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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! WARNING! Don't try to pre-ride the Whiskey 50 by yourself



    I'm sitting here in Prescott, really pissed. I work a lot of weekends, so I can't get up here from Tucson for one of the Whiskey pre-rides. I manage to get today and tomorrow free, so I drive up here early this AM.

    Never been here before, so I print off the course directions and maps from the Epic Rides website. I've been racing for 15 years and this looks really straightforward. I park at the Safeway at Hwy 89 and Copper Basin Rd and off I go. Lots of great singletrack and the climb up from Skull Valley is impressive. Then 4 miles from Prescott I am lost. NONE of the road/trail numbers match up. The forest is torn to shreds. I circle around for a F****** hour, and finally just pick up my bike and bushwack through the woods to a subdivision just a 1/8 mile off the where ever I was. Easy ride home on pave with my new shorts torn in 6 places from thorns.

    Life's a s***, but I have just ONE question: JUST 4 WEEKS BEFORE THEIR HEADLINE EVENT, CAN'T EPIC RIDES PUT UP AN ACCURATE COURSE DESCRIPTION ON THEIR WEBSITE?? CAN'T THEY AT LEAST MENTION THE LAST 4 MILES IS ONLY NAVIGABLE BY LOCALS. WHAT IS THEIR PROBLEM?

  2. #2
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    Hmmm, bummer to hear about your pain. Ya, it helps alot if you have a local show ya. I'm guessing you got lost at garden grove were they are doing the thining project? I'm sure Shu and PMBA will get a trail crew together soon to tidy things up. Don't know what else to tell ya. Maybe next time post up a ride and maybe a local will join ya?
    Are local crew met up at the square and some out of towners who were there looked confused. So, we offered them to tag along, and they did and had fun.
    Bummer.
    SHITBIRD

  3. #3
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    I love the courses feature of the Garmin Edge units for this sort of thing, it's far better at telling me to follow a course than I am at 'long hand' map navigation.

    Sorry it didn't work out with the trail names, sucks the big one, but hey, at least the first 43 miles were fun right? (Whiskey 50 is 47 miles.)
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  4. #4
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    Can't agree with you more. Did the 25 and got lost as well in the way back. The funny thing is out of probably 15 other riders I bumped into, none knew the rode as well. At a ~$100 a pop you would think that with 4 weeks remaining they can put some signs, better yet simple reflector sings (yellow 25, red 50 at any intersections) so we direction challenged people can find our way back.

  5. #5
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    This is old news. We tried this probably 8 years ago and had the same results. Printed off the description, wandered all around prescott, met some nice people, but had no idea if we ever even rode the course. Left such a bad taste in our mouth that we bailed on doing the event and have never returned to it to this day.

    I agree that the directions, maps could be a hundred times better.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Climbing Dog

    . Lots of great singletrack and the climb up from Skull Valley is impressive.
    I am looking for info about the climbing. Is it technical, is it fire road, is it single track, steep.. etc? I can grind out long gradual climbs but steep technical stuff gets me blowing. I guess my anaerobic sucks!
    Cholla Magnet

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rzar
    I am looking for info about the climbing. Is it technical, is it fire road, is it single track, steep.. etc? I can grind out long gradual climbs but steep technical stuff gets me blowing. I guess my anaerobic sucks!

    All of the above....

    Some climbs up and over steep water bars on trail 48 that will lots of folks off their bikes walking.

    Most of the climbing, however, is up steep fire roads....

    Great example:

    from Mark Challoner on Vimeo.


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiskersOfDeath
    All of the above....

    Some climbs up and over steep water bars on trail 48 that will lots of folks off their bikes walking.

    Most of the climbing, however, is up steep fire roads....
    Thanks! I can handle steep fire roads and I was already planning on walking Trail 48.

    Happy trails!
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  9. #9
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    Mark's video is so great. I think of Fuzzy blasting up that climb every time I'm on it.

    Sorry about the course being hard to find. There are several places that can be confusing, particularly the closer you get to Thumb Butte.

  10. #10
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    Last year Tinker got lost at the finish and I believe it cost him the win.

  11. #11
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    hard tail or 4" bike? (Will be my 1st time)

  12. #12
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    +1 on the garmin, it has been one of the best investments for the bike, just down load the gpx file and go, no need to worry about maps.
    "Powder River, Let 'er Buck"

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kdimon
    +1 on the garmin, it has been one of the best investments for the bike, just down load the gpx file and go, no need to worry about maps.

