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  1. #1
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    BCT first timer help

    Hey AZ MTBers,
    Planning a trip to ride the BCT in early December with a riding buddy. I've been searching and reading all I can about the BCT but have a couple of questions.

    Planning to ride it south to north one day, spend the night somewhere around Arcosanti or Mayer, then ride it back north to south the next day.

    Biggest concern is water. Are there places to re-load packs? Sounds like Black Canyon City may be a possibility and is about half-way.
    Other options are drop water day before riding or portable water pump filter from the Agua Fria.

    Any lodging recommendations for over nighting at north end of trail?
    Food recommendations for north end of trail?

    Other suggestions?

    Thanks, and looking forward to this ride.

  2. #2
    My other ride is your mom
    Reputation: Maadjurguer's Avatar
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    I would bring your water filter...given the possibility of early winter rains, you could have lots of sources....or not. Either way, a filter will be handy.




  3. #3
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    While I cannot say much about lodging, I can offer one minor suggestion. The Rock Springs trailhead is very close to a gas station and restaurant (which obviously has water) but the restaurant is well known for their pies. The Jack Daniels pecan pie is pretty damn awesome. I've only ridden the loop that starts at that trailhead and heads south, so I can't say much, other than you cross a river twice from that trailhead south. Enjoy your trip.
    “Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.”
-Grant Petersen

  4. #4
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    Most of the trail is not far off dirt roads. So you can set-up a few water caches on the way. Best source to ensure you have water.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  5. #5
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
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    Done this exact trip a couple times.... I would start at the emery hendersen TH but do not park inside the gates...they will ticket or tow you. Park just outside the gates on the very wide shoulder of the road. As you ride north, you'll cross a pretty reliable stream (agua fria) at about 15 miles and again at 24 miles. You can exit the trail there and ride through black canyon city which will do 2 things...bypass a kind of nasty river crossing, and provide you a few options for water and resupply (gas station and store). If you continue on, you can rejoin the trail and continue north. I typically drop water at teh bumblebee TH which is useful for both the trip up and back. As you continue on, there may be a windmill fed tank that I've found full roughly at about 50 miles in...but I would not count on it. At 60 or so, you'll hit hwy 69, where you can ride the highway 5 miles in either direction to find resupply...left is a circle k, right is a mcd, gas station, etc. No real lodging I don't think, but just south of hwy 69 there are lots of great places to lay out your bivvy and stare at the stars. Also near BCT and Hwy 69, there is a fire station and a high school maint yard where you can get water out of a spigot.
    Anyway, I can provide more info and gpx files if needed...it's a great trip.

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys, this is really helpful. Can't wait to ride it!

    Raybum, thanks for the details. I'll PM you about the GPX file, etc.

  7. #7
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    its cheap simple clean.. i like the place.. only drawback is the wifi sucks in the room.. you have to go over to the restaurant/bar to get a good signal...

    50's Backseat Diner - Home

    its very cheap like.. $45

    if you don't mind the wifi issue, you should give it a try...

    i've heard this place sucks.
    Mountain Breeze Motel - Hotels - Black Canyon City, AZ - Reviews - Photos - Yelp

  8. #8
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    Theres also Cleator, just 3-4 gravel miles off route. They will make you a steak and send you on your way with a couple fat burritos.
    Drinkin the S-Works Kool-aid

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the recommendations.

    50's diner w/ a cheap room sounds right.

    Burrito good... but Cleator? Ghost town? Only thing I could find on Google is the Cleator Bar and Yacht club. Sounds like it might be worth the trip.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by damagr View Post
    Thanks for the recommendations.

    50's diner w/ a cheap room sounds right.

    Burrito good... but Cleator? Ghost town? Only thing I could find on Google is the Cleator Bar and Yacht club. Sounds like it might be worth the trip.

    I've stopped there for re-supply on quite a few occasions, in my wandering around in the Bradshaw mountains. It can be hit or miss early in the day. The SXS crowd heats the place up pretty busy during the mid-late afternoon. I rode thru there at around midnight once, they were open and had a pretty full house.
    Drinkin the S-Works Kool-aid

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all the info and tips guys. We just did the ride this past Friday and Saturday. Left from Emery Henderson trail head on Friday morning. Rode 64 miles (almost 9 hours) to the 69 an into Cordes Lakes. Was raining pretty hard and dark (we had lights) as we pulled into the Cordes Junction motel/RV park/50s diner. Cold beer and good food at diner.
    Left in dark Saturday morning for the return trip in frozen ground, frost and mud.
    It was cool and cloudy the whole way and we were able to make each ride with a 100 oz camelbak and one water bottle.
    Tough trail, lots of rocks, fairly relentless and not a lot of flow, but really enjoyed the ride.

  12. #12
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    Thats awesome! I'll bet with the weather the desert mountains looked cool.
    Vassago Cycles, Shadetree Bikes, Flat Tire Bikes, Galfer Brakes USA

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by damagr View Post
    good food at diner.
    after that ride anything would have tasted good ... Seriously though, their food is fairly good... not bad...

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