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  1. #1
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Tucson trails breakdown

    Hello, heading to Tucson for the winter to train. Whats the breakdown of the trails? I found a website sdmb and they have some good writeups but i dont know how to interpret the number and letter system of difficult. Coming from Detroit they are all easy.

    Where are the xc/trail bike trails? Im looking to be underbiked on a hardtail up to trails that 120 bikes ride. Not 140 or more. Is the Lemmon Drop a dh bike ride?

    Some days i need a trail i can just pedal around for some tempo training. Some days i need long tech climbs. Some days i need slow speed tech gnar. Im trying to increase my skill level not just fitness.

    So if i could get a few trails for each that would set me well on my way. Skip all the beginner trails, or bike park type things. I mostly want to climb, then climb some more. I would rather climb up (*try to) enduro trails than descend. Ill take the road back down. I have "cat 1" xc fitness, and know when to walk for self preservation. So i am looking for more "advanced" trails, ones that take advanced fitness more than skill or bike travel mostly.

    Thanks in advance. Hope to see some of you on the trails.

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    Last edited by LaneDetroitCity; 12-03-2017 at 12:47 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Wanna climb. Do Bugs Spring backwards.
    Wanna Climb easy and long Hit Honeybee or AZT
    Wanna climb Gnar tech do Miligrosa backwards. Or Upper Javalina but you would need to session that. It's only a .7mile climb and about 700 feet.
    Interval training, ride the bitches a few times out at Willow Ranch.

    My best advice is to just spend a week or 2 and ride all the trails that might fit your needs. And don't do the Lemmon Drop on your XC bike. That would suck balls.

  3. #3
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin MD View Post
    Wanna climb. Do Bugs Spring backwards.
    Wanna Climb easy and long Hit Honeybee or AZT
    Wanna climb Gnar tech do Miligrosa backwards. Or Upper Javalina but you would need to session that. It's only a .7mile climb and about 700 feet.
    Interval training, ride the bitches a few times out at Willow Ranch.

    My best advice is to just spend a week or 2 and ride all the trails that might fit your needs. And don't do the Lemmon Drop on your XC bike. That would suck balls.
    Thank you for the feedback. I plan to try them all at one point but want to be able to have some on standby that fit what i need right away so i can get started.

    Is there any way to descend Mt Lemmon on an xc bike if not The Lemmon Drop. I want to be able to climb the control road up the back and descend on trail on a xc bike. Ill just take the paved road down if its too sketchy, but maybe there are some not as chunky ways down Lemmon.

    In Michigan its mostly loop trails. You leave the trailhead and come back to the trailhead on same trail. Reading all these threads and the Torca website they seem like just trail segments. You do point a to b, not a loop. Then jump on the next "segment".

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  4. #4
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    Here's a fun one to play with
    https://www.strava.com/activities/39554533

  5. #5
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevland View Post
    Here's a fun one to play with
    https://www.strava.com/activities/39554533
    Thank you. Lets hit that ride when i get there. Those are the length, elevation, time type of rides im looking for as training rides for marathon racing.

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  6. #6
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Ive done lots of reading up on these suggestions. They are perfect. Definitely will be buying a 120/100 bike once i get out there and get settled in. Riding a hardtail to start will help me keep my speeds down while learning the area.

    Who has the right a way on the trails? Climbers or descenders?

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  7. #7
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    mountain bikes yield to all other trail users. uphill always has right of way.

  8. #8
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    Everything is doable on an XC bike. Just walk the sections you canít ride down. Dropper post will make Life easier. I mean seriously you can do the Lemmon Drop it will just be a lot slower than if you had a bike to handle the chunk.

    Depending on Snow will be the factor. The control road is on the north face. But if you beat the weather you could also consider going up the control road and down CDO to finish in Catalina.

    I was talking to an XC guy and he didnít care for Lemmon too much cause it was rough. He rides a 100mm HT.

  9. #9
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Thanks guys. I do have a dropper on my SS. And a Fox 34 120. Its a one 9 rdo. I can raise the BB height with ebb to avoid pedal strikes also.

