Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 50 of 214
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: AZTtripper's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    542

    AZT 300 unofficial thread

    Anyone considering this one for next year, Scott has not posted here but he has set the date for April 18th. http://www.topofusion.com/azt/race.php

    If I do it again it will just be an excuse to get away for a few days I am thinking 5 days not racing just a semi-fast paced tour. Hell last year Zach and I were the only ones to finish and won in 4 days 15 hours. A far cry from Scotts 2 days 16 hours record setting win the first year.

    Tim
    Last edited by AZTtripper; 12-13-2007 at 06:23 PM.
    Singin' I love hike a bike!!!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: z rocks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    376
    I'd like too.. Need to get in a couple overnight trip/epics in to get the "feel". I would be more inclined to try it touring. I have ridden part of the route. Picked up Azt near the Sonoita exit off i 10 to reddington and over to Catalina hwy. Sleptfroze in a creek bed and continued up and over to Oracle.

    I'd still like to preride the first 80mi. Anybody else thinkin about pre-rides?

  3. #3
    Tucson, AZ
    Reputation: chadfbrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    624
    I might do it on a horse this year.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    454

    I'm Down

    Quote Originally Posted by z rocks
    I'd still like to preride the first 80mi. Anybody else thinkin about pre-rides?
    Little cold right now for an overnighter, but we could bust out a SV to Patagonia point to point ride on Sunday if you don't mind dropping a car off in Patagonia on Saturday afternoon(ride from the house!). We could also do Patagonia /Elephant Head/Box Canyon/Hwy 83, first stash a car at the entrance to KY Camp or in Sonoita, then just nip back down the highway to the car when we're done. The second ride would be a bit longer, so we'd probably need lights and lots of warm clothes. Let me know, I'm up for a longer ride/hike-a-bike this weekend.(as long as it's not dumping rain!)

    The "Sierra Vista Prologue" is a nice addition to the first part of the official AZT race route for anyone who's never done it before. Great singletrack on both sides of the Huachucas, and a sweet climb(if that's what you're into, and I know you are) up Garden Canyon and over the pass.
    You COULD do it on a geared bike, but I wouldn't reccomend it!

    Derailleurs are for failures!

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: z rocks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    376

    AZT fun

    Sounds like a plan.... Plant the sag shuttle in Patagonia Saturday, head out bright and early Sunday from the house. Think we may need lights? I know B-man will be into this if he can. Lemme know. Might switch to coasty for a day....

  6. #6
    Scott in Tucson
    Reputation: Krein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,331

    Good job! The 300

    I've had some pretty serious thoughts about racing it again this year. It's a great excuse to spend 3-4 days riding some really fun/hard stuff.

    Race date is April 18th, as Tim said. Near perfect lunar conditions:

    Phase of the Moon on 18 April: waxing gibbous with 97% of the Moon's visible disk illuminated.

    Full Moon on 20 April 2008 at 3:25 a.m. Mountain Standard Time.


    Unless there's objection, I'm going to change the course up on Redington Pass. The idea is to get people off the well traveled road and onto more fun stuff. It'll get rid of the 'funny' feel of riding "away" from where you're about to head, too. Moving time is almost identical for the old vs. new route.

    I'll have a new GPS file soon. Everything else should be about the same, plus or minus trail conditions.

    Rumor is that the first ~3 miles of Oracle Ridge have been seriously rehabbed. I might have to go "hab" it back. What fun will it be if we can ride our bikes up there?!
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  7. #7
    Scott in Tucson
    Reputation: Krein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,331
    Quote Originally Posted by chadfbrown
    I might do it on a horse this year.
    There's too much hike-a-horse.
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    454
    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Rumor is that the first ~3 miles of Oracle Ridge have been seriously rehabbed. I might have to go "hab" it back. What fun will it be if we can ride our bikes up there?!
    As long as the "traverse-o-death" is still there, we should be good!
    You COULD do it on a geared bike, but I wouldn't reccomend it!

    Derailleurs are for failures!

