I finally made it back out to the west side of Phoenix to visit the in-laws. Got out to FINS to rediscover the beautiful singletrack etched into the Estrella hills. At the Westar school lot I met a local rider named Ben getting ready to head out as well. He said he wouldn’t mind me tagging along on his regular loop up Jim’s then down Grunt and back around Kylie’s Krossing. So off we went.

FINS started off with a shocker…riding under the power lines before the TH, my carbon fiber Hayes brake levers started to tingle. I felt a nice surge of energy snap through me lingering on my fingertips… it was a nice carb-free energy boost.

We hit the trail fast and headed for Grunt. I’d never run Grunt this direction so it was like riding a new trail. It was tough keeping up with him, he was putting the hurt on me on the climbs. It’s always fun to try to keep pace with someone ahead. After one lap I wanted to ride the connector to Jim’s Star Pass, so we rode it and ran Grunt again. Grunt reminds me of the XC trails at Bootleg. Shorter and not quite as much tech, but the same fun.

Towards the end of Grunt we shot down an unnamed trail that fizzled out in to a jeep road before hooking up with Randy’s Ridge. We circled clockwise to the Grunt Gap trail, I think. It was a short climb that put us right back on Grunt for more downhill. Then down Roman’s Rise, to Fantasy Flats (leads to a jeep road) and back to Spent Spade, then down Kim’s Klimb back to the start. There are so many trail names out there… Hey Harv, how do I get one named after me? I think I finally have the entire system GPSed. I was missing just a couple of short connectors from my last ride out there.

We finished up with light to spare…and since I was on the west side I wanted to ride the Junior Loop at the Estrella track. It’s only a mile and a half but I had never ridden it. With daylight fading we zipped through the the Junior Loop. I have to say it was great a great little loop, and polished off some sweet west side riding. Thanks to Ben for snapping the shot above and for giving me a great workout on FINS.

Still ahead of me this winter is Goat Camp. Another must ride I just haven’t ridden yet…

2 thoughts on “FINS, Jr.

  • October 12, 2009 at 10:52 am

    I am new to PHX area. I discovered FINS recently. Yesterday (Oct 11) was my second ride. I have to say this trial is awesome. Fits me perfectly as I am between beginner and average rider. Once thing is I am highly concerned about – Mountain lions. Has anyone spotted a mountain lion? or think that there might be one. I have read that people have actually spotted mountain lions in Estrella Mountain park. Fins is smaller and at most part, surrounded by houses. I noticed someone spotted one in 2007. May be back then there were not houses. I ride alone all the times

  • October 10, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Great photo! Looks like a good ride. I can’t wait to get my MTB and start riding some trails as an alternative to my road bike.

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