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  1. #1
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    Arizona Heat

    What is the riding down in the Phoenix area in the summer. Is it even ridable or just too dang hot?
    I am planning on coming down this summer for vacation. Thanks is advance!!!
    Liberty Lake Wa.

  2. #2
    pedaller
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    Ride early!!!

    I'm talking get out there at 5:30am. It'll be ok as long as your done by 9 and change. It starts to get "toasty" after that. Or, you could go out after noon and have the trails all to yourself. It'll be just you and the paramedics that rescue you...

    I don't know where you're coming from but trips up to Flag (2 1/2 hrs) are ideal also.
    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

  3. #3
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    it's not sooo bad

    Have you ever caught on fire before? If you are not done riding by 10:00 a.m. you will catch on fire. Seriously one day me and my dog skip were out on a ride in the afternoon in august (Iwas trying to be macho). i felt myself heeting up and then all of the sudden my head started on fire, luckily I remember the old Stop Drop and Roll routine and skip pissed on my head and saved my life, oh how much I love ol'skippy.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlbennett
    What is the riding down in the Phoenix area in the summer. Is it even ridable or just too dang hot?
    I am planning on coming down this summer for vacation. Thanks is advance!!!
    Stupid, stupid hot in the summer. About twice a summer I tough it out and do a midday ride, mostly to be macho and enjoy a visionquest-like round of hallucinations. Keep hoping to run into my totem spirit out there but all I ever see is a toilet and vomiting.

    Seriously, riding in Phoenix in the summer is a deathwish, ESPECIALLY if you're not acclimated to the weather.

    That said, Flagstaff, Prescott, and Payson are all within a 2 hour drive and all offer high-altitude, temperate-to-warmish riding. Sedona tends to run hot in the summer, so I can only recommend morning rides up there. Tucson proper is awfully hot too, but you can get up into Mt. Lemmon and find some trails up there (although most of them are radically altered because of the last couple years' of fires).

    Oh, one more complication: Good chance that Flag, Prescott and/or Payson will be locked down due to fire danger.

    In short, Arizona isn't a great place to be in the summer for mountain bikers.

    p.
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  5. #5
    Jm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul B
    Oh, one more complication: Good chance that Flag, Prescott and/or Payson will be locked down due to fire danger.


    We never really got locked down here(prescott). Some people thought that we were, but the forest service corrected them. Sedona was most definitely locked down at one point.
    I know in my heart that Ellsworth bikes are more durable by as much as double. AND they are all lighter...Tony Ellsworth

  6. #6
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    Boys, did you forget!

    Night Riding . . .

    If you have never ridden the trails at night, it's another world. You can listen to the Coyotes' yelp and sing in a pack, watch the jackrabbits run in front of you along the trail and pray that sound is not a rattlesnake, but even with all the "darkness" around here you will see lots of other riders, 'cause in the summertime that's when we all ride (well a lot of us anyway).

    Sometimes you can find good deals on lights at SuperGo for like $100-$150 or you can go with the ultra bright HID and spend $450 and up. Some local shops sponser night rides and have lights to rent or loan, but that's kinda iffy. If you can swing it "The Night Time Is The Right Time . . ."

  7. #7
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    Depends on when you are going to be here, and where your coming from, the heat can do strange things to you if you aren't ready for it. For the most part the summers here are ridable if you stay hydrated and avoid the hottest parts of the day.
    Night riding is excellent in the summer time.
    I should be doing something more productive with my time!

  8. #8
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    My question to you is: WHY?

    I'm a zonie semi-native, and I still hate the heat here. Depending on when you come, it could conceivably never get below 100. (Rare, but I remember once that the low one day was 101. That was the low.)

    That said, highs in Phx are typically in the 105s to 120s (120 being on the high side, and typically uncommon, but possible). However, it's a dry heat (think hair drier :-). That said, and as other said, you *could* ride early in the a.m., at night, or whatever, but IMO, you'll find it unbearably hot, and just hang out by the book drinking Pina Coladas (sp) anyway.

  9. #9
    swashbucklerette
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlbennett
    What is the riding down in the Phoenix area in the summer. Is it even ridable or just too dang hot?
    I am planning on coming down this summer for vacation. Thanks is advance!!!
    If you're not accustomed to it, then forget it. Every summer we get out-of-towners that go hiking or riding in the heat, and end up with heat stroke or exhaustion. I always see visitors on the trails at 11am (when I'm finishing up a late-morning ride), and all they are carrying is a little bottle of water from the Circle K. The heat in AZ is not something you want to mess around with.

  10. #10
    Drugstore Trailrider
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    Skinny-Tire and PirateGirl Hit the Nail on the Head...

    You can do it, but WHY?

    I've been in the Arizona desert for 26 years. Last July 8th I started a solo ride from Golder Ranch Road north of Tucson, and while exploring I got totally off of any trail worth riding, and kept making the mistake of going forward not back.

    After two hours of carrying my bike up and down steep ravines and sliding down arroyos in racing shoes, I was ready to abandon my bike and crawl in a hole (there wasn't one of course!) It had reached 100F and I was pretty baked.

    Mind you I had plenty of water and knew where I was relative to "civilization", so I never once questioned my ultimate safety, but I sure as hell questioned my sanity, and it was a miserable experience.

    So, having been forewarned, do your thing.

    John W.
    Last edited by papajohn; 03-04-2004 at 07:37 PM. Reason: spelling
    Body Armor--Don't Leave Home Without It!

  11. #11
    swashbucklerette
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    Anybody got a link to SunDog's story about heat exhaustion? The one where he was riding by himself in the heat while his wife was snorkeling, and he got seriously disoriented? I remember the part where he decided to stop drinking the water in his Camelbak and had to use it for trying to cool down the brain stem region because he was getting tunnel vision. That was some scary stuff.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJBiker
    Night Riding . . .

    If you have never ridden the trails at night, it's another world.
    Oh...right. When it's only the mid-90s and you get to suck down dead, dry air. More tolerable without the direct sun, still not that fun. IMO of course.

    My best summer night rides start around 3 a.m., under full moonlight, when the desert is at its maximum coolness. And it does cool down a bit more out there, away from the evil heat island the Valley has become.

    p.
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  13. #13
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    That happened to me once. I had just moved to Phx from Prescott. Idiot me decided to do a 10-mile hike in the Superstitions (at the Peralta trail head) at noon in July with two small water bottles. I should have realized it was not a brigth idea when there were no cars in the parking lot.

    About 5 miles into the loop, I realized the water was precious. About 3 miles to the car, I gulped my last gulp. I started getting dizzy, as if I stood up to fast, but there was no shade. I was so cotton mouthed, I would suck on dried pinapple and prickley pear fruit (which I think saved me) just so I could produce some saliva to suck on. It was by far the most scared I had ever, ever been by a long shot. Needless to say, I bought a Camelbak the next day, and made sure to be in by noon when ever I went out.

    A sidenote to this story, the day after this happened, two east coaster visitors on separate indicents died from heat exposure.

  14. #14
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    Pirate Girl is right on!

    We natives can go out and do an early morning ride in the heat and get away with it because our bodies are conditioned to the heat. It's usually in the upper 80's even at 5:30 am. And if you're here after mid-June, do not even utter the words "dry heat!" Any non-Zonie planning to ride here in the summer should spend a good week just getting acclimatized (which means coming to the realization that it's hotter than h*ll). If you really want to ride in Arizona in the summer, go to the mountains--Flagstaff, Payson, the rim, or maybe Sedona or Prescott if you get up early.

  15. #15
    swashbucklerette
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    Found the link!

    SunDog and Bad Karma

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