Mar 29, 2009

Goat Camp (White Tanks Park) - Phoenix, AZ

Whelpers, I had done the out and back cross country ride on Goat Camp, but today was the first time riding the gnar on the downhill. This trail is no joke.

We (Carmen, Lynette, Scott N., Elissa N., Brett N., Scott A., DurtGurl, Chongoman, Aaron, Jen, Dale, and myself) met up at the bottom up the trailhead at 9:00, and youd couldn't have ordered a more perfect day. We pedaled the road up to Mesquite Canyon trail and took that trail up. I was pretty familiar with this portion of the trail, but I was blown away by the new stuff on the upper portion of Mesquite. It was buff single track that crept its way throw some really neato boulder fields. I'm not sure how what the mileage of this approach was, but I imagine it was something like 8 miles. And it took us about 2.5 hours before we reached the top.

Now I've been hearing horror stories of the downhill section for a few years, now and my game plan was to play it cautions. About a hundred yards from the top, I encountered some serious gnar, and it had me questioning what I had gotten myself into. Big drops, tight turns, and loose rocks had me a little on edge. Chongoman made it look easy, and Scotty A. was road it aggressively, but ended up with frustrating combination of dab and other-the-handle-bar experience. This is when I understood that caution in this section is to be taken seriously.

After a quick stop to repair a flat on Dale's bike, we caught up to everybody doing some sessioning on the 'spiral staircase'. I did catch Brett and DurtGurls triumphs on the vid. And I made a blind attempt on it, and cleaned it until the last nasty step at the botton.

Oddly enough we saw a blacktail rattler at the 'Rattlesnake' rock garden. Some excellent riding was thrown down here, as Chongoman, Carmen, Lynette, Scotty A., and Brett made it look easy.

Then it was onto the 'Jackhammer'. I chose life on this one, and walked this nastiness. Once again some impressive riding was displayed.

I gotta say I actually hopped off my bike in quite a few section, but I can soundly say that this trail is hard, but doable.

Here's a vid of the day:

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