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  1. #1
    r99
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    Opinion: the trails in Phoenix are terrible for aggressive riders.

    I moved to Tempe for job reasons last August and I think the trails in Phoenix suck.

    I am an aggressive trail rider and primarily ride a six inch bike. I do not mind pedaling as long as it pays off with some fun downhill. I have ridden the majority of the trails on Somo, as well as NRA papago and the McDowell’s.

    The good:
    National is cool trail, especially for climbing. National is one of the coolest climbing trails I have ever ridden. National also has its sections that are fun to descend, but they are short and good corners are few and far between.

    NRA has fun jumps, but I like trail riding.

    The trails in northern AZ are fantastic and not very far away. This is by far the best part about Arizona.


    The Bad:
    The downhill on Somo is terrible. I have completely stopped riding DH in Phoenix.

    All of Somo has a total of about five good corners. Good corners that you can hold speed through are the best part of riding DH and Somo has the fewest good corners of anywhere I have ridden. Somo has absolutely no flow.

    I love rocky technical steep trails, but I absolutely hate rocky technical FLAT trails. For a technical trail to be fun it has to be relatively steep. Holbert, Geronimo etc are flat. Yes you can carry some speed on these trails, but it is more work than my day job and takes ALL the fun out of it.


    Overall:
    Phoenix is a better place to ride than a lot of places, especially if you like pedaling. I am sure it beats out the Midwest, but for aggressive riders it is no mecca. As far as riding goes, I would rather live in any other major metro area in the western U.S than live here.

    See you out on the trails. I will be the hiker with a mountain bike t-shirt on.

  2. #2
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    Opinion: the trails in Phoenix are terrible for aggressive riders.

    I'm sure some people are going to explode in defense, but it is an opinion after all. And though I hate to bag on the place I have to call home for now, I think you're pretty much spot on with your description. Although I do love jumping at NRA. Some act like SOMO is a downhill Mecca, and it's just really not.

    But I'd say it has more to do with what kind of trails you like rather than how aggressive you ride.

  3. #3
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    You should try the White Tanks. Climb Mesquite, keep going and climbing up Goat Camp, than descend Goat Camp back to the bottom. It's a bit more challenging IMO, but it's a bit of a ride from Tempe.

    Also, Mingus Mountain is fun. It's a bit over 2 hours away, but has a few cool downhill trails. I would incorporate other rides that day, along with the shuttle runs down Mingus, as the runs only take 15 minutes, but are fun.

    Where did you move from? I came from CT and love these trails in comparison.

  4. #4
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    You hate it that much that you prefer to hike? Wow. Where did you move here from?

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    we have what yer looking for. I agree on cornering, it's the best part about riding!

  6. #6
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    Nobody likes having to follow slow people down Geronimo.







    So now "aggressive riding" means "no rocks" and "no technical".








    How much do you weigh?
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tysonnemb View Post

    Also, Mingus Mountain is fun. It's a bit over 2 hours away, but has a few cool downhill trails. I would incorporate other rides that day, along with the shuttle runs down Mingus, as the runs only take 15 minutes, but are fun.
    Well don't send him down 28 street or god help us, the east side/north bowl! Those are like south mountain! 28 has the top flat section with lots of pedaling (a few jumps and launches here and there), then the middle full-on-holbert-like section, then the last third is flowy-er switchbacks without any big jumps/launches.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  8. #8
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    I mean, 24th street, sure, that's long, it beats you up, it has the small climb, not super steep, it's meant to be like that, and it's a special challenge. And then national, well duh, that's not a DH trail. Great for freeride/AM action and yes you can take a DH bike down it to cap off the day, but it's not a DH trail, not even considering the uphill traffic.

    But, if you can't hold speed on geronimo and experience the flow, airing over obstacles and stairs, etc, you got problems and they ain't caused by the trail.

    BTW, go try Goat Camp downhill, not very much uphill at all, mostly all down.

    There are a lot of reasons I'd go to flagstaff in the summer, but because the "terrain sucks" in phoenix wasn't one of them. It's different, because it's in the desert and you might fall into a cactus, but that's what makes it phoenix. Few places have the riding options within close proximity, and while there are no trails like "wasabi", the terrain of trails like geronimo and holbert make up for this, with many natural launches and drops.

    Is it because you are riding an AM bike down holbert?
    Is it because you need to work on your skills?
    Is it because you've never experienced rocks this big before?
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  9. #9
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  10. #10
    r99
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzKennedy View Post
    You hate it that much that you prefer to hike? Wow. Where did you move here from?
    Yes, I absolutely prefer to hike. I came from California. I have done a lot of riding in the bay area.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Nobody likes having to follow slow people down Geronimo.


    So now "aggressive riding" means "no rocks" and "no technical".

    How much do you weigh?
    Fair point. I probably am slow on Geronimo. I weigh 150.


    I specifically said i prefer STEEP rocky technical trails.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by r99 View Post
    Yes I absolutely prefer to hike. I came from California. I have done a lot of riding in the bay area.



    Fair point. I probably am slow on Geronimo. I weigh 150.


    I specifically said i prefer STEEP rocky technical trails.
    Then you should be able to pedal fairly efficiently I'd imagine. Geronimo and Holbert really are the most fun on a DH bike, even though there's the small climb on both. Any reasonably fit rider can ride up those two short climbs, the one on geronimo being a little harder, but it makes up for that by being steeper when it is going and being a little longer trail anyways. What I wouldn't advise is taking a DH bike "down" national, because like you know, except for the "sections", there is no real "down", it's just a fun technical ride, especially with a 6"ish bike, decent tires, and a gravity dropper.

