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  1. #1
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    Reputation: dtownmtb's Avatar
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    AES - McDowell results are up

    The 50 folks that came out to ride the McDowells had a pretty much perfect December day. Results are posted.

    The 2016 calendar is also posted.

    Don't forget the AZT Jamboree - super fun and benefits the ATA.

  2. #2
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
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    The day was truly picture perfect...tons of people out, 99% of them dealt with our little adventure well as crossed paths. Thanks to everyone for showing up and to the guy (I forget his name!) that was grilling burgers for people and had a growler of beer at the finish. That is setting the bar high! Big kudos to him!

    Jeffro has the link above for 2016... be sure to get on your calendar the Antelope Peak Challenge on January 23rd. It's a great chance to ride a very remote yet beautiful section of the AZT in the "good" direction. And if you need to pre-ride the 24HITOP course, you can tack that on at the end (or camp and do it the next day).

    For those wanting an epic beatdown, the Gila100 is for you. The date will be Feb 27th (website is wrong). This ride does the last 92 miles of the AZT300 backwards...life changing...trust me.

  3. #3
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    Great day on the bike. Perfect weather. Little bit cool at the start and a tiny bit warm at the end. So just right. This was my first repeat of an AES ride and it was a blast. Finished 30 min sooner than last year on course that was a few miles longer. Felt really good and even go there early enough to catch race winner Bart.

    I ended up stating till 6:15 pm just as Evan and Shannon rolled in just before 6pm.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  4. #4
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    Those were the fastest results posted in the history of AES !
    Thanks for putting an awesome gig guys.
    Great riding, Great weather, Great bunch of guys and gals to hang out with after.

    There were some strong women riders out there yesterday.

  5. #5
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    That burger and Miller Lite were awesome as I rolled up! Kick ass!
    Thanks for planning these rides and motivating people.

  6. #6
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    I have been wanting to ride an AES race for quite some time as I have heard nothing but positive comments. Saturday did not disappoint, a big thanks to Ray and Jeff for the logistics! It was a great ride and I got to meet some very cool people. I will definitely be back, and next year I will be opting for the long loop! Hopefully there will be a few more takers to help me finish those growlers...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fu King Slow View Post
    I have been wanting to ride an AES race for quite some time as I have heard nothing but positive comments. Saturday did not disappoint, a big thanks to Ray and Jeff for the logistics! It was a great ride and I got to meet some very cool people. I will definitely be back, and next year I will be opting for the long loop! Hopefully there will be a few more takers to help me finish those growlers...
    Was that you with the grapefruit infused IPA? That was awesome man, thanks !

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    Was that you with the grapefruit infused IPA? That was awesome man, thanks !
    Be careful. Invite him on one ride and you can't get rid of him!
    Tequila tonight...for tomorrow we ride

  9. #9
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    Here is my trip report for the weekend:

    AES McDowell, Saturday...

    I planned on showing up to the start line early but it turned into my usual barely on time scramble to get ready. Seemed like I had just got there and we were called for Ray's speach, and then were off. I quickly settled into a group of similar pace. The ride began with a 2,200ft climb across the bottom of the range and then up to Tom's Thumb, not even visible yet



    The first few miles were good but got progressively rockier until we got to a series of switchbacks that required some pushing.



    It was on an off the bike after that, all the way up



    Nice views over Scottsdale



    There were some rideable parts. The mix of HAB and riding was good for the legs





    Finally we get to Tom's Thumb. This is a major hiker destination, with their route being the trail we were about to descend. Needless to say we all did a lot of stopping to let hikers pass. One lady who was going down was an obvious bike hater. She would let me go by, but when I would pull over to let uphill hikers pass she would barge on through and then get all pissed that she would have to let me pass again. It was comical when I overheard her say to another hiker "there are so many bikers out today, its appalling!". The next time I passed her I said "there are so many hikers out today, its appalling!" I did not get a response to that...



    At the Tom's Thumb trailhead we turned onto some nice desert singletrack that would flow continuously for the next 35 miles. Unbelievable. I was expecting typical rocky Phoenix singletrack. The only slow part were a few miles where we rode against a 50 mile xc running race. I had to pull over for probably 100 runners.

    "There were so many runners, it was appalling!"

    Hehe, I didn't say that, I gave them high 5s instead. What they were doing sounded a lot more painful than what we were doing!



    Around the 45 mile mark we finally got some sustained climbing. Not bad at first, we climbed up a ridgeline then dropped down another, then climbed. This repeated a few times. And we were crossing paths with some of the same runners. They looked a lot worse for wear by now...



    The terrain continued to get tougher and tougher with a difficult climb followed by a long series of down and then uphill switchbacks. Going down one sharp switchback my hand crashed into a barrel cactus that was hidden in the shade on the upper bench cut of a turn, as I tried to go wide. Ouch... Barrel cactus look more benign than other species but I ended up with a few major spikes that went in one side and out the other of my pinky, and were badly bleeding. I had to pull my tweezers out to extract them. It definitely slowed me down the next few switch backs the bottom but after that was fine.



    That section with the switchbacks was what I envisioned a lot of the route being like. My mapping software said the route would have +/-9,300 ft of elevation. But as I got to 40, 50, 55 miles I was only at around 4,500 to 5,000. No way was it going to be that much. But the last 10 or so miles were definitely hard.

    Lots of contouring around saddles and ridge lines. Hoping this one would be the last



    Nope...



    Finally, I see switchbacks below me and what should be the final descent



    Looking south. Prior pic was taken from the saddle in the pic below



    Like most of these rides there were a bunch of seemingly unnecessary climbs at the end. My original goal was to finish before dark; part way through I was as optimistic as 4:30. But it ended up a ~6pm finish right at last light. I did not need my lights which was satisfying. And I was apparently not the last finisher! There were 2 cars in the lot when I got back. JoePAZ was waiting for the other rider, and Shannon finished literally 2 minutes after me stealing the glory of my DFL.



    A great day all in all on 100% new dirt. Final stats for me were 63mi, +/- ~7,500ft. Not sure on the el. Topofusion was showing 9,300; Nat Geo Topo, 6,500. I think it was more like 7,500


    **edit to fix photo links
    Last edited by evdog; 01-08-2019 at 12:52 PM.

  10. #10
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    Nice Post Evan and good seeing you. I only saw about 5-6 runners on gooseneck (Leader and few more) and 4-5 more on climbs back after 40 miles. I guess it comes down to the time. I did have bunch of hikers going down Tom Thumb. No issues there though.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

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