    Isn't that a little depressing that you need to have a expensive computer on your bike that communicates with a satellite just to find a course that could be found had they provided a better map or directions or both?

    Seems like a steep price to pay once you factor in the entry fee, accommodations, etc. I am not saying it is a bad idea, just unfair.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velokid1
    Mark's video is so great. I think of Fuzzy blasting up that climb every time I'm on it.

    Sorry about the course being hard to find. There are several places that can be confusing, particularly the closer you get to Thumb Butte.
    Think I should have watched that video before I registered!

  15. #15
    RNC
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    What are some good trails to prep for the long fireroad grind? I have seen some past references to Four Peaks. Any other recommendations for some training rides that are relatively close to the Valley and might approximate some of the climbing?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Climbing Dog


    I'm sitting here in Prescott, really pissed. I work a lot of weekends, so I can't get up here from Tucson for one of the Whiskey pre-rides. I manage to get today and tomorrow free, so I drive up here early this AM.

    Never been here before, so I print off the course directions and maps from the Epic Rides website. I've been racing for 15 years and this looks really straightforward. I park at the Safeway at Hwy 89 and Copper Basin Rd and off I go. Lots of great singletrack and the climb up from Skull Valley is impressive. Then 4 miles from Prescott I am lost. NONE of the road/trail numbers match up. The forest is torn to shreds. I circle around for a F****** hour, and finally just pick up my bike and bushwack through the woods to a subdivision just a 1/8 mile off the where ever I was. Easy ride home on pave with my new shorts torn in 6 places from thorns.

    Life's a s***, but I have just ONE question: JUST 4 WEEKS BEFORE THEIR HEADLINE EVENT, CAN'T EPIC RIDES PUT UP AN ACCURATE COURSE DESCRIPTION ON THEIR WEBSITE?? CAN'T THEY AT LEAST MENTION THE LAST 4 MILES IS ONLY NAVIGABLE BY LOCALS. WHAT IS THEIR PROBLEM?
    Y'all are starting to sound like a bunch of women. I bet you also stop at circle K to ask for directions when you get lost driving!!!!

    It's not "getting lost" it's "on an adventure."

    (Disclaimer: please don't take my response seriously.)
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  17. #17
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    This is a bit of topic but is there a good site for Arizona gpx files for mountain bike rides?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Climbing Dog


    I'm sitting here in Prescott, really pissed. I work a lot of weekends, so I can't get up here from Tucson for one of the Whiskey pre-rides. I manage to get today and tomorrow free, so I drive up here early this AM.

    Never been here before, so I print off the course directions and maps from the Epic Rides website. I've been racing for 15 years and this looks really straightforward. I park at the Safeway at Hwy 89 and Copper Basin Rd and off I go. Lots of great singletrack and the climb up from Skull Valley is impressive. Then 4 miles from Prescott I am lost. NONE of the road/trail numbers match up. The forest is torn to shreds. I circle around for a F****** hour, and finally just pick up my bike and bushwack through the woods to a subdivision just a 1/8 mile off the where ever I was. Easy ride home on pave with my new shorts torn in 6 places from thorns.

    Life's a s***, but I have just ONE question: JUST 4 WEEKS BEFORE THEIR HEADLINE EVENT, CAN'T EPIC RIDES PUT UP AN ACCURATE COURSE DESCRIPTION ON THEIR WEBSITE?? CAN'T THEY AT LEAST MENTION THE LAST 4 MILES IS ONLY NAVIGABLE BY LOCALS. WHAT IS THEIR PROBLEM?
    Welcome to the World of Epic Rides. I would guess less than 4 weeks out from the Whiskey, Todd is still busy counting the money from 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo.You do the math. Everyone has a choice on which races they participate in.
    Last edited by elrancho66; 04-06-2011 at 02:19 PM.

  19. #19
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    Ha - good one Skinny Tire! I knew you'd start to see things my way

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RNC
    What are some good trails to prep for the long fireroad grind? I have seen some past references to Four Peaks. Any other recommendations for some training rides that are relatively close to the Valley and might approximate some of the climbing?

