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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I finally got my new bike in ('07 Marin Palasides trail) and finally figured out how to dial in the brakes right and decided to go for my first ride. I took flamingo all the way west to the golf course and jumped off into the wash to get past the retention basin. I found this old trail that lead way into the desert and after about 10 miles dumped into the red rock camp ground. The guy that is the area host told me it was illegal to ride through the desert so I told him that I found some old road that leads to the water retention basin. He persisted to tell me it was illegal and told me not to do it. So I left via the road out of the camp ground and luckily ran into some rangers.

To make a long ride/story short the rangers told me it wasn't illegal and advised me about some "Black Velvet Canyon" after the 13 mile loop exit. Have you guys heard of this place? I don't remember reading about it on this site. Maybe I over looked it?

Also I have been flying over red rocks a lot lately looking for the cowboy trail, I cant seem to find it, how far from the red rock camp ground would you say it is? I am finding motivation to ride my bike from home right to this place but am trying to avoid pavement... Is this possible?

Thanks,
Mike

PS every Monday in March I have off and plan on biking and or climbing those days if any of you guys are interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Got'cha. I looked on google earth too and it made it seem a little less confusing. Do you recommend going right or left around the trail. I remember reading once but cant find it now.

~Mike
 

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desert dweller
Ventana El Ciclon
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If you're talking about the Cowboy Trails -- you'll want to ride them counter clockwise. Start at the trailhead and ride up on the South edge of the trail system on Bunny. The trails are fun but very technical and challenging. If you're just getting into riding you might find yourself walking quite a bit (the climb is long and the downhills can be treacherous).

If you ride up and back on the same trail "Bunny". See the link below for a rough trail map of the Cowboy Trails.
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=129330&highlight=cowboy

If you want to ride Cottonwood -- ride anyway you want the trails there are good in any direction.

mbb
 

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Black Velvet is a short but quite technical section that runs right along the base of the "mountains" near the Late Nite trail. There is usually an abundance of nasty thorn clusters scattered around so if you aren't running some sort of tubeless or slime tubes I would stay away. It's challenging but certainly doable. You can also get to it from the parking lot where the climbers park.

For something more moderate, just across 160 is the old NORBA trail aka Dead Horse Loop, definitely a fun trail and you can take it all the way out too the overlook which has a pretty nice view of the valley.
 

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Young, Shawn Young
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I hope it does rain a bit. Nothing like a ride in the rain and to get rid of some of the dust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
First off...


WOW!

So let me give you a brief description of what happened to me. I make it to the summit, where all the radio towers are, but it wasn't the easiest thing I have done... or the smartest.

I showed up at about 330 and to my surprise there was another solo rider heading up the trail, I asked if I could join because i was new to my bike and the area. She only had time to take me 30 mins or so.
Well in the first 50 feet I fell and smacked my head so hard that the plastic on my helmet fractured. My pride was hurt but I kept on trucking. Little did I know There would be two more falls to come before she finally turned back. I was determined to make it up.

So I got a little lost, I took my first left at the fork, then at the next fork (mile or so later) i went right (could have gone left, strait or right) well unfortunately it took me to the quarry which sucked. But since I was so determined to make it to the top I kept on trucking. After some grueling climbs and a few wrong turns (found the sloan mine... GRR) AND some hike-a-bike I was at the top of the hill. (picture to come later)

At that point I was faced with a difficult decision at that point. The sun had just slipped behind the mountain (took me 1.5 hours to make it the short but torturous 6.5 miles) and I had to decide to find the "bunny hill" down or take the service road.

NOTE TO EVERYONE HERE DO NOT TAKE THE SERVICE ROAD. I got SOOOOO lost. It spit me out somewhere deep in the belly of the quarry and light was fading fast. Before I knew it, the only light I had came from the full moon. I didn't have any problems riding by only moon light with the exception of going..... 20 MPH down hill... over wash out areas and uneven terrain! Finally I slowed it down and gave my new brakes a total work out. my brakes were screaming at me and F***ING hot!

I make it what I think is about 3/4 of the way down and realize I am soooo lost. The "road" I was taking was now blocked by 4 feet of dirt. It was too dark to see what was on the other side so I had no choice to start to walk again. I made it a few hundred feet and realized that all of these "roads" were blocked by 4 feet of dirt. So I would ride 100 yrds and then have to walk my bike over some darn dirt mounds.

finally I come to a flat area and see a road running through the desert to 159. I mutter a thanks to the moon gods and start to walk my bike down this super steep drop to the road when a heard of about 15 donkeys take off running and scare me so bad i nearly tumble the 50 some feet down the dirt mound. Of course scared and alone I had no choice but to scream at them :).

After two hours I finally made it back to my car and learned some valuable lessons today.

1.) Cowboy trail is just out of my reach.
2.) Next time i wear my pack i am packing extra clothes, it was cold.
3.) Buy a bike light!
4.) Solo rides are great but not always wise late in the day
5.) Donkeys are harmless


So maybe next time I can make the ride with one of you guys if you don't mind me having to re-saddle every 200 yards :)

~Mike
 

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wow sounds like quite the (mis)adventure! glad you and your bike made it through the spills relatively unharmed.

although somewhat related to number four:

6) start a hellova lot earlier than 3:30

:D
 

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Mr. Mohaupt said:
Of course scared and alone I had no choice but to scream at them :).

~Mike
LOL. Got a chuckle out of this statement.

Glad you made it out OK. That "service road" is an old reclaimed mining road (hence the four foot dirt barriers every so often), but the cowboy trail does use it for a ways. You must have missed the turns back onto the trail.

Good lessons learned.
 

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.........................
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???

salimoneus said:
wow sounds like quite the (mis)adventure! glad you and your bike made it through the spills relatively unharmed.

although somewhat related to number four:

6) start a hellova lot earlier than 3:30

:D
Did you scream AT the donkeys, or scream FROM the donkeys? Sounds funny as hell!
You might want to buy a light.
 

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Single Malt
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Adventure----

If you leave your house to head out on an Adventure, and everything goes as planned, was it one???? Without flats, bugs, burros, lack of sunlight, and small green alien like people, every ride is much the same the as the last, these are the reasons we keep the cranks crankin!!!!! Glad to hear all turned out well. Good thing the Trolls never found you!!!!:eekster:
 

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JJ29 said:
If you leave your house to head out on an Adventure, and everything goes as planned, was it one???? Without flats, bugs, burros, lack of sunlight, and small green alien like people, every ride is much the same the as the last, these are the reasons we keep the cranks crankin!!!!! Glad to hear all turned out well. Good thing the Trolls never found you!!!!:eekster:
great post. those challenging times are the ones we remember most, it's quite humbling, and to know that the mountain or trail or whatever kept you on your toes you earn a new respect and appreciation for it, and it keeps you coming back for more to find what other challenges it has to offer.
 
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