Landscapes: Welcome to Phoenix, Arizona

Aug 29, 2014 at 15:55
by Projekt Roam  
Views: 21,868    Faves: 65    Comments: 5


PROJEKT ROAM Landscapes Vol. 4 images
PROJEKT ROAM Landscapes Vol. 4 images
PROJEKT ROAM Landscapes Vol. 4 images

Eons of time have lapsed burying age-old mountains beneath silt. Their skyward presence could have once rivalled the height of the Alps, but now only the rocky protrusions of the peaks are visible. These mostly submerged giants create an unexpected, yet amazing mountain biking mecca in the heart of Arizona's most dominant, metropolitan desert city.

PROJEKT ROAM Landscapes Vol. 4 images
PROJEKT ROAM Landscapes Vol. 4 images

Even though nature moulded this portion of the planet into a harsh landscape, ancestors indigenous to the area were privy to the wonders of the desert long before modern man encroached upon the solitude of a Saguaro-lined horizon with his new age ways and building.

PROJEKT ROAM Landscapes Vol. 4 images
PROJEKT ROAM Landscapes Vol. 4 images

Now, amidst modern times and innovations, in the heart of the concrete jungle of Phoenix, Arizona, rugged and rocky ground still reigns in South Mountain Park. It is this haven of challenging and grin-provoking trails which lure mountain bikers into the city's vicinity.

PROJEKT ROAM Landscapes Vol. 4 images
PROJEKT ROAM Landscapes Vol. 4 images

Living a life centered around traveling, we find ourselves in Phoenix from time to time for one reason or another and exploring the South Mountain trails has always been a rewarding reprieve in an area where motorized travel dominates.

PROJEKT ROAM Landscapes Vol. 4 images

Ten different trails carve their signatures into the 16,000 acre desert preserve, which is also coined as the largest municipal park in the country. The spike-laden environment provides options for numerous disciplines from undulating and flowing cross-country trails to technical, chunky gnar that gives the bike's suspension a good workout.

PROJEKT ROAM Landscapes Vol. 4 images
PROJEKT ROAM Landscapes Vol. 4 images

Innumerable geological obstacles blanket the trails, creating a multitude of line choices, keeping us entertained with fresh routes of attack. Be advised, though, that bail out options can be tricky. I've yet to meet an individual that thinks cactus butt or being kissed by rocks is a comfortable experience.

PROJEKT ROAM Landscapes Vol. 4 images
PROJEKT ROAM Landscapes Vol. 4 images

Being able to take a step out of the buzzing chaos and immerse ourselves in a setting of single track and cacti for a jaunt on two wheels is probably nothing short of the euphoria an addict feels getting a fix. Especially if we're seeking out the adrenaline surge of blazing down a boulder strewn path at high speeds.

PROJEKT ROAM Landscapes Vol. 4 images

Another fortunate occurrence we generally experience while hanging out in this southwestern state is that radiating globe of scorching energy and heat known as the sun always seems to be shining here.

PROJEKT ROAM Landscapes Vol. 4 images

The ever present sun aloft in the azure-hued sky heralds Phoenix as a prime winter getaway, but the emanating heat can make daytime summer riding intolerable. We do find it to be an exceptional cold weather escape when that frosty white stuff has buried the higher elevation trails.

PROJEKT ROAM Landscapes Vol. 4 images
PROJEKT ROAM Landscapes Vol. 4 images

Similar to many high alpine trails, South Mountain can emit that same calm, tranquil energy as you traverse across the open desert, lost in your own world with only the sounds of the hum of your tires and occasional call of the rock wren to serenade you.

PROJEKT ROAM Landscapes Vol. 4 images
PROJEKT ROAM Landscapes Vol. 4 images

The erosion of time and weather have taken a magnificent toll on shaping the multitudes of granite and volcanic rock formations that comprise the meat of the topography that shapes the park's land. I think it's safe to say that any true mountain biker would be hard pressed not to achieve some sort of enjoyment and satisfaction riding here.

PROJEKT ROAM Landscapes Vol. 4 images

Akin to the city that encompasses it, South Mountain Park is as diverse in trail as the culture is around it. Nature and people have worked together to make one unique and worthy playground in this desert terrain.

PROJEKT ROAM Landscapes Vol. 4 images

Projekt Roam was founded by husband and wife, Colt and Jessee Maule in 2010. It has been their mission to travel North America in search of places that celebrate the unparalleled beauty and freedom of not only the bike, but the terrain we ride as well. Plan your own trip to Phoenix, AZ and check out more photos, film, and riding locations throughout North America at www.projektroam.com.

PROJEKT ROAM Landscapes Vol. 4 images

Thanks to our sponsors for some great product and to all of our new friends who have helped us out along the way, ride on.

