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I'll be in Phoenix near the end of December and have been on Desert Classic a couple of times. What would be considered the next "step up" on South Mountain--something about 2 hours long that isn't easy to take wrong turns on. Thanks in advance. Oh, also, maybe another ride suggestion somewhere besides SM for another day. Thanks again.

-Chris
 

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Chris2fur said:
I'll be in Phoenix near the end of December and have been on Desert Classic a couple of times. What would be considered the next "step up" on South Mountain--something about 2 hours long that isn't easy to take wrong turns on. Thanks in advance. Oh, also, maybe another ride suggestion somewhere besides SM for another day. Thanks again.

-Chris
Ride up National from the ramadas to Buena Vista, ride the road to the holbert trail, head down to the bottom from there, and then ride back up the main road back to Buena Vista, back down National but take Mormon down, and then the canals back to where you started. Should be a decent workout. I do it twice a week, on my DH bike just for training.

As far as non-SoMo, head out to east Mesa for a day, ride the Hawes area, fun and rolly-polly. No major heart attacks there, just a fun time. PM me for directions...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks.

DownHillFast said:
Ride up National from the ramadas to Buena Vista, ride the road to the holbert trail, head down to the bottom from there, and then ride back up the main road back to Buena Vista, back down National but take Mormon down, and then the canals back to where you started. Should be a decent workout. I do it twice a week, on my DH bike just for training.

As far as non-SoMo, head out to east Mesa for a day, ride the Hawes area, fun and rolly-polly. No major heart attacks there, just a fun time. PM me for directions...
I'll definitely PM you on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, Dirdir. What would be the difference?

Dirdir said:
Up National/Morman to Buena Vista, continue on National to Telegraph, down Telegraph to Desert Classic, back on DC to the start.
This seems to include some of the route that DOWNHILLFAST suggested. What would be the main differences in the two routes? If one is easier, I could take it one day and decide whether or not to tackle the other the following day.

-Chris
 

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Chris2fur said:
This seems to include some of the route that DOWNHILLFAST suggested. What would be the main differences in the two routes? If one is easier, I could take it one day and decide whether or not to tackle the other the following day.

-Chris
dirdirs route is easier. mine takes you all the way to the bottom on a really sketchy fun DH trail, and then requires the road to be ridden back up to the top, and then back down again. You would basically be riding to the top twice in one ride, and down twice as well. Desert Classic is fairly flat back to the starting point.
 

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I'd say National coast to coast (east to west and then back) is the "next step up". Once you are up on national there are NO easy ways down on the other trails. Holbert is probably the most technical trail up there, with Geronimo and Mormon to 24th street tieing for second. I love all of these trails but I wouldn't recommend them as the "next step up" for someone who is looking to go one step above desert classic. Once you are comofortable with national, then try the other trails, but I wouldn't send you down holbert. It's my fav tech trail on the mountain, but you need pretty solid skills to avoid being hurt.
 

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Jm. said:
I'd say National coast to coast (east to west and then back) is the "next step up". Once you are up on national there are NO easy ways down on the other trails. Holbert is probably the most technical trail up there, with Geronimo and Mormon to 24th street tieing for second. I love all of these trails but I wouldn't recommend them as the "next step up" for someone who is looking to go one step above desert classic. Once you are comofortable with national, then try the other trails, but I wouldn't send you down holbert. It's my fav tech trail on the mountain, but you need pretty solid skills to avoid being hurt.
I also recommend the Mormon--Nat'l ride,returning either Nat'l or Mormon--Javelina,Beverley Canyon.Nat'l has more technical drops,etc..
I have not seen Holbert or Geronimo yet,but they must be waay tougher than Nat'l,which is not easy for most riders. Try Mormon and Nat'l first--a very good tech challenge.
 

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DownHillFast's suggestion, as he states, is longer and harder than mine. However, you asked for the next step from DC. DC is one of the least technical trails on South Mountain. There are other comparable trails, like Javalina, that are also not technical, so that is probably not the "next step". The simplest way to get a true taste of the "next step" is to go up Morman to National from the Ramadas at 40th Street to Buena Vista and then back down. If you can handle that without too much trouble, you are ready for more.


If you really want to "ease" into what S. Mountain has to offer, you could also just go up the main road to Buena Vista and then down National to the Ramadas and take the canal back to where you parked at the base of the main road. You will get a taste of what S. Mountain has on the decent down National without working too hard on a technical uphill.
 

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Chris2fur said:
I'll be in Phoenix near the end of December and have been on Desert Classic a couple of times. What would be considered the next "step up" on South Mountain--something about 2 hours long that isn't easy to take wrong turns on. Thanks in advance. Oh, also, maybe another ride suggestion somewhere besides SM for another day. Thanks again.

