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  1. #1
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    Arizona Trail, the hard way

    The Arizona Trail stretches 800 miles across Arizona from Mexico to Utah. It contains some of the most rugged and remote riding you will find anywhere. Picketpost to Kelvin is one of my favorite sections. It is a 38 mile point to point ride usually done as a shuttle. However, since nobody would join me I did a solo out and back. I had about 11 hours of daylight and knowing the return would be tough I put my camera away and rode almost non-stop for 20 miles, turned around, and headed back. Despite what the elevation profile indicates, it was mostly ride-able on the return until that last climb at about mile 29. Despite stopping for photos the return took only about one hour longer than the ride out.

    I normally need 2 - 3 days off between rides, but I can't stand sitting around motel rooms. Just 36 hours prior to this ride I did a tough 50 mile ride on the Back Canyon Trail, north of Phoenix. I've done longer, and tougher rides than this. But I consider it among my greatest riding accomplishments ever. Few people even attempt the shuttle ride, let alone an out and back this far. You are way out in the middle of nowhere, and there are plenty of places to fall off the trail, never to be found again. And if your bike breaks it's a long haul out. Probably the most intimidating aspect of this ride is that you can see miles and miles of desolation both ahead and behind you. More photos on my Smugmug site.

    <p align="center"><img src="http://stevewolf.smugmug.com/BikeTrips/2015/AZT-2-14-14/i-TPpPC37/0/XL/IMG_5482-XL.jpg"><br>

    Long way down and back from here.

    <p align="center"><img src="http://stevewolf.smugmug.com/BikeTrips/2015/AZT-2-14-14/i-42Fq8bp/0/XL/IMG_5504-XL.jpg"><br>
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    <p align="center"><img src="http://stevewolf.smugmug.com/BikeTrips/2015/AZT-2-14-14/i-pL2v48v/0/X2/Picketpost-2-14-15-X2.jpg"><br>

  2. #2
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    Awesome trip report, WW. Congratulations on your accomplishments and Long Live Long Rides in the desert!

    What were temps like throughout the day? The vegetation looks positively springlike in a few of those pics.
    "Cut my pie into four pieces. I don't think I could eat eight." Yogi Berra

  3. #3
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    what are the shuttle points?

  4. #4
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    Nice! I've only done one segment of the AT, a 25 mile out-and-back heading north from Colossal Cave. An amazing trail...would love to do more.

  5. #5
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    nice, really cool pics. looks like some great riding. I rode part of the pistol hill area when I visited tucson... meet a rider (woman) who's going to ride the whole Arizona Trail... impressive.

  6. #6
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    Beautiful.

    Thanks for sharing.

    (As I sit here in my cabin in western VA, warming my feet by the fire on a 15 degree day)

  7. #7
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    Nice job! An awesome feat too!

  8. #8
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    That is awesome and inspiring, thanks for sharing! Need to add that to my bucket list.

  9. #9
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    How does that section of the AZT compare to the Black Canyon trail? I've ridden most of the BCT in bits and pieces, but have never ridden any of the AZT. Looks amazing.

  10. #10
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    Nice ride....it must be fun to be retired and have so much time to ride. That's 20 years away for me.

  11. #11
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    Sweet ride!

    I did 3 sections when I was in Tucson and had a freakin blast!

  12. #12
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    Man I forgot how pretty it is out there....

    Thanks for sharing.

  13. #13
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    I've met a couple of guys that did the AZ trail last year and it sounds like an experience. I'm hoping to one day in my life be able to do the AZT300. Thanks for the stoke. Here's the "official" website in case anyone is interested: The Arizona Trail Race - 300 and 750 Mile Mountain Bike Races
    Killing it with close inspection.

  14. #14
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    Very nice trail. I rode around on the rough roads on my ranch with my department store bike yesterday, and it's a cool ride but nothing like what you did. You are a brave guy! What kind of bike?

  15. #15
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    More info

    GPS said 50 - 86 degrees, but it always runs a bit hot. But this early in the year it felt it to me.

    Shuttle: Picketpost and Kelvin.

    BCT has harder and easier sections. But the trails are about the same. Just go do an out and back and find out for yourself.

    I ride a 2013 Specialized S-Works 29er Stumpjumper FSR.

    You can ride more than you think if you slow down. And be prepared.

  16. #16
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    Awesome job. I've ridden some of the AZ trail further south heading north to Sahuarita, then on to Pistol Hill. AZ is tough miles traveled, if you've not trained in the area or are from around the area.A

  17. #17
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    Awesome as always WW!

  18. #18
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    Beautiful pics of your trip Wolfie. Love to ride there one day
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

  19. #19
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    Bad-ass ride, Wherewolf. I've ridden the AZ trail between Flag and Mormon Lake, or maybe a bit further south, but not all the way to Payson.

    It sure looks a lot different at that end than it does in your pics, which are epic, BTW. Good job!

  20. #20
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    What gear for one of your 50 miles rides?

    Full gear breakdown and tires issues with cacti?

  21. #21
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    Same

    Quote Originally Posted by azcanc View Post
    Full gear breakdown and tires issues with cacti?
    Same gear as on all rides, except I carry two, instead of one tube. Tubeless with Stans. Never had a puncture, but a torn sidewall once. This time of year I carry a LED headlamp in case I have to walk out.

  22. #22
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    For some reason you guys are cracking me up lately. Do they use that expression where you live? That means you are funny. The more I look around I am finding trails, State Parks, swamp trails you name it-but in the steep State Park that I ride in there are signs saying-entering private property-and I go by a lot of peoples back yards(I get barked at a lot).

    Beautiful pictures! Stay safe! I have a tendency to do too much and go to far, I see you do too(obviously).

  23. #23
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    Major kudos to you!!!

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