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  1. #1
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    2 weeks touring AZ!! Any thoughts?

    Hi everyone!

    I am planning a 2 week ride from Phoenix to Flaggstaff, Monument Valley, Page and back to Phoenix. My bike will be a Surly Cross Check with touring equpiment.

    Please take a look at my route below.

    http://maps.google.at/maps?f=d&sourc...h&z=8&lci=bike

    Any comments, recommendations, no-goīs? A lot of forest service roads will be on my route, highways if necessary or for "regenerating". Do you think 28x1.6" tires will be fine? 2.0 tires would fit into the Cross Check, but I was thinking of rolling resistance on tarmac and a little more clearance between tires and frame.

    Anyone infos about permits in Navajo Country? Do I get the necessary permits in Cameron, AZ right when Iīm there?

    Is dispersed camping allowed in Navajo Country? Or on designated campgrounds only?

    Thanks a lot for infos!

    Richard
    Last edited by richmotion; 03-11-2011 at 03:51 PM.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Maadjurguer's Avatar
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    I can't help you on the permit questions, but I think that you may want to go a bit bigger on the tires....some of the dirt roads you show can get pretty chunky....the road from Black Canyon City up towards Bumble Bee being one that comes to mind....it's rare to find a smooth dirt road in AZ south of Flagstaff.

    Sounds pretty fun...when are you planning on going?

  3. #3
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    I forgot: Start will be middle of May. Probably May, 18th to June, 1st. Depends on flight fares.

    Any hints on weather, wind, traffic on my route, anyone? Any help will be appreciated.

    I will surely bring a good GPS unit, warm sleeping bag, small tent. How about snakes, scorpions? Are they often seen inside tents and sleeping bags? Iīm not really concerned, but a litte awareness on these animals will certainly be approbriate, no?

  4. #4
    My other ride is your mom
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    It's going to be getting hot in the southern, lower elevation portions of your route. By hot, I mean mid 90's to 100's F. As for snakes and scorpions, don't worry about them...just be mindful of what is around you and shake your shoes out in the morning. I think you'll find this time of year to be relatively clear of precipitation, so you'll be able to get away without sleeping in your tent, perhaps the entire time. As for a warm sleeping bag, I have a very lightweight down bag (Phantom 32) which does me well all summer long, even at higher elevations.....I'm not sure what you would consider a warm sleeping bag....but what I consider a warm bag (20 degree F or below) will be overkill for the time of year you are planning on. If you are a cold sleeper, I'd trade out your warm bag with a lighter weight bag and a down puffy jacket just in case the bag is not enough...save some weight that way.

  5. #5
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    Thanks a lot for all these infos. My sleeping bag is also a very lightweight down bag, about 750 grams, should be able to keep me warm down to 25 F. I wouldnīt go any lighter. After an exhausting day of riding a warm rest is like heaven. My whole equipment is about 18lbs, food and water not included. There is still plenty of weight to save, but my equipment grows (or changes) slowly, ultralight equipment is mostly expensive...

    Probably I wouldnīt need a tent at all, but thatīs 800 grams of living space, bug shelter, privacy. I am not really used to sleep outside, I guess it provides some sort of "inside" feeling. It wouldnīt keep a bear outside, but bugs and spiders wonīt crawl over my face.

    I am not sure if this tour is rather adventurous or boring. There are some long sections without anything at all, not sure how much water to bring, where to fill up my belly, etc...

    I want to plan everything in advance, I probably should just be a little more adventurous and willing to take some risks...

    But I come from a country where you can find a village every few miles and I am very aware of the simple bigness and long distances between infrastructure in AZ.

    Good preparation is essential, even more if your equipment should be as light as possible. I am sure I carry too much clothes and stuff, but thatīs comfort and backup...

  6. #6
    My other ride is your mom
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    I'd bring a water filter with you then....I'd be more concerned of water refill points, than food. The water filter will help you extend your range beyond points of civilization....or, you can carry an extra 10L MSR bag since you're hauling and drop some sterile tabs into it while you still have clean water and wait the 4 hours before it's safe to drink. I personally prefer the small weight hit and instant production of clean water found in a filter vs. carrying around weight I can't use for 4 hours only to save weight by using tablets....to each, his/her own....my most recent blog post has a pic of what I filtered yesterday....no about of tablet cleansing will make that right...and I've filtered worse.

