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  1. #1
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    Sonoran Mtn. Preserve ride: Sun. 7/15 6am

    A few of us are meeting at Carefree Hwy & 7th Ave to ride the Sonoran Mtn. Preserve. 6am bright & early, should be a good morning with all this rain today. Come on out!
    Ski. Ride. Hike. Be.
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  2. #2
    Break it, Fix it, Ride it
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    Ok, I'll be there. I hope it's as cloudy as today was. It was awesome.
    Today's the day I eat bikes.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeskier46 View Post
    A few of us are meeting at Carefree Hwy & 7th Ave to ride the Sonoran Mtn. Preserve. 6am bright & early, should be a good morning with all this rain today. Come on out!
    Ewwww! 6am? I finished my ride there tonight at 10:30pm. Hope you had as much fun as we did even though one of our riders main light died.
    "Not drinking is the Single Speed World Championships version of doping" -Jacquie Phelan

  4. #4
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    Nice! 6am is brutally early, but good for you!

    I made it out around 8:00a and it was excellent, probably low 80s and overcast. Lot of fresh tire tracks all over. Came across two other solo riders, a group of two and a group of three. Most I've seen out on those trails. Word must be getting out!

  5. #5
    Break it, Fix it, Ride it
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    It was pretty nice.




    Lots of shade form the clouds.


    It's about non-techy as you can get, but the climbs are worth it. There're a couple of nice 300+ ft ones that can make you reach. Can't wait to go out and connect to Sonoran South. Lots of fast, swoopy stuff too. Great place. But sheesh, I woke up at 4:25!
    Today's the day I eat bikes.

  6. #6
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    4:25?!?! Dang, you got to sleep in!! I was up @3:30a to make the trans-Valley commute from the QC. Totally worth it, we even did a double-dip ride today since it was so nice out. Sonoran Mtn. Preserve North under the clouds for 17 miles then Mtn-rider exacted some revenge on Dag Nabbit and I for that wonderful HAB session through the Dry Horse Hills last year, leading a guided tour of Thunderbird Park for another 7.5 miles. Those two trail systems couldn't be more different: flowy/twisty/turny/climby of SMP & rocky sketchiness with some HAB thrown in at T-Bird. Great morning in the desert.

    (All my pics were from T-Bird Park)

    About to head down
    From Gill's Revenge at Thunderbird


    Still smiling after some HAB
    From Gill's Revenge at Thunderbird


    The first descent
    From Gill's Revenge at Thunderbird


    The second climb, I was toast by the top.
    From Gill's Revenge at Thunderbird
    Ski. Ride. Hike. Be.
    My Two Schillingsworth

  7. #7
    Break it, Fix it, Ride it
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeskier46 View Post
    Still smiling after some HAB
    Who wouldn't smile after some HAB? Because then you're at the top.
    Today's the day I eat bikes.

  8. #8
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    Has anyone started from 10th street south of Carefree Hwy? If so what direction is preferred? We would like to do some climbing etc. My and I started at 14th street the other day, we did 5 miles. Rode swithcbacks to the top of some hill and looped back. It was fun and my son enjoyed it until we started to gain elevation, the heights scare him a bit. It was fun being out there with him.

  9. #9
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    How is this ride for newbie.. From 7th Ave and Carefree. Something like Matt's Loop on Strava.

    Strava Segment | Matt's Grand Croissant Loop

    I am thinking about from 7th Ave and Carefree counter clockwise. I am bring my brother in law and he is rather new to biking. I don't want to beat him up too badly and just looking for an easy fun ride.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  10. #10
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    I've only been out there once but would think that loop would be great for a newbie. There is a pretty good extended climb from the parking area that will work someone out if they're not in shape but the views once you get to the first saddle are good so you can take your time and enjoy it and rest along the way if needed. That will give one really nice flowy down hill too. A little more climbing about a mile from the end but again completely doable if you take your time and rest (if needed).

    There is pretty much zero tech on this that I saw so from that standpoint it would be awesome for a beginner.

    I haven't been out there since the beginning of August though so I'm not sure if the rains added a rock or two on the trail.

    DC

  11. #11
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    Going to do this loop this weekend. Just curious about how well marked the trails are... Do I need to bring GPS map of the ride with me, or is it self explanatory?

    Thanks!

  12. #12
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    Are you planning on doing the northern section? Starting @7th Ave & Carefree Hwy? Trails are well marked, but it would probably help if you had a map for reference. Haven't really seen one for the northern portion yet, but here's our north + south ride from this past weekend for reference.

    SMP - Full Meal Deal N+S by freeskier46 at Garmin Connect - Details

    We started at the southern end, but we did hit all the goods of the northern preserve minus one connector trail. Just keep in mind there are a few spur trails that head off to neighborhood trailheads. Bring you climbing legs, there's a few burners up there!!
    Ski. Ride. Hike. Be.
    My Two Schillingsworth

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeskier46 View Post
    Are you planning on doing the northern section? Starting @7th Ave & Carefree Hwy? Trails are well marked, but it would probably help if you had a map for reference. Haven't really seen one for the northern portion yet, but here's our north + south ride from this past weekend for reference.

    SMP - Full Meal Deal N+S by freeskier46 at Garmin Connect - Details

    We started at the southern end, but we did hit all the goods of the northern preserve minus one connector trail. Just keep in mind there are a few spur trails that head off to neighborhood trailheads. Bring you climbing legs, there's a few burners up there!!
    Thanks! I am planning on starting at the 7th ave & Carefree HWY trail head and riding the loop CW. I have ridden the other sections out there plenty,

    Glad to hear there are some good climbs, sounds like a good workout (plus that usually means some really fun downhills!)

    I am a little concerned about getting off track on one of those spur trails, but not going to stress about it. Just going to head out and see where it takes me.

