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  1. #1
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    Lower Nation = Mad respect.

    After years of going up Mormon and down National, for no particular reason, I decided to ride up lower National. I know a lot of you ride this route and for that, I salute you. It was a lot of fun and very rewarding emotionally, but I did have to HAB a lot. I can see it getting easier with practice, but some of those spots are just down right hard. Anyways, it was a great experience.

    Happy Holidays.

  2. #2
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    I rode up Mormon rather than National Saturday b/c it was raining. That was the first time up Mormon in a long time and I really missed not hitting 3 or 4 of the features going up Natty. Makes it more fun.

  3. #3
    powered by bacon
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    Going up national is so much more fun than mormon. Even if you don't clear half the obstacles.

  4. #4
    My other ride is your mom
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    HAB is good cross-training.....I cross-train a lot. If you're down in southern Arizona and want some world class non-techy HAB, check out the AZT from Parker Canyon Lake to the Velvet Elvis Pizza in Patagonia. It's so beautiful, it makes you cry....and it's so dumb, it makes you laugh.

  5. #5
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    National is a pretty cool trail. No matter what level you ride at, there's enough to keep you interested up or down. I remember riding down lower national for the first time down years ago on hard tail. I was pretty sure I was gonna die:-)

    I tried riding up it last season and flailed the whole way up. I would have sworn several sections were never going to happen for me. This season after quite a bit of work I finally managed to clean everything up to the Mormon intersection in one ride (excluding the triangle high line). It came in bits and pieces and succeeding on each piece made the next piece feel more believable. I bet I tried the step at the base of national ~100 times before getting it. Now I want to try and link it (no retries).

    Even if I managed to do that, I still feel I'd have lots of room for growth on national. Not many trails offer an ever increasing challenge like national does.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChampionSleeper View Post
    I bet I tried the step at the base of national ~100 times before getting it.
    .


    Me too.

    One day I decided to session that #1 step for a while. Took me about 15 minutes but all of the sudden I rode right up it. Went back and did it again. Have not succeeded in doing it in one fluid motion though since that day

    Natty will challenge you for years and years, up and down.

  7. #7
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    That's why Nat'l is STILL my favorite trail
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenbentit View Post
    That's why Nat'l is STILL my favorite trail
    +1, gets better all the time.

    Last Saturday in the rain I took a new coworker up Mormon to the Waterfall and down Natty. He said he does a lot of d/h riding in San Diego on his Stinky and he owns several bikes. He brought his 'light' bike and I won't say he was overwhelmed with it all, but I was waiting for him a lot, both up and down.

    Natty is not like a lot of other places. We're lucky to have it.

  9. #9
    Give it a crank
    Reputation: Mtn-Rider's Avatar
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    Natty is pretty special, there's no other trail like it. The scenery is awesome, the riding is awesome, the waterfall separates the men from the boys, riding Natty just makes you better.

    Then it has the wonderful ridgeline section on the west side. It's like the backbone of South Mountain, with the many trails branching off it down to the bottom. Natty is sweeet!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post


    Me too.

    One day I decided to session that #1 step for a while. Took me about 15 minutes but all of the sudden I rode right up it. Went back and did it again. Have not succeeded in doing it in one fluid motion though since that day

    Natty will challenge you for years and years, up and down.
    I first made it up that #1 step (aka The gatekeeper) about 2 years ago. Made it up pretty consistently for about 2 - 3months and have not made it since...

  11. #11
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    The Gatekeeper, I like that.

    You know the first step up on Mormon (just after the split) has also got me pretty good. I've made it a number of times, and although it's not as daunting as the Gatekeeper it has a mental hold on me. Every time I approach it I feel I have a 50/50 shot at it. I seem to make it 2 out of 10 times in reality.

    The things we are talking about are the reasons we love SoMo. Could you imagine if the trail were improved so 90% of the people had a 'great riding experience'??? Not wishing to derail this at all, I'm just reiterating how lucky we are to have such a system that continues to challenge even the best of riders after years and years of riding the same place.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    The Gatekeeper, I like that.

    You know the first stet up on Mormon (just after the split) has also got me pretty good. I've made it a number of times, and although it's not as daunting as the Gatekeeper it has a mental hold on me. Every time I approach it I feel I have a 50/50 shot at it. I seem to make it 2 out of 10 times in reality.
    That one must mess with your mind. My buddy consistently clears very tough sections but I bet he only makes that step 2 out of 10 times too...

