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  1. #1
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    MBAA Mogollon Masher Race Course Update #2

    Things have dried out tremendously on top of the Rim in the last 5 days. Art McFarland, a Forest Ranger, and myself marked the Mogollon Masher course today. There are muddy sections (they are minimal as most of the course is dry), and your bike will be pretty muddy by the end of the ride, but overall the course is in great shape.

    I've heard quite a few people plan on pre-riding the course tomorrow. Even though we marked the course today, there were a few areas that need to be marked a bit better. I have some flagging tape, so I may go up after work tomorrow (after 3pm), pre-ride the course again and mark any areas that may not be straightforward.

    If anyone who pre-rides the course sees any areas that need attention, just let us know. Stop by the bike shop in Payson to give us a ride report too.

    Sometime tomorrow, Saturday, the Forest Service guy (Pat), is suppose to cut out a few of the larger downed trees that have fallen on the course as well.

    A few of us Payson riders will be going up Sunday morning to do some trail work on top of the for race points, then we will pre-ride the course Sunday afternoon.

    Anyone and everyone is always invited.

    Cheers,

    Mick @ Hike, Bike, & Run
    www.hikebikeandrun.com

  2. #2
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    Sunday Evening

    The Payson crew went up and did a lot of trail work on the course Sunday afternoon. For those of you who pre-rode on Saturday or Sunday morning, the course is phenomenally better now then it was when we marked it on Friday.

    In only 48-hourse the course has seen a lot of improvements, and the biggest improvement came from all the pre-riding. The course just needs to be ridden.

    The Payson crew removed quite a few trees today, and we cleared a lot of small derailleur and spoke eating twigs out of the areas where trees had fallen. We also found a way to drain the mud hole close to the start. We saw a handful of riders on the trail and we tried to fix almost all the issues you riders told us about. We cleared a lot of new lines in sections of the course where the trail wasn't all that visible.

    The one big thing are the large downed trees near the start, and at about 2 miles in. The Forest Service intended to remove those trees this weekend, but had chainsaw problems. They told me they'd go up this week to remove them.

    Come race day, the course will be ready for the masses.

    I know a few of you weren't too thrilled by the course this weekend, but do remember that 10-days ago a lot of that course was under snow, big spring winds keep knocking trees down, and that over the last week, it's been mud season up there.

    It's amazing how much it has dried out in the last 5-days alone. We are barely beating the clock at holding this event due to some late spring snows, and consistent colder temps for a lot of April thus far.

    After the race, there should be a lot of new singletrack formed on the course just by all the riders. We could see a lot of one-track forming in just 2-days of pre-riding.

    Cheers,

    Mick Wolf
    Hike, Bike, & Run
    www.hikebikeandrun.com

  3. #3
    Beer Drnkr w/bike problem
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    How is it for Single Speed? the white tanks was good on a 32x18t so what would be good on this course? 18t, 17t or 16t? on a 29er. I hope there are some good tech stuff.
    "Not drinking is the Single Speed World Championships version of doping" -Jacquie Phelan

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  4. #4
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    I was there Sunday afternoon and there are several areas of water and mud, unless they fix the drainage and more drying occurs, expect beforehand that you and your bike will get cake with mud. Good times.
    www.StudioDino.com
    The Ride: 2013 Specialized Epic is epic / Roubaix

  5. #5
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    Single Speed

    This course is going to be fast. It's not overly technical, and there isn't a lot of climbing.

    I typically run 32/20 on my one-speed 29'er on this course, and that's with flat BMX/DH pedals. Yesterday I had 32/22 on the bike, and it was a bit too easy. I'd say 32/18 would be a good gear if you are light and fast on your one-speed.

    This course uses a few old logging roads intermixed with good, simple singletrack. The one thing single speeders want to make certain is you aren't running too easy a gear for the first half of the course, as you are consistently losing elevation (though there are a few ups and downs). The second half of the course is mostly a gradual climb back to the start, but it never gets too steep or difficult.

    I think single speeders will rock this course.

    Cheers!

  6. #6
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    More signage, esp the northern part of the trail.
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  7. #7
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    Course

    On Sunday, the Payson Crew created a way for the first big mud hole to drain, so hopefully this week, it will have drained more and dried out enough to ride through. The other wet spots pretty much exist all summer, especially when the monsoons are in full swing.