    The other thing about those trails in general, they do kind of separate the suspension that works from the stuff that doesn't. I've seen so many bikes chewed up and spit out over the years (sometimes my own) on those trails. A poor suspension system, excessive compression damping, hydrolocking caused by overly-simple/crude damping systems can really make it a bear to enjoy those trails. Add brakes that are just not adequate and it's fighting the bike every time down, not fun. On the other hand, a wonderful suspension system where you can land on the frickin stairs when you mess up the launch and just keep going because it rides like a pillow, well, that just brings a smile to your face as you keep going mach 9 down geronimo.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  12. #12
    r99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I mean, 24th street, sure, that's long, it beats you up, it has the small climb, not super steep, it's meant to be like that, and it's a special challenge. And then national, well duh, that's not a DH trail. Great for freeride/AM action and yes you can take a DH bike down it to cap off the day, but it's not a DH trail, not even considering the uphill traffic.

    But, if you can't hold speed on geronimo and experience the flow, airing over obstacles and stairs, etc, you got problems and they ain't caused by the trail.

    BTW, go try Goat Camp downhill, not very much uphill at all, mostly all down.

    There are a lot of reasons I'd go to flagstaff in the summer, but because the "terrain sucks" in phoenix wasn't one of them. It's different, because it's in the desert and you might fall into a cactus, but that's what makes it phoenix. Few places have the riding options within close proximity, and while there are no trails like "wasabi", the terrain of trails like geronimo and holbert make up for this, with many natural launches and drops.

    Is it because you are riding an AM bike down holbert?
    Is it because you need to work on your skills?
    Is it because you've never experienced rocks this big before?
    I agree. 24th street is the best legal DH on the mountain.

    I will give goat camp a try.

    I go to flag because the trails are awesome there. That does not change my opinion that the trails suck in Phoenix.

    My skills on south mountain certainly need work, but that is not going to happen any time soon.

    I have ridden trails that are rockier than the stuff on somo and certainly more technical. So that is not the issue.

    My whole point is that the DH in Phoenix is just not very fun. For a trail to be fun for me it needs corners, flow or steep tech. Phoenix strikes out on all three counts.

  13. #13
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    What kind of bike and what kind of shocks in particular are you riding?

    And no, I was just kidding when I mentioned Goat Camp downhill, it's extremely rocky. It can be done, but it's a full armor jagged-rock affair. You won't get going as fast as on Geronimo or National or even Holbert for the most part. It's definitely up a notch in terms of technical, and there ARE a few steep chutes, but it's not like trails in flagstaff at all.

    I saw that you are riding a 6" bike, and while there are plenty of people that do ride those bikes down 24th and Geronimo, most of the shuttle guys are on full-on DH bikes. They train on SoMo, ride Sunrise and Flagstaff, occasionally Mingus and the Pinals, and then go out of state at times for other stuff. It really depends on where you are riding whether it'll be "all downhill" or not, whether it will be "very technical" or not. It often depends on the exact trail. Have you been riding Private Reserve in Flagstaff? That's kind of the definition of steep rocky DH trail (with a nice 75 foot super-steep roller at the bottom to cap it off). With a 6" bike you have to realize that some of these things will not be as much fun, but others will be more fun. Same thing if you are riding an 8 or 9" DH bike.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  14. #14
    r99
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    Quote Originally Posted by tysonnemb View Post

    Also, Mingus Mountain is fun. It's a bit over 2 hours away, but has a few cool downhill trails. I would incorporate other rides that day, along with the shuttle runs down Mingus, as the runs only take 15 minutes, but are fun.
    I have ridden mingus. I had a great time. If any of the Prescott locals are reading this I bet they know who I am.

  15. #15
    r99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    What kind of bike and what kind of shocks in particular are you riding?
    I mostly ride a specialized Enduro with a Lyrik on it, even in Flag.

    I have also ridden the somo trails on a proper DH bike.

    If you enjoy the DH in Phoenix then good for you. I am jealous.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by r99 View Post
    I have ridden mingus. I had a great time. If any of the Prescott locals are reading this I bet they know who I am.
    Ok, but I gotta ask, Trail 28 is one of the primary mingus trails, because it kind of has "everything", including the holbert-style super-chunk for about a third of the way. Do you like riding this? Is it the fact that it's not like that the whole way down?
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  17. #17
    r99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Have you been riding Private Reserve in Flagstaff? That's kind of the definition of steep rocky DH trail (with a nice 75 foot super-steep roller at the bottom to cap it off). With a 6" bike you have to realize that some of these things will not be as much fun, but others will be more fun. Same thing if you are riding an 8 or 9" DH bike.
    I prefer not to name unsanctioned trails on the internet, even if they may be legal in the near future.

    Yes I have ridden it and yes I ride it on my six inch. The ending is great. It makes me happy.

  18. #18
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    Sounds like I need to take you out for a little schooling. My PMP "Hour of Power" will either garner me someone to ride with, who lives in Phoenix, or have you selling your bike and taking your self back out West. I don't care which.
    Nice KOM, sorry about your penis.

  19. #19
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    Opinion: the trails in Phoenix are terrible for aggressive riders.

    You might enjoy DH more if you were on a DH bike. And having rode in Northern California, I know that you still have to drive some to get some great DH trail, unless you live in the state of Jefferson I am told.


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  20. #20
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    Just curious, what steep rocky technical trails were you riding in the bay area?
    Because, one is never enough.

  21. #21
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    I, too, was curious what trails he rode in the Bay Area that are steeper/rockier/more technical than what we have here.

    That said, hey, fair enough. If you don't like the DH here. Yes, it's rocky, the corners are flat and sometimes you have to pedal. If you can't do it/don't have the skills or fitness/just don't like it, cool. Enjoy your hiking.

