McDowell Mtn Park was empty today- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Fragile - must be Italian
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    McDowell Mtn Park was empty today

    A friend and I took a spin around both the Pemberton and Race (Long) loops this morning and experienced some of the best conditions I have ridden over there. All of the rain during the past few weeks has packed the trails down nicely, so they were *fast* and *fun*. That last 5 miles coming down Pemberton trail was soooooo much fun, especially since my tires had something to grip on. We cranked out Pemberton in 1 hr 5 min and the Race (Long) loop in 47 mins.

    And what a fantastic day it was today -- 65 degrees and sunny.

    But here's the deal -- both parking lots at McDowell Mtn Park were a ghost down. There were maybe 7 or 8 other cars at each parking lot that were obviously there for biking.

    I don't get it. Where was everybody? It's been a few months since I have been out there, and it used to be so crowded. What happened? I don't mind having the trails to myself, but it also saddens me to think that nobody else is out enjoying the trails.

    BTW - there were TONS of roadies on the highway that runs north from Fountain Hills to the park. Has everybody dumped mountain biking in favor of the road bike now?

    Thx...Doug

  2. #2
    Drugstore Trailrider
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    Should have seen White Tank yesterday...

    Quote Originally Posted by dgangi
    But here's the deal -- both parking lots at McDowell Mtn Park were a ghost down. There were maybe 7 or 8 other cars at each parking lot that were obviously there for biking.

    I don't get it. Where was everybody? It's been a few months since I have been out there, and it used to be so crowded. What happened? I don't mind having the trails to myself, but it also saddens me to think that nobody else is out enjoying the trails.

    BTW - there were TONS of roadies on the highway that runs north from Fountain Hills to the park. Has everybody dumped mountain biking in favor of the road bike now?

    Thx...Doug
    Many hundreds of area riders had blown it out on the Competitive Track at White Tank yesterday. Conditions there were similarly watered down/packed and the course was VERY fast. Maybe alot of them, like me, took Sunday morning off to recover a little bit. You sure wouldn't have thought people had dumped mountain biking in the Valley judging by the turn out at the MBAA race.

    The Nova Desert Classic, which incorporates the 5th race of the MBAA season will be over the 3rd weekend in March at the Competitive track in McDowell. I doubt it will be so devoid of riders between now and then.

    John W.
    Body Armor--Don't Leave Home Without It!

  3. #3
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    I was out at McDowell Mtn Park!

    I did the sport loop, the long loop and Pemberton trail.. was SOOOO nice! It was my first time out there and I LOVED that there wasn't anyone else to share the trails with. Guess I am a bit spoiled after today, eh?

  4. #4
    Fragile - must be Italian
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    Yes, you were spoiled

    Quote Originally Posted by Flyinturbo
    I was out at McDowell Mtn Park!

    I did the sport loop, the long loop and Pemberton trail.. was SOOOO nice! It was my first time out there and I LOVED that there wasn't anyone else to share the trails with. Guess I am a bit spoiled after today, eh?
    Yes, you were spoiled today apparently. This is the sparsest crowd I have ever seen at the McDowell's, even compared to rainy days!

    It never gets too crowded on the trails at the McDowells because the loops are pretty long, which helps thin out the herds. And the trail system is not smack in the middle of town, so there is an effort to getting to McDowell Mtn Park (as opposed to S Mtn and Trail 100). Lastly, there are VERY FEW hikers, which is nice.

    Most of the time you only have to deal with a few slowpokes on any given lap.

    Thx...Doug

  5. #5
    Skinny legged XC geek
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    So, you adopted the Drugstore Trailrider bit

    I love that one!

  6. #6
    Skinny legged XC geek
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    MTB Saturday, road Sunday

    I got in a 13 mile MTB ride late Saturday afternoon, including 2.5 miles of really fantasatic, pristine, beautiful, fun singletrack I didn't know about before, with nary a bike track on it! Then, on Sunday morning I spun out a 40 mile road ride before 9:30am. The legs didn't feel too good by mile 25 after the day before!

  7. #7
    Drugstore Trailrider
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    I couldn't help myself...

    Quote Originally Posted by pedalAZ
    I love that one!
    After you pointed it out it seemed too good to pass up. I hope to run into you posing at the trailhead sometime soon.

    John W.
    Body Armor--Don't Leave Home Without It!

  8. #8
    MTBR Tool
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgangi

    BTW - there were TONS of roadies on the highway that runs north from Fountain Hills to the park. Has everybody dumped mountain biking in favor of the road bike now?

    Thx...Doug
    Any time I have done the McDowells on a Sat/Sun am the roads have been crawling w/roadies. I guess there are a number of LBS rides that all go out around the same time and head up that way.

    Hawes Loop was a similar story on Sat am.

  9. #9
    Steep Hill
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    Good job! Pemberton Loop

    Here is a fun and easier (for me) alternative to access to Pemberton Loop:

    From N. Pima Road, turn East onto Happy Valley Road. Continue on Happy Valley Road to the very last neighborhood street that turns right (going straight 50 yards turns into a dirt road). Continue forward on this street, making your way closer to the base of the McD's. Turn left at the 'T' and in .25 miles it will also turn into a dirt road. You can park here, or with decent clearance continue driving along the McDowell Preserve. There is a popular rock face out here that may have climbers hanging off by their finger tips. At the end of this dirt road, there is a loopy dirt singletrack hugging around the base of the McD's. You will see Fountain Hills from here and the track eventually connects onto the backside stretch of the Pemberton Loop.

    Enjoy beautiful scenery not seen on the typical Pemberton Loop! Take the $5 you saved and donate it to charity or a MTB organization! Email me if you want to schedule a Sat morning ride and I will show you myself! Later,

    Steven 'AZClydesdale'

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