  9. #9
    Tucson, AZ
    Reputation: chadfbrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    624
    Quote Originally Posted by Krein

    Unless there's objection, I'm going to change the course up on Redington Pass. The idea is to get people off the well traveled road and onto more fun stuff. It'll get rid of the 'funny' feel of riding "away" from where you're about to head, too. Moving time is almost identical for the old vs. new route.
    I think you should add bug springs and green mountain instead of the highway also

  10. #10
    Tucson, AZ
    Reputation: chadfbrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    624
    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark
    As long as the "traverse-o-death" is still there, we should be good!
    Mark,

    Have you done the traverse of death? I am glad that it is gone to be honest.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    454
    Quote Originally Posted by chadfbrown
    Mark,

    Have you done the traverse of death? I am glad that it is gone to be honest.
    Just once, but it seemed to last forever!
    You COULD do it on a geared bike, but I wouldn't reccomend it!

    Derailleurs are for failures!

  12. #12
    Really I am that slow
    Reputation: SlowerThenSnot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    3,781

    so wanna

    But damn its close to trans- Iowa

    hummmm
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: AZTtripper's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    542
    Wow

    That was quick the first post was up before I finished my coffee. Glad to see a lot of interest.

    Scott: the mores the better I love hike a horse.

    Snot: as was pointed out the first year yes, this is close to the TI you will just have to choose between SINGLE TRACK in AZ and dirt roads in IA.

    Singin' I love hike a bike!!!

    Tim
    Last edited by AZTtripper; 12-13-2007 at 06:22 PM.
    Singin' I love hike a bike!!!

  14. #14
    Tucson, AZ
    Reputation: chadfbrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    624
    Quote Originally Posted by AZTtripper

    Singin' I love hike a bike!!!

    Tim
    I think that there is not that much hike-a-bike. I must have cleared more stuff than you guys.

  15. #15
    Exactly 1/2 of 2-Epic
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    750
    Quote Originally Posted by chadfbrown
    I think that there is not that much hike-a-bike. I must have cleared more stuff than you guys.
    Then what is the horse all about??
    Dave

    Anything is possible. The impossible just takes longer.

    2 Epic

  16. #16
    .......................
    Reputation: ionsmuse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    3,046
    Quote Originally Posted by hairball_dh
    Then what is the horse all about??

    To carry beer, of course!

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    425
    I don't know why, but I'm contemplating this. It could be a great way to "train" for the CTR that I am planning on doing this summer. I'd have to take a close look at how long it would take me as I am a teacher and getting time off like that during the school year is tough. How hard is it to get to the start from the airport (which airport?!). The logistics for me might be tough. Sorry, thinking out loud again.

  18. #18
    Scott in Tucson
    Reputation: Krein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,331
    Quote Originally Posted by chadfbrown
    I think you should add bug springs and green mountain instead of the highway also
    Bugs is a possibility, since it's quite rideable at the bottom, and really, a great climb. By then they should have the middle sections built in and more rideable.

    Green, though... !! That might be over the top.

    I'll ask you what you think after you've ridden from Parker Lake to the top of Bugs....
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  19. #19
    Time to go farther
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,338

    hmmmm

    i could fast tour it and maybe still do transIowa? Kind of a long shot but I'm thinking about it a little bit.
    On-One Lurcher SS
    Speedway Cycles Fatback Ti SS
    1984 Trek 560
    http://slipangles.blogspot.com/ - It's supposed to be fun

  20. #20
    Scott in Tucson
    Reputation: Krein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,331
    Quote Originally Posted by chadfbrown
    I think that there is not that much hike-a-bike. I must have cleared more stuff than you guys.
    Riiiiiiight...

    Truth be told, there's likely more hiking involved in both the GLR and CTR.

    So, you're right.
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  21. #21
    Scott in Tucson
    Reputation: Krein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,331
    Quote Originally Posted by sherpaxc
    I don't know why, but I'm contemplating this. It could be a great way to "train" for the CTR that I am planning on doing this summer. I'd have to take a close look at how long it would take me as I am a teacher and getting time off like that during the school year is tough. How hard is it to get to the start from the airport (which airport?!). The logistics for me might be tough. Sorry, thinking out loud again.
    You could fly in to Tucson. There should be a ride set up to get people from there to the start race morning.

    Then you either need to get back to Tucson, or fly out of Phoenix (finish is closer to Phoenix). Round trip to peenix is usually cheaper, so that might work better. You can get a peenix airport to Tucson airport shuttle for fairly cheap.

    Tucson is right in the middle of the route, so from a bailing perspective, it might make sense to base flights and such from there.

