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Arizona Mountain Bike Trail Guide: Fat Tire Tales & Trails Paperback – April, 2000

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Cosmic Ray (April 2000)
  • ISBN-10: 0966476905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966476903
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,008,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Before you ride Flagstaff, Sedona or anywhere else in Arizona, you need to buy this guide. -- Mountain Bike magazine, November, 1996

Cosmic Ray has succeeded at the toughest bike trick of all: a cycling resource book you'll love reading even if your butt prefers a La-Z-Boy in your living room over a stretch of slickrock in Arizona. -- Bikesite, Geff Hinds, June, 1998

If you are lucky enough to run into Cosmic Ray, ask him to take you for a ride. You'll remember it for the rest of your life! -- Mountain Bike World magazine, UK, August, 1997

Legendary! -- Outside Magazine, June, 1993

The best all time Arizona mountain bike guide. -- Richard Cunningham, editor, Mountain Bike Action magazine, September, 1996

The best book available on the subject. Ray is legend among the local mountain biking fraternity. A keen knowledge of off-road Arizona. -- The Sunday Times of London, January 14, 1996

This zany little guide delivers the nitty-gritty on Arizona's best Mountain Biking. With Cosmic Ray at the wheel, just reading it is like going for a ride. -- Arizona Republic Outdoor Adventure, 1996

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

RATING THE RIDES - For comparison's sake, all rides were rated by me, a seedy but sincere middle age male in reasonably good physical condition if otherwise unencumbered by the thought process.

EASY - Some hills with nothing too steep or too long. A weenie ride. If you can't handle this, you are one hopeless sofatater. I suggest more Doritos and TV including lots of info-mercials, games, soaps, golf and shopping. Get plenty of quality couch time, high dollar gin, sex toys and video games. See a doctor!

MODERATE - Guaranteed to get the dead laughing and singing again. Interesting terrain with some healthy exposure to risk. Good sweaty stinky hard work, but still not killer.

DIFFICULT - Rough, tough, painful, hard and muy dangeroso with occasional warp speed, climbing and distance. Not for the respiratorily challenged. Sort of like straight espresso. If you don't know what it is, you don't want it!

EXTREME - Caution! May set off low self esteem panic attack. Possible bloodbath. Parents would not approve. Nor your insurance agent, doctor, spouse or bike if it could talk. Also known as puck-10, no brainer, E-ticket, hairball, burley, Barney or barndog, abusive, gonzo, mongo, mondo, psycho, way super gnarly, hideous, hateful and gruesome. Do you lack common sense? Is your brain adrift in a sea of cheap beer or what?

Customer Reviews

I used this book to find trails all over arizona.
Jesse Jakomait
The trail descriptions have been very accurate and always includes additional information or some nice tips.
Just wanted to let everyone know how much I appreciate this book.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Cosmic Ray on November 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
This note is in response to a review by Mr. Tlangmd from Altoona, PA. Thank you for your comments. Mr. Tlangmd, you are correct, your GPS is "useless with this book, since there are no GPS points". Although I do see mountain bikers using cycle computers to calculate distance, GPS usage is virtually nill. You yourself did not carry one on your trip west. While in Sedona, you can look up from the trail and see 2000 foot tall monuments. These are your landmarks. Your waypoints if you will. If you require topographic maps, they are available at bike and outdoor shops throughout the area.
"One had to wonder if Ray rode that ride." I assure you Mr. Tlandmd, Ray rode that ride . . . and many many more that were not good enough to make the book. I ride a 7 year old Merlin hardtail. I have ridden every trail in the Sedona, Flagstaff, Phoenix, Tucson area over the past 20 years. If you ride a trail in my book, I have ridden that trail before you.
My descriptions have usually been described as excellent. I am sorry they are not to your liking. The loops in my book do not require shuttles and I avoid long stretches of dirt or paved roads myself. However, they may be shown as an option for anyone not caring to do an out and back, preferring to bail and take the faster albeit less fun way home.
Regarding some trails left out of my guide known as "secret". Yes, there are secret trails in Sedona. Hence the name. Many of these are not legal and are left for you to find on your own. However, what you hear from a bike shop in a verbal description and what I print are two different things. There is some legal responsibility to a certain government agency involved here.
Finally, regarding your complaint about being unable to find your way around Mt.
Read more ›
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Flagstaff Bike Betty on June 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
Cosmic Ray's book is great. This new edition has much improved maps over old editions. The writing style remains hilarious. In this one book you get all the 70 or so best of the best trails from all over Arizona for under ten bucks. If you bought separate topo, forest service or specialty maps, you'd pay hundreds of dollars for this much info. And Ray knows the trails. He's been riding a mountain bike since before they were called "mountain bikes", back in the days when the locals in Flagstaff were making their own mountain bikes out of spare parts. He knows the trails all over Arizona and rides them regularly.
In the very beginning of the book, Ray tells how he rates the rides. He describes himself as a "seedy but sincere middle age male in reasonably good shape" so you have something with which to compare your own level of ability. Then he goes on to tell how the ride felt to himself regarding effort, skill, fear factor (the puck-o-meter rules!). The contour profile lets you know what a ride is like at a glance. If the profile is flat, it's easy. On the other hand, if you see that you have a 5000 foot climb coming up, be warned it ain't no weenie ride.
If you must complain about roots, rocks, mud, sand, dirt etc., then this is not the book for you. If you need a topo map,a GPS and a hand to hold to find your way around a well signed trail, again, this is not the book for you. If you want directions, buy a map. If you want adventure, this is it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
Cosmic Ray spills the beans about the best trails in all the best mountain biking areas in Arizona . . . Sedona, Phoenix, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon, Tucson, Prescott, Payson and more. It is obvious that he is a local and has a keen interest in what he does. He includes his e-mail address in the book so you can quiz him on a particular ride whenever you want. I found this very helpful before I set off on the Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Stage Coach Route.
Each ride is accompanied by a description and a map. The description includes time, distance, effort, skill, find-ability, best season to ride and fear factor (puck-o-meter 1 to 10 !) If you are short on time, premium rides are indicated with a special "primo ride" icon.
Rating ride difficulty is a subjective science and Cosmic Ray makes it clear that he is an intermediate/advanced rider. He rates the trails for the "average" rider, not the racer and not the total weenie. Most trails lean toward the intermediate/advanced rider with a few severe trails just to add some spice. There are a few easy trails as well.
Cosmic Ray's maps are cartoony looking, but he says they are adapted (traced) from topos. They are pretty much to scale and oriented north. The detailed descriptions and mileage log fill in where a map just can't do the job. I found the distances to be mostly pretty close, but not 100% perfect. Any semi-experienced mountain biker can easily work around this.
The best part of this book is Cosmic Ray's sense of humor. It makes for a good read with lots of laughs whether you ride or not.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By marcia on December 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
I've done a dozen of the rides from Fat Tire Tales & Trails and Ray delivers the straight skinny on trails in the Flagstaff, Sedona and Phoenix areas. The descriptions are very helpful before doing a ride and the contour profile really lets me know at a quick glance what a ride will be like before I give it a shot. He carefully lets you know how he rates every ride in the beginning of the book. He tells you straight up what kind of a rider he is then uses that for comparison in the amount of effort and skill required.
Ray's maps are usually right on the money. They are cartoony but look as though the route has been traced from a topo . . . oriented north and pretty much to scale. You can tell that he puts a lot of effort into giving you the feeling that he is right beside you along for the ride with lots of insightful tips. Whether you are an expert or a complete novice, this is a great book and Ray's sense of humor makes it a kick to read whether you ride or not.
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