Words: Jessee Maule
Photos/Film: Colt & Jessee Maule (Filmed February 2014)
Riders: Colt Maule, Michael Mahowald, Jessee Maule

For more work by Projekt Roam:
projektroam.pinkbike.com
www.projektroam.com



Trailforks.com
Must Read This Week

84 Comments

  • + 29
 Awesome. My home trails and I feel super-fortunate to live here. Except, you know, it's really hot.
  • + 3
 The heat is the best part! It feels like the sun is always giving you a hug..
  • + 7
 Except for the fact that the "hug" is almost intolerable for at least 3-4 months out of the year. Don't get me wrong I love it here during the winter but after 18+ years here I find the summer afternoons to be unbearable. I only ride super early in the morning or at night during this time of the year.
  • + 7
 But you have no humidity. Try riding here in the midwest. Real feel well over a hundred. I go out west to vacation in the summer to beat the humidity. Even though it's a 100 degree ambient out west it's a piece of cake compared to the humidity here. You can go stand outside here and do nothing and sweat. Sucks. Love to be were you are.
  • + 7
 People don't die in the midwest from heat exhaustion from going for hikes etc, a desert is a more harsh environment hands down. Dry heat hurts organs lol. And the summer is for stand up skis at all of the lakes we have.
  • + 3
 But, it's a dry heat... Those cactus racking focus shots were amazing. Very well done, except no obligatory shot of a rattlesnake. Great music too. Get to ride there this winter, so stoked now. Thanks!
  • + 5
 Humidity or not the sun will literally cook you here SaintJoeRider. Look at those pictures. See any tree coverage for shade? I get the humidity thing. I was born in Ohio and my mom's side of the family is in Georgia but it still doesn't compare. Airmiller44 is right, if you're here in the summer find a way to hit one of the lakes, much more enjoyable or head to Sedona or bring lights. Midday riding/hiking can literally kill you.
  • + 19
 20 dudes commenting about heat. Then one badass chick with dreads, wearing all black and a skid lid, not breaking a sweat. Dayum
  • + 1
 I love Phoenix!
  • + 2
 Yeah "dry heat" is pretty deceptive. It's more comfortable than humid heat because your sweat is actually evaporating, but holy shit can it dehydrate you quickly. And if you're doing any kind of strenuous physical activity you can't drink/absorb water fast enough to stay hydrated. When I lived in GA where sweat doesn't evaporate you'd basically get coated with liquid and overheat and have to stop. In dry heat you can keep going.... until you have no sweat left.
  • + 1
 LOL at "dry heat" and "no humidity". So instead of sweating to death you just vaporize on the spot! Let's do a heat test, On your hottest/humid day go lay your face on the concrete back east, then go try it in Phoenix mid July. Please report back.
  • - 2
 "The ever present sun aloft in the azure-hued sky heralds Phoenix as a prime winter getaway, but the emanating heat can make daytime summer riding intolerable. We do find it to be an exceptional cold weather escape when that frosty white stuff has buried the higher elevation trails." - Projekt Roam

Q: "In Aliens 2, when the Marines go into the reactor for the first time, Hudson says "yeah, but it's a dry heat" and his sergeant says "knock it off Hudson". I don't understand the significance of this phrase - if there is any to it, is it really less hot in a reactor, than in say, Alabama in late August?"

A: "It's got no significance whatsoever. It's a joke, a piece of repartee... something daft to say... it is usually the kind of thing that is said when on holiday."

Holiday Maker 1: "Aint it hot!"
Hudson: "Yeah, but its a dry heat."
"Laughter... mindless babble, it's how people communicate... it's just babble, small talk." - pulled from weberverse.
  • + 1
 I love the summer here when all the snowbirds go back to their milder climates and the trails are empty. Put on some sunblock, fill your Camelback and go ride some of the best inner city trails out there. The sheer volume and quality of trails to choose from in the Valley is amazing. Check out www.mtbikeaz.com/trail-index/phoenix for more.
  • + 2
 I love Aliens 2. Great quote. Loved it.
  • + 2
 @speed10 this was shot in February.....
  • + 0
 You people that say arizona is a "dry" heat have never lived there. Mid July monsoon season starts and it's 120 degrees with 90% humidity until about the middle of September. The first year I lived there I wanted to punch everyone that said "at least it's a dry heat, I lived in XXXX and it was soo much worse." Bullshit, only place that I've lived that was close to sucking as bad as Arizona was San Antonio but it was only 100 degrees with 100% at it's worst.

In the summer it's over 100degrees 24 hours of the day. Want to night ride in july-august? It's still 90-100 at midnight. When I moved out of that place it was 128 degrees in the beginning of august. Inside my u-haul was 150-160 with no aiflow. Talk about a craptastic move.

