Bottom of Bell = pump track- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bottom of Bell = pump track

    cant say i didnt enjoy it after the steep and loosey, but it was kinda a surprise. Is this the fate of everything in the McD's?

    discuss.
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  2. #2
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    Agree with the theme of what you are saying -- McDs are morphing from a festival of unsecured sharp rocks stacked on top of loose sand (the natural consequence of an alluvial fan) into a packed, cleaned, multi-user path. The morph is slow and the West slope still offers more chunk than the East slope though...

    Remember like 15 years ago when you couldn't ride down Taliesen without 10lb boulders flying up and denting your downtube? Temember Lost Dog back then was rocky enough that the smooth part of Cactus Cup as WestWorld was a relief from the Dog?

    Maybe we'll see bermed turns as you go from the bottom of Bell and sweep into the Windgate Trailhead 10 years from now.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by V02 deficient
    Agree with the theme of what you are saying -- McDs are morphing from a festival of unsecured sharp rocks stacked on top of loose sand (the natural consequence of an alluvial fan) into a packed, cleaned, multi-user path. The morph is slow and the West slope still offers more chunk than the East slope though...

    Remember like 15 years ago when you couldn't ride down Taliesen without 10lb boulders flying up and denting your downtube? Temember Lost Dog back then was rocky enough that the smooth part of Cactus Cup as WestWorld was a relief from the Dog?

    Maybe we'll see bermed turns as you go from the bottom of Bell and sweep into the Windgate Trailhead 10 years from now.
    yesterday was my first ride in the area as a Snotsdale resident, i've ridden the McD's about 10 times prior in the past 4 yrs. I couldnt help but notice of all the hikers how many were not your stereotypical in-shape biker\jogger - lots of seniors, family groups etc. They all vote and pay taxes too, so I am sympathetic to my neighbors etc wanting trails that suit a variety of needs. I havent been to sunrise since January, but heard that its getting leveled too. I just hope that the stewards and Preserve officials maintain a variety of terrain. Is the goal to make the climbs easier, or smooth everything, cause Paradise and Levee are pretty rugged and those are the access trails... While some hikers will always think the trails are for them and the bikes are out of place, if they smooth stuff out then suddenly the bikes can climb Bell in both directions and go a helluva lot faster. Last time I rode the bottom of Bell my average speed was a *LOT* less.
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  4. #4
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    The monsoons will return it to it's naturaly rutted state.
    This is just need to know information: Am i supposed to enjoy the irony or pity the sincerity?

  5. #5
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    Yep, I've noticed a big change in the trails in MSP. They've groomed the top part of sunrise smooth as can be and I wouldn't be surprised if they remove all the rocks down to the LD trailhead. I ride the whole preserve since it's close to where I live and I tend to choose my routes based time and day. The gateway trailhead opening really made the hiker volume explode. I've started taking the Desert park trail when going up Wingate just to avoid the crowd doing the Gateway loop trail. If I ride Sunrise, I either go really early or do it on a weekday if possible.

  6. #6
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    Only real grooming I've noticed is on the east side of Sunrise, which has been buffed the entire way down, with a couple switchbacks rerouted to make them easier. Everything else seems just as rocky as usual, and, as Yuri said, after a couple monsoon storms, all that carefully raked dirt will be GONE!
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  7. #7
    Roni1az
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    Super smooth

    Agree. The western side/bottom of bell seems to have been paved (not quite) in just the last few weeks or so. Compared to three of four weeks ago it was definitely much rockier. I rode it this morning and with very few hikers flew down it and had a blast. I saw a couple dudes continuing their trail smoothing work using big pick axes. Still a great trail and if they go all the way up to the top, maybe someday I can clean it without needing my hiking boots.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by roni1az
    Agree. The western side/bottom of bell seems to have been paved (not quite) in just the last few weeks or so. Compared to three of four weeks ago it was definitely much rockier. I rode it this morning and with very few hikers flew down it and had a blast. I saw a couple dudes continuing their trail smoothing work using big pick axes. Still a great trail and if they go all the way up to the top, maybe someday I can clean it without needing my hiking boots.
    OK, interesting...sounds like it might be Bell above the juncture with Gateway, which I have not been on in a couple months. I know Windgate is still rocky as HELL, as-is the lower west side of Sunrise.
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  9. #9
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    I stopped yesterday on my way down Bell and spoke with the guys doing the trail work. They said their gig is only up to the top of Bell Pass and not on the East side or any other trail. However, i fear it won't be long before the whole place is tamed.

    A good compromise would be to smooth out the lower levels for families and dogs and leave the tops and the entire east side rugged for bikes and trail runners etc.

    You can get scary fast coming down Bell now and when they are finished it will be rideable going up. Climbing it would be fun, but it is much more dangerous now due to the speeds some people will hit coming down.