    I don't know about close to the Valley, but I have been summiting Mt. Lemmon on my road bike every other weekend to get the legs and also riding Bugs Springs on my mtb.
    Cholla Magnet

  21. #21
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    This will probably be my last Whiskey unless EpicProfits gets it's entry fees back into the realm of reality.

    Bigworm, TInker came through so fast that none of the cops were at the corners to guide the racers through yet and he didn't know his way back to the start finish area. He said he would be back this year. Something tells me that mistake won't happen again.
    Racing is life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by clarkrw3
    This is a bit of topic but is there a good site for Arizona gpx files for mountain bike rides?
    www.TrailFu.com
    www.connect.garmin.com
    www.EveryTrail.com
    www.mtbikeaz.com
    http://app.strava.com/rides/search
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  23. #23
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    Great video, one of my favorite songs and so fitting. Funny, when I was younger I used to love the burn and the pain from long grueling climbs, now its just burn and pain.
    Flyin the TallBoy and the Lynskey...Clyde style.


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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Climbing Dog
    Life's a s***,
    Buy yourself a GPS and stop paying for races. You will be surprised where that little piece of expensive equipment will take you.

  25. #25
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    I actually had to use the Garmin 305 for navigation for the first time, and I was in doubt a few times, but kept followiing the route it was taking me on. That's not the way I like to ride, but had no better choice. My sense of direction around Prescott, and those trails sucks. I met one guy totally lost and he followed me all the way to a confusing junction past a shredded area. We could see a green water tank and granite basin area to the north. After reviewing the track, we were very close to the skull valley turnoff, but bailed down a trail to the east, since we were running a little short on time and daylight....note to self AGAIN, always take light for late start rides in unfamiliar area.DOH

    Yeah, those maps are not accurately marked! I saw so many tr signs and none of them matched with the map....WTF? I love an adventure, but the purpose here was to actually preride the course, not waste so much time looking at maps, wondering around half lost.
    Hope they mark this course good come race weekend.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by azepicriderandrunner
    Buy yourself a GPS and stop paying for races. You will be surprised where that little piece of expensive equipment will take you.

    Good point but it's not that simple. You also have to learn how to use it and the programs that go with it. That said GPS navigation can open up a lot of terrain if that's what you are into.

    But I don't think that's the issue here. Seems like some people just want to ride and don't really care to see new places or have an adventure. Like the guy who called the shop I used to work at looking for a ride with all ST and no junctions, I just want to ride and get some training in I don't want to have to stop and think or try to figure out where I am. Nothing wrong with that if that's what you want out of a ride.

    No doubt that the local trail volunteers will get the trails back in shape in time for the race, and Epic will fork over some dough to get someone to put up all of their signage just before the race. No need to have a GPS during the race but I wouldn't bother picking up the worthless maps they give out. In reality a GPS is worth the money the Etrex Legend can be had for under $200. Considering that one tire cost about $50 these days that's nothing to pay for something that will last for several years.
    Singin' I love hike a bike!!!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZTtripper
    Good point but it's not that simple. You also have to learn how to use it and the programs that go with it. That said GPS navigation can open up a lot of terrain if that's what you are into.

    But I don't think that's the issue here. Seems like some people just want to ride and don't really care to see new places or have an adventure. Like the guy who called the shop I used to work at looking for a ride with all ST and no junctions, I just want to ride and get some training in I don't want to have to stop and think or try to figure out where I am. Nothing wrong with that if that's what you want out of a ride.

    No doubt that the local trail volunteers will get the trails back in shape in time for the race, and Epic will fork over some dough to get someone to put up all of their signage just before the race. No need to have a GPS during the race but I wouldn't bother picking up the worthless maps they give out. In reality a GPS is worth the money the Etrex Legend can be had for under $200. Considering that one tire cost about $50 these days that's nothing to pay for something that will last for several years.

    I've done so many amazing rides using someone else's track. Without a GPS I would never have attempted some of them and would have assuredly gotten very lost.

    They are a bit of cash, but small in relation to what we spend on bike "stuff". Their value in opening up new rides and keeping you from getting lost is pretty difficult to put a price on. Think of how much happier the OP would have been if he were following a track on his GPS rather than a map.

  28. #28
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    Yep, even without a track having the GPS with base maps can really help out there. Also having the GPS helps when you do have a paper map in terms of being able to figure out where you are on the map.
    Singin' I love hike a bike!!!

