A Whiskey Off-Road Guide.

Usually I'd be writing  my Sea Otter race report today but with the Whiskey Off-Road this upcoming weekend, I figured I'd put together a quick guide about the race weekend and Prescott. Here are a few events and items that aren't covered on the Whiskey Off-Road website.

PMBA Pint Nite, April 21st, 6-9pm

For starters, if you're already in Prescott don't miss out on the PMBA Pint Nite, which is TONIGHT from 6-9pm at The Final Score (1011 Commerce Dr) in Prescott. It's the largest fundraiser of the year for the Prescott Mountain Bike Association which is an IMBA chapter and the non-profit that builds and maintains many of our trails in the area.

Airport Shuttle

The easiest way to get from Phoenix Sky Harbor to Prescott is on the Arizona Shuttle. A one-way fare is $35 and the shuttles run every 30-60 minutes. There is no extra charge for bikes and there are multiple drop-off locations in town. I use this shuttle 20+ times per year and it's always on time and pretty comfy. The bottom line is that you don't need a car for the Whiskey Off-Road if you're within pedaling distance of the downtown venue. Use the shuttle and ride your bike.

The Pre-rides

If you'd like to check out some of the course but don't want to commit to the full 30 or 50, then check out these options for some abbreviated pre-rides. In the first two Strava rides, I've turned off of Copper Basin Rd onto Trail #391 to bypass camp Pearlstein (which is now closed to public access). But the camp is temporarily open to pre-riders this week so there's no longer a need to take Trail #391.  Starting on Wednesday, the course should be fully marked.

  • 3 hr pre-ride. This leaves enough time to check out the Whiskey 30 race course and all of the off-road portions of the Whiskey 50. You can start finish all of your pre-rides from the Courthouse Square. If you want to shave off a little time, I recommend getting shuttled to where the pavement ends on Copper Basin Rd. 
  • 2 hr pre-ride. It's possible to get a pretty decent look at the course with only a two hour time-frame. In this ride I've omitted the Trail #260 descent and Trail #52 climb. But, you get to recon the start climb, the first singletrack, trail #48 which has some of the most challenging climbing on the course and the entire descent from the Sierra Prieta Overlook.
  • 1 hr pre-ride. If you only have an hour, make sure you check out the fire-road start climb just past Camp Pearlstein. This climb leads to the first singletrack of the race. Instead of taking Trail #327 to the left (the first singletrack), continue on straight and follow the fire road to Trail #327 (the opposite direction). Once you're on singletrack, you are back on the Whiskey course.  Here's a look at that shorter version of the ride. Here I rode the Creekside Trail segment twice, which added some extra time. 

FOOD

Prescott has a Sprouts, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Costco--so there is no lack of grocery options in town. Otherwise, here are my picks for places to eat:

  • Pizza - Bill's Pizza (on the square). Apparently, the GF pizza is good here.
  • Burgers - Bill's Grill 
  • Salads & Beer - The Raven
  • Mexican - Don't do it. Unless you consider Chipotle as Mexican food (*see comments for some value recommendations)
  • Thai - Thai House Cafe (BYOB)
  • Best coffee - Method Coffee
  • Best coffee/lunch downtown - Cuppers Coffee House
  • Something different - The Superstition Meadery. I haven't been here yet but it's on the square and I've heard good things. Wine & Snacks only. 
Posted on April 21, 2015 and filed under Mountain Biking.