In Phoenix in the summertime, there is no such thing as a lunch ride. In the desert, from June through about the middle of September, the only kind of riding I do is the early morning wake-me-up ride.
That means a 4:30 AM alarm clock and a 5:30 AM trail time. This morning I was at the top of Javelina where it meets the Ridgeline trail on South Mountain before the sun decided to join me.
Javelina is a rough and rocky double-track that slowly turns into a wide singletrack with just a little forgiveness. The 46th Street parking lot is a good place to start if you want to do a quick ride up Mormon and then down the less ridden back side of Mormon. It’s a couple of miles of pretty gnarley singletrack that’s littered with boulders, shutes, steps, and some of the sweetest technical lines I’ve been blessed to decend. If Javelina was a little forgiving, the north side of South Mountain has never even heard of forgiveness. She’ll lie, cheat, and steal your soul right off your bike just to watch you bleed.
I went over the handelbars twice down the mountain. I got lucky on one landing and controlled the fall. The second endo threw me and my bike onto a a series of sharp rocks, but we caught ourselves just before gravity pushed us down further…both the Trek EX 9 and I are doing well, just a bit bruised and scratched.
When people say this trail is not recommended for beginners, they are not telling the whole truth. This trail is not recommended for anyone who does not want to fall. I never thought I would say that I could use more suspension, but on this trail it would have come in handy. Now I’m really thinking about the 5 and a half inches on the 2007 Trek Fuel bikes…
Mormon is an awesome challenge. It has just enough of the good stuff to keep me coming back again and again and again.
Mormon Trail Links
Mormon trail video: pete fagerline has excellent footage of the north side of Mormon trail – 50 MB