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Biking in Phoenix

Old 01-14-12, 07:47 AM
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Biking in Phoenix

Hello Guys,

The Spousal Unit and I are planning a trip to Phoenix soon, she'll be working I'll be sight seeing. Never been there, any good places to ride, rent a bike, and so on.?? I have only a few days to myself then I have to revert back to my Husbandly duties.


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Old 01-14-12, 08:44 AM
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Mike,

When we travel to Phoenix, to escape snow and cold, we try to stay at the Tapatio Cliffs Hilton. Even if you are not staying there, it sits in the middle of an interconnected desert park system in North Phoenix. It makes for some really cool MTBing and hiking (take a Camelback).



I can't help with where to rent a bike, but please spend some time here. You will not believe you are in a city when you are down in the valleys. The hikes to the summits are filled with spectacular views. The terrain, the landscape, and the plants are so very different from what we are used to on the east coast. I find the entire experience mesmerizing.

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Old 01-14-12, 02:23 PM
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Do you want to ride road or mountain? There's a ton of great options around. You can rent bikes from Tempe bike (https://tempebicycle.com/). C&V connection because framebuilder Colin Laing used to work there.
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Old 01-14-12, 03:48 PM
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Phoenix is SO spread out... any idea where you'll be in Phoenix?

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Old 01-16-12, 04:07 AM
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+1
I've been out here for 3 years now, and barely scratched the surface of the metro area! Too bad OFG has been banned from here, he'd be one to ask. He knows the PHX North and Scottsdale area rides well. Surface roads out here could be deemed rather unfriendly to cyclists. The drivers don't see you or care, and drive much too fast.
Are you looking to do some climbing? I think South Mountain is closed to vehicular traffic on Sundays (or 1 Sunday per month) and it's a nice climb to the top. Camelback Mtn has nice views too. I just tried Usery Pass Rd. which takes you up to the entrance of Usery Mtn. Park. It's part of the Tour de Phoenix race route. 3.5 mile climb and descent on either side. Lots of roadies there. You can read about it here. https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/491452-Where-d-You-Ride-Today-(New-amp-Improved)?p=13730394&viewfull=1#post13730394

If you're in shape, you can attempt riding the Apache Trail starting in Apache Junction, taking you past Superstition Mtn, and the Goldfield Ghost Town, and onto Canyon Lake and Tortilla Flat. This is VERY challenging, and is for mountain goats. Past Tortilla Flat, pavement begins to end and it's all gravel roads to Roosevelt Lake. CX bike for sure. But it's rather isolated so be prepared.

I think you'll need a vehicle that you can toss in a bike and drive to the more interesting riding spots. It's rather scattered.

Last edited by WNG; 01-17-12 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 01-16-12, 04:13 AM
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I'd do MTB if I were going there for sure.

Fun trails around Thunderbird Rec. Area, Trail 100 that pastorbob noted is incredibly fun, South Mountain trails, etc, etc. Many parts of the valley have nice trails that you can ride to, from some spots you might want to drive to the trail.
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Old 01-16-12, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by WNG View Post
+1 ...If you're in shape, you can attempt riding the Apache Trail starting in Apache Junction, taking you past Superstition Mtn, and the Goldfield Ghost Town, and onto Canyon Lake and Tortilla Flat. This is VERY challenging, and is for mountain goats. Past Tortilla Flat, pavement begins to end and it's all gravel roads to Roosevelt Lake. CX bike for sure. But it's rather isolated so be prepared.

I think you'll need a vehicle that you can toss in a bike and drive to the more interesting riding spots. It's rather scattered.
My wife and I drove the Apache Trail once. It was incredible, but not for the faint or heart. I loved it but Mrs. PB was more than a bit nervous during certain sections! Biking the Apache Trail would be an incredible but very challenging experience. Even just riding the paved portion out and back would be an adventure.
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Old 01-16-12, 09:24 AM
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Funny, I started a similar thread yesterday and never saw this one! (it's here)

I would prefer to ride a mountain or cross bike when I'm out there, looks like I have some good options.
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Old 01-16-12, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
My wife and I drove the Apache Trail once. It was incredible, but not for the faint or heart. I loved it but Mrs. PB was more than a bit nervous during certain sections! Biking the Apache Trail would be an incredible but very challenging experience. Even just riding the paved portion out and back would be an adventure.
I have been in that area before, but don't know if I've been on that Apache Trail. It sounds like a great riding opportunity.

