jump to navigation

Horses and Bikes Together? March 19, 2011

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Just Stuff, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

This morning the Prescott Mountain Bike Alliance had a group ride out in Granite Basin.

Part of the event was a pow wow of sorts with representatives from a local equestrian club.  The horse folks made a presentation about how horses perceive bikes and other things and then what we as bikers can do when we come upon horses on the trail.  Trail etiquette 101.

UPDATE: Here are some trail etiquette guidelines that IMBA just published today 4/3/2011

They told us that horses know we are coming toward them long before their riders do, and that when we see horses while mountain biking, we should call out (no bells, or horns) to them, and ask them if we need to get off our bikes.  They know their horses, and will instruct us on what to do.  Some horses are used to bikes and the horses will just step off the trail and their rider will instruct us to just ride on by (slowly). Others will ask us to dismount and walk by.  And there are others that will ask us to dismount, step off the trail with our bikes and let the horses go by us.  When we do step off the trail, they ask that we stay in the open (not behind trees or bushes) so the horse can see us.  Horses view things that they are not used to as predators, and so it is important to continue talking in a normal voice so the horse knows that we are human.

There are those people out there that want to stir up controversy and try to make it seem that equestrians and mountain bikers are adversarial, but that is just not true for 99% of us.  We recognize that these trails on public lands are for all of us and we do what we can to make any interaction as pleasant and smooth as possible.

The equestrians that spoke to us brought up two things that we hear mountain bikers complain about a lot.  Piles of horse manure in the trail, and horses riding on muddy trails and tearing them up.  I for one was glad that they brought this up and it didn’t have to come from on of the bikers there.  The horse folks said that they should be moving the manure off the trail, and added that experienced equestrians do not ride when the trails are muddy.

This notion of experienced vs. green horses and riders are what prompted a question from me, “Are there steps that equestrians should take to get their horses used to bikers and hikers before taking them out on multi-use trails?”

The answer was yes, that if they are planning on having their horse in an area where it could come across hikers, dogs, or bikers, the owner themselves should take the time to acclimatize their animal to these possibilities.  However many do not.  There have been many cases of bikers being yelled at by people on horses, saying things like, “Stop, my horse is afraid of bikes!  Or event telling us that we do not belong on the trails.

It was nice to hear that these leaders of  the horse community agree that through joint awareness with bikers and hikers, and all three groups taking the time to prepare for the eventual on trail encounter, we can and will make taking to the trails a fun and enjoyable experience for all of us.

After the meetup, we went on an 11 mile ride down the Mint Wash Trail 345 to the junction with the 308, where we turned around and backtracked then took the 347 back up to complete our loop.  On the way, we encountered horses on 3 occasions, and in all 3 the horses stepped off the trail and waved us by.  Perfect!

Favorite Trail Area…..Wasted! March 9, 2011

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in trails.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

Michael, Frank and I went out to Granite Basin on Sunday afternoon to enjoy some of the sweetest single track around….or so we thought.

It appears the forest thinning project that the National Forest Service has contracted out has decimated most of trail 349, and part of trail 350.

Trail 349 west of Granite Basin Rd. is almost non-existent.  The bushes are all gone (sort of).  They have been hogged out and shredded.  Bits of brush and branches lay scattered all over the forest floor, including on the trail.  This and the truck and tractor tire depressions left in the soft earth have made the trail disappear.

It is my sincere hope that the Forest Service make sure that the contractor goes back in and restores the trails.  If for some reason that doesn’t happen, there will be a multitude of hikers, bikers and equestrians very, very upset!

After this next weekend, I shall head back out there to see what if any restoration has been performed…….Stay tuned.

Nice Ride in Granite Basin January 26, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: , , , , , ,
comments closed

Sunday afternoon was cold and windy, not exactly perfect conditions, but it didn’t stop four of us from spending some time in Granite Basin on our mountain bikes.

Hal, Rob, me and Mick (this was the first time Mick had been on a ride with me) put about 8.5 miles in on the fantastic single track trails in the basin area.

Because of the glue-like mud that is found above the cayuse area, we avoid it by doing an out and back on Ten Jumps Trail from the bottom.  Rob commented on how different that trail is when heading south and up hill on it instead of bombing it to the north.

It was a nice ride once we got our bodies warmed up, and most importantly, everyone made it home without injury!

Riding in DG after the rain January 24, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, Trail Running.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
comments closed

I’ll tell you, I am awfully glad that we have some areas with Decomposed Granite trails around Prescott, because the other trails turn to mud and muck when it rains.