I never MTB'd when I lived in AZ but it looks decent if you have a high enough travel bike. Looks pretty similar to moab and southern utah. If I lived in AZ again I'd spend most of my weekends in flagstaff.
  • + 2
 I live out west, and was just out in Baltimore this weekend. High humidity and 90 degree temps in the shade are much easier for me to deal with than 100 degree temps with no protection from the sun. Sure, you get wet since your sweat doesn't evaporate, but you don't feel like you're on the verge of dying when cranking up a hill. It's not really the temps that get you. I can do night rides in 95+ degree heat no problem. What kills you in the Southwest is the sun. AZ sun can get really brutal, especially with less humidity enhanced refraction, and there is no place to hide.
  • + 2
 Guys. We freeze our gonads up here (Alberta) 7 months out of the year. And after a month or two of torrential rain and golf ball-size hail (for real), we finally get to ride. We still freeze our arses off at night tho because we're at 1100' above sea level. Oh and seeing a girl in a bikini is like finding a goddamn sasquatch. So I will take hot as Hades any day if it means hitting the trails more often than a few months a year.
  • + 1
 riding from October to May isn't bad here Smile and a few hours drive away and we can snowboard.
  • + 1
 We have it rough here in San Diego too. ; )
  • + 8
 Crazy I just met Colt and Jessee randomly in Telluride Colorado while I was riding the downhill mountain bike park out there! I commented him on his Pivot Mach 6 because it was from AZ where I am from. Anyways I rode a few chair lift sessions with him and his wife and they where really nice genuine people. You could tell they really had love for the sport! He told me about ProjektRoam and what they do. He gave me some tips on how to get faster through the corners aswell. Anyways it was really cool I got to meet both of them in person and I had no idea who they where. Love the biking community.
  • + 6
 It's great to see South Mountain get some national recognition! Me and my buddies started cutting our teeth on those trails on rigid bikes back a little over twenty years ago. We had the best of times out there....spending hours at a time trying to make the unbelievable uphill rock outcropping climbs. Technical rider's dream. Miss the place.
  • + 9
 So that's what happens to dirt when there's no rain
  • + 6
 Ohh it rains don't be fooled. The monsoon season is incredible in the desert. Lightning storms like you have never witnessed. My family owns a 40,000 acre cattle ranch out side of Wickenburg, AZ which is 40 miles give or take northwest of Phoenix. Big Mountains and Big Terrain endless possibilities.. At the moment I live in SLC but I plan on making trips back to the ranch to ride and build there.
  • + 3
 Can I help. I need a place to ride in the winter Smile
  • + 8
 Doesn't even need a helmet with all those ropes..
  • + 2
 hahahahah
  • + 5
 Pretty much the only major metro area in the US with decent riding on trails that aren't neutered. Well expressed and a worthy home for Pivot
  • + 5
 LAs vegas?? Bootleg canyon and cowboy trails are not neutered
  • + 3
 Las Vegas is definitely underrated in terms of tech terrain, especially so close to a major city. I had a blast riding Bootleg and Bears Best last February in 26 degree celsius sunshine.
  • + 2
 Depends what you consider "major metro area". The whole state has pretty good un-neutered terrain. Tucson, Prescott, Sedona, and Flag all have great technical riding within minutes from town, and you've got to at least consider Tucson as "major metro".

I live in the Front Range now, and there is some great techy terrain around, much of it bikable or a short drive from your office/home in Golden, Boulder, or Ft. Collins. You also have to consider that traffic still isn't nearly as bad as getting through Vancouver on the way to one of the North Shore mountains after work.