  22. #22
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    Doesn't Geronimo drop like 1900 vertical feet in less than 2 mi?

  23. #23
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    Yet another California infiltrator complaining that it isn't as good as "back home." Color me surprised....

    If Phoenix is the only place you've ever lived, you have no idea how good you have it. I'm staying with my mom in St. Louis until I start school this fall back in AZ. For me, if I want to ride MTB, I have to drive no less than 40 miles to get to the trails. That's for the close spot. Most of the trails here are cross country trails you could almost attack with a beach cruiser. It doesn't really matter though, since the trails are rarely dry enough to ride, because it won't quit raining. We're eight inches up on normal year to date rain right now.

    Or, in Phoenix, I could drive eight miles and be at the PMP trailhead. SOMO was about 25 from where I lived, and the McDowells, Sonoran, Pima/Dynamite, BCT, etc were within that 25 mile ring. Sedona, Flagstaff, Prescott, and Williams were all within easy day trip distance, along with the 32 million acres of public lands located in Arizona where you can fish, camp, hike, shoot, or do whatever else you want.

    Lettuce be cereal, Arizona is one of the most awesome state in the union for an outdoorsman. If OP doesn't like it, please take I-10 westward until you see water.

  24. #24
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    Yeah, big deal in NorCal is Downieville, 5K vert.

    Mingus is 4.5K, Pinals are 4.5K, Pinals about 4k, Mt Graham rises up about 6K above the surrounding landscape. Bill Williams is like 2.4K. Geronimo and Holbert aren't all that much vertical, but Goat Camp is a little more. I'm leaving out lots here, but the point is there's big vertical if you want it.

    Not all of these have the same quality as Nor Cal due to less people riding them, but some of them are damn good, and this is just a small slice. I've ridden all over NorCal and the things that we do not have are longer smoother descents and just generally more vertical with smoother trails. What AZ does not lack is "aggressive" riding. You can rack up 5+K easily of climbing in Prescott, ride super rocky volcanic fields near Williams, ride the famous super-chunk of South Mountain, which some people ride quite fast, make your way a little slower down Goat Camp, exhaust yourself on super-long shuttle runs in the Pinals or the Cottonwood side of Mingus, I'm not sure how much more "aggressive" it can get. I tend to just "flow" by how fast one can go and how they can keep their speed up. That's how I know Geronimo has good flow. It's a pretty high speed trail.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  25. #25
    SamuraiBunnyGuy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy_E View Post
    Lettuce be cereal
    not necescelery

  26. #26
    AZ
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    Trails are what the rider makes of them, try the same trails using less bike and more skill.

  27. #27
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    I can understand not liking Dh riding on south mountain, way to crowded. I just cannot see the logic in riding Dh bikes in the largest urban park on the country. It is littered with hikers that become very confrontational when you come up on them at high speeds. Not to mention the trails are for the most part pretty flat with a few chutes thrown in. Reminds me of tunnel trail in Santa Barbara. With all the mountains surrounding Phoenix and the large population of core riders why had no one made a push to build some legit trails away from somo? Can you say black canyon city? Lots of vert good road.
    Make Flagstaff RAD Again.

  28. #28
    SamuraiBunnyGuy
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2BeerJoe View Post
    Just curious, what steep rocky technical trails were you riding in the bay area?
    Budget Cliff, CA

  29. #29
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    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and now he got a few more suggestions. I was totally shocked when I moved here from CT and rode. Totally different. CT trails, people only go tubeless to save weight. The tires I rode there, they don't even sell here. Riding style? Soo different. I personally would never go back. But to each their own. Hope you find some rides that are worth your time. At least the scenery is unmatched!

  30. #30
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    although I think the phoenix area needs to be more bike friendly on the streets/roads, we definitely have outstanding mountain biking opportunities not only in the desert but in the high country too.. I am fitness rider ( no gnar please) and I am very pleased with the amount of groomed trail building within the past 10 years... there are a lot of us who mainly ride for fitness and weight loss...

  31. #31
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    Almost wrote something. Going riding instead.

  32. #32
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    Opinion: the trails in Phoenix are terrible for aggressive riders.

    I honestly think the OP should hook up with some more locals so they can maybe show him some stuff. And I recommend joining up with say Gro-AZ which seems to be one of the best local groups for tech. Plus maybe there he can find some folks who build trail since berms and that don't grow naturally in the wild.


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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by cstem View Post
    I honestly think the OP should hook up with some more locals so they can maybe show him some stuff. And I recommend joining up with say Gro-AZ which seems to be one of the best local groups for tech. Plus maybe there he can find some folks who build trail since berms and that don't grow naturally in the wild.


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    I honestly think the original poster should ead. I smell a forum puppet troll.

  34. #34
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    I split my time between So-Cal and central AZ and think Central and Northern Az has the best variety of trails anywhere. For large urban city South Mountain has to be number 1 for MTBing in the country.

    My favorite area is the new trail system outside Mendocino Ca, deep in the redwood forest in and around Jackson State Park.

  35. #35
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    Every trail needs to be built from what the terrain and the local weather have to offer. You can't just build a flowy trail on top of decomposing rock that gets ruined every monsoon season. Park budgets also determine what kind of trails are available.

  36. #36
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    Imagine if your job had taken you to, say, Ohio. Glass half empty is no way to live your life.

  37. #37
    r99
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    I think the general consensus on the Arizona forum is that the DH in Phoenix is very good. That was the impression I was under when I moved here. I am disappointed because I do not find the trails to be anywhere close to as fun as they were made out to be. I am simply providing an alternative point of view.

    In my original post I specifically said I am comparing Phoenix to other western U.S. metros. I know Phoenix is better than the mid west. You guys can stop pointing that out.