-Chris
Okay, two hours and the next step up from DC? Up Javelina, up Mormon Loop, down lower National, back up and down Javelina. Challenging but you're never too far away to walk if you get in over your head. There are some lovely loops within the park as well (east loop/west loop trails) that you can string together for another 1/2 hour or so.

My loop should take about two hours to ride assuming no mishaps.

Geronimo and Mormon Trail are substantial jumps up over DC. I would not recommend any of those for your "next" ride. Going coast to coast is a 4-5 hour adventure as well.

p.
 

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azrockrider said:
I have not seen Holbert or Geronimo yet,but they must be waay tougher than Nat'l,which is not easy for most riders.
Don't worry, they are :D
 

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I second Paul on the next step up from DC

Paul B said:
Okay, two hours and the next step up from DC? Up Javelina, up Mormon Loop, down lower National, back up and down Javelina. Challenging but you're never too far away to walk if you get in over your head. There are some lovely loops within the park as well (east loop/west loop trails) that you can string together for another 1/2 hour or so.

p.
I agree with Paul 100% on this being the next step up from DC. It is a fun ride, a great workout and exposes to you what SoMo has to offer.
 

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waltaz said:
I agree with Paul 100% on this being the next step up from DC. It is a fun ride, a great workout and exposes to you what SoMo has to offer.
Regrouping my thoughts, I too concur with Paul. Maybe that dude should wright a trail guide or something.
 

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DownHillFast said:
I still think my route is the best and most challenging. If I can ride it 2x per week on a DH bike, anyone can do it cause I'm lazy.
He wasn't asking for the most challenging, he was asking for the next step up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Man, you are trying to get me killed!

DownHillFast said:
I still think my route is the best and most challenging. If I can ride it 2x per week on a DH bike, anyone can do it cause I'm lazy.
I asked for the next step up from DC, and you are sending me down Holbert? I just got done reading the trail reviews for that trail and it sounds pretty rough. Lots of talk about huge drops, loose rocks, switchbacks with possible death on either side..... I should say that I'll be on a Homegrown hardtail with 100mm front fork... OK, and I should mention that my wife will be with me on a similar bike (smaller frame, 80mm fork). She has better endurance than me but is a little weak technically. However, she's happy to walk sections she's not comfortable with. Sorry for not giving all this info up front.

Dirdir, sending me down Telegraph Pass isn't much better from what I read.... Of course you came back with some good alternatives once you realized I'm going the incremental route.

Jm. you picked up on the "next step up" thing, but from what others are saying your "coast-to-coast" route would be several hours in the saddle (I'm looking for 2 hrs maximum since I'm not in the shape I'd like to be).

So, at this point, it's looking like Paul's recommendation is the most appropriate. Thanks everyone for taking time to advise me. I know your natural inclination is to recommend trails that you like, so advising someone at a lower skill level can be tough. I'm still open to any other advice and specifics on how to find the proper parking area and turn-offs, etc.

-Chris
 

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Alright, I'm callin' you out on this one!

Dirdir said:
Up National/Morman to Buena Vista, continue on National to Telegraph, down Telegraph to Desert Classic, back on DC to the start.
OK, so I rarely post here, but enough with this damn route suggestion for first time National riders. This route is just dumb. Why does everyone and his/her grandmother's dog shove this overrated route down national newbie's throats?

Let's review, Chris2fur's post suggests that he is not a local, but familiar enough with the general layout of SoMo. He wants a two hour ride. He wants an easy to find route.

This route is well over two hours (try four) , and usually requires well over 100oz of water. There is a crappy water fountain en route. Sort of. About a half mile off the trail. Did you bother to tell him where it is, or do you just want to make him ride the last eight miles of DC with cotton mouth?

Yes, I've ridden this route many times. Actually, a good training route is to do it backwards. Boogie out DC, shoulder your bike and run up telegraph. Charge up a few good road climbs, hook up with National and blast back down. Almost every time I've done this route I've run into riders needing directions. "Which way is DC?" "Is this National?"

I've even run into riders with very pained expressions and the obviously-wrong-bike-for-the-job on Geronimo, and Holbert who thought they were still on National. What does this suggest? What may seem obvious to a local, can be confusing to a first time SoMo rider. There are some screwy road crossings on National past Buena Vista.

