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  1. #1
    parenting for gnarness
    Reputation: chollaball's Avatar
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    The Northern Quad Bypass of Awesomesauce

    All killer, no filler.



    Up Bell from the Scottsdale side, down Bell and Windgate to East End, up East End to Tom's Thumb, down TT to Windgate, back up and over Windgate to Bell, down Bell to Parasdise. No nimby HOAs, no dodging herds of slack-jawed hikers around Sunrise and Lost Dog, no horrible dirt road, no push up Sonoran Trail to give back 500 vf coming down a sidewalk.



    Nowhere as bad as one might think. There was 15 min of HAB near the top of Bell, and 25 HAB to get up East End. We relaxed and took pictures.

    up Bell?


    drizzly day in the Valley


    the fountain is still shooting in Fountain Hills


    up East End let us study all the switchbacks for the next descent


    we hid from a snow flurry inside the oft-photographed boulders atop Tom's Thumb




    Maad caught in the act of blogging about his radness


    The rain made for hero-dirt, I dabbed once on the descent. Maad also nailed switchbacks better than any prior run










    20 miles, 3.5 moving time, and my best time ever down Paradise Wash 7:53! Stats show almost 5500 vf.
    YES to Scottsdale Prop 420
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  2. #2
    74 & 29 pilot
    Reputation: MTB Pilot's Avatar
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    Sweet! I live right off Thompson Peak and hike up there, but haven't yet biked it. It intimidates me, but I'm going to start trying it soon! Thanks for sharing and providing some motivation to attempt it!

    MTBP
    MTBP
    "GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!"
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  3. #3
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    Nowhere as bad as one might think?

    Nowhere as bad as one might think.
    Wow! That looks gruesome. Having ridden down Bell during a previous quad, I can't imagine riding up it. I trained hard for my second quad and still hiked up portions of all the climbs. Not because of loss of traction but because I ran out of gas. It appears to be exactly as bad as I would think. The NQBA is a loop I doubt I'll ever attempt, unless I leave the bike at home and run it. Props to both of you for survivng.

  4. #4
    Give it a crank
    Reputation: Mtn-Rider's Avatar
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    Sweet ride and photos! Love the elevation profile. Not many riders have the balls to ride up the west side of Bell Pass, good job!

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Linoleum's Avatar
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    Great pics guys... looks like fun!

  6. #6
    My other ride is your mom
    Reputation: Maadjurguer's Avatar
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    That's the second time in a week I've HAB'd up East End....I'm starting to like it. I say, if your ride does not have HAB....the views probably suck.




  7. #7
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    Reputation: dtownmtb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maadjurguer View Post
    I say, if your ride does not have HAB....the views probably suck.
    Or you aren't on a single speed.

    Looking forward to enjoying the views up there on Saturday.

  8. #8
    PMP,TAN,LAUNDRY
    Reputation: azdog's Avatar
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    Nice! Good job! I like how you hit all the climbs from the hardest sides. Bell from Scottsdale and TT from East End. Love/hate those climbs.
    Bender to AZDog: I'm not the best person to give advice on not riding!

  9. #9
    parenting for gnarness
    Reputation: chollaball's Avatar
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    i'm tellin ya, if you don't run from HAB, this is a great ride. up Bell is easier than Windgate and buffer, the downhill to East End is a lot of fun. East End is ridable, until its not, but its still a great view and worth it to get good eyes on all the challenging switchbacks. Where TT joins Windgate is past the worst parts of that climb. We scientifically calculated that this is 34.8% easier than the traditional Quad, with imo more payoff for your efforts.

    TPS - you are a good rider, try it out!

    MTBP - start on Gateway and the bottom of Windgate to get a taste, the longer climbs are more but not really any harder. I've been riding up the outside of the Gateway loop on my AM bike since its a longer smoother climb than the other side of Gateway\Windgate - the DH down Windgate or over Gateway and down Paradise is fun on a big bike.
    YES to Scottsdale Prop 420
    Our Preserve, Our Taxes, Our Vote

  10. #10
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    I suppose it can't be any worse than getting up at 5am to go to the gym in Flagstaff to spin for 90 minutes. I plan to haul the camper down to McDowell in a couple weeks and do a week of riding. I'll try a few different options from each side. Having only ridden down Bell twice, I can only recall thinking it felt like we were going down a 20% grade and I was thankful I didn't have to climb up it. The description of Tom's Thumb made it sound even steeper with super tight switchbacks. I guess there is only one way to find out how nasty both climbs are. I also want to find out what the best choice of bike is, in case I end up riding the Quad. I can save five pounds by riding the Dos Niner rather than the RIP Nine.

  11. #11
    Got a suspension fork
    Reputation: randyharris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball View Post
    i'm tellin ya, if you don't run from HAB, this is a great ride. up Bell is easier than Windgate and buffer, the downhill to East End is a lot of fun. East End is ridable, until its not, but its still a great view and worth it to get good eyes on all the challenging switchbacks. Where TT joins Windgate is past the worst parts of that climb. We scientifically calculated that this is 34.8% easier than the traditional Quad, with imo more payoff for your efforts.

    TPS - you are a good rider, try it out!

    MTBP - start on Gateway and the bottom of Windgate to get a taste, the longer climbs are more but not really any harder. I've been riding up the outside of the Gateway loop on my AM bike since its a longer smoother climb than the other side of Gateway\Windgate - the DH down Windgate or over Gateway and down Paradise is fun on a big bike.
    Interesting, when descending Bell I always think it looks far harder than the climb up Windgate.

    I know the Quad goes up the more traditional route to Windgate, I always take Desert Park when I climb Windgate - far more agreeable on a onegear.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  12. #12
    drink coffee, ride.
    Reputation: cookiedough's Avatar
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    looks like this may need to be a Christmas vacation ride for me. Although, I would have to agree with randyharris, "descending Bell I always think it looks far harder than the climb up Windgate". But then again, it's been awhile since I've climbed anything in those hills

  13. #13
    I am Walt
    Reputation: waltaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Prodigal Son View Post
    I suppose it can't be any worse than getting up at 5am to go to the gym in Flagstaff to spin for 90 minutes. I plan to haul the camper down to McDowell in a couple weeks and do a week of riding. I'll try a few different options from each side. Having only ridden down Bell twice, I can only recall thinking it felt like we were going down a 20% grade and I was thankful I didn't have to climb up it. The description of Tom's Thumb made it sound even steeper with super tight switchbacks. I guess there is only one way to find out how nasty both climbs are. I also want to find out what the best choice of bike is, in case I end up riding the Quad. I can save five pounds by riding the Dos Niner rather than the RIP Nine.
    Ping me when you're down here....would love to hook up for a ride. And my RIP9 is parked in favor of a Stumpy Comp geared HT that I just got...at least 6-7 pounds lighter, and no energy and strength-sapping rear squish...big difference on these climbs.
    Ride more; post less...

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