    Are there any dnr/forest service laws againt leaving trailside cache? Here the usfs gets real mad because it attracts animals like bears and raccoons and all that. Some days on a long ride i was thinking leave a cache the night before.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin MD View Post
    Everything is doable on an XC bike.
    Actually everything is doable on any bike.
    I've done the Lemmon Drop on SS, with bikepacking gear. Not saying that is optimal, and not saying it was easy. Still had a good time.

    Don't let your bike determine what you ride.

  11. #11
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtownmtb View Post
    Actually everything is doable on any bike.
    I've done the Lemmon Drop on SS, with bikepacking gear. Not saying that is optimal, and not saying it was easy. Still had a good time.

    Don't let your bike determine what you ride.
    Haha, we might be cousins. There will be a day i "shred" all the trails on a 140 bike, but to start out theres a better chance of the trails shredding me. Put me on hardpack flowing singletrack and im advanced level. Put a rock in the middle of the trail im back at square one.



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  12. #12
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    I feel like I'd destroy my XC bike if I tried to take it down bug springs....but maybe it wouldn't be that bad. I do think I would walk a lot more stuff than on the Hightower.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin MD View Post
    Wanna climb Gnar tech do Miligrosa backwards. .
    Yea, I made that mistake once.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Hello, heading to Tucson for the winter to train. Whats the breakdown of the trails? I found a website torca and they have some good writeups but i dont know how to interpret the number and letter system of difficult. Coming from Detroit they are all easy.

    Where are the xc/trail bike trails? Im looking to be underbiked on a hardtail up to trails that 120 bikes ride. Not 140 or more. Is the Lemmon Drop a dh bike ride?

    Some days i need a trail i can just pedal around for some tempo training. Some days i need long tech climbs. Some days i need slow speed tech gnar. Im trying to increase my skill level not just fitness.

    So if i could get a few trails for each that would set me well on my way. Skip all the beginner trails, or bike park type things. I mostly want to climb, then climb some more. I would rather climb up (*try to) enduro trails than descend. Ill take the road back down. I have "cat 1" xc fitness, and know when to walk for self preservation. So i am looking for more "advanced" trails, ones that take advanced fitness more than skill or bike travel mostly.

    Thanks in advance. Hope to see some of you on the trails.

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    Before you try a lemon drop try doing a bugs loop first. If you find that to be no problem add millie to your loop. After doing this you will have a good idea about what the lemon drop will involve. You may also want know that green mtn and incenorator ridge are not easy either.
    I do know of a world cup pro xc race that does millie loops to get ready for the up coming season.

  15. #15
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    If you're lookin for a group MTB ride to get to know the trails better, there is the SDMB black Friday ride with 3 ride options. I found this on the FB https://www.facebook.com/events/132978400743635/

  16. #16
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Anybody riding today? I am almost done at dmv can ride anytime today.


    Edit..Im going to saguro in a few hours. Anybody is interested let me know.
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  17. #17
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    I wouldn't recommend anything on Lemmon on a hardtail. Yes it can be done but you have to have some serious ability and mental fortitude. I've bloodied the hell out of myself more times than I can count up there and I was riding a FS stumpjumper.

    I'd recommend the:
    south AZT trails
    https://www.trailforks.com/trails/azt-pistol-hill/

    Chiva falls, you could ride up redington pass for more millage.
    https://www.trailforks.com/trails/chiva-falls/

    Star Pass, There's tons of stuff out there. It's very easy to get lost.
    https://www.trailforks.com/trails/starr-pass/

    50 year trails
    https://www.trailforks.com/trails/50-year/

    And the honeybee area
    https://www.trailforks.com/trails/honeybee-east/

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Thank you. Lets hit that ride when i get there. Those are the length, elevation, time type of rides im looking for as training rides for marathon racing.

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    Be carefull to consider the elapsed time on these rides. That terrain is not for the faint of heart. Thats some of the most tech gnar AZ has to offer.

  19. #19
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    I did Bug Spring the other day on my hardtail, those are exactly the type of trails i want to ride on an xc bike to increase my skills. I only walked in two spots going down i couldnt find the line.

    I did the aes ride yesterday ended up getting 7hrs in on all kinds of desert riding. I feel like my bike handling is transferring over very well. Once i get my body used to the hydration levels i need ill be good.



    Are there any regular weekly mountain bike rides in Tucson? I plan on doing the shootout road ride wondering if anything similar for mtb?