    Just a few thoughts.
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  22. #22
    Tucson, AZ
    Reputation: chadfbrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    624
    Quote Originally Posted by hairball_dh
    Then what is the horse all about??
    Thought I would go for another record since bike and hike records are already set... horse is the only other thing allowed on the trail.

  23. #23
    Tucson, AZ
    Reputation: chadfbrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    624
    Quote Originally Posted by ionsmuse
    To carry beer, of course!
    And there is that, beer. I am on a 1554 kick lately. We might do a night ride in Sedona or day ride in SoMo tomorrow afternoon, would you be interested in the former?

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: AZTtripper's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    542
    Chad

    How many beers does it take to get the horse to ride a bike? Oh and what does it ride I am guessing it is a full suspension horse. Or does it prefer a rigid 69er like me.

    And then the real question who has the right of way when a person on a horse meets a horse on a bike. On level ground of course because we all know that the climber has the right of way.

    Tim
    Last edited by AZTtripper; 12-13-2007 at 06:20 PM.
    Singin' I love hike a bike!!!

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    103

    I only respond to official threads

    so if someone would kindly point me in that direction I'll be on my way

  26. #26
    Scott in Tucson
    Reputation: Krein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,331
    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Punk
    so if someone would kindly point me in that direction I'll be on my way

    I officially invite you to participate, unofficially, in this unofficial discussion of this wholly unofficial race.
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation: AZTtripper's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    542

    Seams like as good an excuse as any.

    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    I officially invite you to participate, unofficially, in this unofficial discussion of this wholly unofficial race.
    Seams like as good an excuse as any. . I would highly recommend we all start looking for a better one for ourselves.
    Singin' I love hike a bike!!!

  28. #28
    .......................
    Reputation: ionsmuse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    3,046

    Horses for Courses?!

    Quote Originally Posted by AZTtripper
    Or does it prefer a rigid 69er like me.


    I believe this is illegal in the state of Arizona, ergo the discussion is moot.

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation: AZTtripper's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    542
    Quote Originally Posted by ionsmuse
    I believe this is illegal in the state of Arizona, ergo the discussion is moot.
    My moto has always been never brake more than one law at a time so as long the bike is not in a Wilderness Area. Well and of course both the bike and horse have to be of legal age and willing and all.

    Tim
    Singin' I love hike a bike!!!

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation: velocitramp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    14

    I'm in this year

    ...And so excited too. I would have liked to have ridden it with you Chad.

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation: AZTtripper's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    542
    velocitramp

    Welcome to the unofficial AZT 300 glad to hear you are planning on joining the race. It is good to start planning early so as to have a good excuse for not showing once the time comes. Just kidding it is a great ride/walk in through the beautiful Sonoran desert.

    Tim
    Singin' I love hike a bike!!!

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    454

    Huachucas and Canelos Pre-Ride Report

    Well, just got back from a nice point to point ride on part of the race course. Three of us set out at 6:30 this morning, Z-rocks, Beto V., and myself. We started out from Sierra Vista, and let me tell you, it was a tad chilly at sunrise down here this morning, somewhere in the mid to high twenties! Cold enough to freeze the water in my camelback hose! Up Garden Canyon, and up and over the Huachucas, down the backside and on to the AZT. We hit Parker lake after about two and a half hours, whereupon Z-rocks decided he wasn't feelin' the love and decided to bail. Apparently when you're used to riding fixie offroad and switch to a freewheel for just one ride it does funny things to your legs.

    Undeterred, Beto and I pushed on. It was just the typical Canelo Hills love fest. Never ending hike-a -bike? Check. Loose babyhead size rocks everywhere? Check. Illegal alien trails more groomed and buff than the AZT proper? Check. Shin shredding hate plants? Check. Trail markers where there were none last time pointing in new, unknown directions? Check. Horse people riding in the mud two or three days earlier and tearing the $hit out of the trail? Check. Great scenery and wicked fun singletrack? Check. No one brought their camera? Check.

    The trail was in decent shape for the most part(decent for the AZT Canelo Hills), with about a dozen blow downs from the recent weather, most of which were small enough to clear ourselves. There was one spot on Canelo West at the start of the grasslands and before redrocks, where previously you would cross a small jeep trail, then jump on some sweet rolling singletrack bench-cun into the side of the hill going down a ridgeline to a small stocktank. There were some new trail markers routing you away from the singletrack and around to the right, through a gate and ending up down by the tank(all jeep trail). Is this a new re-route? I haven't been out there in a while, and have always just taken the singletrack(which we did today also), especially since that section is way fun.

