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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I’ll be in AZ the last week of August and would like to get out for a ride or two. I’ll be in Phoenix to see the Rolling Stones, but have no plans for the rest of the week. I’m from Maine and ride cross country trails. I have flat lander lungs and am used to riding in hot, albite humid temps. I’m looking for suggestions on where to ride and shops to rent a bike from. My current bike is a Salsa Horsethief. Thanks.
 

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Based on what you described you typically ride, I would go with Browns Ranch, Toms Thumb or McDowell Mountain park. Toms Thumb and McDowell are really the same area but different access points. Get out early, like 5:30 to 6:00 and try to wrap up by 9:00 at the latest. I'm not sure where to suggest renting bikes from.
 

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My other ride is your mom
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The heat will eat you alive. Do not underestimate how hot and fast you will hit the wall that time of year. I would NOT recommend you ride Toms Thumb that time of year. Browns Ranch, McDowell Mountain Park are good recommendations, as are Hawes. Suggest you start before the sun comes up and plan to spend no more than 90-min riding. Bring more water than you think you need...you will need it.
 

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I would NOT recommend you ride Toms Thumb that time of year. Browns Ranch, McDowell Mountain Park are good recommendations, as are Hawes.
To be clear.... I didn't mean the trail up Toms Thumb. I meant start at the Toms Thumb trailhead and drop into the McDowell area ("Rock Knob to Pemberton then Bluff or Dixie Mine etc). The only downside of that versus starting at McDowell is you are climbing back to the car vs downhilling back to the car at the end of the ride.
 

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If you have a rental car, consider driving 2 hours north to Prescott and renting/riding there. High desert and cool pines as opposed to low desert heat and cacti. Conceivably you could rent in Phx, ride early, and drive to Prescott and ride into the evening. 200-300 miles of trail here and plenty of climbing and fun descents. Not much true chunk, though. Just a thought.
 

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No Clue Crew
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Have you been to Phoenix in the summer? Particularly being from Maine, I would be very, very careful in this environment. Not trying to insult you, but it can be dangerous if you're not acclimated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I understand. I recently moved back to Maine from Northern Kentucky. I was riding in 90 degree weather with high humidity. I understand the temp and sun will much more intense. I'm going to play it by ear on riding.
 

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If you're not on the trail by at least 6 AM you're pushing it. It will be well above 90 when you start and will only get hotter as you get more tired and dehydrated. We have humidity in the morning too. 90 degree temps will not prepare you for the desert. Not even close. Just try to make sure you stay reasonably close to water refills or a bail out point.
 

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Yeah... we don't mean to jump on you but , don't be THAT guy that has to call for EMS. It happens way too often around here when people from out of town don't respect the environment they are hiking or riding in.

Hydrate and ride early or come back in Feb if you want to go big ...

Is Keith Richards still alive?
 

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really feel like you guys are a little dramatic in your warnings, from a personal perspective I will ride any time of the day in the summer, just stay hydrated and listen to your body, it's not rocket science. I know all our bodies are different, but after 10 years riding on the humid east coast the desert was not really any different in hydrating wise.
 

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really feel like you guys are a little dramatic in your warnings, from a personal perspective I will ride any time of the day in the summer, just stay hydrated and listen to your body, it's not rocket science. I know all our bodies are different, but after 10 years riding on the humid east coast the desert was not really any different in hydrating wise.
It was 115 degrees and humid yesterday. Yes, it is different.
 

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My other ride is your mom
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really feel like you guys are a little dramatic in your warnings, from a personal perspective I will ride any time of the day in the summer, just stay hydrated and listen to your body, it's not rocket science. I know all our bodies are different, but after 10 years riding on the humid east coast the desert was not really any different in hydrating wise.
OK man....have at it!
 

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The Original Suspect
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Brown's and McDowell are great. You could even hit the sport loops first at the McDowells. Heed the warnings presented here about the heat. The desert is its own beast! Get out early and finish by 9am! Watch for rattlers in that area as well. Stay on trail and when you stop do so in a clear area away from low scrub bushes. The heat is not the only thing that can kill you in the desert.
 

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"feel like you guys are a little dramatic in your warnings, from a personal perspective I will ride any time of the day in the summer, just stay hydrated and listen to your body, it's not rocket science"

LOL......I have been here since mid 70's, I think by next year the message my body will be saying still is, "you dumb azz, get in a pool". Even the indoor Rush concert a few years ago was hot inside with ac. Everyone just wants you to be aware, thats all...you cannot ask for advice about trails in Phx in Aug without some heat comments.

According to tripsavvy.com Bangkok, Timbuktu, Ahvaz Iran, Kuwait city, Mecca, Marrkech, and Phoenix are the hottest cities on planet earth...
 

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hmmm, not sure why tough guys get resentful about some friendly heat reminders even if unsolicited. Had a colleague scientist die not too long ago hiking into a grand canyon river trip simply because he didn't take the heat seriously. Even if your acclimated and a tough guy it can sneak up on you and the balance tips awfully fast once it does. And then you die.

Live in the desert long enough and we all know someone, or have personally experienced heat stroke. One of the saddest things I've read on mtbr was the CA guy who used to be a frequent poster telling the story of his daughter dying while riding Porcupine Rim in Moab. Sounded like an experience mtn biking family that simply over-estimated the heat and were too far from help.
 

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really feel like you guys are a little dramatic in your warnings, from a personal perspective I will ride any time of the day in the summer, just stay hydrated and listen to your body, it's not rocket science. I know all our bodies are different, but after 10 years riding on the humid east coast the desert was not really any different in hydrating wise.
I live on the road leading to Piestewa Peak, a major hiking destination. A week doesn't go by without the fire department having to rescue someone, and some guy died Monday evening about a block from my house. Hell, it isn't even 100 our and my wife just told me there is a rescue going on right now.

So I guess if you're going to ride after 9:00, do it in PMP so I can shake my head and say "I tried to warn him..."
 
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