    I walked this and just a bit past this after those like rock fields is a sharp left turn along a ridge and then into a sharp right and its super chunky. My stem was too long to be able to snap the bars on a dime to make that without carrying too much speed off line. Ill get it dialed and be bombing down those trails real soon.



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  20. #20
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Rolling from the G5 parking spot on Gates pass about 2:30 if anybody is interested. White Ford van. Nothing super hard, just a cruise for about 1.5hrs.

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    I did Bug Spring the other day on my hardtail, those are exactly the type of trails i want to ride on an xc bike to increase my skills. I only walked in two spots going down i couldnt find the line.

    I did the aes ride yesterday ended up getting 7hrs in on all kinds of desert riding. I feel like my bike handling is transferring over very well. Once i get my body used to the hydration levels i need ill be good.



    Are there any regular weekly mountain bike rides in Tucson? I plan on doing the shootout road ride wondering if anything similar for mtb?


    I walked this and just a bit past this after those like rock fields is a sharp left turn along a ridge and then into a sharp right and its super chunky. My stem was too long to be able to snap the bars on a dime to make that without carrying too much speed off line. Ill get it dialed and be bombing down those trails real soon.



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    Another good loop you could try is bellota ranch to Millie. If you ride up redington road and down the trail its a decent loop.

  22. #22
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strunkbro View Post
    Another good loop you could try is bellota ranch to Millie. If you ride up redington road and down the trail its a decent loop.
    Im trying to do this right now, help me get oriented. Is bellota ranch rd a road for cars? I see where i can ride the Arizona trail off redington, west to bellota rancg rd and link up with millie in that area near the "Y" in the road. I cant tell if i could just drive to the start of millie near Bellota ranch rd and then do a "down and up on millie" or ride down millie from my van at bellota, then back up redington after? I know for a fact i can hitchhike a ride back up redington after millie if im too tired to ride back up either millie or redington rd.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Im trying to do this right now, help me get oriented. Is bellota ranch rd a road for cars? I see where i can ride the Arizona trail off redington, west to bellota rancg rd and link up with millie in that area near the "Y" in the road. I cant tell if i could just drive to the start of millie near Bellota ranch rd and then do a "down and up on millie" or ride down millie from my van at bellota, then back up redington after? I know for a fact i can hitchhike a ride back up redington after millie if im too tired to ride back up either millie or redington rd.

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    The Ranch rd is not a rd for cars. The last time I did it was in my utv. I have no desire to take my truck up the road. It is not that far of a ride down the road on your bike. You can find a few camping spots on bellota rd just off redington rd then ride your bike from there. Its not that far of a ride to where the AZ trail crosses Bellota. I have made it to where millie starts in my UTV but it was really rough and over grown. The road is ok to the ranch house but after that it is bad. Not sure you need 4x4 to get to the ranch house but its a nice thing to have.

  24. #24
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strunkbro View Post
    The Ranch rd is not a rd for cars. The last time I did it was in my utv. I have no desire to take my truck up the road. It is not that far of a ride down the road on your bike. You can find a few camping spots on bellota rd just off redington rd then ride your bike from there. Its not that far of a ride to where the AZ trail crosses Bellota. I have made it to where millie starts in my UTV but it was really rough and over grown. The road is ok to the ranch house but after that it is bad. Not sure you need 4x4 to get to the ranch house but its a nice thing to have.
    Thank you. I parked at the houses at the end of millie, and a guy leaving the gate of houses asked me if i needed a lift, he was going to be goinh past molono basin anyways. I gotta say. From the road at molino to the start of Milagros is much harder than Milagrosa trail. Much. Zero flow, lots of hiking. Millograso at least you can ride 95pct of it, even on my hardtail. The part before that had like 5ft ledges to get up and insane steep things you would need to make your bike jump up and dowm and hop up. I did a lot of walking on the trail before milgrosa. I think it would be better to ride to milgrosa from redington rd, on the azt.

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  25. #25
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    The AZT front Molino to Millie is a lot of HAB. Jeff Lenosky cleared it, made a video of it and all on his 120mm bike I think. So yeah, itís doable I guess. From the saddle down to the Milli junction is fun with a bike made for chunk. The bigger the bike the faster you go. Sounds like you are having fun.

