Best Mountain Bike Ride Phoenix 2013 - Trail 100
Smack in the heart of the Valley, running through one of the country's largest urban preserve lands, Trail 100 takes you past awe-inspiring desert mansions, middle-class to upscale neighborhoods, picnic areas, and, most of all, miles of near-nothingness — just the placid Sonoran Desert. Sixth-largest city? Where? We typically start at the joke of a parking lot at Tomahawk Trail and Tatum Boulevard, which has a grand total of six spaces. Get there early and prepared for a long haul across challenging single-track. Though not as technical for the hardcore among you, we have to get off the bike on one rocky hill twice — once because it's too nuts to descend, and again on the return trip going up because our legs aren't strong enough. That part's west of the Dreamy Draw Recreation Area, which passes under the Piestewa Peak freeway. To make it a full 10 miles or so one way, we ride all the way to Cave Creek and Thunderbird roads before turning around. Hours of free thrills.