  13. #13
    Sun Devils
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    Great trail up, I remember my first time going down it fairly well, but I remember my first time going up it really well, including nearly puking at the halfway point!

    Just booked my flights to come out and ride in February! Can't wait to hit my old favorite loop- Up National, down either Holbert or Geronimo, Up 24th Street, down National.

  14. #14
    Addicted to 2 wheels
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    Just rode the Mornon down National loop yesterday for the first time. What an amazing trail. It felt more like rock climbing problems than mountain biking. It really opened my eyes to a new part of the sport. I can't wait to go back!

    I look forward to going clockwise on it.

  15. #15
    No Clue Crew
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    Quote Originally Posted by helidave View Post
    Going up national is so much more fun than mormon. Even if you don't clear half the obstacles.
    And I don't clear half of them. That's what keeps me coming back...

  16. #16
    I love bike!
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    Quote Originally Posted by noosa2 View Post
    That one must mess with your mind. My buddy consistently clears very tough sections but I bet he only makes that step 2 out of 10 times too...
    hmmm...i resemble that remark.

  17. #17
    Pivotal figure
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    That 1st move on Nat'l can totally set the tone for my ride. Some days I just cruise right up it with no trouble & other times it just isn't gonna happen. It gets frustrating sometimes but I just try to find that calm spot in my mind and focus on being smooth. Just for some perspective, I've been riding Nat'l since 1994 () and I've only had 1 full clean run in that entire time. By "clean" I mean clearing everything from Pima Canyon to Buena Vista without stopping, redos or dabbing. It's like bowling a perfect game or getting that all time high score & I seriously doubt I'll ever repeat it. Not that I don't keep trying!
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenbentit View Post
    . It's like bowling a perfect game:
    My brother-in-law has bowled three perfect games. I think a pure run up Natty (including the Waterfall) is much harder, lol.

    There is a dude with horns on his head that I think may have many 'perfect games' out at Natty. not sure though.

  19. #19
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    I have yet to find a trail like natty that has me planning, hoping, anticipating,excited and nervous all at the same time as I drive out. I think knowing that no matter what I clean, somewhat has cleaned it before me, there is always a new or more difficult line, the trail could always be ridden faster and there is always the risk of an epic fail. My current frustration is for some reason I'm now getting hung up on the triangle again. Always work to be done!
    Keep the rubber side down

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBCanuck View Post
    I think knowing that no matter what I clean, somewhat has cleaned it before me, there is always a new or more difficult line...
    That's what keeps me coming back. No matter where I look I see something and I KNOW that someone CAN and HAS ridden it.

  21. #21
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    Dude with the horns is my buddy Gabe. He cleans things with frightening regularity esp. considering how fast he cranks out laps on Nat'l (yeah, multiple runs in a single day)
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  22. #22
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    Hell, I got mad respect for the guys who go DOWN National, never mind going UP it.

  23. #23
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    you can imagine my suprise when I moved to pheonix in 2000 thinking I was a half way descent mountain biker and rolled into national with out a map or ANY info about it at all! After about 30 mins of cursing and confusion of wondering how the heck would anyone ever ride up or down that thing and who in gods name made that trail. It was fun to see how much I had changed and how much I could ride on it years later but that first ever mountain bike exp in az was a memorable one.....
    and the lurker returns to the dark corner

  24. #24
    Vitamin Bike Added
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    Got a chance to test my new (used) yeti 575 on natty this morning. First time riding a six inch burly bike and what a blast. It amazes me how different the trail feels riding something like this. Managed to inevitably come up on a huge group of senior hikers at the top of lower waterfall and had them gather to watch me ride down, taunting my line choice to boot! Usally that kind of audience is a recipe for an ER visit in my expeience. man what a day to ride.
    Keep the rubber side down

  25. #25
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    recently moved to AZ. rode some XC and trails in socal, MD and VA been off the trail for about 2 years. Decided i wanted to upgrade my 07 xc expert that the movers lost the wheel to ( figured why buy new wheels just get a new bike) settled for a 2011 enduro s-works. 1st trail i rode in this state was up and down national. Mistake on my part was way fun challenging went over the bars once. Said ill wont be doing that for a while. since i have rode mcdowell and estrella mountain competitive tracks and for some reason Im missing national even tho it kicked my A$$. looking fwd to maybe going up mormon next time.

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