Ridin bikes is fun
Or you could call this a good way to waist a Monday afternoon.
So the other day I was perusing the MBAA web site and trying to see if I’m motivated enough to race this season, when I saw that they say they are adding gravity events this season. I read their plan for McDowell Mountain race venue. Basically they have come up with a course with 3 mostly downhill sections where racers are only going to be timed on the downhill parts. Sounds kind of fun, but it made me think I could come up with a much better course of this nature right here on my home turf in the Hawes system. So this afternoon I headed out with the intent of stringing together the best of the best downhill sections and share them here.
Here is a link to the system so you can follow along.http://www.globalbikesbikeshop.com/CURRENT_HAWES_MAP.pdf
First: Climb to the top (on the map linked, it’s the Hawes loop trail in yellow east side of the map). This trail can be accessed from Las Sendas, you can shuttle most of the uphill or ride the road or the trail like I did today. I like this trail better than the upper part of the Microwave Tower trail because it flows better. I know some people like the Upper Tower trail because it’s very techy. I chose this route because it flows so nicely. Once you get to the highest point of the Hawes Loop trail (my gps has been busted for awhile now so this is estimated) you will see a Karin I built with a small stick sticking out of the top. This is the starting point. From this point, the course runs mostly downhill for 2 to 3 miles (estimated). Ride north from the starting point until the Hawes Trail Loop meets with the Microwave Tower Trail. Follow the Tower Trail down hill (west, it turns into the Hawes Trail) continue dropping down until you get to the sharp right hairpin turn onto the Saddle Trail. The trail rolls along for a couple hundred yards until it turns down hill again, you are now in what most of us call Disney Land. Keep pushing on until it spits you out into the wash at the bottom. At this point there is another Karin on the right side of the trail to mark the end of the first section. I’m sure this was not my fasted time on this route but I did push it as much as I could today. I timed myself at 9:44 (minutes: seconds) on this section. This is one fun fast section with plenty of pucker factor if you are pushing it at all.
Second: I continued on the Saddle Trail in order to link up with the north end of the new not so “Secret Trail” or whatever it’s being called. Once the Saddle Trail meets Secret turn south and climb up to the highest point of this trail. If you’re coming from the south this is the part of the trail after coming out of the long sandy wash as the trail peaks or tops out. I built another Karin here to mark the start of Section 2. Section 2 is much shorter yet its super fun, I’d guess it’s about a mile long. From here the highest point of this trail, turn around to head north. The north half of this trail when riding from the midpoint of the trail in the northwardly direction, flows like a roller coaster, just super fun. The trail rolls along heading north mostly downhill with very little climbing, up down tight and twisty fun until it meets with the Saddle Trail. Keep heading north on Saddle and Carrying through the big switchbacks that are known as the techiest section of this trail system. A couple of notes about this section, first at the point that Secret meets Saddle there is a big rock on the right side of the trail, you get extra points if you ride up and over this rock. Extra points are also given if when cresting the small hill just before the switchbacks if you go to the right and ride through the rock garden. No real points are given you just feel cool when you hit both these features. I built another Karin just after exiting the switchbacks in the wash.
My time for this section was 4:24. I did wash out on one of the sandy turns just before the Switchbacks, no carnage to report but it did cost me 5 to 10 seconds.
Third: The Mine Trail. Most of you who are still with me know how to get to the Mine Trail form the switchbacks. But real quick, continue on Saddle north until it meets the Saguaro Trail turn right and start climbing, when you get to the intersection of Twisted Sister keep left and keep on going up until you see the mine on your left. I built another Karin on the right side of the trail at the top as the marker for section 3. If you are stopped with the mine on your left look down to your right and you will see the Karin. Start here and just go down. Hang on tight if you are pushing things it’s a fast, twisty, rocky fun ride. The only modification to this route is near the bottom at the point where the trail turns tightly to the left and takes you to the wash at the bottom, instead of going left head straight towards the road and follow the trail to the road. This little section is fast and fun, but most importantly it spits you out on the road where if you’re smart you have a shuttle car waiting to take you back to the top so you can do it all again. This section took me 5:05.
I’m not looking for any serious competition on this, I just thought it would be fun for me to post my times and see if others would be interested in trying to beat them. I’m no downhill guy, just a Hawes regular. I know there are lot of guys and some girls who could do this much faster, so get out and show me. If anyone is interested in a real time trial I could be up for that, or a group ride in the form of a tour would be fun also. Saturday will be good for me, anyone up for some fun?