Mountain Bike in the Moonlight at McDowell Mountain Park

Pemberton Trail

Getting ready to ride

I finally got out to one of the mountain bike night rides put on by Maricopa Parks and Recreation at McDowell Mountain Regional Park. I have been a few times in past years, but haven’t been able to make it this year. It is getting more popular every year. If you haven’t been out there for one of these, you need to go. The turn out is awesome! I heard that officially there were 140 mountain bikers, but there were more than that, because not everyone registers (not required).

The ride starts at 7:30pm and everyone needs to be off the trail by 9:30. It takes place on the 15.4 mile Pemberton trail. It isn’t a guided ride, so you can start your ride whenever you want, as long as you are the trail by 9:30. Be sure to bring a lot of water and light designed for mountain bike use. And don’t forget $6 for the park entrance fee.

We started our ride at 7:40 and got done about 8:55. It was a brutal pace as you can see from my average heart rate below. Amazingly, you don’t run into that much traffic with over 140 mountain bikers on the trail. I guess it is because everyone starts at different times. It was a little hot when we started, but it was beautiful at the end of the ride. We hung out and ate hot dogs and drank beer in perfect weather.

Thanks to Slippery Pig bike shops for an awesome post ride free bbq. We had hot dogs, chips and free beer. Yes, I said FREE BEER. A whole keg of it. Thank you to Parks and Recreation for allowing us mountain bikers to ride on the Pemberton trail at night to get out of the summer heat.

Don’t miss the next Mountain Bike in the Moonlight at McDowell Mountain Park on August 27th, 2010.

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About Racerx

An Arizona native, Jeff has been mountain biking and racing since 1997. A father of 2 awesome children Ryder and Skylar. He is the owner of Excelnet Media, an Internet Marketing company.


  1. Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for the great blog post. Glad you had a nice ride– maybe we’ll see you here this weekend?

    I just wanted to mention that even though registration is not required, we ask that everyone sign in at the start of their ride, and sign out. That way we can make sure that no injured riders are left out in the desert all night with the coyotes. 🙂

    Ride on!

    Ranger Amy

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  2. James Aceves says:

    Hi guys just recently got into this McDowell mountain adventure and was wondering when is the best time to get out and meet some other riders

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