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    The Climb up Molino is no fun, but Im not a climber so I usually just walk it. On the descent from the top to the start of Milli believe it or not does have so flow but you need to keep your speed up. On this descent speed is your friend. I will say that I have only done it on a fs never on a hard tail. If you like millie then I think the Bellota trail to Millie is for you. Just to let you know Home Grown will be doing this ride on the 22nd if you want to tag along.

  27. #27
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strunkbro View Post
    The Climb up Molino is no fun, but Im not a climber so I usually just walk it. On the descent from the top to the start of Milli believe it or not does have so flow but you need to keep your speed up. On this descent speed is your friend. I will say that I have only done it on a fs never on a hard tail. If you like millie then I think the Bellota trail to Millie is for you. Just to let you know Home Grown will be doing this ride on the 22nd if you want to tag along.
    I definitely rode down Molino. It actually had me saying, if this is just Molino, Millie is going to be insane. I was literally debating, should i just keep going to Redington on the azt. The switchbacks on Molino are the hardest ive ever done. Said only live once man, and hit Millie. Millie was pure flow. You gotta find it, but you can roll all the way down 95pct of Millie.

    I was all lined up with Homegrown for the lemon drop yesterday before they closed the road to the top. Im definitely coming the 22nd.

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  28. #28
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin MD View Post
    The AZT front Molino to Millie is a lot of HAB. Jeff Lenosky cleared it, made a video of it and all on his 120mm bike I think. So yeah, itís doable I guess. From the saddle down to the Milli junction is fun with a bike made for chunk. The bigger the bike the faster you go. Sounds like you are having fun.
    Hey Justin, wheres that upper javalina climb for training. Ive asked around and nobody has known it, maybe it has another name?

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  29. #29
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    I would argue that there isn't too many people on Jeff Lenosky's skill level. That video is pretty impressive and the one he made for National or SoMO was equally impressive.

  30. #30
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by azfishman View Post
    I would argue that there isn't too many people on Jeff Lenosky's skill level. That video is pretty impressive and the one he made for National or SoMO was equally impressive.
    For sure, Jeff and I have spoke about doing some videos in the past, he wanted to know if anything was video worthy in Michigan. He is a world class trials rider, however at one time he was a national champion level xc racer. Hes also 6'4 and manhandles those bikes like a bmx.

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  31. #31
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    Lane,
    Upper Javelina is in the Tortolita Mtns. on the north side of Mt. Lemmon in Oro Valley.

    Tortolita Mtns.

    Town of Marana map of the Tortolitas, not all trails are open to bikes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Hey Justin, wheres that upper javalina climb for training. Ive asked around and nobody has known it, maybe it has another name?

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    Upper javalina is right by the Ritz golf club house. You can park in the parking lot and head west on the dirt road to the trail head.

  33. #33
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Thanks guys! I take it i want to go in "reverse" from this trailforks map? Im a sick bastard lol.



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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Thanks guys! I take it i want to go in "reverse" from this trailforks map? Im a sick bastard lol.



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    Don't go in from the east side. The Upper Javalina Trail from the Wild Burro Trail is HAB. Start at the end of the trail (according to TrailForks) go up till you get to top. Most turn around there and head back down. But you can keep going to Wild Mustang. I have not ridden Wild Mustang so I have no idea if its ridable or not.

  35. #35
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Any good spots to car camp by the Tortolitas?


    Are the trails in the photo, 50 year trail and such at Catalina?..


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  36. #36
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Upper Javelina is super sweet trail! My setup wasnt the best to really hammer it but it was just the type of trail i like and need, you can ride up it if you take your time and are smooth. Im learning that you cant overpower rock, just have to maintain momentum. Checking out the trails 50 year and that tmrw. I definitely could have slept in the Ritz golf course parking lot, i asked the lady at the gatehouse she said it is open 24hrs, and to the public. The gates never close and neither does the trailhead.



