Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Javelina Night Ride

Last night was an extremely fun night ride on Javelina trail at South Mountain.

We rode from Pima Canyon up the jeep trail to the National/Mormon trailhead, then hanging a right onto Mormon, and then another right to the Javelina trailhead. The trail starts with some tricky switchbacks, and there used to be a straight way down that I took once, but it was blocked off with rocks. It was hard to spot another way through in the dark, so down the switchbacks I went. The left turn with the step-down/side drop off I still can't clean, it changes every time I'm out there too. It then dips into a small sand wash, and then comes the climb fest. The first couple of yards or not too bad, it's somewhat steep with some loose rock. The loose rock increases in size as you go up further, and in the middle is a very steep section where you basically have two choices in lines you can ride (that I could see in the dark). If you hang to the left, it's just more loose rock and it makes you spiral around a steep climb, to the right is a hardpack/slickrock very steep irregular climb, which I think is the easier way. Someday I will have the leg power to make it up that, not last night though. So I hike-a-biked up that, and jumped back on for the rest of the climb which is just sand over hardpack, somewhat steep. Once you've made it to the saddle, the fun starts. The trail is like a ridge trail, but the drop offs to the side are not that horrifying. It's very fast singeltrack alongside the mountain, with big chunky rocks and sharp turns. It's all fairly easily rideable, and a lot of fun in the dark.

The trail ends in a little parking lot behind the mountain, and from here there are a few trails, Beverly Canyon, East Loops, that loop back to the Pima Canyon parking lot. These trails aren't too exciting, some nasty technical climbs that are very challenging, but other than that no real obstacles. On this side of South Mountain there is an enormous contraption of trails though, I don't know them all by name, but I usually find my way back snaking through. Not last night though, I took a trail, dipped through a wash, and somehow ended up riding on the green of the neighboring golf course. No biggie, just played around on the little stair steps and mini climbs, then took the golf cart trail back to the parking lot. Those darn golf courses invading the desert.

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