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I have a crew of 11 coming out from CA to ride in a couple of weeks. This group comes out every year and this year we wanted to ride something we haven't ridden yet. I have heard a lot of good things about Picket Post and would like your help choosing a section to ride.

Ideally we are looking for less than 20 miles total distance. It would be great if we could start the ride with a climb and end with a DH, but I realize that might not be a viable option.

Does any of this sound realistic? I appreciate any suggestions you may have.

Thanks.
 

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Break it, Fix it, Ride it
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I second Ray. There are common turnaround points at 7, 10, and 15 miles, each one about 10 times better than the last. My stoke contribution here.
 

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I am Walt
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+1 what Ray said...you want the out and back...it's easy to follow, and will give you a long, gradual climb at the start, and a long, flowy downhill at the end. You can flip it at 10-10.5 miles, which is at the top of a grind-ish climb, through a gate, or go to the 15-mile mark as Ray mentions for a great view, but also a killer, scenic downhill through a canyon to get there. Of course, the caveat is that you'll have to climb back UP through that canyon to get back, and it's a rather demanding 30-mile out and back.


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mtbr dismember
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Here is the profile going south from Picketpost to Kelvin. I've done out and backs from both directions. I think you get more classic desert scenery starting at Kelvin. But for 20 miles with a downhill at the end better to start from Picketpost. Lots of photos on my site.

 

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Just another half mile...
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Yes, there is a a 22 mile version that doesn't go all the way to the Kelvin, but it requires a lenghty shuttle. Last fall we drove out the night before and camped out at Cochran, which is on the south side of the Gila River. Next morning we loaded up in two cars, leaving the camp vehicles at camp and drove around to the Picket post trailhead, About a 1.5 hours drive - 56 miles. We rode the AZ trail from Picket Post TH up an over and down to the Gila River, then crossed the river back to camp where cold beverages were waiting. It took us about 5.5 hours to ride this section, which included lots of photo breaks and one sidewall cut that we had to eventually ducktape to keep it from bulging out. This will require wading across the Gila River. Bring some lightweight water shoes to wade across the river in to protect your feet, or just wade across in your shoes. Either camp out again at Cochran and drive out the next morning to pick up the shuttle vehicles, or drive out that afternon/night pick up the shuttle cars and have dinner in Superior at Los Hermanos. A great day after ride would be to hit up the Gold Canyon Trails. There are placed to camp off of Peralta road.

Shuttle ROUTE
 

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DFL>DNF>DNS
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The Cochran shuttle is a nice idea, but keep an eye on the flow of the Gila River. Change the date range on this page to mid-Jan. to current and you'll see quite a variety of water levels.

For reference, I was able to walk through the river on Jan. 26 @ Cochran and it was only ankle deep, but on Feb. 22nd when we were filtering water at that location it was easily waist-deep and now the flow is even higher after the recent storm. The levels are coming down a bit, so keep a watchful eye if you decide on this option.
 

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EDR
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.

For reference, I was able to walk through the river on Jan. 26 @ Cochran and it was only ankle deep, but on Feb. 22nd when we were filtering water at that location it was easily waist-deep and now the flow is even higher after the recent storm. The levels are coming down a bit, so keep a watchful eye if you decide on this option.
I was there Saturday there's no way I would have tried to cross the river at that spot. Certainly not with a bike on my back. Too much water flowing too fast.
 
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