Night Ride Pass Mtn.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Night Ride Pass Mtn.

    The thought occured to me that Pass Mtn. has the potential to be an amazing place to night ride. Once around on the north side, the light polution should be very minimal for the Valley and reward us with an amazing panorama of the night shy over the open desert and mountains to the north.

    The thing that I do not know is a good location to park cars, safely for the night ride. My initial thought would be to just pay and park at the park. Or park at the small pull off along Usery Pass road.

    Looking at the Usery Mountian reginal park web page, that park closes at 8pm M-Th and 10 pm F-Sun.

    Full moon on the 28th. So I would propose a NR on 19th or 24th to maximize the stars. Or a NR on Dec. 3rd for maximum Desert light from the moon.

    Any intrest? thoughts? Prespective?
    b

  2. #2
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    I'm all for maximum light from the moon, so DEC 3rd.




  3. #3
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    vaya con dios Brian, pack your armor. that is a trail I don't want to ride at night.

    as far as parking, I've gone there to hike Windgate at night a bunch. at times they have closed the park entrances, at times I have gotten stopped by octogenarian snowbirds "volunteering" and telling us we cant use our park at night, other times there is no one in sight. I'd park at the strip mall at Brown\Ellsworth and ride in.
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  4. #4
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    I don't think I would want to ride down the east side at night....I see no issue with riding up the west side to the main saddle before the slickrock descent...and then turning around....




  5. #5
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    I think I'd give the whole thing a go but would walk over the saddle for sure. I almost spilled over that in the daylight. You'd sure would have to take it a bit slower due to all the shadows that would play with your head from all the rocks on the trail on the east side. I think it'd be a good time and like brianc says, low light pollution there - the darkness would be engrossing. That's why I like riding parts of Hawes at night, especially as you move through some of the low areas. It surrounds you like some pit of doom. Good times.
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  6. #6
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    One of my first No lights, full moon rides ever was on Pass.Mtn. And was actually my first ride on Pass. I have got to say it is an incredible experience. Once on the north side of the mountain the views were worth the hole ride. The down side is if you wait until the night of the full moon, it rises later in the evening. This makes for a dark ride early on, and the west side of the mountain is all in shadows, making all the big rutted climbs difficult. If you go out a night or two before the full moon, the early evening light is much better. I personally like the night before, and there is always more than enough light.

  7. #7
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    ...as far as I can tell it can legally be done if you are off the trail by 10:00 pm on Fri or Sat nights.

    Edit: As Kaz mentions above, I wouldn't do it if there is signage saying trail use after dark is prohibited.

    I think if I did it at night I'd be pretty much riding like I was in survival mode all the way around. I still haven't ridden down National from the pass in complete darkness (with headlamp) yet. I've done some of it in the dark, and rocks kinda come outta no where.
    Last edited by u2metoo; 11-12-2009 at 01:16 PM.

  8. #8
    kAZ
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    Signs indicate that the county park trails are officially closed after dark. Personally, I don't think it's cool to poach those trails after dark, as I'd like for the powers that be to not develop a low opinion of mountain bikers. The bad news is that the county park includes the part of the Pass Mtn trail that goes from about where the Wind Cave trail starts to about 1.5 miles up where you pass though the wire fence back into the Tonto Forest.

    A way to do it without poaching would be to ride up the wash from Usery Rd. to Pass Mtn; like Cholla said, you could start at one of the store parking lots at Ellsworth and Brown.

    Another option would be to park in the lot at the north terminus of Meridian Rd. You could go CW from there before hitting the county park at Wind Cave, or go CCW, although that puts you on the nasty rock wash climb pretty quickly. But after that nasty bit, climbing Pass Mtn CCW is fun up until the escarpment; well, there's that one sharp heavily off-camber turn a little before the escarpment. HAB up from the escarpment, then enjoy the disneyland of the north side and come back the way you came. I've done this ride at night. It is a bit scary.
    Last edited by kAZ; 11-12-2009 at 12:52 PM.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the imput. I did not realise that the signs said that the trails closed at dark. I'll poke around the webiste and see if there is an offical policy listed. I too would not want to give MTBers a bad name if possible.

    I would also, at least the first time not decend the east side at night. I think could can and be fun, but really just want to get out ot the north side and take in the view.

    I'll post up an invite if I actually set a night for this ride.

    b
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  10. #10
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    Sam's email link to Usery shows 10pm as the close time....




  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maadjurguer
    Sam's email link to Usery shows 10pm as the close time....

    reading the "rules" on the same site says one must obey all posted signs. so if there are signs that say trails close at dusk, then I will attempt to follow them, or inquire about modiffiy the "rule".
    b

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianc
    reading the "rules" on the same site says one must obey all posted signs. so if there are signs that say trails close at dusk, then I will attempt to follow them, or inquire about modiffiy the "rule".
    trespassing would not be my worry even if you are doing the full loop, no one patrols that park and there are no neighbors like the McDowells to upset. Just campers in RVs, and you won't be high enough on the mtn to be really visible to them. If you ride in, you are golden there are plenty of escape routes.

    but if you want predominantly easier terrain, and dont want to poach the trails, that basically puts you going up the wash to the saddle and back down. IMO, that's not enough ride for the overhead.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianc
    reading the "rules" on the same site says one must obey all posted signs. so if there are signs that say trails close at dusk, then I will attempt to follow them, or inquire about modiffiy the "rule".
    Yep, I modified my post.

  14. #14
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    PM loop at night? This sounds like an accident just waiting to happen, lol. Too many babyheads on the return, not to mention that steep descent.

