December 7, 2012

Canal Scout

Route scouting continued this week for what I'm dubbing the 'Salty Gila Scramble', my 210 mile, 3-day loop from home. The route roughly borders the Salt River to the north & the Gila River to the south. The short section I wanted to check out on Friday was the start of the loop, greenbelts to canal. Not the most exciting stuff, or was it??

My concern was that the canal was not accessible to bikes since I had some issues on my previous scouting ride down by Florence. I started out on a short road stretch through the Gateway Airport over to the canal entrance. This particular canal follows the East Maricopa Floodway and that is fenced off. The canal however was open to bikes!! Sorry, but no pics of the ride, I was racing the sunset. The canal segment was a success, a solid 8+ miles of dirt through the city, stopping only to cross main roads, to Main St. & Higley Rd in Mesa. On the return I stayed on the canal a couple extra miles until Pecos Rd to where it conveniently hooks in with the greenbelt system inside of the Power Ranch community only a half mile from home.

I only have two short sections to check out before I finalize the route, stay tuned for the inaugural running of the Salty Gila Scramble coming in late winter 2013 if all goes well.

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