    I also park at the Village and ride Desert Park up to Windgate. Hardly any hikers that route.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz
    OK, interesting...sounds like it might be Bell above the juncture with Gateway, which I have not been on in a couple months. I know Windgate is still rocky as HELL, as-is the lower west side of Sunrise.
    this was the west side of Bell, below Gateway I believe. the last mile or so before it hits Paradise.

    i agree that the bottoms make sense for families etc. But CMON! if you are hiking up 1k and 4 miles, it ought to be work.
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  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=chollaball]this was the west side of Bell, below Gateway I believe. the last mile or so before it hits Paradise.

    They have continued up Bell from the Gateway/Paradise junction. I rode 3x this week and watched as they progressed. They are now getting into the steep stuff. I think a couple of nice, considerate emails wouldnt hurt. If the work stops at the top of Bell, i'm fine. Just please dont touch Windgate in all her rocky, loose, steep and miserable beauty.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    this was the west side of Bell, below Gateway I believe. the last mile or so before it hits Paradise.

    i agree that the bottoms make sense for families etc. But CMON! if you are hiking up 1k and 4 miles, it ought to be work.
    That section below the juncture with Gateway has always been pretty buff...it's above that that has always been super-rocky. If they start cleaning tha trail above Gateway, then that's a problem.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Biff master
    They have continued up Bell from the Gateway/Paradise junction. I rode 3x this week and watched as they progressed. They are now getting into the steep stuff. I think a couple of nice, considerate emails wouldnt hurt. If the work stops at the top of Bell, i'm fine. Just please dont touch Windgate in all her rocky, loose, steep and miserable beauty.
    Ah ha...then that IS a problem...

    I don't know why on earth they would screw with Bell; it's a steep, hard trail, and people who hike or ride it know and accept that. No need, or request, to dumb it down...
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz
    Ah ha...then that IS a problem...

    I don't know why on earth they would screw with Bell; it's a steep, hard trail, and people who hike or ride it know and accept that. No need, or request, to dumb it down...
    remember life before running into your house?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz
    That section below the juncture with Gateway has always been pretty buff...it's above that that has always been super-rocky. If they start cleaning tha trail above Gateway, then that's a problem.
    i may have my intersections mixed up, but I'm sure about where in the trail it was - like BiffMaster said.

    I have assumed that whomever makes these decisions gets input from lots of sources and publishes their plans? Anyone know where or how that occurs? I kinda think that section of trail borders on too-fast now for multi-use, but i guess its worked ok out on Dixie Mine and Sunrise so what do i know? If you've ridden with me you know I'm very polite about sharing the trail, but gravity and buff trails and lots of users...i dunno. It would be a real challenge to go slow through some of that.
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  16. #16
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    Here's the guy you want to talk with (trails coordinator):

    Scott Hamilton at (480) 312-7722 or e-mail shamilton@ScottsdaleAZ.gov

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz
    Ah ha...then that IS a problem...

    I don't know why on earth they would screw with Bell; it's a steep, hard trail, and people who hike or ride it know and accept that. No need, or request, to dumb it down...
    Like a Black Diamond ski run. You know what your getting into....

    I will try to find who makes the decisions on trail maintenance and see if there is an email or address we could write or call so that MTB concerns are on record. I ride those trails several times a week and would hate to see them ruined.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Biff master
    I will try to find who makes the decisions on trail maintenance and see if there is an email or address we could write or call so that MTB concerns are on record. I ride those trails several times a week and would hate to see them ruined.
    Trails coordinator:
    Scott Hamilton at (480) 312-7722 or e-mail shamilton@ScottsdaleAZ.gov

  19. #19
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    JC if anyone is contacting Mr. Hamilton? seems like bombarding him is not productive, but someone conveying that there has been lots of discussion and some concerns about "too fast" ( maintaining trail variety to keep advanced and beginners generally separate) might be a good start. Anyone worked with him before so its a familiar voice?
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  20. #20
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    He seemed like a nice and fairly reasonable guy the one time I met him. Time will tell.
    Can't say I'm a familiar face as I was just at a group meeting to discuss climbing issues.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelmonkey
    He seemed like a nice and fairly reasonable guy the one time I met him. Time will tell.
    Can't say I'm a familiar face as I was just at a group meeting to discuss climbing issues.
    so i'll throw this out there...

    If no one else has, I'll volunteer to reach out to the city folks over the next few days. I'd like to get involved with the local trails community now that I live around the corner from several of the THs, and represent some of the MTB interests. I've been a Steward for Somo, am an advanced rider, have wife who is an intermediate rider and advanced runner, and kids - so i think i can appreciate the various user groups. If there is anyone who has a history with the right people, I'd gladly defer and let them open a discussion. I know AZ_Cholla was a steward at one point...
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  22. #22
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    I had a very positive email exchange with Mr. Hamilton, and he explained to me the reasons, scope, and goals of the trailwork (see below). While I am bummed over some of the changes, he emphasized that there are lots of diverse user groups and his office does its best to balance these various groups and goal of protecting the environment. IMO, that's fair. I'm hoping to be a little involved in the local trail network, and I was very happy that Scott took the time to review this thread and get some mtb perspective.