    You GOTTA do a post-ride report of this though!

  15. #15
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    I think even though the website or whatever says close at 10 pretty sure you are supposed to be off trail by dark. Park hours at MMP are similar I believe and I think we all know we can't ride there at night.

    Otherwise I would probably be interested in at least riding the west side to the saddle.

  16. #16
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    I ride PM alot , ----I just did it the past two mornings , ---------I do not know that I would want to do it at night ----( I can not see well at night )--------but even tho I think PM would be alittle difficult at night .

    Its one of my all time favorite rides in the day tho ,

  17. #17
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    I ran the PM loop this morning, counter clockwise, and there ain't NO way I'm going down that back side at night!!! But from the other side, to the saddle and back, would be pretty cool! Esp with just the moon for light.
    "People do not lack strength; they lack will" (Victor Hugo)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteKis
    I ran the PM loop this morning, counter clockwise, and there ain't NO way I'm going down that back side at night!!! But from the other side, to the saddle and back, would be pretty cool! Esp with just the moon for light.
    I think that would be just lovely to run up the ft side clockwise and then turn around and flow down at night .--( you can do that run really quickly too )

    But you are right about backside, -----I love all of that nasty hack in the day and never unclip for the whole loop, ------but at night it would be really tough .

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelstr
    I think that would be just lovely to run up the ft side clockwise and then turn around and flow down at night .--( you can do that run really quickly too )

    But you are right about backside, -----I love all of that nasty hack in the day and never unclip for the whole loop, ------but at night it would be really tough .
    Oh I'll be throwing my bike like a discus, over some areas of that trail even during the DAY (I studied those lines, and I have major respect for all who can take that on. Yipes!), but in running shoes, yeeeaaaaah, baby, it's a major vibe!

    I'm still thinking that Usery, Sand Entrance, intersecting with the trail, doing the back side of the trail for an out and back, could be a rather memorable ride. I'm in, Bri'!
    "People do not lack strength; they lack will" (Victor Hugo)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteKis
    Oh I'll be throwing my bike like a discus, over some areas of that trail even during the DAY (I studied those lines, and I have major respect for all who can take that on. Yipes!), but in running shoes, yeeeaaaaah, baby, it's a major vibe!

    I'm still thinking that Usery, Sand Entrance, intersecting with the trail, doing the back side of the trail for an out and back, could be a rather memorable ride. I'm in, Bri'!
    did i miss something? did you grow a pair? Congratulations on hitting PM for the first time!!
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    did i miss something? did you grow a pair? Congratulations on hitting PM for the first time!!

    Fair.
    Yes.
    I admit to having worked the binky, sticking to that which is safe.
    Shall we say I'm feeling a bit,... daring, ... reckless...emancipated, even?
    I crave new... challenging. I'm thinking I can do eet.
    New blood... I crave it.... meh...
    "People do not lack strength; they lack will" (Victor Hugo)

  22. #22
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    I think PM would be a fun trail at night. I don't know what you're all so skeered of...the east/south side of PM is NOT all that bad in the daytime, and it would be fine at night provided you take your time. I've ridden chunky crap many times at night, and it's actually amazing how much you can ride with an HID that you would think otherwise impossible. In fact, the HID shows more contours at night, so trail visibility is actually a little better than in the daytime.

    I would be in for a full loop at night.

    Thx...Doug

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgangi
    I think PM would be a fun trail at night. I don't know what you're all so skeered of...the east/south side of PM is NOT all that bad in the daytime, and it would be fine at night provided you take your time. I've ridden chunky crap many times at night, and it's actually amazing how much you can ride with an HID that you would think otherwise impossible. In fact, the HID shows more contours at night, so trail visibility is actually a little better than in the daytime.

    I would be in for a full loop at night.

    Thx...Doug
    And *I* would be down for watching you take on some of the areas that, even in running shoes, made me clench; and I don't mean my jaws.

    That said, any ride, ending at Lucky Lous, is a good Night Ride, and I hope we can get something together.

    Show us the way, Gangmeister.
    "People do not lack strength; they lack will" (Victor Hugo)

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgangi
    I think PM would be a fun trail at night. I don't know what you're all so skeered of...the east/south side of PM is NOT all that bad in the daytime, and it would be fine at night provided you take your time. I've ridden chunky crap many times at night, and it's actually amazing how much you can ride with an HID that you would think otherwise impossible. In fact, the HID shows more contours at night, so trail visibility is actually a little better than in the daytime.

    I would be in for a full loop at night.

    Thx...Doug
    this from the guy who at the jump at the top of Holbert was all like "sure, why not, I'll try it...". You lack a credible record of credibility! just cause you landed it does not validate your barometer.
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  25. #25
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    I don't have a HID light so I guess I'm out...

    I honestly think riding down National at night would be far more reasonable.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteKis

    Fair.
    Yes.
    I admit to having worked the binky, sticking to that which is safe.
    Shall we say I'm feeling a bit,... daring, ... reckless...emancipated, even?
    I crave new... challenging. I'm thinking I can do eet.
    New blood... I crave it.... meh...
    I am riding tomorrow all of Hawes ~3-4 hrs, flexible when I will leave.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    I am riding tomorrow all of Hawes ~3-4 hrs, flexible when I will leave.
    OOoooh. I might be able to stalk you. Leaving for my son's football game (yes, at this ungawdly hour of the morning) but should back in a few hours, so I'll Facebook ya later to see what's shakin', and if you're still around.
    "People do not lack strength; they lack will" (Victor Hugo)

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