  29. #29
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by clarkrw3
    thanks

    once you have the gpx........TopoFusion even I can use it.
    b

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianc
    once you have the gpx........TopoFusion even I can use it.
    If you're on a Mac, Rubitrack.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyharris
    If you're on a Mac, Rubitrack.

    na, I just have parallels and run it in Windows of that program and others. The added bonus is to support a fellow MTBR AZ board contributor as well.
    b

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianc
    na, I just have parallels and run it in Windows of that program and others. The added bonus is to support a fellow MTBR AZ board contributor as well.
    Scott's a great guy and I recommend TF to my Windows friends, but Rubitrack is also a great app and I far prefer running a native app on my Mac that firing up Windows inside of VMware. Each to their own.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  34. #34
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    Why should they change anything if people sign up no matter what?

    Also, why are you people complaining here, when Epic has, I don't know...um, a web site and contact information.

    Agree, if one needs a gps unit (more tech on a bike) for a pre-ride, then clearly the promoters really don't give a ***** about the people that want to RACE it.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiskersOfDeath
    All of the above....

    Some climbs up and over steep water bars on trail 48 that will lots of folks off their bikes walking.

    Most of the climbing, however, is up steep fire roads....

    Great example:

    from Mark Challoner on Vimeo.

    Well Done Sir

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZspeeding
    Agree, if one needs a gps unit (more tech on a bike) for a pre-ride, then clearly the promoters really don't give a ***** about the people that want to RACE it.
    LOL, obvious you've never done an Epic Rides event.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZspeeding
    Agree, if one needs a gps unit (more tech on a bike) for a pre-ride, then clearly the promoters really don't give a ***** about the people that want to RACE it.

    Really??? why is the the fault of the PROMOTER? Maybe I miss something, as I'm not a racer, although I've done a bit of it.

    1st, it's a course on a collection of trails and roads not a purpose built super highway for riding, like the "comp loops" around town.

    2nd, the route does not change enough to actually matter, all the places that one can gain time on competitors have not mysteriously been moved to a new location. (Skull Valley road section). look at a map and go ride them.

    3rd. Pro Racers almost never pre-ride a race course. they just show up and point the rocket in the direction the route takes them. They have enough knowledge to play their tactics to their strengths. When you hit a big a$$ climb....put the hammer down.
    b

  38. #38
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    For what it's worth, I've ridden the course a few times and I still would take my GPS out there...there are just too many turns that are easy to miss. During the race, it's well marked and no thinking involved....which is good for me.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtownmtb
    I've done so many amazing rides using someone else's track. Without a GPS I would never have attempted some of them and would have assuredly gotten very lost.

    They are a bit of cash, but small in relation to what we spend on bike "stuff". Their value in opening up new rides and keeping you from getting lost is pretty difficult to put a price on. Think of how much happier the OP would have been if he were following a track on his GPS rather than a map.
    Races aside, think of where that little unit has taken us...that is the key. I could care less about a race.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by azepicriderandrunner
    Buy yourself a GPS and stop paying for races. You will be surprised where that little piece of expensive equipment will take you.
    Ditto... Skip two races, and you can buy the most basic of GPS units like a Garmin Edge 305, go to Garmin Connect or GeoLadders, get free downloads of what ever anyone else has ridden.

    Here is last years Whiskey 50.

    http://www.geoladders.com/show_route.php?route=34903

    Load it on to your GPS, and you've got all you need. A true Guidance system.

  41. #41
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    In the end....I thought mountain biking.....at least when I got into it....was about being self sufficient and taking care of yourself or the friends in your party.

    Being spoon-fed directions, having support, or help from any others outside of your party is a form of masturbation.....that being said....the first time I went bikepacking, I had someone spoonfeed me....and it messed my mind up on the ride, and yet I'm grateful for the lesson and the kindly introduction to the adventure. That's because I never mentally prepared myself against my pre-conceived notions and expectations of what I was to face........

    Take this with a grain of salt.....I think sleeping with a insulated pad while on the ground is for folks who can't recite the first 30 minutes of 'Jeremiah Johnson' verbatim........and by that, I mean to say......if you can't live without comfort...then perhaps this ain't for you.