    Anyways, we finished up the ride at about 2:30, coasted down Harshaw road to Patagonia for pizza, beer, and some hot tortilla soup at the Velvet Elvis.
    You COULD do it on a geared bike, but I wouldn't reccomend it!

    Derailleurs are for failures!

  33. #33
    Scott in Tucson
    Reputation: Krein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,331

    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark
    Well, just got back from a nice point to point ride on part of the race course.

    Anyways, we finished up the ride at about 2:30, coasted down Harshaw road to Patagonia for pizza, beer, and some hot tortilla soup at the Velvet Elvis.
    Mark,

    Business as usual out in the Canelo Hills, eh?

    Thanks much for the report. You made good time considering the prologue and dead-fall clearing. Nice.

    Not sure about the reroutes, or where exactly the singletrack you've been following is. Tim might be more familiar with new trail sections on Canelo East. As for the west singletrack, there was a long section of dirt road that was replaced by ST a few years ago, but the sign was down the last time I was there. It goes through a short wire gate. That's the way the race route goes.

    I'm intrigued by the S.V. prologue route. I think I've got a GPS file for it from Dejay, but I'd love to see it on the ground sometime.
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    454
    That's the spot. We thought maybe the signs had blown down and someone put them back up wrong.

    If you wanna come down and check it out sometime, lemme know. We usually like to ride out to the lake, loop around the lake shore trail, water up at the store and head back the way we came. Makes for about a seven hour ride and about fifty miles.
    You COULD do it on a geared bike, but I wouldn't reccomend it!

    Derailleurs are for failures!

  35. #35
    Tucson, AZ
    Reputation: chadfbrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    624
    Quote Originally Posted by velocitramp
    ...And so excited too. I would have liked to have ridden it with you Chad.
    free Pabst and Fat Tire always tastes better with company.

  36. #36
    Just go ride!
    Reputation: Stefan_G's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    616

    I am hoping to be there!

    It's been on my calendar for a long time now. I won't have much time-off then, so I'm not sure how I'm gonna make it work, but it is a high priority for me.

    I'm fully expecting more hike-a-bike than the CTR! To be competitive in the race, it sounds like I might have to break down and buy a GPS though...
    The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. -TJ

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    320

    long course?

    Quote Originally Posted by AZTtripper
    Anyone considering this one for next year, Scott has not posted here but he has set the date for April 18th. http://www.topofusion.com/azt/race.php
    Tim
    anyone considering the long course (the 700)? scott, is it worth it? i can't remember what the net fun quotient was when you did it couple yrs ago. the big ditch i suppose is going to suck no matter. seems to me if it's encouraged, that's the direction the true junkies will take AZT eventually, yes?

  38. #38
    Scott in Tucson
    Reputation: Krein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,331
    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan_G
    I'm fully expecting more hike-a-bike than the CTR! To be competitive in the race, it sounds like I might have to break down and buy a GPS though...
    You may be disappointed on the hike-a-bike. I can pretty much guarantee better weather, though.

    Re: GPS - it sure helps. One could beat the current record without it, though. With a moderate amount of map work and web reading, one can figure it out, I think.

    Hope to see you in April.
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  39. #39
    Scott in Tucson
    Reputation: Krein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,331
    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    anyone considering the long course (the 700)? scott, is it worth it? i can't remember what the net fun quotient was when you did it couple yrs ago. the big ditch i suppose is going to suck no matter. seems to me if it's encouraged, that's the direction the true junkies will take AZT eventually, yes?
    Good question. Thoughts of the full AZT race have been bouncing around in emails and in my head lately.

    Is it the right time? Maybe.

    Is it worth it? Absolutely.

    A two distance format, with a common start date, is a possible future for this race. But how to set the route (for the 700-800) is less clear, as is setting the start date. Snow on the North Rim is an issue. Three options for high snow years:

    1) cancel - only hold the 300
    2) post-hole for 40 miles
    3) allow riding the road

    Or start in June and see if anyone can survive 110 degrees for a few days.