    As for signage on the Northern end of the course, a bunch of us are going up tomorrow, Wednesday, for a pre-ride, and if I can get hold of more flagging/caution tape, I will better mark some of the areas along that section. I don't have anymore signage from the MBAA to put up.

  8. #8
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    mick,
    what do you think lap times will be like? I'm a midpack sport guy? also where is the 6 mile loop? is it the same as the 9mile loop with a portion cut off? Thx VikeAz

  9. #9
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    Lap Times

    I don't have a good answer for what an average lap time should be. I don't ride with a computer and I have never timed myself on the course. I ride this trail system a fair amount, but I never ride the race course. The race course doesn't use all the good singletrack in that trail system, so when I ride out there, I mostly stay on the one-track.

    Art McFarland was thinking the pros may be doing a full lap in under 35 minutes. I talked to Wayne Gorry, a local Payson racer, and he was thinking 45 minutes a lap for an expert might be realistic, and an hour a lap for a beginner.

    As for the short loop, it pretty much cuts the long loop in half. The MBAA has both the long loop and short loop maps on the race's homepage. Here are the links.

    Long Loop Course Map - http://www.mbaa.net/images/stories/C...llonmasher.pdf

    Short Loop Course Map - http://www.mbaa.net/images/stories/C...baa_short5.pdf

    We are going out to pre-ride again this afternoon, so I'll see if we can't try and time a lap. We plan to do some flagging and trail maintenance today, so we won't be riding fast or consistent, but if we ride hard in between our stops, someone's computer might give us a fair estimate of a solid lap time.

    I've heard a lot of talk already about racers saying the short loop is adding too much mileage to the course, and that the race times as they are will be longer than average. I don't know if taking the short loop out is an option at this point, but we'll see.

    Either way, be prepared for a fast course with minimal climbing and minimal technical sections.

    I have also been thinking that strong single speeders on 29ers might fair well on a 32/17 or 32/18 gear ratio. I said 32/20 earlier, but even though that's the gear ratio I'd run on my bike with flat pedals, single speeders who race a little more serious, and who are stronger riders might want a bit taller gear. If you ride a 26" single speed then definitely 32/16 or 32/17.

    Cheers!

  10. #10
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    If it's such a flat and non-technical course, the longer the better. I hope it has more climbing and tech than it sounds though.

  11. #11
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    I agree with Mcodyw, keep the short and long loop, but mark each one clearly.

    This race is going to be interesting, new and fun to alot of us desert riders.
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    The Ride: 2013 Specialized Epic is epic / Roubaix

  12. #12
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    More Trail Maintenance

    For those of you who have pre-ridden the course already, I did a lap this evening, and I was able to clear all the downed trees on the first half mile of the course. That was my first time to ever use a chainsaw, but it went smoothly. There is only one other section with major downfall, and I will try and clear that tomorrow.

    The big mud pit has drained a lot, and though it is still a bit muddy, you won't have to ride through standing water.

    The course is fast, fast.

    I didn't get to add too much additional signage or markings tonight, but will in the next 48 hours.

    It's going to be good, and you Valley folks are right, this is going to be interesting. Whether you like the course or not, at least you'll get to race at 7500 feet literally near the edge of the Mogollon Rim.

    Cheers!

  13. #13
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    I guess don't worry about draining the mud pits now, looks like it's all going to be muddy, wet and cold come Saturday. I'm looking forword to it and because I'm S.S. I don't have to worry about chain suck. Do you think the weather stations are correct for 60% chance of rains or 80%.
    "Not drinking is the Single Speed World Championships version of doping" -Jacquie Phelan

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  14. #14
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    Rain in the forecast, that's not good. Payson's weather report
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  15. #15
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    Trail work

    Mick

    Thanks for all your efforts to get this track in shape. I have not been up there but what I heard was the down tree's would have been a problem for that first lap. Sub 35 min pro long laps sounds right from what I have heard as well but I hear the Shorter lap is slower mph wise than the long true?? I hope we get some day of's for a bigger Pro field but I am sure excited to race at +7000'. Thanks again.

