24 Hours in the Old Pueblo
Also Known As Willow Springs
Located north of Oracle off of Willow Springs Road, the course for Epic Ride’s Kona Bike’s 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo has added some single track. This course is appropriate for all riders, from beginners who have accomplished the basic skills of speed and direction control to the elite lever racer, as it meanders on jeep roads and singletrack over rolling terrain. Long, gradual climbs precede long, gradual descents on the single-track, and short, steep climbs precede short steep descents on the rolling gasline jeep road (aka “The Bitches”). If you don’t like the Bitches, feel free to use the new, fun “Skip The Bitches” trail, which breaks off to the right just after you cross the cattle guard and road. Experienced riders need to check out the “Slickrock Woohoo” , a short descent on a big rock face at the end of the race lap. This is a popular spot for spectators!
This is an early morning ride or cool weather outing. Bring lots of water as there is none available. You will have to stop and go through a few fences and corral. Always close the gates behind you, as it is open-range and you will see cattle. Also be aware this is State Land so you MUST have a State Land Permit (or be ready to pay the fine if you’re caught without one). Though enforcement typically isn’t that common during the year, it is ramped up close to the race in February.
There is also a couple new trails, Bones and Painter Boy, which break off of Highpoint trail after you pass under the powerlines. These are not officially part of the racecourse, but are quite a bit of fun if you’d like to add a couple more miles into your ride.
Directions: Head north on Oracle past Oracle Junction to Willow Springs Road which is about 1.2 mile before the turn to Biosphere II. Take a left (the only way you can go) on Willow Springs for about 6.5 miles until you get to an arch which crosses the road announcing Willow Springs Ranch. Just past the arch the main road curves right with a less-used road breaking of straight/left. Turn on this less-used road, and you’ll find a large parking area. Park here, and the singletrack starts on the right side of the parking area. Looking at the map, you are in the lower right corner and would ride clockwise up JuneBug Trail.
A special thanks to Epic Rides and © 2014 Devon Balet for the great photos!