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  1. #1
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    Thanksgiving MTB odyssey - lots of pics

    So the stars had aligned correctly this past holiday weekend and my buddy Tom and I took off on a trip through the southwest, in search of Great Rides. We had a simple plan: drive to Vegas wednesday, ride Bootleg Canyon thursday, then drive to Flagstaff/Sedona, ride there on friday, drive to Phoenix, ride South Mountain saturday, drive to LA/SoCal and do some ride there on sunday and finally, head back to the San Francisco Bay Area.

    After a night in New York - New York, Las Vegas that is - we headed to Bootleg Canyon in the (late) morning. Bootleg turned out to be a true piece of art, courtesy of local trail master Brent Thomson. The XC trails are a blast ('Skyline' was a favorite of ours) and for the true gravity junkies there are a bunch of hairy downhill trails with interesting names ('Kevorkian', 'Poop Shoot',...). Oh yeah: the small, spiky rocks that are all over the place are very, very sharp.


    Bootleg trails




    Tom on a hairball section of Skyline




    Sin City in the backdrop


    The second day we rode in Sedona, a loop comprising Broken Arrow and Little Horse, and a little bit of Templeton / Cathedral Rock (the map we bought was useful). Broken Arrow sports some fun slickrock playgrounds, interesting tech problems and gorgeous scenery; and Little Horse is a perfect rollercoaster.


    Sedona slickrock




    Uphill battle




    Chicken Point vista




    A Problem on Little Horse - Tom ended up endo-ing it in style...


    Day 3 brought us to Phoenix. National Trail on South Mountain has been one of my all-time favorite rides since I did it the first time last winter; now we were planning on closing the loop Mormon - National - Telegraph pass - Desert Classic. This ride turned out to have it all: tech climb workouts, rocky and rolling singletrack, psycho descents (Telegraph!) and fast, smooth up-and-down cruising (Desert Classic). Caveat: besides hard rocks, the trails are also infested with cacti (such as the particularly unpleasant cholla) , so carefully select where you fall.


    Up Mormon trail




    A futile attempt of climbing the 'Waterfall' on National




    A local shows how to ride it down




    Having fun with the ledges and drops on National




    Sample of the psychotic Telegraph Pass descent




    At the bottom of Telegraph, connecting to the Desert Classic trail


    After this, we did lots of driving. The desert, LA, then I-5 through the Grapevine. More driving the next morning. We decided to make Montana de Oro our last ride of the journey, as it was kind of on our way back to the Bay Area, and I had heard nice things about it. The perfect California fall weather was still in effect, and it turned out to be a great day: blue skies, amazing views of the ocean and Morro Bay, and an awesome ride: a steep and tough singletrack climb, giving us a ticket down Ridge trail, with its twists, thrills, bumps, jumps and sandpits.
    Then, after +1800 miles of driving, 65 miles of riding, and little sleep, we got home.


    Montana de Oro




    Climbing up the ridge




    Ocean view


  2. #2
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    Reputation: CDtofer's Avatar
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    Nice PIcs!

    What a great trip and all relatively close by. Nice, I sure do miss the Poneix area this time of year. Thanks for sharing...

  3. #3
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    Nice photos!

    Nice photos and looks like a great trip. I found all those jagged rocks at Bootleg pretty tough and often very scary.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf
    Nice photos and looks like a great trip. I found all those jagged rocks at Bootleg pretty tough and often very scary.
    Yes, Bootleg was playing a bit tough on us too: a couple of low speed crashes and endo's (mainly Tom), broken chain (me), bent seat, trashed odometer (Tom)... but nothing some drinks in Vegas and a bike shop in Sedona couldn't fix...

  5. #5
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    Heya Steve!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf
    Nice photos and looks like a great trip. I found all those jagged rocks at Bootleg pretty tough and often very scary.
    Remember when you rode the skyline trail with us? it is in far worse shape since then. A couple of spots on edge are just wide enough for a 2.3 tire!
    the - E - dog

  6. #6
    E !
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    Skyline trail

    The trail looks wider in the pic than it seems while riding. Did you guys ride the mother trail also?
    Looks like an awesome road trip. Thanks for sharing.
    the - E - dog

  7. #7
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by E !
    The trail looks wider in the pic than it seems while riding. Did you guys ride the mother trail also?
    Looks like an awesome road trip. Thanks for sharing.
    Stuff always looks wider and less steep on photos .
    I believe we did Girlscout, Caldera, Boyscout, a short bit of Ginger (we turned around when the trail became too body-armor grade), Skyline and West Leg, then it started getting dark, and we didn't do any of the trails southwest in the park. It's a really great place to ride, initially I thought we'd be the only ones hauling around bikes in Vegas on Thanksgiving day, but there were quite a number of people using the trails.

  8. #8
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    Great pics. Looks like a terrific road mtb trip. The first three are some of my favorite places to ride.... the last one (Montana de Oro) looks like one I definitely need to add to my ever growing list of must do's.

    The easier line on this little "problem" on Little Horse is to the right along the spine. It looks hairier but it's a straight shot. If you stay left of that boulder you have to make a 90 degree turn right at an awkward spot. It's a bit more of a challenge and more prone to causing the dreaded OTB. Fun, fun stuff either way. Thanks for sharing.
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  9. #9
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    Really nice. Thanks.

  10. #10
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    Great shots!! Thank you for the post
    Some of my happiest memories in life took place on my bicycles. - Me

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