  16. #16
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    Weather Or Not

    I'm no weather man, so if it says rain, I'd prepare for rain. I can say that I have ridden a lot of singletrack around the Rim Lakes during Monsoon season, when a Monsoon had just passed, or was building, and a few times I have been caught in the rain and the trails held up well in many spots. Considering the race course was pretty muddy two weeks ago, it could be interesting if it does rain.

    A local mountain biker and Life Flight pilot in Payson mentioned over the winter how often times when bad weather is predicted in and around Payson, it doesn't arrive til 24 hours after it was forecasted. After he told me that, I noticed it was true on quite a few occasions, so we can only keep our fingers crossed. I don't want to jinx this, but we can only hope the rains hold off long enough. What's going to suck more if it rains is the dirt road in and out of the race venue. This could be an adventure if the weather turns for the worse.

    The downed trees in the first half mile are gone. I went out tonight and rode a lap, and I laid down some extra flagging along the course to make it a bit more straightforward. I re-reouted the course around another section of downed trees, as I couldn't get a chainsaw that far back into the forest.

    The short loop is a bit slower as there are some weird dirt piles all along that section you have to get up and over.

    The long loop has blue and black arrows, so as long as you don't see red arrows, you'll know you are on the long loop.

    The race venue (start/finish area) is a bit small, and the parking could be interesting along the 208 road. When we originally applied for the race permit, we really wanted to stage the race along the 9350 road, which would have had better parking, better access, a larger venue, and a cooler setting (plus it would have saved 12-15 miles of driving on dirt). The Forest Service wouldn't let us use the 9350 area, so we had to settle on the 208. The Forest Service has been great in helping make this race happen, but if you don't like the start/finish, if you don't like the first half mile, if you don't like the parking situation, it's just how it is. We can only do so much with what we have to work with.

    I'd be glad to be a single speeder this weekend!

    Cheers!

  17. #17
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    Just got here late last night and we're about to go pre-ride. But for those that aren't coming up until later today or tomorrow, bring bug repellent, as the little mosquitos are skinny and looking for something to eat. I'll try to give an update on the course after the pre-ride.

  18. #18
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    Great race, placed 5th in my group. Chain went off the cogs but able to finish at a decent time. Nice track, fast pace, and mud everywhere.
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  19. #19
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    Muddy good times, I think my timing chip was broke. And what’s up with just under 26 miles for the sport course. Oh well, it was still fun. See ya’ll in Flag!!!
    Better than most, not as good as some.

  20. #20
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    I'd like to thank Mick and the entire crew for putting in the hours of hard work to set the course for us. At race pace it was more difficult than most of the pre-race predictors and also more fun with all the mud holes. One of the things I like best about the MBAA series is the opportunity it provides to see the diverse beautiful areas of our state.

  21. #21
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    Thanks To All Who Supported & Participated

    Thanks for the positive feedback on the posts above. I think the event went down good. Sure we could have tweaked a few things here and there to make it a bit smoother (that can be said for most any event), but all in all Arizona racers got to experience something new, something different.

    The BIG PICTURE in hindsight of this race is that Arizona mountain bikers were just introduced to a new area that offers incredible opportunities for future Epic mountain biking.

    Like I said before that exact race course and venue wasn't our first choice when we applied for the Forest Service permit, but that was the only option the Forest Service allowed us. That Forest Service could have easily denied us a permit, and they almost did, but they too wanted to build the mountain biking in that area by allowing the event.

    That trail system is one of many trails on top of the Rim and below it. There is a lot of old singletrack around the Rim Lakes that needs some LOVE. The Forest Service intends to do lots of trail maintenance this summer (and they could use your help), so once the Rim Lakes singletrack gets up to par, that area will be EPIC.

