October 30, 2015

Local Shreds

Arizona has such a tremendous diversity of terrain & trails. I sometimes find myself going months on end without riding the fantastic trails in my 'backyard'. The past couple of weeks I made it a point to get back to these places: South Mountain, Hawes, Gold Canyon, etc. No grand adventures here, just great riding.
Started things off with EstrellaDuro!! at FINS.
Enduro style timing with a beer chug time at the end.
It had been way too long since I last rode out at Hawes. It's still one of my favorite local places to ride.
Mesquite tunnels on the Fenceline trail.
Nice connector trail into Las Sendas.
Mine trail has some spectacular views.
Next up was an after work ride out in Gold Canyon. I was curious to see how the trails held up now that the monsoon was over. So-so. A few ruts here & there on most trails and generally more rubbly. There are a couple of sections that could use a re-route and it sounds like that is in the works. Most of the stuff should improve by rider use.
Gold Canyon is such a beautiful place to ride.
Need more cowbell!!
Just in case there was any doubt. Slap it as you ride by for karma points.
Cacti & Mountains FTW.
I went over to Usery Mtn. park to check out a new Maricopa trail connector on the north side. It now allows riders to skip the busy paved Usery Pass rd and a deep sandy wash to connect over from the Hawes trail system.
Lush desert at Usery Mtn. Park.
New connector as part of the larger Maricopa Trail.
Four Peaks as golden hour settles in.
Back at Hawes to ride a few more trails I skipped the last time out.
Mine trail at Hawes.
Red Mtn. from the Mine trail.
Salt River at Granite Reef Dam.
Upper Hawes trail has plenty of HAB for ya.
...and with HAB come the views.
One Friday after work, Scott and I went over to do a spin on Desert Classic at S. Mtn and noticed the Salsa Bikes Demo tents were set up. Scott already rides a Salsa, so I demo'd a carbon FS 29er. It was easily 5+ lbs lighter than my bike. It took a few miles to get used to the different geometry, but I liked it. The wider bars were nice too as was the 1x11 drivetrain.
I wish I would've had time to hit National too.
Scott climbing up to the water tank.
Action shot!
FS was nice, but I still like my hardtail.
I finished off the 1 hour demo as the Salsa folks began taking down the tents. I asked if I had time for a quick spin on one of the fat bikes they had and they said 'yes'. Perfect. The demo area was in a great location, as it was right next to Pima Wash. Fat bikes are made for sand and snow, so I was curious to see how it handled. I jumped on a Beargrease with its 4" wide tires and pedaled up the access road.
Not the deepest sand, but it was a good test.
Quite the contrast in tread.
I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but the Beargrease rode like a normal bike to me. It handled the wash superbly, allowing me to zigzag through the wash without losing traction one bit. It sure would be fun to concoct a few routes using nothing but a steady diet of sandy washes as there are plenty around these parts.

It's the season for demos in the Phoenix area and I need to attend more. It was fun to go out on two totally different machines.

The following week I heard news that the L.O.S.T. was unrideable due to construction near Superior. We have a big group event coming up out there and needed an alternate route. I drove out to Picketpost to see what I could find. I heard the railroad tracks may be an option. Hmmm.
I didn't make it out of the parking lot before this hitched a ride.
Rustic trail markings north of the Queen Creek crossing.
Closed. US60 is being widened through here.
So far it hadn't been too bad.
The L.O.S.T. resumes to the left, I thought I found a cool workaround.
A few good things going on here: L.O.S.T., AZT & 'Murica.
My re-route plans were dashed when the construction resumed on the south side of US60.
I had never spotted this before.
In the end a re-route was made using FR8 to bypass the entire construction zone.

I was poking around on Trailforks the other day and never realized the Geronimo trail split about 2/3rds the way down. So, I made it a point to check it out recently. It's just as tough as the left fork, but pretty cool nonetheless. I followed it up with a tech laden ride up 24th St. and a roll down National to wrap things up.
Top of Geronimo with clear skies across the Valley of the Sun.
Down, down, down I go.
Fading light on National.
The Phoenix area has a fantastic choice of trail systems, sometimes the hardest part is deciding which one to go to. Each system has its own unique qualities too. Believe it or not, but all rocks & cacti are not created equal!!

Now go ride!!

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