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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin MD View Post
    Don't go in from the east side. The Upper Javalina Trail from the Wild Burro Trail is HAB. Start at the end of the trail (according to TrailForks) go up till you get to top. Most turn around there and head back down. But you can keep going to Wild Mustang. I have not ridden Wild Mustang so I have no idea if its ridable or not.
    Just fyi. I kept going onto Wild Mustang for a bit, it starts from UJT with a couple tricky switchbacks, and then you come to a bench is where i turned around. I ran into some Cranksters who were coming down it, from Honeybee. They said it would be dark by the time i made Wild Burro so to turn around. They said you definitely want to come down Wild Mustang not up. Take that how you see fit, they were on Enduro bikes, with flat pedals, and got shuttled. It wasnt any harder to ride up than UJT imo, at least to where i was. These trails are maintained for sure, Milagrosa is blown the heck out overgrown.

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  38. #38
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Heres a good article!!...
    https://www.singletracks.com/blog/mt...ear-tucson-az/

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  39. #39
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    SSAZ18 is in a couple of weeks.Feb 3rd, If you want to get in on it go talk to Dejay at Arizona cyclist. Its a good time.

  40. #40
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by TucsonDan View Post
    SSAZ18 is in a couple of weeks.Feb 3rd, If you want to get in on it go talk to Dejay at Arizona cyclist. Its a good time.
    Im going to do the Tortolita 50 that same day in the AES.

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  41. #41
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    I ride and maintain Upper Javelina all the time. It's great up and down, but for a longer loop I'll go up Wild Burro from the Ritz TH, bit sandy, up Alamo Spur which is steep and mainly HAB, but then all of Alamo Spring, Ridgeline, Upper Wild Burro and Wild Mustang is open to you. All of that is very rideable. Better to come back on Wild Mustang from Wild Burro, then down Upper Javelina to the golf course. Do not go down the Upper Javelina split straight down to the hotel, it is just about rideable, I've done it quite often, but it is heart in yer mouth stuff. Don't bother with any other trail out of lower wild burro than Alamo Spur, they will leave you cold and frustrated.
    It's all Here. Now.

  42. #42
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockerc View Post
    I ride and maintain Upper Javelina all the time. It's great up and down, but for a longer loop I'll go up Wild Burro from the Ritz TH, bit sandy, up Alamo Spur which is steep and mainly HAB, but then all of Alamo Spring, Ridgeline, Upper Wild Burro and Wild Mustang is open to you. All of that is very rideable. Better to come back on Wild Mustang from Wild Burro, then down Upper Javelina to the golf course. Do not go down the Upper Javelina split straight down to the hotel, it is just about rideable, I've done it quite often, but it is heart in yer mouth stuff. Don't bother with any other trail out of lower wild burro than Alamo Spur, they will leave you cold and frustrated.
    Good info. I actually made up a loop im going to do the other day. Ive started down the upper javelina to the right at the wild mustang split. Definitely above my pay grade on a xc hardtail. The rest was super fun. I was commenting to some people that those are some super well maintained trails. Thank you for sure. Definitely more maintaining than milagrosa and them. I saw rocks stacked for drainage and erosion.

    If you ever need some help trail work let me know.

    Here was my next planned ride out that way....

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    Ill be out riding, youll still be trolling mtbr. Mtbr, where people who dont ride come to pretend they do.

  43. #43
    High Desert MTBer
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    Thanks, I live close to the trails there, so ride from my house to them all the time. Originally the trails up there were built by the hiker club in Dove Mtn. but had no thought for drainage, and certainly not for bikes! It was Martin the Flying Dutchman who came up with the master plan to give the city after we rode there together all the time. He got the teams of people together to do a lot of the work, and did much of it himself. I helped on many of the sessions when I was not away for work, and we discussed a lot about how much we should actually do to the trail. I advocated leaving it as difficult as possible, while still being fun up and down, and he was more into the DH course with all the berms and sweeps. We came to a good compromise I think. He moved away a few years ago, and Marana has done some maintenance up there since. I usually repair water damage, put in water bars where needed, repair the berms if needed, and close up braids and B lines that people persist in creating. The monsoons take a severe toll each year. The other 'problem' up there is that there is a very active hiking community, a large part elderly, so we have to be careful we can coexist in a healthy way. I plan on getting up to the further parts of Mustang some time to do some stuff up there, but I am traveling a lot for work again now, and it gets tough to find the time. After the first week in Feb I am hoping I can spend time up there again.
    It's all Here. Now.

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