    Thanks for the info!

  14. #14
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    I got lost on that northern section when I started at Carefree and 7th Ave the first time. The trails are marked with posts, but no markings on the post to tell which trail is which.

    I suggest bringing GPS. If you stick to the southrn two mtns then you are fine with paper map and each trail is marked by letters indicatined which one it is.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post
    Thanks! I am planning on starting at the 7th ave & Carefree HWY trail head and riding the loop CW. I have ridden the other sections out there plenty,

    Glad to hear there are some good climbs, sounds like a good workout (plus that usually means some really fun downhills!)

    I am a little concerned about getting off track on one of those spur trails, but not going to stress about it. Just going to head out and see where it takes me.

    Thanks for the info!
    It was easy to navigate. It's pretty a much a double loop around the mountains with a common path in the middle. There are only few options for shortcuts. It's very easy to orient yourself between the Carefree and soon to be build Sonoran with its very visible, white paved bike path.

  16. #16
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    Ride Report

    Well, I finally made it out to SMP North. WOW. My legs and lungs got one heck of a workout. I did not have any problems navigating, lots of landmarks (the paved bike path on the West side of the mountains is nearly always visible. And I started at the 7th ave and Carefree trail head, and from there that tower thing on the top of the mountain was a good land mark to head back to when I was on the east site (rode it CCW from the TH).

    I was SHOCKED how few people I ran into during my 9 mile ride. Came across two mountain bikers (no helmets and one needed some tools that I had to lower his seat - they seemed pretty new) followed them for a bit (but separated from them when they started riding on the paved path, LOL). Only saw 3 hikers. Crazy for an AMAZING day (left trail head at 8:30 am and it was something like 60 degrees when I started.

    My thoughts on the trail. Great non technical (very smooth) VERY flowy. Great workout for the legs and lungs (I did around 1000ft in climbing). The climbing was really not that bad, before you know it you are at the top of a mountain ready to FLY down (I felt like I should have my pilot's license to be riding out there).

    I *REALLY* wish they would have some trail names on those dang posts. They have the nice metal posts all over the place with nothing on them. There were lots of options and I would have liked to have known where they went. I did 9 miles and easily could have gotten in 2-3 times more than that if I did not have obligations at home to get to.

    Does anyone know when they plan on officially opening these trails and posting a map, and putting trail names on the posts? Also, I am wondering where the official trail head will be, and what are the plans for that bike path (what are the start / stop points)? Seems like this will be the perfect place for me to introduce the kids to mountain biking. We can ride the paved path for awhile, and then take some of the offshoots to get some dirt riding in.

    I am so impressed with this area (would be nice if there were some more tech sections, but I am sure once this place gets some good rain storms it will get a little more technical in some areas, and there may be some out there, I feel like I barely scratched the surface of what is out there in my 9 miles of riding.

    Cant wait to go back and do some more exploring.


  17. #17
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    The only techy are I found was the jeep road just after the tower. So on the way back after make the last climb to where the tower is you start heading down. Then there is a saddle. I took the jeep road back to the west where it hooks up with the far western side of mtn. Mostly just a rocky descent. I am not really sure if they want that jeep road to disappear or not. It is not marked, but is not "blocked" off either.

    Seems like they did a nice job to cut trails and prep them, but then ran out of money to mark them. No name or markings other than metal posts. This why GPS is so that when you come to a fork you can chose which way to go. Sonoran south by contrast has all those marked well.

    Anyway.. Ideal area for a good cardio workout or for new riders.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  18. #18
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    Ive ridden out there several times and not needed gps. You really cant get lost if you know your basic bearings (NSEW). You're bordered by CF Hwy to the north and the path/new freeway to the south. Doing a large portion of the loops and climbs out there is only about a 14-15 mile ride. There's one climb called "the *****'s cousin" on Strava, and it is a killer.

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  19. #19
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    GPS is not about getting lost so much as finding all the trails. If you are planning a short ride with a novice you don't want to push things too far and turn a 6 mile ride in a 15 mile ride. Or if you are connecting Sonoran North with the south park. You can easily create a 30 mile ride if you make few wrong turns. PMP is similar in that there are a lot of unnamed trails that you don't know where they go. You can't get really lost due to landmarks, but you can lose track of where you are going and where you want to.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Seems like they did a nice job to cut trails and prep them, but then ran out of money to mark them.
    it's not officially open just yet... that's why there are no names and only few hikers.... just wait until they finish sonoran blvd. - this place will be crawling with peeps

    so ride em if you got em (for a little while longer)

  21. #21
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    that includes climbing bees sister from both sides...

    Sorry for that douchy KOM, I don't how to edit it out...

  22. #22
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    Anyone found a way to connect the northern loops with the southern loops yet?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikeangel View Post
    Anyone found a way to connect the northern loops with the southern loops yet?
    There are a couple of ways. You can link up via some pavement. It can be reached via dirt though there isn't an official trail... Here is how some buddies and I did it:

    Mountain Bike Ride Profile | Oct 14, 2012 all of Sonoran near Phoenix | Times and Records | Strava

  24. #24
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    We put in a sweet 20+ yesterday doing it all. They're is a connector path through the neighborhood. Fast hardpack gravel through a tunnel that dumps you out right at the end of Sonaran Desert Dr. and the start of round 2. There is even a quarter mile sprint where you can split up and race down both sides of the wash. Good stuff.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barney Rode View Post
    We put in a sweet 20+ yesterday doing it all. They're is a connector path through the neighborhood. Fast hardpack gravel through a tunnel that dumps you out right at the end of Sonaran Desert Dr. and the start of round 2. There is even a quarter mile sprint where you can split up and race down both sides of the wash. Good stuff.
    Do you have the GPX file?
    -boom

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