    Quote Originally Posted by DurtGurl View Post
    Imagine if your job had taken you to, say, Ohio. Glass half empty is no way to live your life.
    By the way, if I had to move to Ohio I would buy a dirt bike. I bet that would be really fun.
    Last edited by r99; 05-11-2013 at 03:02 PM.

  38. #38
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    Canadian Beer sucks....says the rider in Whistler.
    The toilet paper in this country sucks....says the accidental tourist when in England.
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    Trails in Phoenix suck, says the......

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy_E View Post
    Yet another California infiltrator complaining that it isn't as good as "back home." Color me surprised....

    If Phoenix is the only place you've ever lived, you have no idea how good you have it. I'm staying with my mom in St. Louis until I start school this fall back in AZ. For me, if I want to ride MTB, I have to drive no less than 40 miles to get to the trails. That's for the close spot. Most of the trails here are cross country trails you could almost attack with a beach cruiser. It doesn't really matter though, since the trails are rarely dry enough to ride, because it won't quit raining. We're eight inches up on normal year to date rain right now.

    Or, in Phoenix, I could drive eight miles and be at the PMP trailhead. SOMO was about 25 from where I lived, and the McDowells, Sonoran, Pima/Dynamite, BCT, etc were within that 25 mile ring. Sedona, Flagstaff, Prescott, and Williams were all within easy day trip distance, along with the 32 million acres of public lands located in Arizona where you can fish, camp, hike, shoot, or do whatever else you want.

    Lettuce be cereal, Arizona is one of the most awesome state in the union for an outdoorsman. If OP doesn't like it, please take I-10 westward until you see water.
    I agree, Arizona is a sportsman's paradise. If you can't find what you want here, you won't find it anywhere. There is more public / federal land here, available to use pretty much however you see fit than 99 percent of the other states.

    I don't think I even need to give a list of places to ride here. Bottom line is, you can ride all year, in comfort on epic trails.

    Steve
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  40. #40
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    The OP's viewpoint is valid. And I, for one, thank you for being one less biker on our trails. Now if you could please stop hiking (or, you know, move somewhere that has riding more to your taste) that would be even better. Enjoy.

    I just got home from shuttling Mingus. It was, as always, AWESOME.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipolopolo View Post
    I agree, Arizona is a sportsman's paradise. If you can't find what you want here, you won't find it anywhere. There is more public / federal land here, available to use pretty much however you see fit than 99 percent of the other states.

    I don't think I even need to give a list of places to ride here. Bottom line is, you can ride all year, in comfort on epic trails.

    Steve
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by DurtGurl View Post
    Imagine if your job had taken you to, say, Ohio. Glass half empty is no way to live your life.
    skydiving would be the only way to survive the mid west.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    The OP's viewpoint is valid. And I, for one, thank you for being one less biker on our trails. Now if you could please stop hiking (or, you know, move somewhere that has riding more to your taste) that would be even better. Enjoy.

    I just got home from shuttling Mingus. It was, as always, AWESOME.
    That's what I really wanted to say. I only have two little green thingies and really didn't want to lose one of them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    The OP's viewpoint is valid. And I, for one, thank you for being one less biker on our trails. Now if you could please stop hiking (or, you know, move somewhere that has riding more to your taste) that would be even better. Enjoy.

    I just got home from shuttling Mingus. It was, as always, AWESOME.
    I was passing through recently, and saw some people shuttling. We stopped and talked to them and they gave us directions and what not. I didn't catch anyone's name, but they were in a tundra with groaz and Santa Cruz decals. Great group of people, and trails. Not sure if you were one of them, but I owe them a thank you.

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    SoCal native here, lived in NorCal for 5 years as well, only been in Phoenix for 10 months. I have to say the riding in Phoenix is awesome, especially if you like rocky technical trails (not that there isn't any variety). I haven't experienced all AZ riding has to offer, but I've made multiple trips to Flag and Sedona in addition to riding multiple places around Phx (mostly Somo and PMP) and I'd put the riding in AZ up against any other state. I understand what the OP is saying about national and other somo trails not being true dh trails due to the short ups and flat sections, but that is what that six inch enduro bike he is riding is for! Still plenty of downhill, flow, and turns to be had.

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    It rarely ever gets above 80 degrees in the summer in Phoenix. Although the trails suck here, at least we have great summer riding weather.
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    The OP seems to be looking for a VERY SPECIFIC DH type of experience when he says "aggressive". And let's be honest, he's probably right that we don't have his VERY SPECIFIC idea of DH around here. No perfectly sculpted turns, too many rocks.....not what he is looking for.

    And I'm OK with that....

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    Opinion: the trails in Phoenix are terrible for aggressive riders.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    And I, for one, thank you for being one less biker on our trails. Now if you could please stop hiking (or, you know, move somewhere that has riding more to your taste) that would be even better. Enjoy.
    .
    +1...
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhxChem View Post
    The OP seems to be looking for a VERY SPECIFIC DH type of experience when he says "aggressive". And let's be honest, he's probably right that we don't have his VERY SPECIFIC idea of DH around here. No perfectly sculpted turns, too many rocks.....not what he is looking for.

    And I'm OK with that....
    I don't think he means buffed dh trails, I think he means built for dh bike dh trails. I don't think SOMO has any like that, I could be wrong since I haven't ridden there but I imagine the trails are more hiker built? I am sure they are plenty fun, the terrain to me from watching vids on here looks really cool but dh specific biker built trails have a way different feel than old school hiking trails. This becomes obvious for a lot of newish riders once they visit BC.