    If you come to race......cool.....but if you come to race, then you should know that mental prep is as important as your physical prep. And part of mental prep is visualizing the course, before you ride it, and visualizing how you will ride it. Any tool you have to give you a heads up.....either memorizing every turn or getting a primer off of a GPS is up to you......

    I really found this thread silly.....but did not speak up because there are lots of different folks with different strokes in this community. But in the end....I feel less silly when I say....if you're going to ride 50 plus miles....you better damn well know where the phuck you're going....and if you don't.....you're unprepared.

    This is an epic ride (of sorts)....it's not a crit.....learn to feed yourself...........




  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maadjurguer
    .....learn to feed yourself...........
    Wait.... I thought the Whiskey had support?

    We have to feed ourselves as well as pedal?
    Just keep pedaling...

    visit the sticki chronicles

  43. #43
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    Wow nice one Maad, way to not pull any punches, don't sugar coat anything, call um as you see um.

    I guess I spend to much time at http://www.mountainproject.com/ where rule number one is don't be a jerk. Then again prodding someone to aspire to be more self sufficient may or may not be.

    My impression from working for Epic Rides is that there are two groups of people doing the events. Those who are really serious racers and those who do the race because it's the only way they could ever ride 15, 25, 50 miles.

    Clearly the winners aren't spending much time at the aid stations if they stop at all. But for a lot of people it's the aid stations and the course markings that make it possible. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I would even bet that it's the majority of people who show up and that's what they are paying for.
    Singin' I love hike a bike!!!

  44. #44
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    Sorry to hear that you got lost. I mark the course the week before the race, and it will be easy to follow once it is marked. If I mark it too far in advance the markers seem to dissappear and I have to do it all over again. Todd's directions on the web are accurate, and will get you through the course. The Prescott National Forest has had a contractor out there doing fuels and fire work for the past few months and this has obscured some of the trail junctions. They may have also knocked over a few of the signs. I will check on this today. I can assure you that barring removal of my markings, you will not get lost on race day unless you are hypoxic and are not able to see the flagging. Again, my apologies for you getting lost. I will work with the forest service to get the signage back where it belongs.
    Shu

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZTtripper
    Wow nice one Maad, way to not pull any punches, don't sugar coat anything, call um as you see um.

    I guess I spend to much time at http://www.mountainproject.com/ where rule number one is don't be a jerk. Then again prodding someone to aspire to be more self sufficient may or may not be.

    My impression from working for Epic Rides is that there are two groups of people doing the events. Those who are really serious racers and those who do the race because it's the only way they could ever ride 15, 25, 50 miles.

    Clearly the winners aren't spending much time at the aid stations if they stop at all. But for a lot of people it's the aid stations and the course markings that make it possible. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I would even bet that it's the majority of people who show up and that's what they are paying for.
    Agreed. I don't get the "why pay $100 to ride your bike" folks. If somebody is willing to shell over their hard earn cash, why criticize them?
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinny-tire
    Agreed. I don't get the "why pay $100 to ride your bike" folks. If somebody is willing to shell over their hard earn cash, why criticize them?
    I agree with this. Just cause you don't like something does not mean it is the way it should be. I shelled out for the entrance fee. Just being part of the event sounds fun. They provide support, marked trails, the start, the finish, the finish pint glass and an entire weekend centered on mountain biking. Also part of the entrance fee is a donation. Everyone has to do their own judgment on value, and I deem this worth my cash.

    You should also not be pissed at Epic for not marking the trail a MONTH OUT! You are not paying to pre ride, you are paying for day of race.
    Cholla Magnet

  47. #47
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    Am I missing where there was ever even an official pre-ride scheduled? All I ever found was a suggested weekend people could pre-ride area where they would be more likely to see other riders out there. I have never had any problem reading the map they provided. Finding it hard to believe Epic would be responsible for anyone getting lost on trails just because they hold a race in that area a month down the road. Should they start marking the course for the White Mountains now so that people that obliviously have no business in the woods alone don't go and get themselves lost?

  48. #48
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    Entertaining thread.

    The Whiskey has always been an awesome event. With the added Pro Fat Tire Crit on Fri and the Pro race on Sun this year, it will be even better.

