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  1. #1
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    Cosmic Ray's Fat Tire Arizona

    My friend has set himself a goal, and I have adopted it. The premise is simple enough: Ride every trail system in Cosmic Ray's Fat Tire Arizona book. We don't have to ride every trail in every loop, but we have to ride something on every page of the book. With the exceptions of the longer rides, ie: Flag to Grand Cyn, the AZ Trail Segments listed, etc...
    My question is, however, are all of those trails still around and rideable? And can anyone claim they've ridden everything in there? I know theres some OG's around here that have been at it for a while, so any hints would help!
    "There's nothing like touching earth you've never touched"

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    Quote Originally Posted by bazooka_beard View Post
    My friend has set himself a goal, and I have adopted it. The premise is simple enough: Ride every trail system in Cosmic Ray's Fat Tire Arizona book. We don't have to ride every trail in every loop, but we have to ride something on every page of the book. With the exceptions of the longer rides, ie: Flag to Grand Cyn, the AZ Trail Segments listed, etc...
    My question is, however, are all of those trails still around and rideable? And can anyone claim they've ridden everything in there? I know theres some OG's around here that have been at it for a while, so any hints would help!
    ba:

    Some of are pretty old and don't think to clearly, so make it easy on us and do a list of the trails your thinking of riding. and those in the know will give you a yeh or neh.

    TD

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    Quote Originally Posted by bazooka_beard View Post
    My friend has set himself a goal, and I have adopted it. The premise is simple enough: Ride every trail system in Cosmic Ray's Fat Tire Arizona book. We don't have to ride every trail in every loop, but we have to ride something on every page of the book. With the exceptions of the longer rides, ie: Flag to Grand Cyn, the AZ Trail Segments listed, etc...
    My question is, however, are all of those trails still around and rideable? And can anyone claim they've ridden everything in there? I know theres some OG's around here that have been at it for a while, so any hints would help!
    Bazooka, what edition are you talking about? I can say with confidence I have ridden everything in Ray's guide book,,,,,,,,,up to the last few years.I have not looked at the most recent editions so I don't know what he has added recently. But most likely I have pedaled on these trails also. At it since 86 in AZ. 2 Wheels Good

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bazooka_beard View Post
    My friend has set himself a goal, and I have adopted it. The premise is simple enough: Ride every trail system in Cosmic Ray's Fat Tire Arizona book. We don't have to ride every trail in every loop, but we have to ride something on every page of the book. With the exceptions of the longer rides, ie: Flag to Grand Cyn, the AZ Trail Segments listed, etc...
    My question is, however, are all of those trails still around and rideable? And can anyone claim they've ridden everything in there? I know theres some OG's around here that have been at it for a while, so any hints would help!
    You should ask Ray to go with you.
    "Let our people travel light and free on their bicycles." Ed Abbey
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    I've got the 20th Edition, and my buddy has an earlier one, so I know first hand how different they can be. I don't have any specific questions about trails, Doc, just asking if anyone had done all of them.
    I'm going to try to get out of town once a week or once every other week to do some of the out-of-town pages. Next week I might head to the White Mountains to ride those two pages (Los Burros and Hannigan Meadow) and maybe some other trails in the White Mountain System.
    Having only touched South Mountain once (and that was only a few weeks ago!), I have a lot of trails to ride, and I'm looking forward to every one, no matter how good or bad they are!
    "There's nothing like touching earth you've never touched"

  6. #6
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    you might want to check with the forset service before you come up to hannagan. that area was closed due to the fire, not sure if and when it is going to be open

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    I think my edition is a 5th or 6th edition - some of the ads are great! I've done a few of the rides, but, no where near all of them. All of the bike shops (including flag and tucson) have 602 area codes in their listed phone numbers!
    Yes, I'm the crazy christmas guy!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolverine85929 View Post
    you might want to check with the forset service before you come up to hannagan. that area was closed due to the fire, not sure if and when it is going to be open
    Thanks man!
    "There's nothing like touching earth you've never touched"

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    Quote Originally Posted by bazooka_beard View Post
    I've got the 20th Edition, and my buddy has an earlier one, so I know first hand how different they can be. I don't have any specific questions about trails, Doc, just asking if anyone had done all of them.
    I'm going to try to get out of town once a week or once every other week to do some of the out-of-town pages. Next week I might head to the White Mountains to ride those two pages (Los Burros and Hannigan Meadow) and maybe some other trails in the White Mountain System.
    Having only touched South Mountain once (and that was only a few weeks ago!), I have a lot of trails to ride, and I'm looking forward to every one, no matter how good or bad they are!
    bazooka:

    I will loan you my GPS for this great adventure that you are about to embark on. I am sure Cosmic could use some better trail beta than those maps that he has improved upon over the years. My wife and I tried to befriend Cosmic over the years, and I use to give him a few new trail ideas for the Sedona area.