Also, how is the exposure of National over the road section, or the big drop down, down, down sections of Telegraph, a "step up from DC"? I'll be honest. I love Telegraph. Telegraph, Geronimo, Mormon to 24th St, this is the type or riding that I excel at, low to mid speed, tight, rocky, drops, drops, and more drops. I love it, and I'm good at it. That said, the last thing I would do is send someone who's never ridden National down telegraph. What's the point? Here, do all this crazy technical climbing, risk exposure to ride down a mile of trail that could very well hurt you and leave you far away from help, Then finish up by riding 9 miles of DC back to the car, all while hoping you don't run out of water.

Let me tell you a little secret, most people don't like Telegraph the first time down it. Most people crash the first time down it. I've been lucky, and never crashed on this piece of the mountain(I've left my blood elsewhere on SoMo), but it has claimed quite a few very skilled locals. I know of two semi-pro's who've cracked ribs there.

Also, this ride just doesn't have enough payoff. I also wouldn't send anyone down telegraph that hasn't ridden the National downhill unless I knew they were all about highly technical epic riding. Riding up Mormon, and down National at a casual pace is many times more fun than this stupid nat-tely-dc route, so why send Natty Virgins on a longer, less fun, easy so get confused, lower payoff, easy to dehydrate route. Hell, If for no other reason than local pride, recommend the Mormon National Loop. It may be short, but it is a classic. The Telegraph route ain't.

What's my point? Everyone, quit recommending this route to SoMo and Natty Newbies. This is not a good route for riders new to SoMo. Recommending this route is like a bad form of bragging. "Here, let me send you unprepared for this long desert ride with this stupid, oops, you are probably on a skinny XC bike with non-FR/DH setup, big staircase downhill, and a long slog under the unforgiving sun to get back to the car. BTW, don't take a wrong turn on DC or else you'll be rolling around All-White-Tukie saying WTF." Whether or not you mean it, you are saying, "Ha, ha, Look what I can ride, you suck!" Too many otherwise enthusiastic riders get turned off to SoMo after being sent (often sent solo, not even guided) on this dumb route. Stop it!

And oh, yeah, DownHillFast, Down Holbert, and Down Mormon in one ride as someone's "step up from DC"? What the hell are you thinking? You don't know what bike this guy has, or helmet, or armor. What is his skill level, where is he from, what are his home trails like? No really, be smart. OK, you're cool for riding these trails. Hell, I was riding mormon to 24th long before shuttles were ever dumping riders down it. Bugaroo is cool for riding this trail before any of us on a rigid with canti's. PaulB's cool for riding these trails, and so are 100 other riders, but send someone unprepared down one of the most technical downhills in the state, and they won't be thinking that you're cool. They'll be thinking "[email protected]!"

Here's a thought. Why doesn't someone volunteer to put together a CASUAL mormon national ride for when chris2fur makes it to town?

Alright, Rant off.

Brian
 

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Chris2fur said:
So, at this point, it's looking like Paul's recommendation is the most appropriate. Thanks everyone for taking time to advise me. I know your natural inclination is to recommend trails that you like, so advising someone at a lower skill level can be tough. I'm still open to any other advice and specifics on how to find the proper parking area and turn-offs, etc.

-Chris
I'd be happy to do the ride with you - let me know when you're in and ready to go. Post up or send a PM.

The trailhead is just south of 46th St. and Baseline - south on 46th from Baseline dead-ends in the parking lot.
 

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silversurfer said:
And oh, yeah, DownHillFast, Down Holbert, and Down Mormon in one ride as someone's "step up from DC"? What the hell are you thinking? You don't know what bike this guy has, or helmet, or armor. What is his skill level, where is he from, what are his home trails like? No really, be smart. OK, you're cool for riding these trails. Hell, I was riding mormon to 24th long before shuttles were ever dumping riders down it. Bugaroo is cool for riding this trail before any of us on a rigid with canti's. PaulB's cool for riding these trails, and so are 100 other riders, but send someone unprepared down one of the most technical downhills in the state, and they won't be thinking that you're cool. They'll be thinking "[email protected]!"

Here's a thought. Why doesn't someone volunteer to put together a CASUAL mormon national ride for when chris2fur makes it to town?

Alright, Rant off.

Brian
I don't think DHF or Dirdir meant ill, but you're spot on with your beta.

I think the right ride is now recommended out there and I volunteered to show it off because I agree that it's a classic. I think many others will volunteer also. In fact, we could do a group ride.

Also, I've never been down Holbert or Geronimo (or that side of SoMo, for that matter). I may try it sometime for kicks, but don't think that's my cup of tea. I did do the Nat-Tel-DC ride once, my first summer riding, and made the whole thing on a basic bike, but did hike down Telegraph. My buddy busted his bike, though, on the sketch goat trail above the road. I'd like to do it again, but never seem to find the time.

Walt
 
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