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  1. #1
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    Listen! OPEN INVITE: Queen's Ransom Bikepacking Loop - Feb. 26-29

    It's time for a big bikepacking ride through the desert again.

    What: 4-day bikepacking loop through the East Valley & beyond. Approx. 220 miles & 17k climbing

    When: Friday Feb. 26 @7:00am until early evening on Monday Feb. 29.

    Where: The route will either start at my house (Near Power & Germann rds in Queen Creek) OR if there are more riders, we'll start from the Safeway at Power & Queen Creek rds.
    This is a clockwise loop connecting several popular trails systems such as: Desert Trails Park, Hawes, Usery, Goldfields, Lost Dutchman, Gold Canyon, Arizona Trail (Picketpost to Kelvin), Area52 & San Tan Regional Park.

    Who: Anyone who can handle backcountry types of rides. Half of this route is remote. This is an advanced bikepacking ride ridden at a more leisurely pace. Expect some long days. Expect some hike-a-bike. You need to have a GPS and know how to use it to follow a route!!

    Route notes: There is water available on route. If you have a water filter, bring it for use at the Gila River. If you don't have one, I'll share. Food: first night's dinner will be at De La Cruz Mexican Grille in Gold Canyon. There's a Basha's next door for re-supply. Day2 lunch spot is in Queen Valley, Circle K type of stuff. Re-supply here for the next 2 days!! No food options on Day3, be prepared. Day4, lunchtime arrival into Florence for final re-supply.
    Roughly half of this route is on singletrack, maybe 10% on pavement and the rest on dirt roads. The first day is a little over 70 miles. Day2 & 3 are the toughest. Day4 is easy riding to finish it up.

    I have some extra bikepacking gear to loan out if needed: framebag, feedbag, seatbag.

    I'd prefer to stick together as we ride, but if you are really fast or really slow, be prepared to navigate solo.

    Post up questions & RSVP's here. Who's IN??

    Here's the ride report from last year: Queen's Ransom
    and the Strava activity if you like that kind of thing.

    GPX file can be downloaded here (right-click, 'save as')

    Route Map:
    OPEN INVITE: Queen's Ransom Bikepacking Loop - Feb. 26-29-qr_map.jpg
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  2. #2
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    Reputation: dtownmtb's Avatar
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    That's Gila 100 weekend.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtownmtb View Post
    That's Gila 100 weekend.
    Correct. Now you know, I'm not doing the Gila 100 this year!! They'll be long gone by the time we get to Picketpost TH.
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  4. #4
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    Sophie's choice...

  5. #5
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    Thinking about this, but I am not sure I am ready for a 4 day bikepack since I have never bike packed before.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Thinking about this, but I am not sure I am ready for a 4 day bikepack since I have never bike packed before.
    Joe, what part are you unsure about? Based on the rides I've seen you do, you're more than capable of doing this route. The only real difference is carrying the gear & sleeping out on the trail. Like I mentioned, I have some gear if you need it.

    Another option would be to cut the route short & make it an overnight ride. This goes for anyone on the fence about the distance & days. The first day is essentially the same as my EV100 route I did recently. You can return to the start the same way I finished up that ride OR go a bit farther and ride back to the start from Queen Valley OR Picketpost TH for a 2-day loop.

    I should also note that this year's route is slightly different than last year's. I cut out the chunky east side climb/descent of Pass Mtn. While fun, it adds quite a bit of time. I also extended the ride on Jacob's Crosscut to include the full trail out to the Broadway rd. exit in Apache Junction after our run-in with a lunatic homeowner last year.

    While the first day is the most miles, it's really not a tough route by any stretch. The first 21 miles are a mix of greenbelt pathways, canal & road - all flat.

    Also, for anyone considering the AZT300 either this year or next. This is a great shakedown route before lining up down at Parker Canyon Lake on April 15th. Get your systems dialed in & sample the final 40 miles of the route (in reverse) at a more relaxed pace & fresh legs!!
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Thinking about this, but I am not sure I am ready for a 4 day bikepack since I have never bike packed before.

    Joe you already proved that you can ride beyond your expectations. John is the top bikepacker in the state, so perfect opportunity to get experience.