    In his older guide books he use to have the Girdner trail weaving through Dry Creek Wash three or four times when it actually crosses nine times. People use to come back to Mt.Bike Heaven really confused about those drawings. My wife and I would keep reminding him to make it more accurate.

    He use to always worry about putting in the secret Sedona trails, I would tell him about, because the FS and local elitist group would get on his case.

    I have to respect what Ray has done with that book over the years. It is currently his retirement fund, and I hope it will last him at least until he is to old to ride one of his beloved BMW motorcycles to deliver the books.

    As I put my Sedona map and Everytrail ride descriptions together, I probably shared some of the same feelings he may have had about giving non-local riders the opportunity to get out and enjoy a great ride without getting lost too much.

    I think rider Mel in Moab capitalized on Ray's idea and did his trail guide there. Thanks to Cosmic and Rider Mel thousands of riders have been provided a better user experience.

    I agree with rockychrysler you should try and get Cosmic out to ride some of those trails, if you do it would be cool to get some pictures of him. One warning if you take an orange along with a ride with him, don't throw the orange peel out into the woods when you take a break, he will be pissed off and probably won't talk to you for the rest of the ride. Not sure how he would react if you tossed tossed an apple core 15' or 20' from the trail.

    TD

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    I think it is safe to say:we are all just a little bit jealous of what Ray was able to do with just a Sharpie and a little ingenuity. He is a good guy and deserves a lot of credit for the popularity of mountain biking in this area. His maps have always been somewhat dubious in terms of their strict accuracy. Be that as it may, his maps were, for many of us, our entre into the sport. I do not begrudge him the errors, but rather find myself grateful to him. His books, and the places they took me, were a formative experience for me back in the day.
    "Let our people travel light and free on their bicycles." Ed Abbey
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  11. #11
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    I gave him crap once about how lame his maps were and his responce was "my job it to get you to the trailhead". The rest is on your own. Implying do some of your homework or be capable at route finding. Nowadays it seem like folks need a gps track or they won't go

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post
    bazooka:

    I will loan you my GPS for this great adventure that you are about to embark on. I am sure Cosmic could use some better trail beta than those maps that he has improved upon over the years. My wife and I tried to befriend Cosmic over the years, and I use to give him a few new trail ideas for the Sedona area.

    In his older guide books he use to have the Girdner trail weaving through Dry Creek Wash three or four times when it actually crosses nine times. People use to come back to Mt.Bike Heaven really confused about those drawings. My wife and I would keep reminding him to make it more accurate.

    He use to always worry about putting in the secret Sedona trails, I would tell him about, because the FS and local elitist group would get on his case.

    I have to respect what Ray has done with that book over the years. It is currently his retirement fund, and I hope it will last him at least until he is to old to ride one of his beloved BMW motorcycles to deliver the books.

    As I put my Sedona map and Everytrail ride descriptions together, I probably shared some of the same feelings he may have had about giving non-local riders the opportunity to get out and enjoy a great ride without getting lost too much.

    I think rider Mel in Moab capitalized on Ray's idea and did his trail guide there. Thanks to Cosmic and Rider Mel thousands of riders have been provided a better user experience.

    I agree with rockychrysler you should try and get Cosmic out to ride some of those trails, if you do it would be cool to get some pictures of him. One warning if you take an orange along with a ride with him, don't throw the orange peel out into the woods when you take a break, he will be pissed off and probably won't talk to you for the rest of the ride. Not sure how he would react if you tossed tossed an apple core 15' or 20' from the trail.

    TD
    Jeez, jealous much?

  13. #13
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    I have to say I think the way Ray does it is much better than having a fully detailed GPS route, as it helps to retain much of the mystery of a new trail.
    I admit, I use Everytrail on my phone to keep a log of my distances when I ride, but when I'm going out to a new trail, I'd much rather not have everything perfectly mapped out.
    I have never met Ray, probably never will, but I think his hand drawn maps are perfect for getting people out there and letting them explore on their own. Its a guidebook, not a topo map, I prefer it his way.
    "There's nothing like touching earth you've never touched"

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    Quote Originally Posted by bazooka_beard View Post
    I have to say I think the way Ray does it is much better than having a fully detailed GPS route, as it helps to retain much of the mystery of a new trail.
    I admit, I use Everytrail on my phone to keep a log of my distances when I ride, but when I'm going out to a new trail, I'd much rather not have everything perfectly mapped out.
    I have never met Ray, probably never will, but I think his hand drawn maps are perfect for getting people out there and letting them explore on their own. Its a guidebook, not a topo map, I prefer it his way.
    I agree here. As someone new to the area, I have used his books for hiking and riding. I like that his maps are more a guideline. And anyone who looks at his maps and would think it to be a perfectly scaled map (based on the obvious hand drawn appearance) needs to have their head examined.

