RIDE RECAP: IRONWOOD FOREST NATIONAL MONUMENT

REGROUP RIDE RECAPS, A NEW SERIES HIGHLIGHTING CLASSIC CYCLING DESTINATIONS, AND SOME LOCATIONS YOU MAY BE LESS FAMILIAR WITH. 

ABOUT THIS AREA

“Ironwood has a large variation of out-and-back four wheel drive trails, as well as one large notable loop encompassing silver bell arizona. A large portion of the roads run through ironwood forest national monument. 

Though the majority of rides available follow regularly graded and maintained roads, there are undoubtedly sections that haven’t seen maintenance in years (or possibly, ever). The terrain is typical of open desert: arid, dry, and strewn with sharp rocks. Sand sections are common especially when crossing washes. 650bx48 tires are recommended, or a minimum of 700×42. The roads are smooth and fast but segments can leave you stranded if you don’t have the appropriate tools for repair. 

During our 50-mile loop there were multiple punctures in one particular tire resulting ultimately in a rescue mission. This area is not recommended for solo riding as there is limited to no cell service for much of the ride. ”

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STRAVA ROUTE

THE RIDE

We cooked breakfast at camp before heading out, so I filled my bar bag with a few pitted dates, cycling computer, and vest. I Threw on my favorite navy blue Pas Normal Mechanism kit and we rolled out of camp.

Rugged sections of road unmaintained over many years calls for borderline mountain bike capabilities. However, much of the route is fast and smooth thanks to incredibly regular road maintenance from the Bureau Of Land Management.

The route  is entirely self sufficient, so be prepared with multiple ways to repair a flat. Food and water are NOT readily available, so plan accordingly.
This is the high desert, the sun is hot, there is no shade. Proceed with caution and readiness!

To the left you will find the 50-mile route we based our ride off of. Things to note: some of this land is private and please ride at your own discretion. Be courteous to residents and stay on the trails.

LODGING: DISPERSED CAMPING

Camping is free and dispersed. Follow rules put in place for camping on public land; pack it in, pack it out. Please reference the following for additional guidance on the do’s and dont’s of enjoying public land.  https://www.blm.gov/programs/recreation/camping

GEAR REVIEW

WHAT WORKED GREAT, AND WHAT WOULD
YOU DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME?

The 3T Exploro was the perfect choice for this route.

I found that my 650bx50 set up was the
best way to go. The other rider I was with
discovered a 700×40 set up was a bit on the
narrow side, and made for a few flats
and some difficulty in the sandier sections.

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