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Another Broken Spoke
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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday I decided to try the around the McDowell Mountains double-bypass, starting from my house along Quartz. I've ridden up and over Sunrise and Windgate before, but never connected the two on the Fountain Hill side, and in readying for the quad, decided yesterday should be the day to at least familiarize myself with the entire route.

I followed the route described by Walt, using the Jeep road to get to Ringtail off the top of Taliesan. In my opinion, that's a harder way to get to Sunrise than just going down Lost Dog. Sure you join Sunrise at a higher elevation, but the Jeep road takes more effort to get to the same spot. Of course, it's not all about what's easiest, right?

Going up Sunrise, the somewhat limited riding I've done the last 2 weeks was noticeable. I actually walked a short stretch between the 2 saddles. Sheesh. I think I arrived at the bottom of Sunrise in just under 2 hrs, which wasn't horrible, but certainly wasn't fast.

I then found the dirt road (does this have a name?) that leads away from the Hidden Hills subdivision, and headed north. At this point, I was riding unfamiliar "trail", just hoping to eventually find/see the right spot to go toward. When the dirt road dumped my out in the Eagle's Nest subdivision, I thought it was the case that Dixie Mine started on the far north side, so I began scouting for it. At a T intersection, I headed uphill looking for Dixie Mine, when I should have headed down hill, which cost me some distance/time/effort, but eventually I did find Dixie Mine.

Dixie Mine surprised me. It's not as technical as riding Pass Mountain, but it's somewhat close. Rather similar terrain, with the repetitious up and down, while gradually ascending. What surprised me most, was that the Parks and Rec folks actually built a true single track, with some technical in it.

Once Dixie Mine arrived at Coachwhip, I was on familiar trail again, and painfully made it to the top of Windgate Pass. There was more hike-a-bike in it for me coming up the back side of Windgate, but all-in-all it wasn't terrible.

Coming down Windgate I decided to hop over via Gateway. That required more hike-a-bike, but I figured it was a pay-me-now vs. pay-me-later scenario, and I like the descent from the top of Gateway.

In total, it was 25 miles and 5 hrs for the round trip. That was a few miles further and an hour longer than I was expecting. And it definitely opened my eyes up to what the quad is going to be like. As cool and moist as it was yesterday, I was able to sip my 100 oz Camelback such that it lasted until I reached Gateway. For the quad, I'll definitely need more water and more food (somehow I didn't have any food in my pack, which I regretted when I realized how close to bonking I was at the start of Coachwhip).
 

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RHRF!
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1,279 Posts
Hey SDB, that was me...

... on the blue Motolite, that you met on the way up Coachwhip/Windgate. Glad you finished without any mishaps, as riding out there alone and crashing means a LONG and lonely walk/hobble back to civilization.

BTW... the 1-track on Dixie Mine WAS NOT cut by the park service but is in fact a very old, I'm guessing at least 30 yrs. old, horse-trail that was used to get to the park from the old stables that once existed at the end of Golden Eagle Blvd., before all of that development. After riding DMT for almost 10 years, I've yet to have a 'dab-free' session heading north to the road. I've only cleaned that damn 'chute' twice... but the return trip is always a blast!

Walt - I'm training hard and trying to lose a few LBees so I'm hoping to make the Quad. If I can swing it, I'm thinking about parking my 'truck of goodies' at the bottom of Sunrise instead of in FH. I think on a Quad, the refueling needs to happen sooner than the FH rest stop.

RHRF!
 

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I am Walt
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6,284 Posts
titusbro said:
Walt - I'm training hard and trying to lose a few LBees so I'm hoping to make the Quad. If I can swing it, I'm thinking about parking my 'truck of goodies' at the bottom of Sunrise instead of in FH. I think on a Quad, the refueling needs to happen sooner than the FH rest stop.

RHRF!
Agreed re where to park the truck. I'll drive you over to the start, if you need a ride.
 