I have ridden nowhere in the US that has good man-made features like those that can be found in Whistler, North Shore, Squamish, and Cumberland. We do have some cool stuff at DH resorts, but nothing like the community built trails in BC.
  • + 1
 True - I brainfarted on Tucson and Las Vegas. Too bad its the exception and not the rule. Luckily i live equidistant two mountains in North Van and can bike to trails. Also true re Vancouver traffic gongshow
  • + 2
 A lot of NODS in phx, legit riders, 2 scopes of rocks, Radness as a place to Night ride, Full moon no light potential on a open sky night. Weird, still haven't found anything more tech in CO. Barr but not gnar. Till it burns up or drys out, shred while the lights are on boys & girls, ride like out of the ashes or something.
  • + 3
 I used to live at base of South Mountain, I dont miss Phoenix at all, but I sure miss riding Mormon, National, Holbert, & Geronimo! These trails are among the best in the country, no doubt!
  • + 3
 I rode in the Phoenix area a few years ago, seeing this really makes me want to go back, I enjoyed it a lot there. Great video guys, nice ride!
  • + 1
 From alpine forests all the way down to the desert floor with Sedona right there in between. I gave up 60k/ year- 3 day work week to move here just to ride sunshine everyday. Best thing I ever did! Money ain't everything, but riding my bike sure seems to be! My shops:1) Rage Cycles(used 'em for well over a decade, plus they gotta PUMP TRACK), Kore Bike Shop( ran into Melissa Buhl here).
  • + 2
 Good 'ol South Mountain.... I don't miss crashing and having to pull cactus needles outta my skin! I prefered making the trip to Sedona when I was living out there....
  • + 1
 South Mountain has some great riding! Good tech there for sure. Just don't go there in July Aug, June and Sept can be pretty hot too...
  • + 1
 I'm going to Phoenix this october/november. Can I rent a good bike somewhere and go for a (guided) ride?
Can somebody give me some hints? Many thanks
  • + 1
 So it's been 3 years since I lived there, but the dudes at Landis Cyclery were always awesome, that was the shop I used for the 7 years I was in Chandler AZ. They're a stand up shop. Website: www.landiscyclery.com
There was another shop closer to south mountain called "SMC" south mountain cycles that I went to a few times with one of my riding buddies. But I think it was bought by the Global Bikes group of shops that are around the SE Phoeinx area I don't know much about them (Global) I was only ever in one of their shops once but they might be another good source website: www.globalbikes.info
  • + 1
 Give me a shout. I can show you some of our spots whether it be downhill or am. Not sure who rents anymore unfortunately.
  • + 2
 I'm pretty sure Action Ride Shop still does. Last time I checked they had some Bronsons.
  • + 2
 Slippery Pig will hook you up with a demo. It's right between South Mountain and the Phoenix Mountains.
  • + 1
 Cactus Bike also has FS and HT Kona bikes for rent. They are located on Elliot/48th.
  • + 2
 AZ rules. From the Desert to Sedona and up to Flagstaff, AZ has a little of everything....except mud.
  • + 1
 Try riding in Flag during the spring. There's mud a-plenty.
  • + 3
 woow, I want ride on these desert trails
  • + 2
 to see my own trails get covered makes me so happy, come back in the winter and fall when you can actually enjoy it
  • + 2
 Geronimo and corona de loma are the bomb! Among many others there. Best tech riding 4sure.
  • + 2
 I was fortunate to have lived there for a couple years. One cacti fall to many!
  • + 2
 Good stuff colt !!! I need to get out there soon.
  • + 1
 British Columbia, New Zealand and this place is where I want to go with my bike before I get too old to ride a bike.
  • + 1
 Nice job capturing most of what somo has to offer Colt and Jessee! Is that Mikey I spy riding with you?!!
  • + 2
 Thx, and yes, the one and only Mikey!!
  • + 2
 They make the waterfall look so tame.
  • + 1
 It always looks easier in pics and vids but in person that can be a sketchy section.
  • + 1
 Crazy how he airs it out at the upper section of the waterfall. Ill have to try that. All of national is pretty wrecked right now from the rain a few weeks ago.
  • + 1
 its sucks when you wreck and the burn from how hot the ground is. is worse than the crash!
  • + 1
 Can anyone reccomend an area in the city within pedaling distance to the trails and good food too?
  • + 1
 Look for a hotel/motel in Ahwatukee, maybe something around I-10 and Elliot Rd. That would put you very close to the trails shown in this video and there's some decent food in the area, especially if you like Mexican.
  • + 1
 Another GREAT video, you guys are so rad. If you ever make it back to Fruita, come by the shop and say hi.
  • + 2
 Cool!!! Super Style dread girl!!! Nice Images...
  • + 2
 Those trails look so sick, wish I had them as local trails
  • + 1
 You should come over to N. Mex for a visit. Lots of trails, and not as hot as AZ.
  • + 3
 I just returned from a New Mexico trip. Trails were OK, high elevation, but nothing at all like the techfest right outside your door here in Phoenix.
  • + 1
 shoutout from ASU mountain biking club
  • + 1
 Someone give Mikey some goddamn proper socks
  • + 1
 Sweet visuals. I always enjoy watching these vids.
  • + 1
 Those South Mountain trail are amazing!!!
  • + 1
 Or go riding in Europe were it's wet and coldSmile
  • + 1
 Looks good in picz, but that place is too damn hot in real life.
  • + 1
 Dang... Never knew Arizona had such good trails.
  • + 1
 Where the rocks like it Hot Hot Hot!
  • + 1
 Get ready to paint your toilet brown.
  • + 1
 Phoenix is just way too hot, can't even open my eyes.
  • + 1
 What trails are featured in this video? Geronimo by chance?
  • + 1
 mostly national and I'd guess Mormon since there weren't any shots from lower national after the Mormon split
  • + 1
 looks like a little of javelina too
  • + 1
 Top to bottom of trail night light pic is epic!
  • + 1
 That was just perfect.
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2017. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.053331
Mobile Version of Website