    I can lend you my backpacking gear. Revelate sweet roll, viscacha bag, tarptent, klymit inertia frame and Mountain Hardwear Lamina 35 Sleeping Bag.

    I wish I could go, but getting a four day weekend is nearly impossible without advance notice for me.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    John is the top bikepacker in the state,
    Thanks, but no friggin' way. Not even close.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeskier46 View Post
    Thanks, but no friggin' way. Not even close.
    Who else explore more of the state on a MTB?
    I am not talking about racing here.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    Who else explore more of the state on a MTB?
    I am not talking about racing here.
    +1,000
    Shit happens...

  11. #11
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    I really appreciate the compliments, but I'd rather not derail this thread. Just looking for a few others to do this route, I have one taker so far who is prepping for the AZT300.

    FWIW, a few names that instantly pop into my head are: Scott Morris, Chad Brown, Kurt Refsnider, Chris Reichel, Lee Blackwell, Tim McCabe, Max Morris....Plenty of folks out there getting after it, some post blog reports, others don't. Some of these riders are super fast, but also take time to go out on their own exploring the unknown's of AZ & well beyond.

    We're very fortunate here in AZ to have the terrain we do, fantastic trail systems, great year round weather (somewhere in the state it's always prime riding season) and we have top notch riders who are more than willing to share their knowledge to get others out there. Embrace it. Go ride.
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  12. #12
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    Damn, John. Wish I could make this. Daughter has competitions that weekend otherwise I would likely be in.

  13. #13
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    Thinking about it... I just hate to find a problem with gear or set-up on day 2 and still have a long way to go. It not so much the riding and miles, but added complexity of bikepack and the unknowns.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  14. #14
    Ahhh the pain....
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    Joe, with Bart offering to lend you his gear, it's so easy... Try and "compartmentalize" it in your head...all you really need in addition to what you carry for long day rides is a sleeping bag, pad, bivy and maybe a set of long johns/underlayer to sleep in if it's cold. Put the sleep gear in the sweetroll under your bars, and put any extra clothes and other stuff in the seat bag. If you need a gear list, just hollar...
    Even though I stressed about my first couple trips (which were solo), i stayed warm and nothing bad happened.
    You'd be amazed at how little you need to do these trips!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum View Post
    Joe, with Bart offering to lend you his gear, it's so easy... Try and "compartmentalize" it in your head...all you really need in addition to what you carry for long day rides is a sleeping bag, pad, bivy and maybe a set of long johns/underlayer to sleep in if it's cold. Put the sleep gear in the sweetroll under your bars, and put any extra clothes and other stuff in the seat bag. If you need a gear list, just hollar...
    Even though I stressed about my first couple trips (which were solo), i stayed warm and nothing bad happened.
    You'd be amazed at how little you need to do these trips!
    I get your caution.


    Joe, like others have mentioned, you have the fitness/strength for this. You are only missing experience. Starting with John is a good way to go. He won't grind you into paste like a certain angry person did on my first BP trip.

    if you make it through the first day/night you'll be good. And if you don't, you won't be so remote that it'll be a problem.

    your biggest problem is you'll love it so much you'll need to go drop a bunch of coin on gear.

    do it!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtownmtb View Post
    He won't grind you into paste like a certain angry person did on my first BP trip.
    I probably should have recommended you bring more Vagicil for your mangina.

  17. #17
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    With the 24HitOP going down this weekend, that means the Queen's Ransom is also coming up quick. So far, it looks like 7 people have committed. (That's not counting JoeP, c'mon man!!)

    I should have mentioned this in the original post, but it slipped my mind. We'll be spending the first night on State Trust Land, so anyone coming out should really have a AZ State Trust Recreation permit. They are $15 for an individual for a year. They only do snail mail, but have a really quick turnaround. See link below.

    AZ State Trust Rec. permit
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  18. #18
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    I am in pending leave approval at work. Leaving for the 24 HOP today and hopefully recovered by then I may be the slow solo navigator you mentioned though. I do really want to see the PP section eastward.

    (George from CG)

  19. #19
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    Wish I could but I am firmly dedicated to chasing powder turns this year....really miss the desert but I've seen enough of the gila for a while.....it still calls to me though....




