View Irregular Link video by clicking HERE or viewing below
The riding in Phoenix is the reason I am a good technical rider. It was here that I learned to ride and honed my skills. I have since expanded my skills and learned to deal with forest terrain, dirt jumps and real weather. Still, every time I am in Phoenix for a while I feel the need to mostly avoid all the well traveled and smooth (by comparison) intermediate trail. It’s not that it’s too easy or that it lacks fun. A lot of trail 100 is fast and flowing. It’s just that the outcome is so certain due to so much practice. I can ride trail 100 on the darkest night without so much as a flash light because I know where every rock is. This is why I am drawn like a moth to the Gnarr. Here the trails don’t even have formal names, and narrow to things that look like goat paths. Sometimes they are seldom traveled old abandoned roads.
View video by clicking HERE or viewing below.
On some of the really steep stuff I just know that if I try it one more time on the next ride I may successfully ride over it with out any walking or even a dab (putting a foot down). Of course out here the stakes are high, exposure, jagged rocks and all manors of spiny plants are the consequence of failure. I have at times experienced all of these consequences. Keeping both feet firmly planted and cranking on the pedals is the name of the game. Over the years the repeat it until you ride it strategy has panned out. South Mountain is the Phoenix park most known for its technical challenges, but lurking down unnamed trails in humble Dreamy Draw park you will find just as much challenging terrain. It’s all there if you look for it. You have to venture off into the difficult stuff to stay sharp. Piestewa (formerly known as squaw peak) is where a lot of it also lurks. Local riders know certain trails well, like the irregular link, and the VOAZ loop because they offer up a lot the Gnarr. Here is a ridge I only just noticed and successfully rode on the first attempt because failure is no option here.
Ridge O doom – view by clicking HERE or seeing below