    The 700 mile route I did in '05 is a set, TT'able route (there's a book with cues to follow), but it's a far cry from the real AZT. It shares very little with the AZT 300 route, which was what makes the 300 so interesting.

    Ideally I would like to see the full AZT route come out like the CTR route - stick with the trail in general, but not get too crazy. Besides the snow issue, the AZT is also unfinished, unlike the CTR. So it may be that waiting a couple more years makes sense.

    But I am not so sure. Thoughts?
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  40. #40
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    103

    Thoughts & questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    But I am not so sure. Thoughts?
    From someone who's never done the AZTx00 and only maybe ever will:

    - I ride in Tucson in June, but in small, metered doses. If the start date is in June you'll deal only with madmen and their widows.

    - What would be the plan for crossing the GCNP? I understood that you had to get double secret permission when you and Lee packed your disassembled bikes through it.

    - You alluded to the date so I'll run with it: is an autumn start better for the overall best climate? I don't know when the snow flies up there, but if it's after mid Octoberish then maybe move the start 6 months.

    - Do you know if anyone has done it North to South? Tequila shots at the finish could provide strong motivation. !Aye chihuahua!

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation: AZTtripper's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    542
    Rock Punk “What would be the plan for crossing the GCNP? I understood that you had to get double secret permission when you and Lee packed your disassembled bikes through it.”

    After Scott was given permission to carry through in 05 I just went for it in 06 didn’t tell anyone but the girl in the back country office when getting my camping permit. On the way down from the south rim I ran into a ranger all she cared about was that I had a permit. And she did seam very interested in my trip seamed like she was trying to memorize my name. She said she had met Scott and Lee and then kept repeating my name as thou to remember better.

    mathewsen wrote “the big ditch i suppose is going to suck no matter. seems to me if it's encouraged, that's the direction the true junkies will take AZT eventually, yes?”

    Yes it is definitely the way to go much better than the 215 miles of pavement to ride around. Last year a couple from Washington State attempted the route described in the now out of print complete guide to mountain biking the AZT book. Their plan was to hike through the canyon with their bikes. They had shipped old frame packs to the south rim then the plan was to throw them away on the other side. They ran out of time and bailed at Flagstaff.

    The only hassle I got was from the second mule team driver. The first team I met at a wide spot and the guy was real cool (seamed impressed). The second team was at a tight spot and I had to act quickly to get my pack off and jump up onto ledge to get out of the way. I don’t think he even had to slow down but he did ***** about not knowing what I was going to do with those wheels and get out of the way. I recommended that the couple from WA learn the mule schedule so that they could know when to expect them and find good passing places so as not to be caught by surprise as I was.

    Rock Punk wrote “You alluded to the date so I'll run with it: is an autumn start better for the overall best climate? I don't know when the snow flies up there, but if it's after mid Octoberish then maybe move the start 6 months.

    Do you know if anyone has done it North to South? Tequila shots at the finish could provide strong motivation. !Aye Chihuahua”

    The guide book was written for a North to South trip and recommends a fall start. If you are doing that route it would work out fine I am sure. Living here in Tucson I have always been inclined to start in the spring and take advantage of possible ground water from winter rains. In 04 I rode around the canyon and arrived at the North Rim just before opening day May 15 there was little snow and I got to ride everything north of the Canyon. In 06 I carried through and got to the North Rim In April way before opening day and got snowed out and had to take the highway. Either way you go you could get caught in snow or end up dealing with high temps.
    Last edited by AZTtripper; 12-19-2007 at 03:40 AM.
    Singin' I love hike a bike!!!

  42. #42
    Exactly 1/2 of 2-Epic
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    750
    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    A two distance format, with a common start date, is a possible future for this race. But how to set the route (for the 700-800) is less clear, as is setting the start date. Snow on the North Rim is an issue. Three options for high snow years:

    1) cancel - only hold the 300
    2) post-hole for 40 miles
    3) allow riding the road

    Or start in June and see if anyone can survive 110 degrees for a few days.
    Thoughts?
    Hmmm...I think the two ( AZT300 vs. AZT MTB route) are different enough that they should be run at different dates. The 300 has a unique spot on the calendar...one that I don't think would work for Norther AZ. You'd have to bump the whole thing to the fall. I've hit this issue myself.

