Yesterday a rather large crew of MTBR riders (about 25) meet up in North Scottsdale for a chilly, but epic ride around the McDowell's. WaltAZ suggested the route should consist of riding up and over Sunrise and then returning over Windgate or Bell Pass; hence the name "Double Bypass". This is a shake down ride, in preparation of the third annual Quadruple Bypass
(Windgate, Bell, Sunrise, and Windgate again) slated for January 2009.
We met up here
at 8:00, on the coldest morning we had for long, long time. Actually it wasn't that bad, prolly about 50 degrees. It was supposed to be cooler and a chance of rain. No rain materialized, but the temps did drop a bunch as the ride progressed. In just shorts and a long sleep biking kit, I felt pretty comfortable through out the ride. It was pretty interesting seeing the Arizonans all dressed up in there cold weather clothing.
After a long climb up to Sunrise, Tecate and Foster's oil cans were abundant, but I opted for the Sparks (a malt liquor/caffeine enhanced energy drink). Mixing my stimulates and depressants sent me sideways instead up or down. Proper nutrition is crucial on a long and demanding ride like this. A few riders turned around at this point and went back the what we just climbed up, leaving us with 20 riders continuing on. The flight down the backside of Sunrise was hoot - fast, swoopy, curvy and long.
At this point, a few more riders bailed, the rest of the crew headed off like a herd of turtles up the jeep road on the backside of the McDowell's (Fountain Hills). This part of the ride is deceivingly hard, because you do end up climbing about 1,000 vf without much reward. And this jeep road actually gave us a couple crashes, the left one rider with a bashed up leg and hand. The other dood wasn't so fortunate; at the time he thought he just sprained his wrist, so he continued on. Apparently, he actually had a broken hand. Which is pretty amazing, cuz he suffered up another grueling climb and a pretty demanding downhill run.
After licking our wounds, we made the long slog back up to the next pass. Fellow MTBR rider, DurtGurl, had a nasty spill a few weeks ago that left her with a broken scapula, so her combination of not riding the past few weeks, fighting off a nasty cold, and pedaling on flats left her looking for a slightly shorter option of going up and over Bell Pass instead of Windgate. The rest of the continued on to Windgate, so not wanting Durtgurl to feel alone, I road up and over Bell with her. This trail is so freaking fun. It's steep, with nicely designed switchbacks that allow you keep your mojo going. This decent goes on for few miles.
We rallied up with the rest of the group at the bottom of the Gateway Trail, and completed the loop with a few miles of XC single track on Paradise trail.
Hopefully metrics on the ride will be made available, but we road the 20-some miles in about five and half hours.
The run up to this ride can be found here: MTBR Double Bypass Post
And the post ride comments can be found here: MTBR Double Bypass Post Ride Report
Info on the January 2009 Quadruple Bypass
Here's a vid of the day: McDowell Mountain Preserve Double Bypass
A high res (Quicktime)Version can be found here: McDowell Mountain Preserve Double Bypass