Today Kent and I went out to Granite Basin Lake to ride some of the DG trails because we have had two nights of rain recently, and almost anywhere else would be too muddy to ride….well, not to muddy to ride, but so muddy that we would muck up our bikes and more importanly, we would have torn up the trails.

We only spent about an hour actually riding today, but it sure was nice.  There was no one else on the trails, the DG surface was tacky, and the temperature was cool…..that spells perfect conditions.

Kent has decided to race in the Duathlon that I am organizing and putting on during the Ides of March.  He is always such a good help as a volunteer, but I am very glad that he is racing instead this time.

You really don’t need to BEWARE the Ides of March, just sign up for the Go! Off Road Duathlon and spend them with us!

Grinding it out at Granite Basin November 12, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: , , , , ,
comments closed

This afternoon Ken, Michael, Rob, Steve and I went for a short ride that took plenty of effort.  We rode in Granite Basin and made loop of some of the trails as we started and ended at the dam.

There is not a lot to say about it other than we pounded the ups and completely bombed the downs!  I have never ridden 10-jumps as fast as I did today.  Rob was out front, with Steve and I right on his wheel….if either of them had eaten it, I would have had to ride right over them. Rob was giving me a hard time because I was breathing harder after the downhill than I had been at the top of the climbs.  Bombing is work I tell ya!

It was a great way to end the day, and to top it all off, on the way back into town I had another fantastic Prescott, Arizona sunset to look at in my rearview mirror.

Good Granite and Poor Pivots November 2, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: , , , , ,
comments closed

Sunday afternoon Paul and I rode in Granite Basin.  It was a perfect day for mountain biking, temperatures were in the 60’s, the sky was partly cloudy, and there was a light breeze.

We made 3 loops using almost all the trails that are actually in the basin.  On the trails we saw a few other mountain bikers, on girl on horseback, and a few hikers.

My rear derailleur is having a problem.  When I am really putting it to the pedals on an uphill, the chain jumps back and forth between second and third gear.  The LBS says it is because the pivots are worn out and there is too much play in them.  This really sucks, because that means that I will have to buy a new one.

stats:

  • total distance: 9.65 miles
  • total riding time:1hr 11min.
  • avg. speed: 8.0mph

Broken Spoken..I Ain’t Jokin’ August 10, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
Tags: , , , , ,
comments closed

Saturday evening, Michael and I met Nate out at Granite Basin for a mountain bike ride.

Paradise in our own backyard

Paradise in our own backyard

We parked at the dirt road just below the cattle guard.  I like to ride from here, because you don’t have to start out with a long up hill, but instead, you get a nice downhill to warm up you body.  As we flew down the canyon trail my bike started making a weird noise (which I ignored because I was having too much fun on the swoops and rolls of trail 349).  When we got to the little saddle where we usually play the coasting game, Michael pointed out that I had a broken spoke on my rear wheel.  That explains the sound, my wheel was now WAY out of true.

We were now a long way from the vehicle, so I decided to just continue the ride and try not to taco my wheel.

Me riding on 349

Me riding on 349

At the bottom Michael and Nate went across “the middle” and I went around on the pavement to avoid riding the really rocky section with my bad wheel.  I took photos of them as they came down the other side.

Michael in the middle

Michael in the middle

Nate hates riding....can you tell?

Nate hates riding....can you tell?

We rode back up the 351 then started back down the LZ trail.  I decided I had pushed my luck on my screwed up wheel long enough, so I turned off at the campground trail while Nate and Michael continued another loop.  I waited for them at the pavement, then we rode up part of the 349 and back up to the cars.

Back at the vehicles

Back at the vehicles

Even though my bike is broken and will have to go see the LBS on Monday, it was another great day in mtb paradise…….to quote my buddy Ken, “We could have been at the mall instead!”

Finally! Back on the Bike! August 6, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Just Stuff, Mountain Biking.
Tags: , , , , ,
comments closed

Even as it sprinkled rain on me as I loaded my bike in the truck, I was giddy with anticipation.

It feels like forever since I have been out on my bike, and finally, finally, I get the chance again!

I met Ray, Rob, Michael, and Toby at Granite Basin Lake this evening.  It has rained the past few days, so we decided to stay on the DG.  On the way up trail 349, my legs felt both weak, and tight.  They were letting me know that I had neglected them.  After the initial 2 mile climb, my quads started to lighten up and have some fun. We went up, around, down, over and through….we rode all over the place in the short amount of time we had, but what a blast!

