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I have been fascinated by this 58 mile loop of my town for the last couple years, but never really felt I had it in me to actually ride so far, for so long, and climb so much. 58 miles, 8800ft vertical, and somewhere near eight hours of riding is chump change for many folks, but it is downright intimidating to me. My longest rides have been in the four hour range, but usually last 2-3 hours and go 25 miles maximum.

There was a loosely organized group of folks who developed and rode this loop earlier this spring.

I wanted to try it then, but did not have the time. I finally got around to this ride today. I had the day off, the temps are cool, I have been riding a lot over winter/spring, and it was time to give it a go.

Beyond my expectations, I finished the entire course, and it is a stellar ride. I would estimate you get to spend 45 miles on singletrack. It samples almost every cool local singletrack/riding location in this little town.

Highly recommended if you are up for a ride this long and want a taste of Prescott.

Since it is a loop, you can start anywhere on the loop, no need to start at the official spot. I rode from home and picked it up at its lowest point near Willow Lake.

In the course of the ride, you get to ride past all the local reservoirs as it loops around the town. I tried to get photos of each, but missed one in a bonk induced brain fade (Lynx Lake.)

Pre Dawn Willow Lake



View toward Thumb Butte and Spruce mtn where I'm heading.



Granite Basin Lake:



View of Granite Basin and Granite Mountain, just before completing the circle around Granite basin. (remember this view for later)



Thumb Butte on Right, Spruce peak way off in the distance on left. I'm heading to both.



Columbine





Aptly named Quartz Mountain





Looking back towards Thumb Butte from the other side, with Granite Mountain way off in the distance (remember what I told you to remember)



Goldwater Lake



No photo of Lynx Lake

Willow Lake...almost home free at this point.



AAAHHHHH



Time: 7:40 on the XC/Freeride suspension single speed.

I was impressed with not exactly how easy it was (it wasn't), but how possible it was for a rider like myself with so little endurance experience. It just takes a little persistence/patience.

I ate two granola bars, and apple and 1/2 a PB&J. Not enough, but I just had no appetite.

Amazingly, my neck is a little stiff, hands and butt a little sore, but otherwise I feel great, so I think I have my bike set up nailed (hear that Dave C!).

Maybe it is time to consider a White Rim in a Day ride?

I post this in Passion in the hopes that it will encourage some one else to take the plunge on that big ride you have been eyeballing, but have not committed to yet.
 

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Great report. I finally completed a loop that I had in my head for some ten years this spring. It was quite an accomplishment for me.

Thanks.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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lacticacidbath said:
Prescott Has An "in N Out"??

Omg Wtf!!!!!!!
Uh, local area has 4 safeways, 3 frys, at least 2 albertsons and bashas, 2 walmarts, etc. 3rd largest city-area in Arizona. Also Red Robin just across the street from In N Out. This and lots more.
 

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i lived there from 97-01. i still have a lot of friends in the area.

i'm blown away by how big it's become. That was 10 years ago and holy cow the sprawl!

i like the biscuit and would move back if i had a good job there. good riding. good climbing. **** skiing.
 

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Wow this is amazing i'm considering about going to college in Prescott and this just brought both my thumbs up :thumbsup:
 

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livin' the dream......
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Great story and pics. I'm down in Phx and will have to try to get up there to experience this loop. I've only been to Prescott once, and really liked it.
 

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Very cool. Nice job completing the loop. And nice job to the guys who hooked it all together.

We just completed our annual Fears Tears Beers Enduro here in Ely which connects about 33 miles of our trails that you can ride right near town. Your post has inspired me to try and figure out a way to tie in the stellar Cave Lake loops (the trailhead is about 12 miles out of town) to make a big 60-70 mile day out of it.

On a side note: Some one is going to have to define the term "Monstercross" for me. I've always notice that huge thread over on the 29er forum "I beg you. More Monstercross" and assumed it was some type of 4x, or slalom racing for 29ers. I was always too intimated by the shear size to wade through the post though.
 

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Sir Hurt Locker
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Great post! Looks like you had a blast, thanks for the inspiration to doing my own epic.

Just curious though, on the map some of the loop is "proposed trail," is the entire loop complete now or did you have to find a way to connect the trails?
 

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Nicely done Eric, I missed this the first go round. You've got such good top end power, building endurance won't be as much of a task as you might think.

White Rim in a day is different, but in most conditions easier, than that loop. Less climbing, more straight ahead grinding (roadie style).

Rob, the name (for the race) came from me. The Kaibab was the original, so named because it was big and had a lot of gravel roads. I wouldn't ride a "monstercross" bike on it (monstercross bike meaning 700c wheels, tires between 40 and 50c, and some sort of drop bars). The name got extended to the first Prescott Monstercross, which was a scramble, scavenger hunt type ride (inspired by the Barkley Marathons in TN, and the Pisgah Mountain bike Adventure). Chad brought it back to life this year as a loop, which is a much better idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
ionsmuse said:
Nicely done Eric, I missed this the first go round. You've got such good top end power, building endurance won't be as much of a task as you might think.
Thanks. I was actually very amazed at how well it went considering the lengths of endurance stuff I have tried prior to this. My longest ever "race" was a 1/2 Ironman and the last two hours of "running" (if you can call what I was doing at that point running) were very (very) painful. Training up to a 4 hour marathon was very difficult, and I had to add time on the run incrementally. Simply put, it seems much, much harder to add distance/time in a running event than it is to add in cycling (in my limited experience).

I think the single speed helped quite a bit. Kept me going slow, and walking rather than powering up stuff.

You might remember the trails, so I will tell you two personal/local highlights:

1. I cleaned all the tight switchbacks on the climb from Katahn road into Granite Basin. I can't remember the last time I did this on the SS, and to do it on a ride this long was icing on top.

2. I got up Spruce road without pushing. This was extremely difficult mentally.

I am itching to try a few more rides like this (if the home life ever allows it), and this one gave me the confidence to maybe go for it a little more.

The cool thing about summer is that I was able to get this massive ride in, be done by noon and get the rest of the day with the family. I love the early dawns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
azepicriderandrunner said:
I have a few ideas that would allow you a similar good epic ride and would involve some stuff on Mingus :D

Bring them on. If I can do them within a 1/2 hour drive from home, all the better.

I have yet to sample Mingus riding.
 

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Occidental Tourist
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I love that loop. A perfect Prescott samplers platter.
 
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