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    I say head back where it's better buddy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona View Post
    I don't think he means buffed dh trails, I think he means built for dh bike dh trails. I don't think SOMO has any like that, I could be wrong since I haven't ridden there but I imagine the trails are more hiker built? I am sure they are plenty fun, the terrain to me from watching vids on here looks really cool but dh specific biker built trails have a way different feel than old school hiking trails. This becomes obvious for a lot of newish riders once they visit BC.
    I think if one can go fast on trails not built specifically or bikes, they will go _really_ fast on trails that are. This guy is a 50%'er in a lot of ways (trolling included ).
    Nice KOM, sorry about your penis.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhxChem View Post
    The OP seems to be looking for a VERY SPECIFIC DH type of experience when he says "aggressive". And let's be honest, he's probably right that we don't have his VERY SPECIFIC idea of DH around here. No perfectly sculpted turns, too many rocks.....not what he is looking for.

    And I'm OK with that....
    It's just that "aggressive" now means "easy" and "smooth" evidently, which is troubling.


    In any case, he lives in Phoenix. He should have thought about the implications of living in an urban area before he moved there. There is great riding all around, but it also means a 2hr or more drive to Flagstaff and other places. It seems he likes Flagstaff riding, and if you like that kind of riding there are a lot of little gems here and there all over the state, but most people have no problem making the trip once and a while. It's very confusing, because the kind of trails he's talking about would NOT require a DH bike, at least they'd call for far less than people use at South Mountain and Goat Camp. Northstar sure as heck isn't smooth, and that's the lift-served DH in california. N* is similar to Sunrise, having ridden both. N* is not like Whistler or many of the Colorado bike parks. Then there's some of the DH that I've done around Pacifica. Some of that matches up just fine with stuff in places here in AZ, in fact some of the stuff here is far better.

    It's all very confusing. It seems the rocks and technical features are what he doesn't like, but I guess the lack of those would be "aggressive" riding? He doesn't see the flow on Geronimo? That trail rocks and lots of banks you can ride up on and things to air off of. Pounding down upper Wasabi isn't terribly different than riding a chute on holbert.

    It sounds like the stuff he likes is more like Smith Ravine or Clark Springs in Prescott, which are fun rippin descents, but most people want the challenges to be bigger to actually consider it "downhill". If the jumps are still on Smith he could have some fun there. You gotta ride up, but you aren't rocking a 47lb DH bike either, so easy peazy.

    6 shooter?
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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona View Post
    the terrain to me from watching vids on here looks really cool but dh specific biker built trails have a way different feel than old school hiking trails. This becomes obvious for a lot of newish riders once they visit BC.
    Which one is really which? People have been riding SOMO for decades. Bike companies come there to test their gear. The "taming" of SoMo by bicycles has evolved over the years, and people are able to ride down amazingly chunky stuff. It's downhill in that you very rarely need to pedal, but is the end result any different? The trails at Northstar are designed for DH bikes, but super chunky. Having ridden some of the "designed for DH bikes" trails, I don't really see much difference. The only real difference is that the SoMo trails tend to be the "expert only" trails at the resorts and other places. They really force you to step up your game. Training in other places (like Flagstaff) is sometimes a good idea in this case. Don't get me wrong, we could use more true "DH" trails, but no one really wants to build them, and this is the case in pretty much every place, save for a few ski resorts and isolated places like jackson hole. But otherwise, we ride the terrain we have and put in trailwork on it and so on. I think the OP needs to live at one of these isolated DH spots. CA isn't really one, but BC, Seattle, Jackson Hole, Winter Park, and a few others would have the riding he is probably looking for. Honestly, any other place isn't going to have enough of that kind of riding nearby and you'd be dissapointed IMO.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  55. #55
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    Opinion: the trails in Phoenix are terrible for aggressive riders.-neil-degrasse-tyson-we-got-badass.png

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    dude will you quit it with the coloring book photos,, last time it took me forever to get the crayon off my monitor

  57. #57
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    The snowboarding here sucks.

  58. #58
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    Deep-sea fishing in Phoenix, man. What a disappointment. It's just terrible.
    Don't be that guy! Read the forum guidelines.

  59. #59
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    So, reading OP again, am I to understand that pedaling a bike sucks and PHX sucks because there's no chairlift trails? That's what the butthurt stems from?

  60. #60
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    From the OP

    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy_E View Post
    So, reading OP again, am I to understand that pedaling a bike sucks and PHX sucks because there's no chairlift trails? That's what the butthurt stems from?
    Try reading it again. Maybe the third time will be the charm. I do not care whether or not you agree with me, but this is not anywhere close to my opinion.

    The trails are Flat. Long version:

    One of the reasons I do not like Somo is because the DH trails are FLAT. This does not mean I dislike them because I may have to pedal to get to the top of them. My dislike does not stem from the fact there are short uphill sections on the trails.

    Flat means that a large portion of the "downhill" is just not very steep. This makes it a lot harder for the trails to flow especially when you throw in the 180 flat corner switchbacks.

    A valid alternative opinion could be that you can flow through these trails despite the fact they are not very steep. I know that is possible, but it is still a lot more fun to ride a DH trail where you do not have to fight to flight like hell to keep up your momentum.

    The short version:

    N* DH is steep. Pacifica DH is steep. Flagstaff DH is steep. Somo DH is flat. That is one of the things that ruins it for me

  61. #61
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    Now I get, Pamela Anderson is flat. Baywatch ruined it for my aggressive tv viewing habit.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by r99 View Post
    Try reading it again. Maybe the third time will be the charm. I do not care whether or not you agree with me, but this is not anywhere close to my opinion
    The short version:

    N* DH is steep. Pacifica DH is steep. Flagstaff DH is steep. Somo DH is flat. That is one of the things that ruins it for me
    i don't think the trails are nearly what you are making them out to be. Except for private reserve, I doubt you are riding any other steep trails in flag, because there aren't any. A couple trails at northstar have steep sections, like karpiel, but the majority are not, and SOMO has similar sections. Pacifica has some good vert, but I think you are overstating things just a bit. Holbert has steep sections, goat camp has steep chutes, etc.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  63. #63
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    ah never mind, why bother.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Perhaps this State 4 U ..

