Note: I forgot to activate my GPS when I started, so this map shows only my return.
Today I decided to finally go off-road with my TerraTrike Rambler All-Terrain. I wanted someplace easy to ride and thought that a service road would be an excellent choice. I chose Powerline Road #2 near the McDowell Mountain Regional Park because I heard so much about it and I knew there was a trailhead for parking.
Upon arrival I found the trailhead to be nearly empty with only several vehicles. Everyone I saw had a mountain bike in some form or fashion. I wasn’t worried because I knew there was a dirt road wide enough for my trike to fit on. After unloading my trike and making sure I had all of my stuff, I headed towards a metal fence that looked like I could pass under.
Having cleared my first hurdle, I looked to the road ahead and saw what looked like smooth sailing.
I wasn’t more than about a quarter-mile on the road before I encountered a dry wash bed that crossed through the road. I made it about halfway but buried my rear wheel. Crap! I had to get off my trike and push it out the rest of the way. I would encounter a few more spots like this with varying degrees of success passing through.
I brought my GoPro Hero 7 and mini tripod along for the ride, so when I stopped to catch my breath, I would set up the camera and capture a few clips. Here’s the final video I created for your enjoyment.
The outbound travel kicked my butt! It had a lot of uphill sections and of course those nasty wash beds were a constant challenge. I had to stop frequently to catch my breath, hydrate, and remind myself to slow down and enjoy the view. The ride back however, was great because it was nearly all downhill!
Overall this is a great area to ride a recumbent trike because the road is wide and there are rolling hills (i.e. no steep climbs). I would not recommend riding your every day street trike here because of the wash beds and loose rock everywhere. If you have an off-road trike like mine or the ICE Full Fat or something else with fat tires, you’ll do really well out here.
I would consider riding this area again but with a more aggressive rear tire tread such as a Maxxis Minon DHF. The tires that come with the Rambler All-Terrain are not bad, but lack sufficent traction in really loose material. I found myself slipping on the uphill sections and especially in the wash beds. I had my tire pressure at 35psi and will try going a bit lower before I pull the trigger on a new rear tire.
If you ride in this area and have some tips I would love to hear about them in the comments below!