    Without Cosmic, there are MANY trails that my wife and I would have never known about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pointerDixie214 View Post
    I agree here. As someone new to the area, I have used his books for hiking and riding. I like that his maps are more a guideline. And anyone who looks at his maps and would think it to be a perfectly scaled map (based on the obvious hand drawn appearance) needs to have their head examined.

    Without Cosmic, there are MANY trails that my wife and I would have never known about.
    Great insight pointerD:

    My next door neighbor is a mountain biker and works at a local hospital as a nurse anesthetist. There are a number of doctors at the hospital who are also mountain bikers. Due to having busy work schedules they don't have the time to wander around out in the woods like some of us do.

    Apparently some of the doctors monitor MTBR to get Sedona mountain bike ride Intel to improve their personal user experience. They have read my posts for years and wonder if the massive number of trial names I use to describe a ride is a bunch of BS or an actual cool ride.

    Well with my maps (not Ray's Maps) they now understand what that BIG bowel of Sedona spaghetti is all about. They asked my neighbor, "do you know this traildoc guy on MTBR????" She just smiles and says, yes I know him why? They say they finally understand the entire Sedona mountain biking system not just Ray's published version.

    Ray is the KING of providing Arizona users a great riding experience. My maps and Everytrail. com loops are a much better aid in obtaining the best Sedona mountain biking user experience, if you are a non-local advanced mountain biker looking for several weeks of great technical rides, you are not going to find two weeks worth in Ray's book.

    I think the well-respected professor rockman has been one of my best students in researching my favored loops. He isn't easily won over and even though he thinks I am a putz, he seems to like some of my ride ideas.

    I just heard recently that some of the local Sedona guides are not real happy with my internet ride Intel (not Ray's Intel) because it gives the non-local intermediate and advanced riding public the ability to have a great riding experience w/o having to pay the guides to show them around. Like the demise of the newspaper business the internet has provided affordable access to all types of information and mountain biking Intel is becoming more available.

    One other point about my trail Intel, I have been told by local shop owners they are constantly being approached by tourists for that Special Ride Intel for no cost. I know that profit has become a bad word in America, but the shop owner is in the business to make a profit and free Intel does not help with making a profit. If you are going into a shop to get free Intel it would be a good idea to spend some money to help the shop owner pay his rent and pay the salaries of the people who work there.

    If you are too lazy to check out Everytrail.com for Free great ride Intel. Go to Staples and make a copy of my 24" X 30" topo map for $2.74 and take the map into the bike shop of your choice with a $20 bill and highlighter and ask one of the employees what do they consider to be the best first ride for your particular skill level or the level of the LEAST skilled rider in your ride group. Then if the shop owner or employee is willing, ask them for the next best ride.

    TD
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    Do you have a time frame that you are trying to get this done? I think it is a great idea especially since I got his book last week and have 3 of rides so far. You may just given me a mission! Good luck and keep us posted on what trails you do!

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    No time frame, just trying to get all of them under my belt and using it as motivation to ride trails other than my local ones over and over again. I figure it will start racking up pretty quickly. It feels like more of an adventure to be riding new trails every week or so! It could take me years and years and I'll love every moment of it!

    Doc: I was talking about Ray's maps, not yours. No one cares how big your di...I mean, umm...maps are.
    "There's nothing like touching earth you've never touched"

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    Quote Originally Posted by bazooka_beard View Post
    No time frame, just trying to get all of them under my belt and using it as motivation to ride trails other than my local ones over and over again. I figure it will start racking up pretty quickly. It feels like more of an adventure to be riding new trails every week or so! It could take me years and years and I'll love every moment of it!

    Doc: I was talking about Ray's maps, not yours. No one cares how big your di...I mean, umm...maps are.
    bazooka:

    I obviously know you are talking about Ray's maps, which gives me the opprotunity to also provide some better Sedona maps for viewers other than yourself to use when they come to Sedona to ride.

    That's why the internet is so powerful. It allows someone like myself to provide trail Intel, free of charge to potential Sedona users, which IMHO is better than what is currently out there for a charge.

    In your case you could care less about riding any of the really cool non-Cosmic trails when you come down to Sedona to ride the trails in his guide. For example the really fun new Last Frontier trail has no interest to you, but it might be of interest to someone that has already ridden Tea Cup or Lama and s looking for something better to ride.

    I just finished a map update idea where I have made eight colored 8 /12" X 11" sections of my new topo map. I then tape the .49 cent segments together and get a complete colored Sedona Map for $4.33. That's only $2.40 more than what it costs to make the 24" X 30" black and white map.

    Keep us updated with your progress.

    TD
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  19. #19
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    Geez TD you just can't keep your crap in your own threads you got to try and plug your 2cents into everything if it aplies or not.
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of
    arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body.