  65. #65
    r99
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    Rockyness and Steepness:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    i don't think the trails are nearly what you are making them out to be. Except for private reserve, I doubt you are riding any other steep trails in flag, because there aren't any. A couple trails at northstar have steep sections, like karpiel, but the majority are not, and SOMO has similar sections. Pacifica has some good vert, but I think you are overstating things just a bit. Holbert has steep sections, goat camp has steep chutes, etc.
    It is certainly possible that my preferences differ from most other riders and what bothers me about trails in Phoenix does not bother them. I simply enjoy articulating my opinion. I have also learned a few things from starting this thread. Thanks for the goat camp suggestion. I promise that if I do not like it I will not make a post about it.

    By the way I enjoy reading your responses.

    How I think about Rockyness and Steepness

    The rockier a trail is the steeper it needs to be in order for it to be fun. I think, but I am not sure that we can all agree extremely rocky and completely flat trails are not the best trails out there. I am not saying Somo is completely flat.

    I am asserting that the rockier a trail is the harder it is to hold speed on that trail and therefore the more I need the help of gravity to maintain momentum.

    Somo is very rocky, and not very steep. That is the heart of the issue.

    Some other Examples:

    Northstar:

    Karpiel is very rocky and steep.

    Dog Bone is very rocky and steep.

    Gypsy is less rocky and not as steep.

    Flag:

    Private is rocky and steep. There are several other steep trails in Flag. You should go look for them next time you are up there. If you disagree with me then PM me.

    Upper Wasabi is not as rocky and not as steep. Although Wasabi is still much steeper than Somo where it matters. IE the the roll next to the Wasabi gap)

    The rocky parts of Pacifica are steep.

    etc....

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Javelina View Post


    Perhaps this State 4 U ..
    Turned out to be quite the sausage fest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tysonnemb View Post
    Turned out to be quite the sausage fest.
    Thats not Kosher

  68. #68
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    Opinion: the trails in Phoenix are terrible for aggressive riders.

    Flagstaff is steeper than south mountain ? It's like a hill - you couldn't tell by looking at it?

    Probably no better trails in a city park anywhere in the world though!

  69. #69
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    i was trying so hard to bake a loaf of pumpernickel,, but then things went completely awry...

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    Quote Originally Posted by r99 View Post
    I simply enjoy articulating my opinion.
    Another unique snowflake.

    I'm not sure why we need to convince him Phoenix is so awesome. As I said before, he is looking a VERY SPECIFIC type of DH experience. We don't have it. Luckily, you like hiking....

  71. #71
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    Downhill not gnarly enough so you hike instead? I totally get it man.

    I wanted to buy 180 proof liquor. I light it on fire and drink it straight. I am that hardcore. They didn't have the 180 in Phoenix so I bought chocolate milk instead.

    Phoenix sucks !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    i don't think the trails are nearly what you are making them out to be. Except for private reserve, I doubt you are riding any other steep trails in flag, because there aren't any. A couple trails at northstar have steep sections, like karpiel, but the majority are not, and SOMO has similar sections. Pacifica has some good vert, but I think you are overstating things just a bit. Holbert has steep sections, goat camp has steep chutes, etc.
    Private Reserve, Wasabi, Double D, Steel Reserve, BLT, Prom Night, Pickle, Ginger, Lower Red Onion, and Jedi I would all call steep trails. I would even call Sunset and Upper Brookbank steep-ish trails.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona View Post
    Private Reserve, Wasabi, Double D, Steel Reserve, BLT, Prom Night, Pickle, Ginger, Lower Red Onion, and Jedi I would all call steep trails. I would even call Sunset and Upper Brookbank steep-ish trails.
    Someone knows their stuff.

    I can't wait for monsoon season. Will be rippen corners all day.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by r99 View Post

    The rockier a trail is the steeper it needs to be in order for it to be fun. I think, but I am not sure that we can all agree extremely rocky and completely flat trails are not the best trails out there. I am not saying Somo is completely flat.

    I am asserting that the rockier a trail is the harder it is to hold speed on that trail and therefore the more I need the help of gravity to maintain momentum.

    Somo is very rocky, and not very steep. That is the heart of the issue.
    .
    I think you should try riding the black mountain trail in cave creek if you want steep and rocky.. these kind of trails are very plentiful, you just dont know about them because nobody has the guts to ride them...

  75. #75
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    Curious to know, if and when you are ridding said un-fun Dh trails on SoMo, are to keeping up with some veteran riders of the mountain or are you out back struggling to grasp where you get the speed and ripping corners apart?

    P.s. sounds like you haven't hit SoMo's real gems. Have fun hiking, just make sure your ear buds are not blasting music when we roll up on you. So we don't scare you when we're blasting by ripping corners....
    .Hoog just texted me and said it's "Surface area to G2 tangential force vector ratio optimization. "

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    Less QQ more PewPew (riding in this case) and your opinion may change

    Az mtb is full o good fun in all shapes n sizes, you just need to find it. Grass is always greener, right?
    "This fish who keeps on swimming, is the first to chill upstream" - 311

  77. #77
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    Seems to me that the trails in the Phoenix area are great for aggressive riders who can handle anything. Drops, chunk, loose rocks, climbs, distance etc. We have it all. However they are just not for you want everything just perfect. Not too much rock, perfect corners, no pedaling, just the right steepness.

