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  1. #1
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    Reputation: freeskier46's Avatar
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    3rd Time's the charm: Bikepacking OnB - Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Sept. 28-29th

    Let's try this one more time. This is 'mostly' and out-n-back ride from Bismarck Lake to the S.Kaibab Trailhead, taking the AZT north & returning via forest roads & some AZT. We'll head out at the crack of dawn Sat. 9/28 from the Bismarck Lake TH & spend the night at the Mather Campground inside GCNP. Return the next day.

    These are two long days, so come prepared to ride 80-85 miles each day. GPX file is available in the library, look for 'Flag2GC-OnB.gpx' Points of interest (POI's)are marked, but all water sources should be deemed unreliable. Tusayan is the known re-supply stop.

    I plan on camping out Friday night, 9/27, at or near the trailhead.

    Directions to Bismarck Lake TH from Flagstaff: US180 north towards Grand Canyon, turn right onto FR151 (past the Snowbowl turnoff), turn right onto FR627, this deadends into the Bismarck Lake TH.



    Who's in??
    Ski. Ride. Hike. Be.
    My Two Schillingsworth

  2. #2
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    Damn looks like I can't make this date. I wanted to do this for a while. I am looking forward to John's report and notes. I may try it later in the year - is it too cold to do this in October?

  3. #3
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
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    Bart, I would think if you went early October, or if this October is warmer than some, you'd be fine. When I think about the early October weather last year during the 2 weekends when folks did the Coco, the first weekend (Oct 5) was really nice...40's for a low at the top of Mingus, 85ish for a high in Cottonwood. Williams was nipply (mid 30's?) but tolerable. The next weekend when John and company did it, it was probably 10 degrees cooler...still tolerable, but I can imagine leaving Williams in the morning was brisk. I think the temps on the flag to gc ride would be similar. That time of year can be a little hit and miss so just watch the weather...
    Your limits are both physical and mental. Suffering will help you find and overcome both.
    http://onegear-ray.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
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    Or, if you really want an adventure, come do the AZT300 with me in late October...we could do a sub 4 day run.
    Your limits are both physical and mental. Suffering will help you find and overcome both.
    http://onegear-ray.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum View Post
    Or, if you really want an adventure, come do the AZT300 with me in late October...we could do a sub 4 day run.
    Trial by fire, eh?

  6. #6
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    I might be crazy enough to try this (sure let's double the mileage of my longest ride!) but I'll be out of town. Have fun John! Can't wait to see how it turns out.

  7. #7
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    I`ll keep this ride in mind,family vacation the next weekend in Utah(gooseberry mesa)

  8. #8
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    John, I'm tentatively, definitely in.

  9. #9
    I am Bob
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    Gonna try to make this one.
    Edit: oops. I forgot my wife is traveling that weekend. This does not sound like a good ride for the kids.
    Last edited by chongoman; 08-28-2013 at 08:02 AM.

  10. #10
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    John,

    I wish I could. I need a nice long slow ride. Unfortunately I will be occupied with other activities that weekend and have not been riding much anyway. Just coaching NICA kids three days a week.

    I feel a long bikepacking trip happening this fall though. Is AZT 300 a bad idea over Thanksgiving? I've also been scouting out some way backcountry routes in the Bradshaws. If I can get the time I'd like to offer up an adventure/exploration trip out there.

    Chris (now Twowheelchris. Formerly known as "gila monster" but got tired of being confused for "Gila Monster")

  11. #11
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
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    Chris...I was scoping out a possible AZT300 ITT run for later this year. Looking at last years weather, seems like the month of November is a good month. Only downside is you have about 2 hours less daylight than mid-April when the actual race is run. I think the key is just being a bit flexible regarding timing since an early winter storm could drop temps and put some snow up on Lemon. Oct 18-19 would be great from a daylight standpoint (full moon too) but still pretty toasty.
    Your limits are both physical and mental. Suffering will help you find and overcome both.
    http://onegear-ray.blogspot.com/

  12. #12
    Go go gadget bike!
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    Y e s

  13. #13
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    John, if I can get all my gear together by then, I would love to do this. Call me tentative for now.
    "Bicycling...is the nearest approximation I know to the flight of birds." Louis Halle

  14. #14
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    Reputation: freeskier46's Avatar
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    Make it happen Phil!! As of now it looks like 7 or 8 riders are planning to attend.