    Also, aside from the GC jaunt, the full AZT MTB route is a lot less technical - right?

    Seems like 2 very different events that wouldn't benefit from simultaneous starts.
    Dave

    Anything is possible. The impossible just takes longer.

    2 Epic

  43. #43
    frejwilk
    Guest

    Hiking quotient..

    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    You may be disappointed on the hike-a-bike. I can pretty much guarantee better weather, though.

    Re: GPS - it sure helps. One could beat the current record without it, though. With a moderate amount of map work and web reading, one can figure it out, I think.

    Hope to see you in April.
    ,

    Krein,

    Is this a promise? Are you talking less hiking per mile, or overall hiking per event? I would be consulting Eric L post event certainly... I'm assuming you can guarantee less lightning than CTR!?

    More seriously - I am asking regarding the hike a bike AND GPS. Records are great and all, but I'm more concerned with making it through. It would be appealing to think one could buy some maps, show up, scratch their head, try real hard to keep up with other folks, etc., etc., and still find the finish (ie sans electronics). How would you compare the routefinding to GLR for instance? Or maybe better, how would you compare it to Paradox trail, and separately, Tabeguache trail (both of GLR fame)? Or perhaps any other more well known routes..

    Thanks,

    FW

  44. #44
    Tucson, AZ
    Reputation: chadfbrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    624
    Quote Originally Posted by frejwilk
    ,

    More seriously - I am asking regarding the hike a bike AND GPS.
    FW
    Having done sections of the AZT pre-race and the race last year, I highly recommend that you have a GPS (especially if you plan on riding at night). The GPS will make your race more efficient, since the cue sheets are fairly long and might take some problem solving to understand at some sections. I know that you are anti-GPS, Fred, but I think it might be a good training tool to purchase one. Scott's topofusion is amazing; I highly recommend the purchase of it with a GPS.

    My major caveat: I did not have tire tracks to follow after Patagonia and I was new to a GPS and did not have the entire course on my unit. I used cue sheets for part of the race and the GPS for the last half, so I think I have a unique experience with regards to the race. I had to follow the "tourers" for the 30 miles or so before Patagonia since the cue sheets "were a little off" according to Krein. Not sure if those are fixed, but that area is a bit confusing in some sections if you have never ridden it.

    On a side note, if I do not race AZT this year, you are welcome to use my GPS. If I do decided to ride/race, you can follow me

  45. #45
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    320
    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Good question. Thoughts of the full AZT race have been bouncing around in emails and in my head lately.

    Is it the right time? Maybe.

    Is it worth it? Absolutely.

    A two distance format, with a common start date, is a possible future for this race. But how to set the route (for the 700-800) is less clear, as is setting the start date. Snow on the North Rim is an issue. Three options for high snow years:

    1) cancel - only hold the 300
    2) post-hole for 40 miles
    3) allow riding the road

    Or start in June and see if anyone can survive 110 degrees for a few days.

    The 700 mile route I did in '05 is a set, TT'able route (there's a book with cues to follow), but it's a far cry from the real AZT. It shares very little with the AZT 300 route, which was what makes the 300 so interesting.

    Ideally I would like to see the full AZT route come out like the CTR route - stick with the trail in general, but not get too crazy. Besides the snow issue, the AZT is also unfinished, unlike the CTR. So it may be that waiting a couple more years makes sense.

    But I am not so sure. Thoughts?
    questions:
    can you summarize how the 300 route and the first half of the 700 route differ? is there ease of splice? second half too anticlimactic?

    out of 5 years of snowline observations (factoring in diminishing snow levels), how many are truly posthole years by the date riders would arrive to the n. rim? (which would be what? apr 23rd this year)

    i am not a desert rat in tune with this trail's nuance but i can appreciate the speculation for perfect conditions. seems to me for simplicity's sake, tho, that you run them contiguously and take climatology as it comes. allow for legal road alternate in necessary yrs and asterisk such in the annals. my guess is eventually the grand tour will become the favored course length for true junkies...and (historical comparisons aside) why wait on better logistics or route refinement to deliver the essential experience? trying to factor out "acts of god" is human but at the expense of dividing collective azt interest, not so sure. fall has many conflicting events and the late-season charred-brain/legs factor to compete with.

    plus, isn't flower season down south during late april?

