Tuesdays with Dirty: Finding hidden gold in the Superstitions

I have always had a love/hate relationship with the Superstition mountains to the east of Phoenix. It is where the suburbs stop and the mountains begin. Therefore, it’s the only wilderness area I know of that you can still see the glow of the city while backpacking. The hills are filled with tourists but also endless miles of singletrack that due to it’s wilderness designation, I can’t ride my bike on. Then there is a great old legend of a lost gold mine hidden somewhere in them there hills. I love a good story about buried treasure.

Over the past couple years I have also heard a rumor of some prime singletrack out there hidden away up against the wilderness boundary. Come to find out, DC representative Turkey recently moved within riding distance of these trails. A date was set, the troops were rallied and we showed up on a Sunday afternoon 9 hooligans strong to explore some new trails.

Turkey informed us that the ride on “K-Trail” would be about 17 miles long and should take 3-4 hours. Bring it on. We rolled out pavement and some doubletrack for a few miles then we dismounted our bikes and walked 20 feet into the desert to a new hidden trail still in the process of being cut. We had the pleasure of being some of the first people to roll on perfectly cut new trail and it was nothing short of spectacular. The trail wasn’t quite done,and when it reached a dead end we found Mr. K  himself digging away. It was the perfect opportunity to crack the first beer and talk to the man with the master plan about his six year labor of love. K was stoked to show us around and just smiled and said that this is just the beginning of what was in store for us. Beers were finished and the sound of 16 feet clipping into the pedals signaled  the start of our grand tour of this amazing desert landscape.

some of the horrible views we took in

some of the horrible views we took in

I will try to sum up these trails with some pictures since the words seem to escape me right now…

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The cacti are close.This trail can bite back.

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trail hazard

A kid from Oklahoma telling that Longhorn whats up

A kid from Oklahoma telling that Longhorn whats up

what it's all about. good friends and big views.

what it's all about. good friends and big views.

old meets new. Carbon fiber and ..

old meets new. Carbon fiber and ancient metate(grinding holes made by native americans)

top of the final climb

top of the final climb

K discussing big plans for the future and Turkey making his pack lighter

K discussing big plans for the future and Turkey making his pack lighter

Arizona wildcat?

Arizona wildcat?

This was a great day on the bike filled with good people, amazing scenery, and even better trails. The flow of these trails made me feel like I was in Fruita carving turns at full speed and smiling ear to ear the whole time. Every once and a while there would be a random “whoo hooo!” from somewhere in the line of riders, and that about sums it up. At one point I was so stoked that I found myself singing  I Believe I Can Fly at the top of my lungs (I have no idea) and ended up crashing mid verse. It was just that good. The evening was capped perfectly with a carne asada BBQ and cold beers. Stories from the day were swapped and plans were made to return very soon.  Many thanks go out to Turkey and K for being such great tour guides and gracious hosts.  Get out and find some new trails, and as always….Keep it dirty

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About dirty biker

I am a fan of singletrack, singlespeeds, single malt, and single women. Tempe, Arizona, USA

9 thoughts on “Tuesdays with Dirty: Finding hidden gold in the Superstitions

  1. Mr. “K” has done some amazing work out there, that’s for sure. I need to get out there again to see what’s he’s done since the last time i was out there.

  2. Awesome write up Dirty. We were stoked everyone could make it out and enjoyed themselves.
    I love the picture of Adam yelling at that Longhorn. Classic.

  3. That day sums up mountain biking. People getting together to share their passion, make new friends, share beer, and have a righteous good time. A huge slice of something special. Thanks for having me along.

  4. I recently did adventure cyclings southern tier and stayed the night in that area on my tour. I kept thinking how nice it would be to ditch my 50lbs of gear, grab a mountain bike, and go exploring (a sentiment which was magnified by the fact that the highway shoulders along that stretch are complete shit). Never got the chance to search for the mythical lost mine, but I did get a history lesson from the locals over a few frosty beverages. Ended up staying the night with a warm showers host right in the middle of those mountains (there was a peak called the devils needle or seamstresses needle…….Weavers needle! and they took us hiking around it). Probably the most exciting time ive ever spent in a retirement community in the desert (only time?). It is truly some beautiful countryside for sure and I can’t wait to be back in it. Great post.

  5. I know that trails like so many things are meant to be closely guarded lest they be overused, but can you give a fellow east side brotha a clue as to where to find this little slice of heaven?

  6. Slight correction, there was the sound of 15 feet clicking into pedals after the first stop…one of mine broke :(

  7. @scoottay: if you want to post some contact info, i’ll do my best to get you out here.