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Prez NMBA
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So I hit the sticky and we have the cosmic whatever guide and still have no clue what to ride in Flag. We are looking for about 6 rides in the 20-25 mile range (certainly can be a little less or an epic day) and when we are out west are rides typically climb in the 2000-3000 feet range but have done 5000 feet days on occasion. Any advice on loops or out-n-backs, as much single track as possible would be greatly appreciated. Also any comparisons of the rides to other stuff in say Tahoe, durango, crested butte, park city, etc might also help us figure out what makes sense for us. If it makes a difference we are gonna be there in the end of August/ begin of sept time frame.
Thanks for any assistance and if you ever find yourself in central Pennsylvania, let me know and we can hook you up with some great riding around here.
 

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Try Rocky Ridge, over to Lookout Road, up to Upper Red Onion, down Little Bear, up Little Elden to Shultz, up Orion Springs to Newham and then down the Motos. This is a killer XC ride that will give you a little bit of everything except for the FR stuff. After that if you want more of a challenge just let us know. Going up L. Brookbrank and down Little Gnarly kinda sucks if you ask me, bad representation of our riding.
 

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Shift less, Pedal more.
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latedropbob said:
right now all you can ride in Flag is Snowbowl...wax 'em up boys and girls!!! it was epic last weekend:)
Agreed. There will be no riding in Flag for a couple of months. Ride Sedona instead.

But for Flag.

Start at Buffalo Park, Up Lower Oldam to Rocky Ridge, RR and up Schultz, Right at gate to Climb 3, Down Little Bear and down Schultz, Back on RR, Back on Oldam, and to Buffalo Park. Bout 25 miles I think.
 

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raisingarizona said:
Going up L. Brookbrank and down Little Gnarly kinda sucks if you ask me, bad representation of our riding.
Yeah, challenging climbing SUCKS! Roads kickass.
 

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Start at Rocky ridge / Schultz lot. Up Rocky Ridge > Up fire road > Up Upper Oldham > cross fire road > Up Sunset > left at the T to stay on Sunset > Down Little Bear > Left @ T > Follow to top of Schultz and go down. And back to parking lot.
 

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Cabin Loop on the Mogollon Rim. A little over an hour from Flag, but well worth it. 25 - 30 miles of gorgeous singletrack through the pines. It will take about 6 hours to do it right.
 

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Up Schultz, down Little Elden, up Little Bear, down Brookbank, down Jedi, up Secret, down Super Moto, down Ft Valley.
 

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Jayem said:
Yeah, challenging climbing SUCKS! Roads kickass.
Take it easy guy, why kill yourself on BB just to drop down Little Gnarly? We use the road to sustain our energy for the tech descents up here. But go ahead, be my guest at wasting all that energy for nothing. Climbing BB isn't really that technically challenging anyway unless you consider punching yourself in the nuts over and over a challenge.:D
 

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raisingarizona said:
Take it easy guy, why kill yourself on BB just to drop down Little Gnarly? We use the road to sustain our energy for the tech descents up here. But go ahead, be my guest at wasting all that energy for nothing. Climbing BB isn't really that technically challenging anyway unless you consider punching yourself in the nuts over and over a challenge.:D
Wait, climbing up BB "kills you", but on the other hand you say it's not really technically challenging? I don't understand, why does it "kill you" then? Going up that way (LG UBB Sunset) has level spots, even some downhills, compared to going up "the road". I'm seriously confused. There's also climbing up Sunset after Schultz.

Seriously, that climbing "kills you"? The original poster seemed like he was looking for some pretty agressive rides. I understand that you can't ride agressively up AND down, but I was thinking that we should give the option.

OP: You need to look for the Mt Elden maps. Just run a search on the AZ board. That will be what you need, the trails are even graded as far as technical features, so you can decide how hard you want it. You can put together big fun rides with the map.

Why kill yourself riding up National just to ride back down? Why kill yourself riding up Munds just to do Hangover? Why kill yourself riding up Shultz when there's a road next to it? Why kill yourself riding up TRT when you can shortcut Toads? Why why why why why? While challenging, most of us consider these climbs part of mountain biking. We don't see it as "killing" ourselves, just as part of the ride, and depending on our fitness and ability, it may be pretty far removed from "killing" ourselves.
 

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Jayem said:
Wait, climbing up BB "kills you", but on the other hand you say it's not really technically challenging? I don't understand, why does it "kill you" then? Going up that way (LG UBB Sunset) has level spots, even some downhills, compared to going up "the road". I'm seriously confused. There's also climbing up Sunset after Schultz.

Seriously, that climbing "kills you"? The original poster seemed like he was looking for some pretty agressive rides. I understand that you can't ride agressively up AND down, but I was thinking that we should give the option.

OP: You need to look for the Mt Elden maps. Just run a search on the AZ board. That will be what you need, the trails are even graded as far as technical features, so you can decide how hard you want it. You can put together big fun rides with the map.