    I ride all over this city and this state and love the variety we have. If you don't like south mountain don't ride it. Just remember you definition of aggressive does not match with ours.

    You should say the at "SoMo does not have the kinds of trial I like to ride". I think we can all agree that while we have lots of different options our trails are limited by topography, geology, climate and historical foundation. At SoMo and the rest of the area I would say most of the trails were not built to be downhill specfic flow trails. The trails existed as hiking trails which people learned to ride or were built with mixed us in mind.
    Joe
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  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona View Post
    Private Reserve, Wasabi, Double D, Steel Reserve, BLT, Prom Night, Pickle, Ginger, Lower Red Onion, and Jedi I would all call steep trails. I would even call Sunset and Upper Brookbank steep-ish trails.
    I've done all those and save for a couple like prom night (short) and private/steel reserve, I don't think those are any steeper than anything else, definitely not than the stuff around Phoenix. Some of those have some very short steep sections, but do trails on SoMo.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  79. #79
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    I just want to point out one more thing,

    In 99% of America, this is a city park:

    Opinion: the trails in Phoenix are terrible for aggressive riders.-midvalecitypark.jpg

    In Phoenix, this is a city park:

    Opinion: the trails in Phoenix are terrible for aggressive riders.-mn_jeff.jpg


    PHX wins.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy_E View Post
    I just want to point out one more thing,

    In 99% of America, this is a city park:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    In Phoenix, this is a city park:

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	798671


    PHX wins.
    Looks freaking rad to me.

  81. #81
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    wtf they dont even have a merry-go-round... playground apparatus sure has been sanitized in the past 30 years thanks to lawsuits
    we had some awesomely dangerous crap when i was a kid.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by longhairmike View Post
    wtf they dont even have a merry-go-round... playground apparatus sure has been sanitized in the past 30 years thanks to lawsuits
    we had some awesomely dangerous crap when i was a kid.
    More data that avoidance of pain drives most people more than the pursuit of pleasure.

    "Safety first." No b!tch, safety last!
    Nice KOM, sorry about your penis.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipolopolo View Post
    That's what I really wanted to say. I only have two little green thingies and really didn't want to lose one of them.
    now you have 3, and can flame away on this troll

  84. #84
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    Opinion: the trails in Phoenix are terrible for aggressive riders.

    South mountain is fun. Riding my bike is always fun. But south mountain DH isn't as fun, in my opinion, as people made it out to be when I moved here. Are some of you really implying that a trail like Geronimo wouldn't be more fun had it been built specifically for mountain bikes, especially on the switch back portion?

    I'm not talking about watering down the trail. I understand the fun of the challenge. But there's a line in there somewhere that separates a fun challenge from a less-than optimal trail.

    Arizona is home and it's an awesome place to live and ride, but riding places like J-hole, Post Canyon, Bellingham Mountain, Squamish, and Whistler tainted me for life. I'll take MTB specific trails a million times over converted hiking trails. Arizona is lagging behind in that department.

    But you still won't catch me passing up a chance to ride just because a trail isn't as good as it could be.

  85. #85
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    Opinion: the trails in Phoenix are terrible for aggressive riders.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy_E View Post
    I just want to point out one more thing,

    In 99% of America, this is a city park:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	MidvaleCityPark.jpg 
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    In Phoenix, this is a city park:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mn_jeff.jpg 
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ID:	798671


    PHX wins.
    If we were talking about what cities have the coolest parks, then that would be valid. As it is, this is a narrow and simplistic view. Phoenix is a great place for riding, but there are many better (some in Arizona).

  86. #86
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    I appears to me the problem is a few individuals didn't do a proper amount of research prior to making a major decision like moving to a new city if riding was such a critical component. I know myself I would have visited the area and at the very least rented a bike to scope out the local trails prior to moving if it was that important to me. With a quick Google search one could have easily seen we dont have the vertical of major ski resorts, there are no chair lifts in the Phoenix area and there are no official bike parks. A quick peek on Youtube would easily show the difference between riding Somo vs Whistler. I dont think anyone needs to justify the trails we have here.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by longhairmike View Post
    wtf they dont even have a merry-go-round... playground apparatus sure has been sanitized in the past 30 years thanks to lawsuits
    we had some awesomely dangerous crap when i was a kid.
    Doesn't even have a yard dart course.....

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Douger-1 View Post
    there are no chair lifts in the Phoenix area
    unless you count this kind... in which case i'm sure we're in the top 5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy_E View Post
    Doesn't even have a yard dart course.....
    i remember the big metal merry-go ound at the local park,, had to have been like 12' diameter.
    all of us would play a game where we would hang on for dear life while my friends older brother (who was like 12) would get it spinning as fast as he could.
    whoever is the last to get flung off wins,,, it was like sigorney weaver at the end of aliens trying not to get sucked out of the airlock of the Sulaco...

  89. #89
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    Try this! Turn on your washing machine, drop in a cinder block, and sit on top while watching GoPro footage of people riding trails you like. You can still wear your full face and armor for style points.

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    Quote Originally Posted by longhairmike View Post

    i remember the big metal merry-go ound at the local park,, had to have been like 12' diameter.
    all of us would play a game where we would hang on for dear life while my friends older brother (who was like 12) would get it spinning as fast as he could.
    whoever is the last to get flung off wins,,, it was like sigorney weaver at the end of aliens trying not to get sucked out of the airlock of the Sulaco...
    Yeah but did you take it to the extreme like these guys?

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

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    thats a *****-go-round,, it has seats...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Douger-1 View Post
    Yeah but did you take it to the extreme like these guys?

    This thread is pretty funny...but this post is a gem...hahaha!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by doodooboi View Post
    Curious to know, if and when you are ridding said un-fun Dh trails on SoMo, are to keeping up with some veteran riders of the mountain or are you out back struggling to grasp where you get the speed and ripping corners apart?