    Let me emphasize this again.....start and end your planning on where you will get water. You figure that out, you've done 75% of your planning. I don't think you will be lacking in scenery....AZ changes so much from south to north, that the sections with nothing at all will be a nice change of pace for you....plenty of head space out there to find.

    Hopefully folks will post up info on camping up north towards the res.....I have no clue.

  7. #7
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    Go to http://www.bikepacking.net , set up an account and post this to the forums there.

    A large number of AZ endurance/ultra riders out there (the guy that runs the site lives in Tucson).

    Plenty of people that are quite familiar with the areas you will be going thru and you'll find info for the Arizona Trail 300 and 700 courses, the Coconino 350 and more.

  8. #8
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    @ DesertDog: Thanks! Done.

    @Maadjurguer: I thought about a water filter before, but they are expensive and Iīve never used one. And to filter water, you need.... water. So there is still a little security in carrying already filled up water bags instead of searching on the ride.

    I will do some research where to get water on my ride, maybe I have to re-plan some parts of my route then.

  9. #9
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    I have toured all over the world & all around the SW. The road up the Sedona swithbacks is really, really scary. I'd opt for Schnebly hill road. Ditto on the road from Flagstaff to Tuba city. I'd opt to go out to Leupp & then up Navajo rt. 15 to 260 to the Hopi mesas, from which you could go on dirt roads through Pinon to Black mesa & then onwards to Monument Valley.
    Don't worry about the Rez permits - I grew up there from 2nd grade through high school - people will be very welcoming, just know that it's bad form to camp withion sight of someone's house. There's lots of water {everywhere someone lives there is water} but be able to carry 8 liters just to be safe & have enough for a good camp.
    I build custom frames, and if you are in Flagstaff stop on in! - Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    steve garro el jefe/el solo. coconino cycles www.coconinocycles.com www.coconinocycles.blogspot.com

  10. #10
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    I live in Flagstaff and will be happy to offer you support if needed. Just PM me and we'll talk.

    Best to you!

  11. #11
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    Spiders and snakes wont crawl across your face if you sleep outside.. theyll slide inside the sleeping bag to help keep you warm

  12. #12
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    If you haven't checked out www.crazyguyonabike.com it's also a great resource for all things touring. You can likely find people who have done similar routes to give you pointers/camp sites/water info/etc.

    I recently found it while setting up a trip myself I'm doing from Northern Utah-Colorado-back to Flagstaff this summer.

  13. #13
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    @coconinocycles: Thank you, Steve! About 40 miles more to ride, but most likely more beautiful miles than on the highways. Scary? Do you mean the traffic?

    @vessel: Thanks! Maybe I come back on that!

    @shnipe: I like your sense of humor, as long as I stay inside my house.

    @jmmorath: I surfed this site long time ago, should really look for useful things there...

    Donīt stop posting, guys! Every thought will be highly appreciated!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by richmotion
    @coconinocycles: Thank you, Steve! About 40 miles more to ride, but most likely more beautiful miles than on the highways. Scary? Do you mean the traffic?

    Yes - traffic going very, very fast + it can be so windy you would not believe it. Scary. It is very beautiful, the route I suggested.
    Plus, you would get to experience the Hopi people, who are wonderful.
    Also, most of your route will be over 1600m and in may nights will be cold, and it could even snow if it feels like it. - Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    steve garro el jefe/el solo. coconino cycles www.coconinocycles.com www.coconinocycles.blogspot.com

  15. #15
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    Sounds nice! Iīd love to meet all different kinds of people!
    Fast traffic and strong winds? Convinced me.

    Iīm prepared for cold nights, but I wouldnīt mind mild temperatures for the riding.
    And you donīt think I would need a permit?
    I emailed the Navajo Nation with some questions concerning permits, no answer till today...

    What about tires? I thought of Schwalbe Marathon Extreme 28x1.6. Will they last on the forest roads in Az?


    Thanks a lot,
    Richard

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