    WRT the specific changes on Bell and how it will increase speeds, its a multiuse trail and you need to account for people coming the other way, even if you are feel in control of the speed. Change your ride time or route, look further down trail, assume you will be braking on busy days. Most of us are really conscientious about this anyway, but a little extra caution will be required now - think of it being more like the east side of Sunrise which is fast and crowded.

    If you have comments or opinions, please keep them constructive and polite. Thank you.


    > The primary goal of the Preserve is to protect the desert environment.
    > Public recreational use is critical, and is managed in the context of
    > protecting the environment first and foremost.
    >
    > I am always concerned about the opinions of the different user groups.
    > It is a balancing act between the various needs, issues, and concerns.
    >
    > First, let me describe exactly what we are doing. The trail work covers
    > the Sunrise Trail, from Ringtail east to the Sunrise Trailhead, and the
    > Bell Pass Trail, from the intersection of the Gateway Loop Trail up to
    > Bell Pass.
    >
    > The work is focused on improving drainage, and reducing erosion of the
    > trail tread. The goal is for water to sheet-flow off the trail, and not
    > concentrate in ruts down the center, leading to additional soil loss.
    >
    > The crew is removing loose surface rocks and embedded rocks that are
    > loose to the touch. The berm on the outside edge is also being removed
    > to restore the outslope of the trail tread, and promote proper drainage.
    > Drain dips are also being cleaned and deepened. A few switchbacks are
    > being modified to improve drainage, reduce impacts on sensitive plants
    > (the big saguaro on Sunrise), and remove dangerously steep sections,
    > notably the really steep section just below Bell Pass.
    >
    > This is considered non-routine maintenance that will not occur very
    > frequently. I agree with the posts that the rock will return. We raked
    > the rock off Windgate prob 3 years ago, and it returned rather quickly.
    >
    > Regarding speeds, everyone in the Preserve, no matter what type of user,
    > should be traveling at safe speeds. What I am hearing though is that
    > this isn't always the case, and impediments on the trail surface act to
    > slow riders down. So, how can we balance the desires of mt bikers for
    > a technical ride, with the desire to reduce speeds, with the need to
    > facilitate proper drainage from the trail surface? I am open to
    > thoughts, suggestions, case studies, etc. that can help guide the
    > management of the trails in the future. All that I ask, is that the mt
    > bike community understand that there are various interests at stake
    > here, and we need to find a balance. It is hard, if not impossible, to
    > make all the people happy all the time.
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  23. #23
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    Thanks for following up on this CB. Reply about what I thought it would be.
    That first paragraph reflects why they said they had to move the parking on the north side WAY out from the climbing areas as well.

  24. #24
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    I was just up there, and saw what appears to be a new trail over on the west side. Looks like the pump track is up topside as well. Where will it go?

    Pictures from the pass:



    Zoom, note the tractor/trencher at the right end of the upper trail:



    gerG
    ...uphill uphill uphill DOWNHILL! uphill uphill uphill uphill DOWNHILL! uphill ...

  25. #25
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    Yep, I noticed this today too. I took a few pics, but yours are much better.

    New trail started probably only about 100-150 m W of Bell pass.

  26. #26
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    OMFG!!!

    As noted in Mr. Hamilton's e-mail, they really ARE re-routing the steep section at the top of Bell, on the west side!!! Better get out there soon if you want to ride it one last time...

    That bums me out, as it's not necessarily hard, just exciting, but I can understand in the context of trail sustainability as it really ruts out after the rain due to water running straight down it.

    I understand what they are doing; what I'd really like to see is the re-routing of the steep, straight fall-line section on Windgate, which are built terribly. They should be angled and switchbacked, rather than just straight down, IMO...
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz
    OMFG!!!

    As noted in Mr. Hamilton's e-mail, they really ARE re-routing the steep section at the top of Bell, on the west side!!! Better get out there soon if you want to ride it one last time...
    yeah that is too bad, that is a very fun section, I've never felt in danger on it, just a super-fun challenge.

    I have a group leaving from the Bashas like 6-6:30 next Sat to do Tom's Thumb\Bell if anyone wants to come. Social pace, but we will keep moving to finish before it gets too hot.
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  28. #28
    Keep it Simple Stupid!!!
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    Hope

    I rode to Windgate Pass from the 104st Trail Head yesterday and 8:30. Yes a lot of Hikers. I saw only 2 other bikes on that trail one going up and on going down. There were more bikes on the Pemberton Side of the Mountain. The west side of Wind Gate seems looser IMO.
    SF
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bottom of Bell = pump track-top-windgate.jpg  

    Who cares how much gas you save, ride your bike to work because it's fun!!!!!!!

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