    P.s. sounds like you haven't hit SoMo's real gems. Have fun hiking, just make sure your ear buds are not blasting music when we roll up on you. So we don't scare you when we're blasting by ripping corners....
    You can't rip a corner without a berm.... everyone knows that. Not mention, a corner without a berm AND sand in it.
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  94. #94
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    County Park in OC

    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy_E View Post
    I just want to point out one more thing,

    In 99% of America, this is a city park:

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    In Phoenix, this is a city park:

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    PHX wins.

    It is posts like this one that inspired me to start this thread in the first place.

    Phoenix riding is way OVERHYPED. It is just not that great.

    I didn't visit before I move because of special circumstances with my job. I had to rely on MTBR to figure out if trails were any good.

    These trails are in a "county park" in middle of OC and BLOW anything in Phoenix completely out of the water.


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    If I had to choose between the trail in the video and SOMO, I would choose SOMO in a heartbeat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BinaryBike View Post
    South mountain is fun. Riding my bike is always fun. But south mountain DH isn't as fun, in my opinion, as people made it out to be when I moved here. Are some of you really implying that a trail like Geronimo wouldn't be more fun had it been built specifically for mountain bikes, especially on the switch back portion?

    I'm not talking about watering down the trail. I understand the fun of the challenge. But there's a line in there somewhere that separates a fun challenge from a less-than optimal trail.

    Arizona is home and it's an awesome place to live and ride, but riding places like J-hole, Post Canyon, Bellingham Mountain, Squamish, and Whistler tainted me for life. I'll take MTB specific trails a million times over converted hiking trails. Arizona is lagging behind in that department.

    But you still won't catch me passing up a chance to ride just because a trail isn't as good as it could be.
    I agree! Except you do not have to compare Phoenix to Whistler to think Phoenix sucks. You can compare it to the trails in LA, Orange County, Ventura County, Santa Barbara , San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, San Jose, Marin and Pacifica. The trails in all those places are way better than what Phoenix has to offer.

    With all the Phoenix Hype here on mtbr I did not think the trails would be worse than almost everywhere I have ridden in California.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BinaryBike View Post
    Are some of you really implying that a trail like Geronimo wouldn't be more fun had it been built specifically for mountain bikes, especially on the switch back portion?
    .
    I would. Geronimo is a great trail. Lots of flow and very fast. I don't understand "specifically built for mountain bikes". What does that mean relative to this trail? The only thing I'd maybe change is that slight climb in the middle, except it's nice to take a small break from the "pounding". Otherwise, it's got everything that makes a great trail, sections where you can air out over obstacles, drops, launches, technical switchbacks, etc.

    I mean, they built Lake Tahoe South Shore bike path for bikes...that doesn't make it a good trail for me to ride. Same thing with the Peavine trail in Prescott, or numerous others. Yes, they "can" design and make an outstanding trail when starting from scratch, but it all depends on the exact trail, the exact goals, the exact terrain, not that it was "built for mountain bikes".

    Would I want to ride a whistler trail day of my life? Well no, but then again even if I had a Whistler park next door I wouldn't want to ride that every day either. I'd want variety. Going back to N* even, yes, Karpiel has a steel lower section, it's not the whole trail though, it's a "chute", much like some of the individual chutes on SoMo trails. Dogbone, Sticks n Stones? Those aren't steep, they are fun, but not really steep. You gather speed FAST because you are going downhill the whole time (like on Geronimo), so maybe that makes them seem real steep, but individual sections aren't much different than I've experienced on SoMo.

    Is it the "same" as a Whistler "flow" trail that is buffed out? Well no, but I don't find that's any "more designed for bikes" than these. What good is 8" of travel if you aren't using it? What good are coil shocks with remote reservoirs if you aren't using them? Anyone can go fast when it's smooth, but what about when it's rocky? Heck, you got some choice at South Mountain too, if you want to pick your stuff at slower speeds, there are trails for that, if you want the bigger gnar, holbert is always a good option, if you want to go fast, geronimo, if you want a little flatter and longer, 24th. If you want a more flowy-at-times/funner on a smaller flickable bike, national, if you want steeper, geronimo and holbert both have some good steep sections, as well as others like 32nd and some of the lesser-ridden and named trails, but this isn't the only place to ride around Phoenix either.

    Most people don't have the riding options available within reasonable distance within a city like the people of Phoenix do.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball View Post
    now you have 3, and can flame away on this troll
    Gee thanks Cholla!!
    Drinkin the S-Works Kool-aid

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    Quote Originally Posted by motochick View Post
    If I had to choose between the trail in the video and SOMO, I would choose SOMO in a heartbeat.
    Agree to completely disagree. If somo had 1/10th the quality corners or flow of those trails I would not have started this thread in the first place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by r99 View Post
    Agree to completely disagree. If somo had 1/10th the quality corners or flow of those trails I would not have started this thread in the first place.
    I think you should read this some time when you are bored. We had about 20 people from the East Coast, West Coast, PNW, and other areas. One thing that is common in this thread, especially from the people that ride the terrain you prefer...Phoenix IS over-rated. So over-rated in fact that they are spending a healthy chunk of money to come back do it again this year.

    Knollfest: The Complete Story

    Whistler type trails (read: flow) although fun become boring rather quickly to me. When we go there it is for a week. It is the same thing, over and over, and over again. Even a tool like me is fast in Whistler. I can ride Holbert 4 times in the same day, and not once will I have the same run, or can I hit the same lines. Quite a bit more challenging if you ask me.

    Either way, I agree with others. Don't like it, don't ride it. One less person I have to pass.
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