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Hey folks,

I'm headed out next week on a 3-4 week solo jaunt...mostly in Utah / Arizona / New Mexico / Colorado.

My primary focus will be to ride new places and explore trail systems...also want to meet trail builders and trail advocacy organizations that I can learn from to help strengthen the work we're doing at MBOSC.

I'll be in a fairly capable 4WD vehicle and looking to do some backcountry driving...also looking to get in a lot of hiking (day hikes and shorter overnight trips) and I'll have an inflatable kayak and river floating inner tube at the ready.

I've travelled this general area quite a bit but it's amazing how much stuff I still haven't seen / done...and even with 3-4 weeks, I'll only be scratching the surface.

I'm looking for pointers / recommendations primarily for riding, but any / all ideas of stuff to do are welcome.

Places currently on the list to ride:
- Gooseberry Mesa / Little Creek
- Sedona / Flagstaff
- Albuquerque
- Sante Fe / Taos
- Durango
- Cortez / Phil's World
- Moab
- Fruita / Grand Junction

Of all the above, the only place I've ridden is Moab.

Other places to ride?
Specific trail recommendations in these places?
Shops / shuttles / outfitters?
Trail builders / advocates?

Any and all suggestions welcome...thanks!
 

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I'm sure you already know to use Over the Edge for Sedona info.
It's likely going to be pretty hot there now so be ready to go early.

Flagstaff is really cool too but like RBoardman mentioned, the higher elevation stuff will likely still have Snow...
 

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Durango is a great ride destination and there are trails all over the place that you can ride to from town

I'm sure somebody here can help w/ this or he will chime in himself but there is a guy who I'm pretty sure is named Hunter who is from marin but mostly lives in durango who is a great guy and great guide and involved in trail building / advocacy in durango but i forget his mtbr handle - he would be a great contact if anybody knows who i'm talking about?
 

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San Rafael swell has some amazing riding. It's been forever since I've been there so I'd see if you can get beta on the area from a shop in Green River if you are interested. Best to ride with someone as the terrain is unforgiving, technical and remote.

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Gooseberry is a great place to ride and it's pretty cool to camp on the mesa. And I'm sure OTE in Hurricane is involved with local advocacy.

All of those spots listed are fun, beautiful riding areas. Have an epic adventure!
 

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I don't have any suggestions, but am commenting to point out how jealous I am. Sounds like an awesome trip. I hope you have great rides and learn a lot!
 

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orthonormal
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It's a great time of year to ride in Phoenix and Tucson. I'd spend a day at South Mountain Park and another on Mt. Lemmon (Green Mountain trail and Milagrosa Ridge trail)
 

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It's a great time of year to ride in Phoenix and Tucson. I'd spend a day at South Mountain Park and another on Mt. Lemmon (Green Mountain trail and Milagrosa Ridge trail)
Not to sound negative, but isn't June-Sept. the worst time of year to ride there? - I was in Phx last Jun and I couldn't even make it through a light 6:30 AM cruise on some flat trails b/c it was just so damn hot! - I would think December would be ideal?
 

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orthonormal
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Not to sound negative, but isn't June-Sept. the worst time of year to ride there? - I was in Phx last Jun and I couldn't even make it through a light 6:30 AM cruise on some flat trails b/c it was just so damn hot! - I would think December would be ideal?
I was thinking right now but yeah, this is just the start of hot. It gets a lot worse in the coming weeks.

You really do acclimate to the place. I used to go through a 3L Camelbak of water and 2x28oz. of some energy drink on a 2.5-3 hour ride in 105-ish temps pretty regularly. I struggle with 85 degrees now.
 

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there is a fireroad that runs from Cloudcroft NM to this tiny town called La Luz. it is a rutty fire road that is all downhill. blazingly fast and wild. it has been a long time since i did it, but it was very long..i wish i remember how much time it took or how long the trail is..but it is all fuzzy now. i do remember having to stop occasionally just so we could laugh and take a break before it was over. we would do a big group of friends and just sprint. man that was fun. break-neck speeds. it would take a two hours or so..maybe three?
 

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Not to sound negative, but isn't June-Sept. the worst time of year to ride there? - I was in Phx last Jun and I couldn't even make it through a light 6:30 AM cruise on some flat trails b/c it was just so damn hot! - I would think December would be ideal?
Are we Ameri-CANS or Ameri-CANTS!?!?!? I ride all year through triple digits regularly in summer. There is definitely an acclimatization period but some behaviors you need to change to be successful:

#1 - Go to bed early so you can literally be on the trail when the first ioda of light hits it.

#2 - Start packing in the salt / electrolytes. I personally am a big fan of a Vitamin B super complex with Vitamin C AND electrolytes. As mentioned before by someone else, I also usually pound a sports drink before I hit the trail and have one immediately after I get back. You have to keep your electrolyte levels up! Once it gets real hot and I am riding back to back days, I'll take an electrolyte tablet every hour with water.

#3 - Bring more water than you "normally" do and drink it! I avoid water bottles on cages during the summer as no one wants to stop to drink or it just may not be "easy/safe" due to terrain difficulty. Having a 3L Camelback ready to go at all times helps encourage you to drink through convenience.

#4 - Speaking of Camelbacks. Add ice to it then water. Most of the newer models are insulated and sipping cool water during your ride will lower your core temp at a minimum help regulate it.

#5 - I am also a huge fan of riding in long sleeve cool tech / dry fit shirts. They are light, breathable, and act as sunscreen. Don't be afraid to put it on slightly wet/damp. I like to soak it in sink, ring it out, and put it on right before ride to start off nice and cool.

#6 - Keep checking the weather. Even in "hot areas" cloud cover, wind, and other factors can bring the temps down 10-20 degrees from one day to the next. Choose your ride days logically. If it is hot where you are, where is the closest high elevation area to escape to? Always think about weather and temps before you decide when and where to go.

#7 - The biggest advice... BE SMART! If you can't get an early start, maybe take a rest day or shorten your ride significantly. Triple digit heat and high levels of exercise can be dangerous. Throw in dust / pollen, a little bit of sunburn, already fatigued muscles and you could have a real recipe for disaster. If your mid-ride and your body is throwing you gang signs, cut it short or turn around!

At minimum, start out on easier rides on hot days till you get a feel for how much *you* can handle. Everyone is different. Some peeps are camels and some are walruses. Your experience may vary. You may need some or none of the above tips. The key is figure it out in advance and do it safely.
 

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Depending on what you want to ride, much of Durango is still snowbound. Unless you have a fat bike you won’t be riding there any time soon.




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