Friday, April 24, 2009

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'

When I lived in Globe, Arizona, I was surprised to find that the huge metropolis of Phoenix has some great mountain bike trails. (Globe, by the way, is near a great golf course-see my golf course reviews.) A bonus attached to finding the Phoenix trails was the beautiful drive from Globe to the city.
The Sonoran Desert is my favorite, although the rattlesnakes get very large near the town of Superior. I've almost stepped on dozens of rattlers, but my biggest scare came at a corral near Superior, Arizona. That sucker must have been 6 feet long. Thank goodness he had a rattle that could be heard a mile away. An interesting human instinct: I always jump the correct way when I hear a rattle. You will too. Try it.
The Superstition Wilderness, which lies between Globe and Phoenix is an awesome area for four-wheeling and hiking.

The Pemberton Trail and The Desert Classic are two great mountain biking tracks that I have tried in Phoenix. The Pemberton is a 15 1/2 mile loop and the Classic is a 17 1/2 mile out-and-back. You can make a loop with The Desert Classic by hooking up with some difficult trails, but not for me. I'll take the out-and-back. I do like to hike the tougher upland trails though. Both trails feature the Sonoran signature plant, the Saguaro cactus, as well as many varieties of cholla. Do not touch the cholla! They look nice and fuzzy but they aren't. The Teddy Bear Cholla is not aptly named.
I would rate both trails as easy to moderate if it's not too hot. They are fine for advanced riders also, as they are speed tracks. In the summer ride at dawn and be done by 10 A.M. DRINK ONE GALLON OF WATER, PER PERSON, PER DAY (any time of the year). Use slime tubes on these trails and anywhere in the Sonoran Desert. It's very pebbly terrain with abrasive properties. You can plan on eating tires too. The Pemberton Trail has a little more elevation change than The Desert Classic, but it's just good aerobic stuff. No hike-a-bike on either of these tracks. The Desert Classic is very crowded on weekends-try to avoid that. It just rolls up and down arroyos for the most part, but it's a good workout. These are both grreatt and super fun.

I'll give you some good web sites to look at through Google:
...............................under heading Trail Maps and Information South Mountain Park/Preserve Hiking Map and Trail Guide
PEMBERTON LOOP TRAIL, Fountain Hills: enter Pemberton Trail.azcenteral
......................................Sites Are: Pemberton Trail: Rolling Scenery -OR- travel/Pemberton Trail
Some other good stuff is found at,,

I've heard Trail 100 is also a good one. I haven't tried it yet.

If you are a golfer, Phoenix has some of the most beautiful tracks in the world, Again, in summer be done by 10 A.M. The rates are cheap at premier courses in the summer, if you can take the heat.

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