The weather was perfect the whole day especially considering that the weather report the next day expect big time rains. I rode in a long sleeve jersey and shorts. Not to chilly and not to hot.
We started rolling at 8:45 am from the Bashas Grocery store parking lot Bell and Windgate, and made the long hard climb up to Windgate Pass. I took the climb pretty easy, and making sure not to waste my legs on the first major climb. With the heavy rains at the beginning of December, the trails were pretty rocky, so the momentum was a little tough. From Windgate, we bombed down the backside of what we climbed up and from there the trail loops around and begins a pretty major climb up to Bell Pass. At Bell, I choked down a gu and cliff bar, before heading back down the Scottsdale side of the pass. This hill is so stinking steep, but it was an absolute hoot. From there, we took rode the Paradise trail, which was pretty flat to the Ringtail trail for the ascent up the third pass, Sunrise. We took a little break at Sunrise, where I had another gu and slice of pizza. I’m amazed how the trail composition changes so dramatically. On the ascent, the trail was rocky, but on the descent side, it was granite cinder. The route down was a blast; fast with lotsa whoop-dee-do’s.
At the bottom of Sunrise we refilled out camelbacks and I made a second batch of gu energy drink. From there we meandered through the neighborhood, until we got to the dreaded jeep road to Golden Eagle. This rode kicked my butt last year. It has about 700 vf of climbing, and you are not allowed to zone out, cuz you still need to pick a good line to climb the steep hills on it. About 4 miles of this is enough for me.
From there we jumped on the Dixie Mine trail and then Cow Whip trail, and then the final ascent back up to Windgate for fourth pass, to complete the quadruple bypass.
Being quite fatigued, I took it pretty easy on this descent. It was really loose, but it was a so kewl coming down. We finished the ride at about 4:00, so the total ride was seven to seven and half hours.
This is my second winter in Phoenix, and I am amazed at how everything has greened up this year. The grass is growing in the hills.
Check out Chollaball's site, he's got a great write up and nifty map and stats.