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Thread: El Oso Rd

  1. #1
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    El Oso Rd

    I was in need of little fitness ride, and I wanted to do a little exploring in the Mazatzal Mountains. I was also inspired by a ride Maadjurguer did last spring. My goal one day, is to pedal a traverse of the Mazatzal's from the Beeline Highway to Roosevelt Lake (Bee to the Bear and Back).

    I believe there are a few trails open to bicycles in the area (outside the wilderness), but I'm not sure what the condition these trails are in. Here's a link to the trails that are open to mountain bikes in the Tonto Basin. If I get some beta that these trails are in rideable condition (not overgrown), then maybe I'll check 'em out. The only riding I did was on the road.

    Anycow, I started my pedal up El Oso Rd. here, at 8:30, and ended up at the Lone Pine Trailhead around 12:00. It really shouldn't take this long to get up to this turnaround point, but I took my time once I got up on top of the ridge. I was also pedaling my heavy bike today, which was also unnecessary, but its all I had available. Plus I had the idea that there was gonna be some chunk on this road. BTW, the armor I packed up to the top did serve a purpose; it kept me warm on the rip back down the hill.


    I'd say temps were in the upper 40's to low 50's when I started my ride at the 2,200 foot level. I was pedaling in shorts and just a long sleeve shirt, but I certainly wasn't cold on the pedal up. Once I got up on top of the ridge, about 3,500 vf higher in elevation, the temps were probably about the same as when I started(Lone Pine T.H. sits at nearly 5,700 vf).

    El Oso Rd. (the bear), had absolutely no gnar on it. It was probably smoother than half the roads in Mesa. It did have an occasional water rut/bar. The biggest obstacle of this road, was the steep, steep grade. Even this wasn't as bad, as I had expected. Every single inch of this route, I could pedal. I had been looking at this road on Google Earth and did a few searches, and I thought it was gonna be chunky and to steep to pedal in some sections. Boy, was I wrong.

    Once I got up on top of the ridge I turned onto onto Pigeon Spring Rd and decided to check out the Pigeon Spring and Loan Pine Trail-heads. This 2 or 3 mile traverse across the ridge had a few sections of ups and downs, so there is some elevation change. Pretty nice views though.

    The rip back down El Oso was a hoot. It took me 45 minutes to get to the bottom from Lone Pine T.H., but most of that time was spent traveling across the ridge back to El Oso road, and fixing a flat tire. This was the first flat I've had in prolly 2 years; time for some new tires. From the top of the ridge to the bottom (about 8 miles) in reality only took about 25 minutes.

    The big rotors on my 'barcalounger' were kinda nice to have, as I flew down the mountain. Even though the gravel road was in excellent condition, it wasn't totally brainless riding. It was fast, and slipping on the crushed granite/cinder was keeping me tame. At the curves of the road, the inside edge had a really nice berm to roll through.

    Not the most inspiring ride, but the speed rawked, the views were of the lake and surrounding peaks ruled, and it was all new to me. I'm looking forward to rolling this again.


    Here is a short and dorky little vid:

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails El Oso Rd-pano-small.jpg  

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    Last edited by u2metoo; 12-27-2010 at 06:50 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thats a great road to train on for longer distance stuff. A buddy and I rode from the Phoenix side up to junction up top where the cattle guard is (the summit of el oso) and back last Sunday. Riding from the phx side up and over to roosavelt lake and back is about 54 miles with about 7500' of elevation gain. Great training for the whiskey 50.

    I was actually thinking of heading up Thursday afternoon. If the weather man is correct there should be snow up there and that ride is awesome when there's snow.
    Racing is life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.

    96 Huffy Dr. Shock
    01 Magna girls hybrid

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbkracr
    Riding from the phx side up and over to roosavelt lake and back is about 54 miles with about 7500' of elevation gain.
    Yeah, I was thinking that would be a pretty punishing ride, and since Maad had done the wes tside of the ridge I though I better check out the east side to see how doable it is. And very doable it is (just not by me in the shape I'm in) .

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbkracr

    I was actually thinking of heading up Thursday afternoon. If the weather man is correct there should be snow up there and that ride is awesome when there's snow.
    That would rule

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    One of my favorite training rides. Dave Harris's(yes, that Dave Harris) sister Dixie told me he used to ride up and down this 3-4 times in one day for training. Animal.


    Chiva

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    mtbkracr-

    Are you doing 87 to 188 back to 87 on Thursday?

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    Ariz, I'll probably just ride from the 87 to the summit and back due to time constraints. I might be down to go to the lake and back over the weekend though.
    Racing is life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.

    96 Huffy Dr. Shock
    01 Magna girls hybrid

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    What time you guys heading out there? That is one of my favorite training rides.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiva
    ...he used to ride up and down this 3-4 times in one day for training. Animal.


    Chiva

    ...more like machine. That is insane in the brain.

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