    I should probably replace my bottom bracket bearings before this ride, right Ray?
    Ski. Ride. Hike. Be.
    My Two Schillingsworth

  15. #15
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
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    ^^roger that... i sorta doubt the store at the rim carries bottom brackets!
    Your limits are both physical and mental. Suffering will help you find and overcome both.
    http://onegear-ray.blogspot.com/

  16. #16
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    Reputation: dtownmtb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum View Post
    ^^roger that... i sorta doubt the store at the rim carries bottom brackets!

    so I've got 3 weeks or so to get myself back in it for this? Hopefully the hiking around Tokyo and Kyoto (tomorrow) will count as cross training.

    any thoughts of leaving pre-dawn for this? That's a whole lot of miles and it would be nice to reach the canyon before sundown.

  17. #17
    Big B's Trails
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    damn on the same weekend as my wedding anniversary.....
    would have liked to make this ride and meet some of you like minded souls.
    weekend b4 or after woulda worked...
    I dig dirt!

  18. #18
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    Jeff,
    How much before 6a were you thinking? I know the first 50 miles are pretty quick, just don't know the trail conditions after that. With that said, I too want to be at Mather Campground before dark, a nice sunset view into the canyon would be an added bonus. I need to double check store hours too for both Tusayan & G.C. village.

    ImaFred, too bad you can't make this one. Keep checking the AZ thread as I'll be posting up more bikepacking opportunities.
    Ski. Ride. Hike. Be.
    My Two Schillingsworth

  19. #19
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    Reputation: dtownmtb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeskier46 View Post
    Jeff,
    How much before 6a were you thinking? I know the first 50 miles are pretty quick, just don't know the trail conditions after that. With that said, I too want to be at Mather Campground before dark, a nice sunset view into the canyon would be an added bonus. I need to double check store hours too for both Tusayan & G.
    er, never mind. I've been informed that 6 will be fine.

  20. #20
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    Ok, we're two weeks out.

    Here's the headcount at last check:

    Myself
    Raybum
    dtownmtb +1
    Tim
    Devon
    Phil
    az3075
    Caroline

    Post up if you plan on joining us.

    Does anyone know if the Mather Campground has an area set aside for hikers/bikers similar to the North Rim Campground? I can't seem to find anything on the park website. I sent off an email tonight & I'll try calling as soon as I have some time. We need a minimum of 12 people to secure a group camping site.

    They do have showers there, $2 for 8 minutes if needed.
    Last edited by freeskier46; 09-16-2013 at 10:46 AM.
    Ski. Ride. Hike. Be.
    My Two Schillingsworth

  21. #21
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    John, it does look like there are bicycle/backpaker sites at Mather as well. See the link: Bicycling Information - Grand Canyon National Park

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by az3075 View Post
    John, it does look like there are bicycle/backpaker sites at Mather as well. See the link: Bicycling Information - Grand Canyon National Park
    Thanks!! Not sure how I missed that. $6 ea for the shared camp spot for cyclists, not bad at all.
    Ski. Ride. Hike. Be.
    My Two Schillingsworth

  23. #23
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    Avoid "camping" at Mather campground. Its called trailer city. Its loud and is for tourists. Better camp at Shoshone... heading west.
    There is a big difference between ripping and skidding.

  24. #24
    The Next 100 Miler
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    I came across a bow hunter, in full camo, yesterday coming down Bismark Lake trail. Not sure what the fall elk/deer hunting season is, but be careful!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeskier46 View Post
    They do have showers there, $2 for 8 minutes if needed.
    they also have hotels there

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