Arizona Mountain Biking
McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Quad Bypass, Check (just barely)

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quad elevation

It’s been a long time since I really suffered on the bike. Back in 1996 I rode my GT Karakoram 63 miles in an XC / road adventure from Provo to Deer Creek up Cascade Springs to Ridge trail 157. Down Ridge to Tibble, down American Fork Canyon and back to Provo. It took 8 hours. I hurt after that.

The Quad Bypass was half the distance, twice the climbing, and twice the suffering. The only time I really learn things is when I suffer. My first quadruple bypass taught me 10 new things about riding:

1) O.J. and cinnamon Life are not enough to start out a 30+ mile day
2) MTBR group rides are one of the best things on earth
3) Just when you think you are a good climber…you find 25 people who are better that you
4) After eight hours in the saddle you start to hurt in places you didn’t know could hurt.
5) Bonking starts out physical, then turns into a mental psych
6) Applesauce on the trail is a lifesaver
7) I know absolutely nothing about endurance nutrition/energy except…
8) Eat more, more often
9) CactusJoe is a stud. So is waltaz. So are the dozens of other riders who’ve completed the Quad.
10) Girls can ride harder than guys

It was quite a ride for me. I made it up Windgate, up Bell, up Sunrise, feeling pretty good. Then I started to crack on the little climb through the residential. I kept pushing, very slow, until I was spending more energy balancing than pedaling forward. Bonk. Twelve miles to go and I had nothing. I should have refueled earlier… I couldn’t stomach anything in my Camelbak, no Power Bars, no PB&J. I did have applesauce though, and it was literally a lifesaver. A Power Gel for dessert and I had enough mental determination to keep going. After a slow sog I met up with CactusJoe and got some good rest in. My stomach warmed to the rest of my goodies and when the social “back of the bus” gang arrived I was ready to go.

The trails on the backside (in the Park), Dixie Mine and Coachwhip were awesome. I’d love to ride the last pass on a fresh set of legs. This combo of trails is indeed epic. You feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. The descent from Bell is sweet, and the XC on Paradise and Quartz is beautiful. I had only ridden the short section of Ringtail and Sunrise. Everything else was brand new to me.

The Fuel EX9 performed like a champ. Although there were enough 29ers out there to start me thinking…I need 29er singlespeed and a 29er trail bike. Niner RIP 9?

Here’s a great interactive map of the Sonoran Preserve

Official MTBR Thread for the 2009 Bypass

Quad Riders Blogs
Arizona MTB Racing – Scottsdale Quadruple Bypass

rockcrusher – 33 miles, 6000+ft ascending, 1 gear , 3 speeds, yeehaw! ?

glenzx – Ride Report: Quadruple the FUN!!!

5 thoughts on “Quad Bypass, Check (just barely)

  • Thanks Mike. No bowing necessary. The double is an accomplishment in itself. Glad you like the tales of my adventures. Thanks for reading.

  • I did the 2 bypass and it kicked my butt ! You guys that ride the 4 bypass I bow to you also… that is A LOT of climbing… my age 45+ legs have a hard time handling that much climbing. Awesome post mtbikeaz – keep up the good work ! :-)

  • Thanks for reading. Yes this ride is epic. I have heard rumors of a Quad repeat in April. I’ll post up here when I hear more about it. I’m already planning my solo repeat, gonna mix it up and ride it backwards or something. You would kill the quad with all your TRI training. The Xterra in Vegas looks sweet. One day I’ll do a mountain triathlon, one day…

  • I moved to AZ from TN in July and have really enjoyed your posts. This ride looks epic and something I’ve got to try. Any plans for a repeat? I’m a BIG fan of the RIP 9.

  • The Quadruple? Dozens of people?

    I bow before you all. Seriously.
    My buddy and I did the double (Bell and Windgate) and we were hurting from just that (then again, we are old men).

    Glad you made it up Bell Pass. That is about as high as you can get (except maybe for Thompson Peak) on a bicycle in this valley.

    Now if I can only talk him into gong back to Pass Mountain…

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