Cross country drive - where to ride?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Cross country drive - where to ride?

    I'm driving cross-country in March and plan to do at least one ride in Arizona. Logistically, Phoenix will be the best place for me to ride. How does the riding around Phoenix compare to Sedona and Flagstaff? Will Phoenix seem similar for someone new to the southwest or would you recommend someplace else that might be more memorable?

  2. #2
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    March in Flag could be a crapshoot depending on the weather. If you want trees, that's the place to go (Prescott as well). Sedona and Phoenix are similar as far as being rocky and desert like but Sedona is much more scenic. Phoenix does have some of the best trails in the state and the weather is usually primo in March (rain is a possibility but not a huge one). If you're wanting a truly memorable ride I'd recommend making the drive to Sedona. The scenery still blows me away, even after 18 years of riding there...
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  3. #3
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    Prescott would be great in March if you wanna ride in the mountains. I'm sure the local Prescott riders will chime in shortly. Your going to get a ton of info.

  4. #4
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    Sedona first, then Phoenix in my ranking opinion.

  5. #5
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    If you are an advanced 30% rider you might want to ride Milagrosa (Sp?) in Tucson. Whenever I try and tell people Sedona is a great place to ride the people who like Milagrosa say it's the best ride in the Southwest.

    TD

  6. #6
    Meatbomb
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    WTF is a 30% ?


    bank.. look at the Az Spring Fling (AZSF) threads... Tons of good rides happening in March... even for the 70%ers whoever the eff they are

  7. #7
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    If Phoenix and only one trail, I would hit Black Canyon Trail. Sedona is pretty awesome too though. And Show Low.

    Haven't ridden in Prescott yet, so I can't speak for or against it.

  8. #8
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    Thanks guys for the replies. I'd actually prefer desert over trees since that'll be the most different from what I'm used to (the southeast and southern California). Based on the responses I'm leaning towards riding someplace around Phoenix and hiking with my wife in Sedona. That'll work best time wise and I know my wife really wants to explore Sedona (she doesn't mountain bike but hikes).

    As far as skill level, I'm in good XC shape and enjoy moderate technical AM descents. I enjoy some jumps and couple foot drops but I'm sure some of the stuff is super technical out there.

    I'll take a look at the spring fling threads to see what's going and where.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo View Post
    WTF is a 30% ?


    bank.. look at the Az Spring Fling (AZSF) threads... Tons of good rides happening in March... even for the 70%ers whoever the eff they are
    Phillbo:

    A 30% advanced rider is someone who has the skill level to ride what the other 70% of advanced riders will have to walk sections of trails due to there lesser skill level. In Sedona we cater to the 70% advanced rider who is looking for technical riding that will be fun to ride, but not too challenging that they will have to walk more than 50' of any trail they ride here.

    A trail like Tomahawk will be more for the 2%'ers.

    TD

  10. #10
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    Riding Phoenix and hiking Sedona is an even better option, that'll let you get to some of the really cool stuff in Sedona and you can check out some of the Phoenix gnar
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post
    Phillbo:

    A 30% advanced rider is someone who has the skill level to ride what the other 70% of advanced riders will have to walk sections of trails due to there lesser skill level. In Sedona we cater to the 70% advanced rider who is looking for technical riding that will be fun to ride, but not too challenging that they will have to walk more than 50' of any trail they ride here.

    A trail like Tomahawk will be more for the 2%'ers.

    TD
    What is for the 2%ers today will be the norm tomorrow. These sports are always progressing.

  12. #12
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    If you've never ridden in the desert, definitely make Phoenix your priority.

  13. #13
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    Sedona has great riding, beautiful scenery, wealthy old people, and some of these guys...............

    Shit New Age Guys Say - YouTube!

  14. #14
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    Sedona is awesome but best if you have your own rocket launcher to shut up those damn helicopters..Whenever I ride there I feel like a fugitive...freakin' scenic tours helicopters running all day...Don't get me wrong, I dig helicopters, and I can appreciate those guys trying to make a buck on their scenic tour venture, but there is something about the relentless and ever present "whop-whop-whop" of helicopter after helicopter, all day long, that just kills the mood...
    Check my pulse...

  15. #15
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    Type of riding?

    If you want a nice long XC ride with classic desert scenery then try the Black Canyon Trail just north of Phoenix. As a complete outsider it gave me the classic Arizona desert experience I was looking for, without being too technical to ride all day. Sedona is beautiful, but as Traildoc notes, it is fairly technical for many.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post
    Phillbo:

    A 30% advanced rider is someone who has the skill level to ride what the other 70% of advanced riders will have to walk sections of trails due to there lesser skill level. In Sedona we cater to the 70% advanced rider who is looking for technical riding that will be fun to ride, but not too challenging that they will have to walk more than 50' of any trail they ride here.

    A trail like Tomahawk will be more for the 2%'ers.

    TD
    So Tomahawk is either really fun or really annoying...

  17. #17
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    Perfect, Black Canyon Trail it is. I'm stoked, those pictures look amazing and much different from anyplace I've ever ridden.

    Any recommendations for a good LBS to rent a 29er that's near by? I'd prefer FS (a RIP 9 is my main bike).

  18. #18
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    Not local

    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    Perfect, Black Canyon Trail it is. I'm stoked, those pictures look amazing and much different from anyplace I've ever ridden. Any recommendations for a good LBS to rent a 29er that's near by? I'd prefer FS (a RIP 9 is my main bike).
    I'm not a local so I have no idea where to rent. I'm going to try heading north from that starting point this weekend.

  19. #19
    Kathleen in AZ
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    If you have to rent a bike, BCT is too far away from Phx, IMO. BCT is pretty an all, but it just wanders and meanders and doesn't really go anywhere (yawwwwwn). South Mountain is your best choice for single ride to get a taste of the gnar that we have to offer in the desert SW. South Mountain is the largest municiple park in the USA and is a destination all by itself. I suggest National trail from Pima Canyon to Telegraph, then back up the road to Buena Vista and back down National to Pima Canyon parking. That's your ride. Do it! You will have spectacular views of a great big city, all while tucked away in a desert preserve paradise. If your ride day is on a weekend, you'll be sure to find any number of people to ride with and maybe even a bike to borrow.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    Perfect, Black Canyon Trail it is. I'm stoked, those pictures look amazing and much different from anyplace I've ever ridden.

    Any recommendations for a good LBS to rent a 29er that's near by? I'd prefer FS (a RIP 9 is my main bike).
    Talk to Crystal at Spur Cross Cycles in Cave Creek. She just opened up a rental business and rents 29ers. I believe she carries Kona.

    http://spurcrosscycles.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spur-...86144718091745

    Cave Creek is about 30-40 minutes from BCT.

  21. #21
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    Try Exhale Bikes, Inc. - Phoenix, Arizona Bikes Repairs, Sales, Bicycle Products and Services. They are closeish to the trail heads. I can't say for sure that they rent, I know they have demo (Specialized only) bikes.

  22. #22
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    If you want scenery that resembles the pic above but don't want to rent and drive an hour to get there you could do Pass mtn in Mesa (east suburb of PHX). It's only about a 2 hr loop but has quintessential sonoran desert views and it is a fun and somewhat technical trail. Hawes system is just up the road and is less techy for the most part..between the two you could ride all day and never be more than 20 mins from the airport. It's only 20-25 mins from South Mtn as well.

    If you want the funnest techy-yet-rideable desert trail in PHX then do what durtgurl suggests.

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