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  1. #1
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    Black Canyon Trail Lollipop Loop - More fun going down than coming up?

    So, today I rode the BCT Lollipop loop. Unfortunately, Strava on my cell phone stopped recording half-way through my ride, due to poor reception, which leads me to believe that I should buy one of those Garmin bike computers. I also ran right over a snake on the way up the trail, but, fortunately, no attack this time - he just slithered away. But those are seperate issues.

    What I was wondering is, does anyone think this trail is more fun on the way down - from the trailhead at Black Canyon City to Table Mesa, than going back up. On the way up, alot of the trail seems to consist of sand, riding through the riverbank and Jeep Road. Then, when you're feeling tired, you have to find the energy to ride up the Cheapshot segment.

    Maybe the funnest way to ride this trail is to ride with a partner, park a car at Table Mesa and ride it down from Black Canyon City, and then drive back up? Just wondering what other people thought. I'm not a big fan of sand and Jeep Roads personally.
    Last edited by BCTJ; 05-18-2013 at 07:39 AM.

  2. #2
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    I guess if I were trying to maximize fun, riding it south, then around the west side of the pan loop is probably the funnest. Going from Rock Springs down to Table Mesa is only about 13.5 miles or so, but Cheapshot going south is about as much fun as guy can have with his pants on.
    I don't find the sand and small section of jeep road on the east side of the pan loop that bad, but then again, I'm cool with rides that are a fair bit of jeep road every once in a while.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    So, today I rode the BCT Lollipop loop. Unfortunately, Strava on my cell phone stopped recording half-way through my ride, due to poor reception, which leads me to believe that I should buy one of those Garmin bike computers. I also ran right over a snake on the way up the trail, but, fortunately, no attack this time - he just slithered away. But those are seperate issues.

    What I was wondering is, does anyone think this trail is more fun on the way down - from the trailhead at Black Canyon City to Table Mesa, than going back up. On the way up, alot of the trail seems to consist of sand, riding through the riverbank and Jeep Road. Then, when you're feeling tired, you have to find the energy to ride up the Cheapshot segment.

    Maybe the funnest way to ride this trail is to ride with a partner, park a car at Table Mesa and ride it down from Black Canyon City, and then drive back up? Just wondering what other people thought. I'm not a big fan of sand and Jeep Roads personally.
    Yeah that other side of the panloop sucks, although rest of the BCT in reverse is actually a lot of fun.

    Most people shuttle it though

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  4. #4
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    The sucky part if little pan is really only a short 1 mile of a 23 mile ride. That is the sand just north of the 3rd crossing on th east bit of the loop. The climb from their is long, but mostly gradual. Overall is it a tough ride given the constant climb or descent and the exposure of most of that required constant focus. I was using that as training for the whiskey 25.
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  5. #5
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    I couldn't decide, I like it both ways. In reference to the trail, thank you. I don't think I'd personally want to shuttle it, as I can't think of any section either way I'd want to miss.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tysonnemb View Post
    I couldn't decide, I like it both ways. In reference to the trail, thank you. I don't think I'd personally want to shuttle it, as I can't think of any section either way I'd want to miss.
    Tyson,
    I used to feel the same way, the whole system is great. The shuttle give you range. It allows a longer ride, to see more of it, to see the different landscapes. You can start in the Cedars and ride all the way to Emery Henderson, all in one day.

    For the solo rider, it works out great, you can really ride as much as you want, no second car required. Latedropbob is offering shuttles this summer at night.

    This system at night is an absolutely amazing experience. It's surreal, it's nearly hypnotic.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipolopolo View Post
    Tyson,
    I used to feel the same way, the whole system is great. The shuttle give you range. It allows a longer ride, to see more of it, to see the different landscapes. You can start in the Cedars and ride all the way to Emery Henderson, all in one day.

    For the solo rider, it works out great, you can really ride as much as you want, no second car required. Latedropbob is offering shuttles this summer at night.

    This system at night is an absolutely amazing experience. It's surreal, it's nearly hypnotic.
    I guess I'm going to have to give that a try. That does sound great. I've literally only done the lollipop loop, so I've got a lot to see yet.

  8. #8
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    Gps

    Quote Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    ...Strava on my cell phone stopped recording half-way through my ride, due to poor reception... [is] this trail is more fun on the way down - from the trailhead at Black Canyon City to Table Mesa, than going back up.
    If your phone has a GPS receiver it does not rely on cell phone reception. It uses satellites. Turn all "phone" functions off to save batteries. But most cell phone batteries don't last long enough for a good mountain bike ride anyway. Instead of saying up or down the trail why not say clockwise or counterclockwise? I assume you are referring to the Little Pan Loop? I effectively do the loop counterclockwise because I stay on the west side going south from Black Canyon City to Table Mesa, and on the return I do the east side. I think clockwise might be more difficult.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf View Post
    If your phone has a GPS receiver it does not rely on cell phone reception. It uses satellites. Turn all "phone" functions off to save batteries. But most cell phone batteries don't last long enough for a good mountain bike ride anyway. Instead of saying up or down the trail why not say clockwise or counterclockwise? I assume you are referring to the Little Pan Loop? I effectively do the loop counterclockwise because I stay on the west side going south from Black Canyon City to Table Mesa, and on the return I do the east side. I think clockwise might be more difficult.
    Is the correct name Little Pan Loop? I wonder where I got Lollipop Loop? Regarding Strava - I opened it halfway through the ride and it said Strava has stopped working and then closed out on me. Not really sure what happened as it should have been using the satellites but I think Strava requires internet to keep working? It kind of ruined the ride because my whole purpose was to get recorded on Strava as one who had completed the loop.

