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Thread: Triple Bypass

  1. #1
    How much further ???
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    Triple Bypass

    Well I finally got back to the McDowell's and wanted to try some new sections. I've never ridden the Promenada and Sonoran Trail before so I decided to stage at the Sunrise TH near Hidden Hills and head north going a triple bypass of sorts. The Sonoran trail was probably the highlight. Very different from anything else in the Sonoran Preserve. Reminds me of BCT in some sections. The final blast down to Dixie mine is a hoot.

    Other than that, this ride did remind me just how much I dislike the Sonoran Preserve trail system specifically everything on the west side. I just cant stand the rocks there. I know we have rocks everywhere here in AZ but the rocks on the west side of the McDowells are different. Maybe its the combination of embedded and loose rocks coupled with so many square edge rocks. Maybe its the spacing of the rocks that like to catch wheels. The rocks almost seem lighter oddly enough and dont seem to stay put when you ride over them. I swear in some sections every 3rd pedal stroke launched some fist sized rock about 4 feet behind me and robbed me of all my momentum. Anyway I wont be going back there anytime soon but it was fun none the less.

    Oh and before I get flamed for complaining about the trails I do know that when you complain about a trail its because you usually aren't good enough to ride it and I accept that so spare me the JFTC, HTFU responses. I know. I'm working on it.

    Triple Bypass-cam00067_small.jpg
    Triple Bypass-cam00070_small.jpg

    “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

  2. #2
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
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    Great job...Not an easy route for sure. The rain this summer really beat up the passes pretty bad. I'm sure you felt it as you descended Windgate to the west. It'll take a bit of trail work and lots of tires before it gets back to what it was a year ago.
    Your limits are both physical and mental. Suffering will help you find and overcome both.
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  3. #3
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    Yeah that decent down Windgate was horrible. I'm surprised I didn't lose any teeth. And the lower flanks of Sunrise right after turning off Ringtail sucked hard.
    “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

  4. #4
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    I hate loose rocks on the trail. Embedded are fine since you know the bike reacts, but the loose one suck. You never know how the bike will react to them as sometime you roll over and other times the rock moves and so does the bike. However there are ALOT of trails with loose rocks so I have just learned to deal with it. I still curse them everytime I catch one wrong and kicks the front wheel off line or slips the rear wheel causing the momentum stall.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  5. #5
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    Triple Bypass

    Going up the steep section of Lost Dog it feels as if the earth is moving under your whole bike. Coming down feels like you're riding on marbles.
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  6. #6
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    I've been riding a few different loops out there lately and they all have plenty of loose stuff right now. The climb up TT from Gateway is better than it was a few months back but still pretty harsh compared to last year. I do actually like the Windgate descent but I'm usually on my Firebird with nearly 7" of suspension. On a HT it has to be a beatdown no matter how much you work at riding smooth. Those loops have some of the best elevation gain in the area for sure but you do have to pay for it.
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  7. #7
    Give it a crank
    Reputation: Mtn-Rider's Avatar
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    The state those trails are in right now is a bit worse than usual but like everything else in mtb, the more you ride that kind of terrain, the better you get at it. Also, the same trails wouldn't seem as rough if you were riding a plush FS, especially the downhills. With lots of plush travel, you can smooth out trails like the Windgate DH considerably. And yeah, the bottom if Sunrise Trail is really torn up from the rains, it just takes a little extra patience.

  8. #8
    livin' the dream......
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    Nice job! I have to be in the mood to ride the passes, as I ride a HT, and just don't want the beat down sometimes.

  9. #9
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    Everytime I ride there I get punished, strangely I keep coming back for more...

    Riding the quad is definitely not for the beginners, if there is any technique to be learned you best learn it quick especially on the hard tail,
    I realized I need to get a quick release for my seatpost, so I can drop for the Bell, Sunrise and Windgate descent, Bell especially is hell of steep

  10. #10
    Give it a crank
    Reputation: Mtn-Rider's Avatar
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    Just ride down Tom's Thumb a few times and Bell will look like a tasty piece of cake.

  11. #11
    parenting for gnarness
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn-Rider View Post
    Just ride down Tom's Thumb a few times and Bell will look like a tasty piece of cake.
    Bell is imo the easiest descent on the West side (but I've only come down Sunrise west ~3x). On the east side Bell is smooth-ish, maybe a tad harder than Windgate east and similar but easier than Sunrise east. You must embrace the crap-@$$ minichunk. My rims have been beat to snot by the McDs, and I tear more sidewalls than I ever did.

    A fun route is up Bell on the west side, then down to windgate and up its east side and down Windgate west side. Its a good ride for a bigger bike with Windgate as the payoff. I have started riding my Firebird with clipless in the Mcds just for variation. Slower climb but still a workout, and funner descents. I definitely have times on any bike where I'm feeling it and just float over the chunk on the descents, other times i'm not in a zone and its a little skeery. This almost always happens after I visit the Tequila Tree.

    There are several hours of routes on the west side that are mostly flat and pretty smooth - Westworld, golf course, then trails along either side of the canal til Via Linda, 98th St. Wash from the end of Westworld to Thompson Peak, some stuff from Shea\100th back to FLW through the drainage ditches. You can tie that into the climbs up Quartz and Taliesin, to Paradise and lower Bell and parts of the lower gateway loop. There are also stuff closer to Taliesin I have not explored. So its not all straight up and down. I still like Hawes better but the McDs blows most things in the Valley away for testing your fitness.

  12. #12
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    The McDowells are definitely and acquired taste. You know you're use to them when you ride down most of the east end trail and only get off to walk a few short sections

  13. #13
    livin' the dream......
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    You can't beat the scenery on the west side of the McD's on the weekend. The mountains and desert are pretty nice too.....

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