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sdbelt said:
Yesterday I decided to try the around the McDowell Mountains double-bypass, starting from my house along Quartz. I've ridden up and over Sunrise and Windgate before, but never connected the two on the Fountain Hill side, and in readying for the quad, decided yesterday should be the day to at least familiarize myself with the entire route.

I followed the route described by Walt, using the Jeep road to get to Ringtail off the top of Taliesan. In my opinion, that's a harder way to get to Sunrise than just going down Lost Dog. Sure you join Sunrise at a higher elevation, but the Jeep road takes more effort to get to the same spot. Of course, it's not all about what's easiest, right?

Going up Sunrise, the somewhat limited riding I've done the last 2 weeks was noticeable. I actually walked a short stretch between the 2 saddles. Sheesh. I think I arrived at the bottom of Sunrise in just under 2 hrs, which wasn't horrible, but certainly wasn't fast.

I then found the dirt road (does this have a name?) that leads away from the Hidden Hills subdivision, and headed north. At this point, I was riding unfamiliar "trail", just hoping to eventually find/see the right spot to go toward. When the dirt road dumped my out in the Eagle's Nest subdivision, I thought it was the case that Dixie Mine started on the far north side, so I began scouting for it. At a T intersection, I headed uphill looking for Dixie Mine, when I should have headed down hill, which cost me some distance/time/effort, but eventually I did find Dixie Mine.

Dixie Mine surprised me. It's not as technical as riding Pass Mountain, but it's somewhat close. Rather similar terrain, with the repetitious up and down, while gradually ascending. What surprised me most, was that the Parks and Rec folks actually built a true single track, with some technical in it.

Once Dixie Mine arrived at Coachwhip, I was on familiar trail again, and painfully made it to the top of Windgate Pass. There was more hike-a-bike in it for me coming up the back side of Windgate, but all-in-all it wasn't terrible.

Coming down Windgate I decided to hop over via Gateway. That required more hike-a-bike, but I figured it was a pay-me-now vs. pay-me-later scenario, and I like the descent from the top of Gateway.

In total, it was 25 miles and 5 hrs for the round trip. That was a few miles further and an hour longer than I was expecting. And it definitely opened my eyes up to what the quad is going to be like. As cool and moist as it was yesterday, I was able to sip my 100 oz Camelback such that it lasted until I reached Gateway. For the quad, I'll definitely need more water and more food (somehow I didn't have any food in my pack, which I regretted when I realized how close to bonking I was at the start of Coachwhip).
I did roughly the same route last week, but slower than you, which is why I've withdrawn from Walt's suffer-fest. Did you notice all of the quartz scattered along the Dixie Mine trail?
 

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New trail work for next spring from the spring where the jeep road ends (located north of Windgate) the trail flagging I saw leads up to Toms Thumb/the huge boulder at the top then it hooks up to the north side access according to Claire from the City of Scottsdale who I ran into yesterday. Should be interesting.
 

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Another Broken Spoke
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149 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
TitusBro, it's good to put a handle to a face...rather funny to do it in that order. I didn't mention it in passing, but did you notice I have a Ti Racer-X?

And I wasn't aware that DM had been there so long, but now it makes total sense. I can only hope the park service doesn't ruin it, as a justification for the $1 they want to collect. I got to the base of the chute, and gave it the lamest of efforts. It totally wasn't worth it at that point.

I noticed that the east side of Windgate is now sporting some uber bad water bars. These new ones are even worse than most on the west side. As well, the west side has new ones closer to the top, including at that final switchback, 50 ft from the top. I yelled a loud explicitive when one of the new water bars caused my rear tire to slide 1' down hill, and almost pitched me into a prickly pear. I'm surprised TitusBro didn't hear that one...

As far as re-fueling spots go, I'd suggest the west side of Sunrise. The 128th St or possibly better, the Lost Dog trail head makes the most sense to me.
 
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