    Yes, I mean counterclockwise. I guess I'm assuming that most people go down the West side, but that isn't necessarily the case.

    I was also thinking today - perhaps it was a bit unwise to go out there alone with no cell phone reception. What if I had gotten bitten by a snake or crashed really hard. I guess it would have been bye bye time...there wasn't a soul for miles and miles. Oh well - all's well that ends well.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    ... but I think Strava requires internet to keep working?
    Never used it but I doubt it. But if so there are dozens of free or cheap phone apps that do not require any connection. My students used lots of different ones on our field trips. You can upload any gpx file to Strava. It does not have to be created in their app.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    Not really sure what happened as it should have been using the satellites but I think Strava requires internet to keep working?
    .
    Only for the upload after the ride not during.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    Is the correct name Little Pan Loop? I wonder where I got Lollipop Loop?
    Because Little Pan Loop is a lollipop loop (that is, shaped like a lollipop).

    Quote Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    perhaps it was a bit unwise to go out there alone with no cell phone reception. What if I had gotten bitten by a snake or crashed really hard.
    Well, if you survived a Strava shutdown (OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), you can survive anything!!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipolopolo View Post
    Tyson,
    I used to feel the same way, the whole system is great. The shuttle give you range. It allows a longer ride, to see more of it, to see the different landscapes. You can start in the Cedars and ride all the way to Emery Henderson, all in one day.

    For the solo rider, it works out great, you can really ride as much as you want, no second car required. Latedropbob is offering shuttles this summer at night.

    This system at night is an absolutely amazing experience. It's surreal, it's nearly hypnotic.
    Shuttling BCT makes sense because the trail is so long. I have ridden the trail from Emery Henderson to Rock Springs, but never in one ride. It is possible as a shuttle, but doing it as an out and back is just too much for me right now. So shuttle is great to experience alot of the trail. I am lucky in that I live close to EH trailhead and can ride the quite often. I like everything I have ridden on there as each bit of the trail has it own flavor. Nothing super technical, but always enough to keep it interesting.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf View Post
    ... Instead of saying up or down the trail why not say clockwise or counterclockwise? I assume you are referring to the Little Pan Loop? I effectively do the loop counterclockwise because I stay on the west side going south from Black Canyon City to Table Mesa, and on the return I do the east side. I think clockwise might be more difficult.
    I do the same where I hit west side of the river first then head north on the east side. I am not sure which is harder, but it just seems to flow fine this way. I have done the east side of the river from Table Mesa. I went to the river and back and the climb back heading south was really the same effort. I do think it would be better climb the jeep road and descent on the single track so that makes CCW the best way to do that loop IMHO.
    Joe
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    ...I was also thinking today - perhaps it was a bit unwise to go out there alone with no cell phone reception. What if I had gotten bitten by a snake or crashed really hard. I guess it would have been bye bye time...there wasn't a soul for miles and miles. Oh well - all's well that ends well.
    I have cell reception over most of the ride. Not all as there are a few spots in valleys where I don't. My GPS Logger send emails every 30 minutes to my wife giving my location and will send an emergency if it does not move for 1 hour. Sure it needs cell service to send an email, but once reception pick ups again it will send. It may not be perfect, but it would at least reduce the search zone should something happen. At worst less decay once they find my body.
    The cool thing abotu BCT is that you feel really really remote, but when you really look at it you are never more than 5-6 miles from I-17 and probably not more than mile from a jeep road. So it feels really isolated, but is not really that far out.
    Joe
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  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=PhxChem;10402072]Because Little Pan Loop is a lollipop loop (that is, shaped like a lollipop).

    - Maybe we should change the name of the Trail to the Lollipop Loop. It sounds more touristy - maybe it would attract more riders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    - Maybe we should change the name of the Trail to the Lollipop Loop. It sounds more touristy - maybe it would attract more riders.
    Only if we get to start at Black Licorice City TH.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I have cell reception over most of the ride. Not all as there are a few spots in valleys where I don't. My GPS Logger send emails every 30 minutes to my wife giving my location and will send an emergency if it does not move for 1 hour. Sure it needs cell service to send an email, but once reception pick ups again it will send. It may not be perfect, but it would at least reduce the search zone should something happen. At worst less decay once they find my body.
    The cool thing abotu BCT is that you feel really really remote, but when you really look at it you are never more than 5-6 miles from I-17 and probably not more than mile from a jeep road. So it feels really isolated, but is not really that far out.
    To further your accurate point; if you ride the upper (northern) reaches of the system, you cross Crown King road several times and it is really never far of a walk. If you bonk, you can slow roll to the road and ride back into BCC on an easy dirt road with few climbs. As you move south on the trail you get access to Table Mesa rd. it too can save your tired azz.
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    I used to use an old cricket phone that was not activated to run strava. It would run the gps track just fine even though it didnt get reception from not being activated. I could later upload once i was attached to wifi.

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