Friday, March 04, 2016

Sedona Is the New Mountain Bike Mecca

Sedona, we discovered, is possibly one of the finest riding destinations in the country. It definitely provided the best bike test in the 11-year history of the event. Of course the mountain bike trails are ridiculously fun and extremely varied. If you thought that Moab has a corner on red-rock desert riding, think again. Trails here range from Chutes and Ladders-style twists and turns on dusty singletrack through loose pi├▒on pine and junipers, to nonstop rollercoaster ups and downs with blocky sandstone step-ups and step-downs, with big basins and swells of slick rock to play in at every turn. There’s loose and chunky stuff, nicely constructed flow trails, high-consequence technical challenges, and even cruisey riding in the ponderosas if you’re willing to pedal for it. “One of the best things about Sedona is the variety,” says Matt Mcfee, whose company Hermosa Tours guides visiting riders. “There’s trail for everyone, and you can’t call any of it, even the easy stuff, boring.” Another big bonus is the proximity to riding. “Here, you don’t have to drive at all. The trails are all close enough to ride to, and the network can connect to everything else in town,” says Mike Raney, co-owner of Over The Edge Sports Sedona. There’s 239 miles of bike-friendly trails, most of which is well signed and mapped and strung over town like a giant spider web. During the time we spent testing in Sedona, we drove to ride only twice. But really what sets Sedona apart is its attitude. The city wants cyclists to come ride. In Sedona, the Forest Service has actually collaborated with the mountain bike community to retrofit old trails to better suit cyclists needs (think: banked turns, no switchbacks, rock armor instead of steps). They also worked with riders and the city to build 60 miles of new trails to accommodate the increase in riders. “Trails are a natural way to protect the land,” says Jennifer Burns, who worked as the recreation staff officer for Sedona’s district of the Coconino National Forest from 2009 until her retirement earlier this year. “The policy here has been to reach out and build back relationships with mountain bikers. It’s the surest way we have to fulfill our charge to protect the land.”...more


Anonymous said...

USFS is quick to restrict horseback riders, but welcomes the biker because it smacks more of the eastern establishment that it does the west. The USFS is terrified that the Park Service will be given responsibility of all Dept of Ag stewardship lands. If you follow the results of the Valle Grande land project near Los Alamos you will see the truth in this opinion.
USFS was once a resource mandated organization, managing all natural resources for the "greatest good for the greatest number". Now the greatest good is 5 people around a picnic table, parked next to a stream with their motor homes and bikes waiting to explore the wilderness.
This is a used oats concept.

Anonymous said...

At this point, our never ending financial crisis, the only alternative is discontinue all the federal agencies (including EPA, USFW, BLM, USFS) and return the lands to the states control. State forests instead of federal with the mandate of natural resources management and the best of restoration. The wild lands fire industry would be greatly reduced.