  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeskier46 View Post
    With the 24HitOP going down this weekend, that means the Queen's Ransom is also coming up quick. So far, it looks like 7 people have committed. (That's not counting JoeP, c'mon man!!)
    I am out. I have been on fence on this in the first place now I will have my daughter that weekend. Yep plans changed. Next time hopefully
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  21. #21
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    Count me in
    . Later, mike
    . www.geekonabike.webs.com

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maadjurguer View Post
    Wish I could but I am firmly dedicated to chasing powder turns this year....really miss the desert but I've seen enough of the gila for a while.....it still calls to me though....
    Sad to see a drug addiction get in the way of a good ride. I hope you can find help soon.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo View Post
    Sad to see a drug addiction get in the way of a good ride. I hope you can find help soon.
    I really don't see a way out of it....the white dragon has me in it's talons and won't let go....
    OPEN INVITE: Queen's Ransom Bikepacking Loop - Feb. 26-29-2.jpg
    Last edited by Maadjurguer; 02-11-2016 at 09:27 AM.




  24. #24
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    John,
    Would a lands permit get to me before the trip?

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  25. #25
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    I ordered one and it took about a week. Do it ASAP and just in case bring a copy to show you at least sent away. Chances are you will not be bothered, but it is a good just in case.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanallan View Post
    John,
    Would a lands permit get to me before the trip?

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    Yeah, it should. Drop it in the mail today if possible since it's also a holiday weekend. They typically turn it around the same day it's received or the next. It's just USPS time. Just make sure you fill out all the required info...like signing it!! I forgot to do that and I still had a quick turnaround with a second mailing. Gah!
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maadjurguer View Post
    I really don't see a way out of it....the white dragon has me in it's talons and won't let go....
    Not a bad place to be at all!! Looks wonderful.
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  28. #28
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    O.K. I'm in unless a business disaster occurs between now and then......

  29. #29
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    Hello, I have this weekend off and would love to do this. Count me in.

  30. #30
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    I'm in.

  31. #31
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    ATTN: QR Riders!! I managed to score us a sweet location for night 1: Don's Camp at the base of the towering cliffs of the Superstitions just south of the Peralta TH. The club that manages the site, The Dons of Arizona, ask that we make a donation to the club for using the facility. So, please bring $5.

    Check it out on Google maps: Satellite View

    As long as we don't spend too much time at De La Cruz, we should make it there before sunset. That would be rad.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeskier46 View Post
    That would be rad.
    I would call it wishful thinking

    Wish I could make it, maybe next year!

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    I would call it wishful thinking

    Wish I could make it, maybe next year!
    Ha! Perhaps, but I did cut out the slower, gnarly side of Pass Mtn this year. I also think we may end up splitting into groups, especially the first day. I made it over to De La Cruz this past November by 3:30p, riding almost the exact route. Granted, I was solo & didn't have my bikepacking gear, but it can be done.

    Too bad you can't make it, we have a solid group this year.
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  34. #34
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    I'm in! And bringing a spare derailleur hanger!

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvmorten View Post
    I'm in! And bringing a spare derailleur hanger!
    Nice!! A shot at redemption I see.
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  36. #36
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    ATTN QR riders: I updated the track tonight, mostly the waypoints for the camping locations. I also tweaked the route through Gold Canyon since we'll be at Don's Camp for night 1. Please download the latest version here; QR_FINAL I also updated the map there too.
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  37. #37
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    Gah!! My apologies, but I was just informed that the track I have posted is well over 10000 data points!! This will affect the way it displays on most, if not all, GPS units. The track will truncate after 10000 points. I'll get a simplified track uploaded to the link above tonight.

    In the meantime, if you have Topofusion, using the hand tool, right-click on the track and select 'simplify/split/spline track'. In the window that pops up, enter 10000. Then save the track. Upload to the GPS.

    I must have forgot to do this step during the last round of edits. Thanks Jeffro for the heads up.
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  38. #38
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    Simplified track is uploaded here:

    Queen's Ransom
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  39. #39
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    It probably goes without saying, but bring lights. Past rides have had about 1-2 hours of night riding per day. I'd like to have less, but things happen....
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  40. #40
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    Out.

    Have a great ride!

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