the other morning and we saw a rattlesnake. They also gave me $20 dollars tip. So why is it that whenever we see animals on the trail the trips are that much better? This is something I have no control over. But it got me to thinking; I should just run out beforehand and place a rubber snake or have a friend dress up in a mountain lion costume. That would for sure be a treat for guests. And for me!

As a side note, I rode in the Cochise Cycling Classic this past weekend. 92 miles in under 4 hours. If you were doubting any of my nutritional suggestions, my ridng is evidence that it works. Thanks much.

Barker One

24 Hours in the Old Pueblo

Monday, October 11th, 2010

It’s slowly approaching. Visit to get the full scoop. There is still time for teams to enter, but the solo catagories have filled up.

It’s a great event to watch, you don’t have to ride it to enjoy it. Good food, music, and crazy bikers all add up to a great time. Hope to see you there!

The Dead Fall

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Hi everyone.

Today was a great morning to be out in the desert. The air was crisp, the sun was shinning and the birds were singing. It seemed like the hike would go as planned. My guests showed up in the lobby and we headed out down the Wild Burro trail. I made all the usual stops, explaining things as we went. I have a spot where I like to stop and talk a bit about the saguaro’s life cycle. It’s a great spot because there are saguaros of all ages. Everything from the babies that are around a foot tall to grand-dads who have 20-30 arms and are 200 plus years old to the ones that have stood sentry over the desert for years after after their life blood has petered out and all that’s left is the inner skeleton. These old dead saguaros can stand erect for years after they have died. I had one in particular that was huge and had many dead arms that were still attached and it was a beautiful example of the majesty that these giants can hold long after they die. I arrived at this point in the trail and was ready to discuss the wonder of dead saguaro’s when I looked to where it was and it had vanished. Well it didn’t really disappear, it fell over and couldn’t be seen behind the other shrubs. You see there had been a severe thunder storm up here about 3 or 4 days ago that had high winds and very heavy rains. I believe this was the cause of the fall of the great cactus. For some reason seeing that this wonder had fallen gave me energy and excitement. It also brought a little sadness to me. But going out on these trail everyday is quite rewarding. By being a regular on your particular trail system you start to feel like a part of the ecosystem. A thousand people will probably walk by that now fallen giant and never think twice about it. But I was there when it stood as a proud guardian of the trail. One day it was there, and the next it was gone. Almost no one will notice it,  but I will. Now this sentry of the desert will become home to hundreds of different life forms. You see even in death these ” marching giants” provide the essentials for life.

Rick Gray, guide southwest trekking

Put It In Your Mouth (Nutrition)

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

Hello to those loyal few! Barker here.

A lot of time has been spent telling you what to ride, where to ride, and how to ride. But I thought I’d introduce you to a little bit of my own two cents regarding nutrition. Now, if you are one of those ‘old school’ riders then you’re probably happy drinking the plain water in your bottles and downing a glass of milk in the post-ride for recovery; and if it was a really tough training ride then you would include a ham sandwich too. And why the hell not? You have your carbohydrates, your whey protein, and a little bit of everything else the body needs, right? Wrong. There is far more information to be ‘digested’ which I will hint at today.

To begin with, while plain water is still the most consumed drink by endurance athletes today, you have to understand that the body needs more when riding a bike hours on end.

First, think Replenishment as opposed to Replacement. The body can burn 500-1000 calories an hour factoring in for weight, fitness level, pace, ambient temperature, etc. However, the goal of the trained endurance athlete will be to consume between 200-300 calories per hour during exertion (give or take). This is replenishment! To take in more than this recommended value may cause GI problems like upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting. And we all know that we just laugh at those people in agony on the side of the trail because they ate eggs Benedict before attempting mountain biking for the first time.

Second, you should take in more than just water DURING exercise without overdoing it. Only hydrate 16-24oz of water (one bottle) per hour. To achieve the 200-300 calorie range, think complex carbohydrates and electrolytes. All of this can be done with energy gels or a single bottle when using a performance drink mix. There are plenty on the market and I suggest trying a few of them or asking your friends (who are athletes) what works for them. For bike rides lasting longer than 2 hours, you should include more solid foods like energy bars and SOY protein with more water.

Third, for recovery AFTER exercise, you must take in some whey or soy protein within one hour of your ride (I suggest whey protein in a smoothie). This is to replenish those hard working muscles and can help fill that void you’d rather occupy with cheap Mexican food and beer (another favorite).

Eat good, ride good,

Barker out.


This information was adapted from The Endurance Athlete’s Guide to Success; by Hammer Nutrition.

Note from Barker: Proper nutrition will not make you super human and does not bypass good judgement. Always ride within your means. If you need somebody to make better judgments for you when mountain biking, call Southwest Trekking and we will take care of all your needs. Except what you put in your mouth. That’s up to you.

Didn’t some guy say it’s not about the bike?

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

 But of course that was a guy who only rides bikes that were engineered designed and built specifically to fit him. 

 Ahh the allure of a new bike!, or a great bike!, or that next perfect bike!. 

 I remember as a kid my parents said I couldn’t get another bike until that one broke, so began the Summer of multiple bicycle homicide attempts.  I would leave it half on the kurb half on the sidewalk,  laying in the neighbors driveway. And then came the ghost rides. At first I peddled as fast as I could and launched it down the street and into parked cars or walls.  Then I upped the anti.  I pedalled to the top of Sixth street hill in Silver City NM. Pedaled as fast as I could and launched my bike down the hill. It rushed straight down the hill, through two intersections and into the front of an old Caddie. The old guy got out cussed me out and moaned and groaned a bit. He then got back in the car backed up, freeing my flattened bike from under the Cadillac. I proudly drug the wreckage home to my not proud but angry parents, who said I would have to provide my own bike now. I wound up with a pieced together pile of crap from donated parts, some bike mechanic knowledge and a well ingrained life lesson.

I currently ride my favorite, perfect bike a Ninner Ripp9,  it’s overal usefulness and plush ride give me giggles at high rate of speed on the rough stuff.

Ride what ya brung, towards what you want, and keep the smile out front.

P.S. Welcome to the 29er revolution

Randy Young, Southwest Trekking Guide