    - Pro racers ALWAYS pre-ride a course whenever possible.
    - The Epic Ride maps are accurate and clear. But, you can miss a turn and get lost easily in that area. Come race day, the course is very well marked and you have to TRY to get lost.
    - I agree, GPS is your friend when riding unfamiliar areas. My 305 has saved my butt many o times.
    - Promoters will charge whatever the market will bear.
    - There are several well stocked aid stations on the course. You hit 2 of them in the 25 mile event and 4 in the 50 mile event.

    Looking forward to seeing everyone up there!

    Here is another great video from last year's event. That is yours truly in the thumbnail...

    from Epic Rides, Inc. on Vimeo.

    Marty

  49. #49
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    So from what it sounds like it is pretty well marked on race day? I have never ridden in the area and am probably going to do the race. I would hate to have a GPS on my handlebars....I gather I should be OK

  50. #50
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    Donation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rzar
    I agree with this. Just cause you don't like something does not mean it is the way it should be. I shelled out for the entrance fee. Just being part of the event sounds fun. They provide support, marked trails, the start, the finish, the finish pint glass and an entire weekend centered on mountain biking. Also part of the entrance fee is a donation. Everyone has to do their own judgment on value, and I deem this worth my cash.

    You should also not be pissed at Epic for not marking the trail a MONTH OUT! You are not paying to pre ride, you are paying for day of race.
    The "donation" for the Epic events is above and beyond the race fees and registration/processing fees (where applicable). IMO this is hardly a donation, more like extortion.If you want to race, pay the "donation". $10 extra for the Whiskey, $5 for the Pueblo this past year IIRC. The "donation" raises a bunch of money for good causes but doesn't take the money out of Epic's/Todd's pocket.Very few promoters are making a comfy living putting on races these days and more power to them if they can.......as I stated in past posts, it's your choice to pick the events you want to participate in. If you don't like the fees, course, promoter, categories or ??, don't do the event! Very few races/rides interest me these days so I participate in just a couple. The AES rides and New Mexico endurance events do appeal to me so I have jumped in on a couple,,,,,,,,ditto for the Crazy 88 race.I think the Barnburner 100 is silly, you won't see me there even though it's in my backyard.. But 100's of riders had a great time the past 2 years,,,,,,,,getting folks out on bikes challenging themselves is a positive thing.........it's all good
    Last edited by elrancho66; 04-07-2011 at 01:51 PM.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptfmb71
    So from what it sounds like it is pretty well marked on race day? I have never ridden in the area and am probably going to do the race. I would hate to have a GPS on my handlebars....I gather I should be OK
    It was very well marked last year and didn't need a GPS.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher
    Isn't that a little depressing that you need to have a expensive computer on your bike that communicates with a satellite just to find a course that could be found had they provided a better map or directions or both?

    Seems like a steep price to pay once you factor in the entry fee, accommodations, etc. I am not saying it is a bad idea, just unfair.
    Why is that? How many people now own smart phones with data plans that also do GPS with the proper apps? I think I paid $175 for my Garmin Edge 305, and it's been a constant companion on almost every ride I take. It's all relative to what priorities in life are important to you.

  53. #53
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    Besides the out and back to Skull Valley the race is held in a small forested section that is ringed by a well traveled fireroads. For the most part you can see the communication towers on Mt Francis, Granite Mountain, Spruce Mountain, or Thumb Butte, or the high grasslands heading to Flagstaff to keep your bearings. Yes maybe you might get off track and get on one of the many roads out there if you know what direction you want to head it is hard to "get lost". If you have trouble navigating that section you must not spend much time exploring on mountain bikes.

    Dean

  54. #54
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    I don't think anybody is having issues on the Skull Valley section. And no you won't need a GPS during the race. I think the reason the OP got lost is that there is thinning work going on and some of the course has gotten covered up. No doubt Shu and the other locals who do an enormous amount of trail work up there will have things cleared out by race day. As for the OP getting lost I don't know him or what his back country skills set might be. Would a GPS have helped him possibly but then again if the trails are covered with trees following the track may not have been an option. Of course a GPS might have then helped him navigate a better way around. As was pointed out by one of the locals in the other thread on trails being wiped out by thinning it's better the the alternative of letting the trees die from disease.
    Singin' I love hike a bike!!!

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigworm520
    It was very well marked last year and didn't need a GPS.
    Unless you are in the lead, and your name is Tinker Juarez.

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