Most people only get to do see this kind of beauty and have this much fun on vacation!

stats:

  • distance: 10.95 miles
  • total riding time: 1hr 18min
  • avg. speed 8.4 mph

Granite Basin was Gorgeous Today July 23, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
Tags: , , , , , ,
comments closed

Ray and I were the only two to show up to ride this evening.  Maybe because today was so hot, maybe because people were on vacation….who knows?

We went up the 349 today.  This is a trail that I have ridden down about 98% of the time, and hardly ever gone up.  It was really beautiful today, plenty of shade and because we weren’t bombing down it (yet) we had plenty of time to see things that are usually just a blur.  There are some big old ponderosa pine trees in there!  On the way up, Ray and I were talking about Adventure Racing, and I told him about the Gilmore Adventure Race.  He thinks he wants to get a team into it this year!  I told him to hurry though, as it is almost sold out for 2008.

When we reached the pavement we went down the 351 (lots of fun) to the Cayuse area. Then we chugged up the hill to the 2 gates.  Luckily it was getting a little cooler by then.  We absolutely bombed the “10 jumps” trail today!  What a gas!  From there we headed back towards the 351 and down towards the lake.  Part way down there is a little social trail that cuts over to near the camp host’s spot.  We headed across it and then started our climb back up the 350.

The 350 is always a pleasure because it is a “no horses” trail, which means that it is not torn up by horse hooves, and is smooth as silk.  Ray was climbing like a mountain goat, and I could feel myself running low on fuel.  We took the turn onto the 349 heading west (today was the first time I have ever actually made that climbing turn without dabbing). As we topped out before the big downhill, we admired the view of Granite Mountain and figured that the mountain lions that live on it have it made.  What a great habitat.

Ray and I bombed the 349 all the way to where it comes up over a little saddle facing west again.  That has got to be one of the funnest rides around, swoopy, and narrow with lots of ways you could easily blow a turn and end up in the pine needles 50 down an embankment.

From there, we played Michaels “coasting game” again.  Ray made all the right turns this time, I guess I just forgot to tell him not to pedal until you come to a complete stop…..that is the point, to see how far you can coast.  Michael’s record still stands.  I had a real chance at it, as I was carrying lots of speed into the last corner, but I started to wash out and had to dab to save it, thus blowing my momentum.

From there, we just road the pavement back around to the cars.  Great ride today, thanks Ray!

Stats:

  • distance 10.49 miles
  • total riding time 1hr 8min
  • avg speed  9.2 mph

A Gang in Granite Basin July 16, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

Today I rode with a bunch of guys in Granite Basin.  Five of them got there earlier than Nate and I did, so they had already done a 4 mile loop.  Nate and I joined up with Hal, Tim, and Ray (Ray’s first ride with us).  We went back up the trail to meet with Michael and Ken, but never found them.  I figure they didn’t want to be held up by someone as old and slow as me, so they just ditched us!

So the five of us that were left had a great ride up to the top then down the single track commonly known as “10 jumps” and back toward the lake.  Hal and Nate left us then ( I think Hal had a dinner date with his wife), so Tim and Ray and I went back up and came down and around trail 349.  Boy is that a ton of fun!  At the bottom section we played the coasting game that Michael made up, and I just barely beat Tim by about 20 feet, while Ray missed the last turn and ended up on a different trail.  I had to whistle at him to get him to come back to us.  Welcome to the group Ray!

All in all it was another great way to spend an evening.  The decomposed granite had mostly dried from the last few days of rain, so it was tacky but not boggy.

Stats:

  • distance:  9.05 miles
  • riding time:  59 min.
  • avg. speed:  9.1 mph

Pines to Boulders and Back Again July 2, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

Our group plan was to meet for a mountain bike ride in “The Pines” today, and when we arrived there, the Prescott Cycling Club was also meeting there for a ride.  The parking area was full!  Our group of 6 decided not to horn in on the PCC ride, so we took off while they were still getting there gear together.  Michael, me, Tim, Rob, Toby and his roommate Steve headed out the Emanuel Pines road and then up the single tracks toward the old railroad grade.  After we climbed out into the borrow pit and onto the grade, another Steve (the hardcore variety) showed up, and the 7 of us continued up the grade to the 332.

When we got to the 332, Michael decided to head back down through “The Pines” and call it a day.  For various reasons he hasn’t been on his bike for nearly a month, and said it felt like it.  So the 6 of us rode on.  Where the trail bottoms out and crosses a creek, there is a gnarly, rocky, curvy, slippery climb that is almost impossible to clean.  In fact Rob tried it 5 times, each time getting progressively closer and closer but just couldn’t get it done.  No one did.  We stayed on the 332 all the way to where it meets the 346 and 347, then we took the 347 down into Granite Basin to the 348…lots of whoops and tons of fun!