On another note one road that I drove a while back was the Coronado Trail (US 191) south of Alpine AZ. Unfortunately, it was late in the day and a lot of it was driven in the dark but what I did see was absolutely amazing. I have a soft spot for driving fast on twisty roads and this road was a little bit of a challenge. If a corner said 15 MPH, you better be close to that speed as you entered the curve! Anyway, sorry for taking this thread on a tangent...

Now, back to your regularly scheduled program.
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Old 01-16-12, 03:26 PM
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When I have gone out there with friends for Spring Training we rent our rides from "Cactus Bike" and have always had a good experience. Would suggest reserving a ride so that you are not disappointed with what is or is not available.
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Old 01-16-12, 06:13 PM
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Thank you for all the suggestions guys.
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Old 01-16-12, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael Angelo View Post
Thank you for all the suggestions guys.
I'd be happy to offer advice. But, yes, road or MTB? Where are you staying?
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Old 01-17-12, 05:54 AM
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I'll be staying at the Biltmore Hotel, I do mostly road bikes, on flat ground. I know I'll be in for a big surprise, never have climbed a hill on a bike or on foot.
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Old 01-17-12, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
My wife and I drove the Apache Trail once. It was incredible, but not for the faint or heart. I loved it but Mrs. PB was more than a bit nervous during certain sections! Biking the Apache Trail would be an incredible but very challenging experience. Even just riding the paved portion out and back would be an adventure.
I've driven it too. Exciting and love the scenery. I haven't dared to try it on one of my bikes. I'm not in that good a shape! One day perhaps, I hope.
But there are group rides that do the paved route. I tip my hat to these diehard folks.

[MA]
Scratch this one off if you're a flat lander.
But don't miss an opportunity to try some climbs on less demanding trails. A granny ring should do the trick.

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Old 01-17-12, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael Angelo View Post
I'll be staying at the Biltmore Hotel, I do mostly road bikes, on flat ground. I know I'll be in for a big surprise, never have climbed a hill on a bike or on foot.
Mike, you will be very surprised. While there are some elevation changes in PHX, most of it is very flat, just like So. FL. Especially the main roads. Not until you leave the city or if you begin to climb some of the mountains, you can easily stay on pool table flat roads.

The Biltmore is a very unique hotel. We've not stayed there, but I've visited. You can order So'mores outside, and they bring you a grill to toast your marshmallows.

Don't miss a hike in the desert parks. Camelback mountain is close to the Biltmore, but it is a very challenging hike and climb. I tried to do it in late September a few years ago. I had a bad head cold and it was 100-105F. I finally turned around about half way up.
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Old 01-17-12, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael Angelo View Post
I'll be staying at the Biltmore Hotel, I do mostly road bikes, on flat ground. I know I'll be in for a big surprise, never have climbed a hill on a bike or on foot.
The Good Pastor is right, Phoenix is in a large, flat valley with intersperced small foothills (which are actually mountain tops rising out of the aluvial soils that filled in the valley in earlier geologic times). You will be in a perfect spot for flatland riding. The Biltmore sits along the Salt River Project canal. As a result, you can do days of riding along the canal bike paths (both groomed gravel and concrete paths). Here is a great map of the canal system. BTW, the Biltmore is located along the canal at 24th Street.

https://www.srpnet.com/water/canals/distances.aspx

Regarding your mode of transportation, a MTB will probably be best. The canal paths from Pima west on either side of the Biltmore can be ridden on a roadish bike with at least 28mm tires. I've ridden that section many times on CX bikes with city tires. If you go east of Pima, you will be crossing the Pima Reservation, which is a little rougher than the west section, but very interesting. If you do go across the reservation, just be sure to carry plenty of water. There are no 7-11's on that side.

Please feel free to ping me if I can provide any assistance.

Ride on!

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Old 02-17-12, 10:12 AM
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Biltmore hotel is close to some hills, if you go north more. There is a nice bike shop called trailhead bike cafe on 16th st and Glendale. I like the owners there, some of the workers are snobs though. They have some cool bikes there, haven't looked into rental there, but they have a website www.trailheadbikecafe.com

you can ride the canal if you want, takes you from the North Phoenix (west side) to South Scottsdale. i commute it, but prefer to be a bike lane warrior
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