Why kill yourself riding up National just to ride back down? Why kill yourself riding up Munds just to do Hangover? Why kill yourself riding up Shultz when there's a road next to it? Why kill yourself riding up TRT when you can shortcut Toads? Why why why why why? While challenging, most of us consider these climbs part of mountain biking. We don't see it as "killing" ourselves, just as part of the ride, and depending on our fitness and ability, it may be pretty far removed from "killing" ourselves.
Over the years of doing long epic rides and ski touring I have learned to save a little for the quality stuff, tech riding and fast downhills. Climbing LBB to drop down LG is kind of like a 16 year old sexual experience, don't blow it all too early. Come on up and ride with us Jayhem to see what I mean. We tend to ride three difficult climbs and ride the most difficult downhills on our long rides. And yes, I climb the road to ride HO, I like to save my energy for the fun parts. But whatever, we all have different ideas of a good ride, I'm sure you are having fun and it's all good.
 

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Just another half mile...
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That's one of my favorite loops up on Elden. Another good route reverses some of your loop: Up Schultz, up Sunset, Down Little Bear, Up Little Elden, Up Weatherford, Down Ricochet, up Secret, down Super Moto, down Ft Valley. Here is a good MAP to get you around. Post up later this summer and I am sure there will be a few peeps that would love to so you around.

Chalkpaw said:
Up Schultz, down Little Elden, up Little Bear, down Brookbank, down Jedi, up Secret, down Super Moto, down Ft Valley.
 

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Also, on the ride I suggested riding from RR to URO on Lookout is very short for the fit XC rider and it gets you to the goods quickly. I would hate to waste my time climbing LBB to descend down an old jeep road.:)
 

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raisingarizona said:
Also, on the ride I suggested riding from RR to URO on Lookout is very short for the fit XC rider and it gets you to the goods quickly. I would hate to waste my time climbing LBB to descend down an old jeep road.:)
Why would you go down LG? Why wouldn't you go down Little Bear or Sunset?
 

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raisingarizona said:
Over the years of doing long epic rides and ski touring I have learned to save a little for the quality stuff, tech riding and fast downhills. Climbing LBB to drop down LG is kind of like a 16 year old sexual experience, don't blow it all too early. Come on up and ride with us Jayhem to see what I mean. We tend to ride three difficult climbs and ride the most difficult downhills on our long rides. And yes, I climb the road to ride HO, I like to save my energy for the fun parts. But whatever, we all have different ideas of a good ride, I'm sure you are having fun and it's all good.
Sounds like: "I can't climb".

I think you percieve that Mt Elden road is easier beacuse it's a road, but otherwise I don't think you have any basis for the claim. That's ok, enjoy the road. What ae the "most difficult" downhills that you're doing? Steel Reserve/Soaring Eagle?

Actually, here is a relevent question: Would you ride up National or Mormon? (to get to the same place).
 

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LG was the said suggested ride. Yes, I have climbed to ride Private or Lone Eagle ( The real name btw ) , Steal hasn't been rideable for about two years now. This past year though we have been mixing in trails like Wasabi, Lower Onion, Prom Night, the steep Jedi or real Jedi, Pickle sometimes and Ginger. I like to reserve the Reserves for shuttles only just because after climbing they are over too short. And ok you win, I suck and can't climb........whatever.
 

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raisingarizona said:
This past year though we have been mixing in trails like Wasabi, Lower Onion, Prom Night, the steep Jedi or real Jedi, Pickle sometimes and Ginger.
Well, you said "most difficult downhills", and I wouldn't say those are the "most difficult" downhills. I'd say those are the most "fun" downhills that have a high payoff for the effort of getting there. You kidn of made it sound like you HAD to ride up the road because you were riding down the most crazy trails ever, but those are just fun trails, most of them best-accessed by trails and not the road. You can ride all of those and only touch the road for the short pedal from lower BB to lower Wasabi, or don't hit the road at all.
 

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Jayem said:
Sounds like: "I can't climb".

I think you percieve that Mt Elden road is easier beacuse it's a road, but otherwise I don't think you have any basis for the claim. That's ok, enjoy the road. What ae the "most difficult" downhills that you're doing? Steel Reserve/Soaring Eagle?

Actually, here is a relevent question: Would you ride up National or Mormon? (to get to the same place).
Okay, I'm going to admit I'm not overly familiar with the trail names up on Elden, but if you two are talking about either riding up the fire road versus the trail (starting at Sunset?), then I'd 100% recommend riding up the trail. Riding up the road is hella boring.
 

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It's too early to be talking about Flag riding yet, but might I also suggest the AZ Trail. If you want to experience beautiful fun singletrack, aspen and fern forests, and great views where it might be possible to see the Grand Canyon on a clear day, then that is definately a trail I would include in your planning.

If you would like to make it more technical, then start further down the mountain than the typical trailhead. Last time, I started off of FR 522 and incorporated upper Flying Fish into my ride. I did an out and back that was somewhere near 26 miles, and my legs and lungs got a great workout. Especially since the majority of the ride is an average of 8500' elevation.
 
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