We rode the 348 to the 351, then took a social trail over to the 350 and made the climb back up to the 349. Tim and I took the 349 east to another little social trail that runs south to the dirt road, while the other 4 guys took the 349 west about 50 yards to the dirt road then followed it south to where Tim and I came out.  Of course they beat us there, but we caught up with Steve (the roommate) right at the saddle and the 3 of us hammered it down the pavement back to the cars.  I topped out at 45 mph on the hill, with my eyes stinging and mouth grinning.

stats:

  • distance 11.63 miles
  • riding time 1 hr. 20 min.
  • avg speed 9.4 mph     (this is skewed due to the crazy paved downhill)

Single Track Web Site June 21, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

I happened upon a neat web site that is dedicated to single track mountain biking.  It is called Single-Serving.com and is one man’s ode to single track riding.  He is from so-Cal, but I noticed that he mentions Prescott’s own Granite Basin on his site.

Check it out, he has some good tid-bits.

Saturday in the Park………. June 1, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

Had a great ride on Saturday evening out at Granite Basin. We headed out just after 5:30, and decided to just take an easy-does-it spin. I am shocked that we were out there on some of the best trails in Prescott, and saw exactly ZERO other people on the trails! What are people doing? It was the cool part of the day with a beautiful blue sky that melted into oranges, pinks and purples right before our eyes. Their loss!

Michael had just picked his bike up from the lbs after having new tires, chain, brake pads and a tune up. He said he could really feel the difference, and I could hear the difference……his bike was sneaky-quiet!

stats:

  • distance: 11.78 miles
  • riding time: 1hr 24min
  • avg. speed 7.4mph

Memorial Day Group Ride May 26, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
Tags: , , , , ,
comments closed

We had a group of 6 riding at Granite Basin today. It was a great day to be out on a bike…..(what day isn’t?). We left the boat ramp area at about 9:45, and in the 2 hours on the trail, we only saw about 8 other mountain bikers.

We spent the morning making a big figure 8 in the trail system (or was it an infinity sign?). Prescott has miles and miles of great mountain biking.

Up the 350

All 6 of us made it back to the vehicles safe and sound. Just another day in Paradise!

Just click any of these photos to see them a little bigger………

Today was rainy out there May 24, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

Ken, Michael and I met out at Granite Basin Lake to ride this morning.  We were going to ride somewhere else, but Granite Basin has trails that are mostly DG (that’s decomposed granite), so they don’t gunk up  your bike when they are wet.  They are really the best riding around Prescott, when the forest is wet.

It was a little chilly to start out, but then once we were climbing, everything was great.  We rode for 2 hours and saw no one…….NO ONE on any of the trails!

Crazy!  It was a perfect morning for riding or hiking, and yet there was no one but us out there enjoying it.

The damp trails were tacky, so you could really hold your line in the turns. It was a ton of fun riding out there today, and because we were on DG instead of mud, the bikes didn’t require much clean up at all once we got home.

A great day in Granite Basin May 10, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

Today was a near perfect day here in Prescott.

Michael and I left his truck at Iron Springs and Granite Basin Rd.  We got a good warm up by riding up the pavement to the saddle where the new 332 trail crosses.  We took the 332 north to where it meets the 346 and the 347.  The 347 is one of my favorites, affectionately known by the locals as “10 jumps”.  It is fast and swoopy with a roller coaster feel, and a couple of gotcha corners to be wary of.  We then took the 348 back over to the 351and chased each other down to the lake.  We road around to just past the Metate trail head then took the 349 south and around to the east where we hit the paved road again.  We road up the the saddle, then bombed the pavement back down to the truck!  It was about 10 miles of pure fun.

Granite Basin Trails March 4, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

The decomposed granite trails in near Granite Basin Lake were absolutely perfect for mountain biking this week.  While most of the other trails around Prescott were still somewhat muddy (some even still have snow on them!), trails 349, 350 & 351 are in super shape.  They are tacky enough that you can really feel the grip of your tires on them.

Seven of us went out for about an hour and a half of medium paced riding the other day.  We climbed up 350 and took 349 to the west.  That portion of 349 is a ton of fun.  The singletrack swoops and scoops down through the pines, where you sometimes feel the bark of a tree graze against your shoulder as you pass.  From there we took the 351 across and back up to the east end of 349 at Cayuse.  We followed the 349 back up to the top where we came into it off the 350 earlier, then pointed our bikes back down the 350 and back to our cars.

Getting out for even a brief  outdoor adventure on my bike is always such a treat!