  20. #20
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    I have a couple of old Cosmic Ray books. I haven't used them in over ten years. I have always liked to stop at local bike shops and get a good map of the trails I want to ride, to avoid getting lost. When you travel a lot and ride unfamiliar trails, you really don't want to spend the night lost in the woods with no food or water.

    Most people who know Ray know that his books are for entertainment, not for people who want accurate trail info. Sadly, there are many who I come across out on the trails, who are lost and cannot figure out where they are because they are using Ray's maps as a guide.

    I bumped into Ray at Babbits a while back and he was lamenting the new user friendly GPS tri-fold maps that people now prefer to his book. The new maps have been great for all of us. I look forward to having a copy of Trail Docs map, as well.

    It sounds strange to hear someone say they want to do all the rides in Ray's book. My early edition of his book is full of rides I would never want to go on. They were simply the only things available to write up at that time. Most were hiking trails that were poorly maintained and likely to be less than enjoyable to ride. It's sort of like riding the AZ Trail in it's entirety. You will be miserable. You will be hiking your bike for miles at times, waiting to get to the few maintained sections. But if you do ride all the trails in his book, come back and report how it went.

  21. #21
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    Doc: I am not refusing to ride any trail, especially in a place as beautiful as Sedona. I fully intend to ride as many of the great trails in Sedona, but I will never use your maps.

    Prod: I'm sure many of the trails in the book are going to be in disrepair, less traveled, or just plain boring. But I will ride any trail, since the joy for me is getting out with my bike underneath me and an unknown trail in front of me. I'm sure there are people here that would refuse to ride a trail such as the Union Hills Loop, but it's in the book, so I gotta ride it. And I'll love just being out there working towards a personal goal. Thanks for your input, though!
    "There's nothing like touching earth you've never touched"

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bazooka_beard View Post
    Doc: I am not refusing to ride any trail, especially in a place as beautiful as Sedona. I fully intend to ride as many of the great trails in Sedona, but I will never use your maps.

    Prod: I'm sure many of the trails in the book are going to be in disrepair, less traveled, or just plain boring. But I will ride any trail, since the joy for me is getting out with my bike underneath me and an unknown trail in front of me. I'm sure there are people here that would refuse to ride a trail such as the Union Hills Loop, but it's in the book, so I gotta ride it. And I'll love just being out there working towards a personal goal. Thanks for your input, though!
    baz:

    If you really want to get a great ride in Sedona, you need to put Casner on your list. Ray has left the trail in his map book for years and I believe it is the perfect fit for your Cosmic Ray Super Ride.

    I personally think it is a stupid trail and don't have it on my map, but others like yourself probably have a blast on it.

    After you get done with that one head over to Cottonwood and do the Coleman Trail that is another trail that will be a memorable experience for you.

    Do us a favor and keep this thread going with your ride reports of how you are progressing with such a worthy goal.

    TD

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    Doc: Thanks for the tip! I don't see Casner on any page in my copy of the book, maybe he edited it out in this newer edition..
    The Sedona sections that are in my book are: Airport Mesa, Bell Rock Pathway, Big Park Trails (looks like around Courthouse Butte), Boynton Pass Road, Cathedral Rock Loop, Cockscomb Loop, Deadman's Pass Loop, Dry Creek Trails, Huckaby Trail Loop, Llama Trail, Schnebly Hill Trails, Secret Trails ( looks like around Capitol Butte and Coffee Pot), and Submarine Rock Loop. There are many more trails on each page, but those are the general areas Ray has in the book.
    I'll start posting up some of my progress. Some of the trips are incomplete, but this may take multiple trips (which is fine by me!)
    Last edited by bazooka_beard; 08-08-2011 at 12:17 PM.
    "There's nothing like touching earth you've never touched"

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    Hawes.


    EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Mesa, Arizona
    First time out at Hawes and surrounding trails, I gotta say, what a blast! The heat was getting to me a bit, so I opted to turn around before Twisted Sister while my buddies went up to try it out. In retrospect, I was so close I should have just gone with them!
    I look forward to heading back out there again...and again!
    "There's nothing like touching earth you've never touched"

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    Flagstaff


    EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Arizona
    First time riding up in Flag, we set out to explore the Mt. Elden trails. So after breakfast and java at Macy's, we hit the trail. Whew! Altitude can definitely take it out of you, if you're a phoenix boy like me!
    We got carried away riding the same trails over and over because one of the guys in our party was having technical difficulties (bruised rib), and waited the second half in the car napping. Didn't want to have TOO much fun without the poor guy!

    Oh, and my phone died mid tripo, so it tracked up all the way back to Phx! Zoom way in to see what we rode in Flag!
    "There's nothing like touching earth you've never touched"

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