  46. #46
    Scott in Tucson
    Reputation: Krein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,331
    Good thoughts so far. First response is about the 700/800 mile full AZT.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Punk
    - What would be the plan for crossing the GCNP? I understood that you had to get double secret permission when you and Lee packed your disassembled bikes through it.
    No special permiso required, as per Tim's comments. For the 7 day trip I told no one, got no permits. Rangers tend to freak when they see bike/helmet, but calm down when they see it's not assembled.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Punk
    is an autumn start better for the overall best climate? I don't know when the snow flies up there, but if it's after mid Octoberish then maybe move the start 6 months.
    Oct. is possible. Shorter days by about an hour. It's workable as a possible time for the full tour. I started my 7-day trip on October 19th.

    Quote Originally Posted by hairball_dh
    Hmmm...I think the two ( AZT300 vs. AZT MTB route) are different enough that they should be run at different dates. Also, aside from the GC jaunt, the full AZT MTB route is a lot less technical - right?
    That's one of the biggest questions. Should the full race follow the route I did in '05, or actually ride more of the trail? My feeling is that Andrea's route needs to die a slow death, remaining for folks with Bob Trailers to tour. Besides avoiding really fun sections, the route is also woefully out of date. The singletrack that has been built (and is now being built) in the last ~6 years is generally rideable and well worth doing.

    So the question remains - how much longer to wait for unfinished sections to be built? Maintaining records will become difficult as pavement is traded for singletrack. But perhaps we don't care much for records.

    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    can you summarize how the 300 route and the first half of the 700 route differ? is there ease of splice? second half too anticlimactic?
    The second half is not at all anticlimactic, but the 300 does end at Superior for a good reason. The Superstitions are a serious blockade for AZT cyclists. Two options exist:

    1) ride some 100 miles of ~busy dirt and pavement to the next "good" section of AZT
    2) follow a slow hike-a-bike / bushwack route pioneered by Blackwell and Morris in '05 (see: http://www.topofusion.com/azt/super.php)

    As for the differences between the 700 (Andrea) route and the 300 - they share about 15 miles of pavement, 2 miles of AZT and 8 miles of 4x4 road. That's it. They really are completely different routes.

    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    out of 5 years of snowline observations (factoring in diminishing snow levels), how many are truly posthole years by the date riders would arrive to the n. rim? (which would be what? apr 23rd this year)
    That's a good question. There's no snowtel site up there, but perhaps a call to the Park Service is in order.

    Here's May 13th 2005:

    <img src=http://www.topofusion.com/azt/pictures2/DSC00469.JPG>

    and April ~20 2006:

    <img src=http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/4189/2883/320/P4200591.jpg>

    We need more data points, for sure. But generally the north rim does not open until mid-May (that's the date they advertise), so that's a pretty good indicator.

    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    trying to factor out "acts of god" is human but at the expense of dividing collective azt interest, not so sure.
    Sure. If the AZT were finished we probably wouldn't be having this conversation. That's the largest factor holding back a full deal AZT race. The 700 route was a fun TT, but it doesn't deserve a title of "Arizona Trail Race" despite the fact that it could be raced now. In order to avoid further confusion, I think it's best to not hold a race on it.

    I know where Tim stands on this issue (he still hasn't forgiven me for "racing" Andrea's route). But I would like to hear from others...
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  47. #47
    Scott in Tucson
    Reputation: Krein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,331
    This reply is regarding hike-a-bike and GPS use in the 300 only.

    Quote Originally Posted by frejwilk

    Is this a promise? Are you talking less hiking per mile, or overall hiking per event? I would be consulting Eric L post event certainly...

    I'm assuming you can guarantee less lightning than CTR!?
    The Arizona Trail 300--less lightning strikes per mile--guaranteed!

    Hike-a-bike is hard to quantify, since it depends on so many things (conditions, skill, weight carried, energy of rider).

    I feel like I walked about the same number of steps in the GLR and AZT 300. But the walking was of a different nature - in the GLR it was often due to heat or lack of energy. Throw in the sections that are legitimate hike-a-bikes (Roubideau, Salt Creek, Rose Garden, etc) and I did quite a bit of walking on the Grand Loop.