    On Friday the day before the race, I had 6 friends come in from out-of-state. I took them on a 20-something mile ride around the Rim Lakes. We parked a vehicle at Christopher Creek, then parked a vehicle on top of the Rim at the Military Sinkhole Vista. We rode the 622 Rim Vista Trail to Woods Canyon Lake. We rode the technical 5-6 mile singletrack loop around Woods Canyon Lake (that trail is usually great once the winter deadfall is cleared), then we rode the paved path back up to the Rim. We then took the singletrack on the Vista trail and rode it to the Mogollon Campground. There is singletrack that you can ride from the Mogollon Campground to the 9350 area (near the race course), but that one-track isn't yet rideable (needs trail maintenance). We hopped on the 300 road for a mile, hit the 9350 Carr Lake trailhead, did the short all singletrack loop where the race course was, then we rode the Drew trail to edge of the Rim, dropped down the Rim on the Drew trail (incredible singletrack downhill), to the 260 Highline Trail, and we rode the 260 trail down to Christopher Creek. It was just over a 20 mile ride, but that is some of the most diverse, technical amazing 20 miles you can do on a bike in Arizona.

    My goal is to help bring high quality mountain biking to Payson's Rim Country. Between Highway 87 and 260, both above and below the Rim, there is upwards of 100-200 miles of quality singetrack. I've discovered and ridden over 100 different miles of one-track in the last year alone. The one downfall to the Rim singletrack is it doesn't always get consistent maintenance, and it doesn't always get ridden enough either. If we can get people out riding these trails, maintaining these trails, if we can get these trails better signed, better marked, GPS'd, if we can get all of you riding them, talking about them, loving them, then Arizona just picked up one more Epic area for riding mountain bikes.

    Don't forget to ask me about the Cabin Loop on the Rim either. There's upwards of 50 miles of prime one-track in that trail system alone, and it is very isolated. It is the best trail system in the Rim Country (that I know of), and it rocks. That trail should be rideable very soon. That's the loop to ride this summer, and in another blog I will give directions and details on that trail.

    Cheers!

    Mick Wolf - Hike, Bike, & Run
    www.hikebikeandrun.com

  22. #22
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    I've ridden some of Cabin Loop as it's near our cabin. It is incredibly challenging in places, with some short, really steep, loose climbs. I'll be exploring more of that this summer.
    If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains,
    you're lucky enough.

  23. #23
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    Thanks for the race guys! I thought it was a great combination of altitude, a little mud and a little climbing. Good introduction to the Rim Country for us beginning racers. The drive up the Rim was a little long for a one day turn around, an over night was probably the better choice. Maybe next year. :-)

  24. #24
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    After pre-riding I was going to post in and say how much I disliked the course: there was nothing technical, really fairly boring, and a lot of rarely used doubletrack. After the race, and thinking about it for the last couple of days, I narrowed my critique of the course to one thing: it just hadn't been ridden enough. This isn't anyone's fault, and I really do appreciate all of the hard work that Mick and others put into making the race course what it was. Although there was no technical, very little climbing (400 ft/lap), at race pace it was much more challenging than I thought it would be after the pre-ride, mainly because you are in the saddle, pedaling hard the entire time.

    Hopefully the area trails can be GPS'ed, marked, and word can get out so that they get ridden much more, as Mick stated above. I've camped there a few times and didn't know anything in the area existed, except for the AZ Trail (which also needs to be ridden a lot more).

    Overall, it was a fun time, the area was beautiful and we can only hope it becomes a singletrack trail over the next few years. I'll be watching for more info on trails in that area to get up there and ride.

  25. #25
    My other ride is your mom
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    given that Payson is far closer to us east valley folks than flag/prescott or sedona (I can be in Payson 1 hr from my house...whereas it takes me the same amount of time to get to Anthem), what can you recommend for a c-ride up there?

    I have gathered up enough trail beta for some pretty cool rides up there off of this site over the last year...however I'm looking for a quick getaway with the wife who abhors technical riding. Any recommendations for beginner rides on or around the rim? I can look at a topo and convince myself that it's suitable for her....but I'm trying to avoid the stink-eye and trauma inflicted by my ignorance.




  26. #26
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    If you want to try the race course we did, I can guarantee there is no technical. You can find my gps of the course by going to motionbased.com and searching for "mbaa mcodyw mogollon" (without the quotes). But that's the only ride I have done up there so there may be better ones.

  27. #27
    My other ride is your mom
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    THX...that's what I was thinking based on the topo and the description....just trying to avoid the, "why did you take me on this trail?" moment....




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