    For the CTR, I would not say that there is the same amount of hike-a-bike, per mile, but perhaps the same amount in 500 miles of CT as 300 miles of AZT. But I am less certain of this, since I haven't even ridden the worst part of the CT (Sargents Mesa). I'll need one of you guys to come down and make this comparison for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by frejwilk
    More seriously - I am asking regarding the hike a bike AND GPS. Records are great and all, but I'm more concerned with making it through. It would be appealing to think one could buy some maps, show up, scratch their head, try real hard to keep up with other folks, etc., etc., and still find the finish (ie sans electronics). How would you compare the routefinding to GLR for instance? Or maybe better, how would you compare it to Paradox trail, and separately, Tabeguache trail (both of GLR fame)? Or perhaps any other more well known routes..
    This is really hard to quantify, since I've only approached the AZT with GPS. But my feeling is that the route-finding is much more concrete and easier than either Paradox or Tabeguache. Sections of those trails are so infrequently used and so poorly signed that tire tracks, good map work or a GPS are really necessary. The AZT is used by hikers, has a large organization supporting it, and is generally well signed. There are tricky spots, and signs disappear, but things aren't as mystical as on the GLR.

    When the 300 route is off the AZT the cues should be good enough. I have had some confirmation of this, but no one has finished sans GPS, yet, either. More about that below.

    Quote Originally Posted by chadfbrown
    My major caveat: I did not have tire tracks to follow after Patagonia and I was new to a GPS and did not have the entire course on my unit. I used cue sheets for part of the race and the GPS for the last half, so I think I have a unique experience with regards to the race. I had to follow the "tourers" for the 30 miles or so before Patagonia since the cue sheets "were a little off" according to Krein. Not sure if those are fixed, but that area is a bit confusing in some sections if you have never ridden it.
    There is a clarification that I need to make on the AZT 300 site.

    The cue sheets are very detailed and quite accurate when the route is OFF the Arizona Trail. This is because the routes are my own creation - not standard, accepted or necessarily known.

    When the route is AZT, I have some rough cues and notes, but generally, it's up to people to follow the GPS or research beforehand. The AZT is a known quantity, with guidebooks and web pages detailing it. With appropriate prep, it really shouldn't be a problem. You won't always know you're on track, but people ride these stretches of trail often without any maps, GPS, or preparation (including the section Chad is referring to).

    That said, a GPS is a great tool to level the playing field for non-locals. It is highly recommended for this race.
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  48. #48
    Tucson, AZ
    Reputation: chadfbrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    624
    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    You won't always know you're on track, but people ride these stretches of trail often without any maps, GPS, or preparation (including the section Chad is referring to).

    That said, a GPS is a great tool to level the playing field for non-locals. It is highly recommended for this race.
    The cue sheets are quite detailed. It is obvious that Scott has put a lot of work into the trail and the race. I should also add that I was flying solo and in front after Patagonia, and had never really used a GPS (on a bike). I am sure if you are behind a few people, you will be able to also see tracks in most of the tricky areas.

  49. #49
    Exactly 1/2 of 2-Epic
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    750
    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    So the question remains - how much longer to wait for unfinished sections to be built? Maintaining records will become difficult as pavement is traded for singletrack. But perhaps we don't care much for records.
    Why wait?

    One thought: do as much singletrack as possible without adding horrendous hikes and run with it. Use Andrea's route for reroutes when necessary. As for records, they'd have to be tied to a specific course. New trail and new routes just mean that route has not been raced yet.

    In contrast to the 300, the full route might not get as much play if it's as hard, mile for mile, as the 300. GDR riders could use the full AZT as a springboard for the bigg'n, but if the entire route was as rough as the 300 it might not be so appealing. But I could be off base there?
    Dave

    Anything is possible. The impossible just takes longer.

    2 Epic

  50. #50
    Scott in Tucson
    Reputation: Krein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,331
    Quote Originally Posted by chadfbrown
    The cue sheets are quite detailed. It is obvious that Scott has put a lot of work into the trail and the race. I should also add that I was flying solo and in front after Patagonia, and had never really used a GPS (on a bike). I am sure if you are behind a few people, you will be able to also see tracks in most of the tricky areas.
    Yep. I should add that if you want to be uber-competitive and have not ridden any of the route before, there's no question you should get a GPS. But if you want to survive and not spend major time lost, you should be fine with the combination of tire tracks, cues, maps and a little AZT research.
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •