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  1. #1
    Scott in Tucson
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    Arizona Trail 300 - April 14th, 2006

    Hi all,

    I'm putting on a brand new race, the Arizona Trail 300, this spring. It follows suit with the Kokopelli, Grand Loop and Great Divide Races. No entry fee, no prizes, no support and plenty of awesome backcountry mountain biking.

    This is a point to point ~300 mile time trial on the Arizona Trail (AZT). The start is near the Mexican Border and the finish is Superior, AZ. In between there is everything from 9000 foot alpine riding to low Sonoran desert singletrack. There will be significant stretches of hike-a-bike. I really can’t stress this enough. If you can’t stand to push your bike, you need to look elsewhere.

    I have not done the Grand Loop Race, but my hunch is that they are at least comparable and given the high percentage of singletrack, the AZT 300 is perhaps harder/slower. Ask me in late June and I should have a firm answer. Without a doubt, AZT 300 will be a good early season shakedown for Kokopelli and GLR.

    My guess is that it can be done in 3 days, but it might take as many as 5. There's only one way to find out and that's to head on out to Tucson this spring and give it a try. The start is April 14th, 2006 at 9am. We'll have a shuttle available from Tucson to the start line (roughly 1.5 hours away).

    The website has more info, a route description and some pics:

    http://www.topofusion.com/azt/race.php

    Sorry about the late notice on the date. Some of us can’t think beyond calendar year boundaries.

    Feel free to ask questions here in this forum, so others can learn too.

    Thanks.

    Scott Morris
    smorris@topofusion.com

  2. #2
    TEAM TOPEAK - ERGON
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    Cool!

    This event sounds/looks very cool!
    Anyone else have this crazy idea....
    2007 Enduro Triple Crown: Arizon Trail 300, Trans-Iowa, Flint-Hills 200
    All 3 races with in a 2 month span.
    That would show who has the biggest cajones on the bike

  3. #3
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    Scott,

    I'll be there.


    Rudi





    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Hi all,

    I'm putting on a brand new race, the Arizona Trail 300, this spring. It follows suit with the Kokopelli, Grand Loop and Great Divide Races. No entry fee, no prizes, no support and plenty of awesome backcountry mountain biking.

    This is a point to point ~300 mile time trial on the Arizona Trail (AZT). The start is near the Mexican Border and the finish is Superior, AZ. In between there is everything from 9000 foot alpine riding to low Sonoran desert singletrack. There will be significant stretches of hike-a-bike. I really can’t stress this enough. If you can’t stand to push your bike, you need to look elsewhere.

    I have not done the Grand Loop Race, but my hunch is that they are at least comparable and given the high percentage of singletrack, the AZT 300 is perhaps harder/slower. Ask me in late June and I should have a firm answer. Without a doubt, AZT 300 will be a good early season shakedown for Kokopelli and GLR.

    My guess is that it can be done in 3 days, but it might take as many as 5. There's only one way to find out and that's to head on out to Tucson this spring and give it a try. The start is April 14th, 2006 at 9am. We'll have a shuttle available from Tucson to the start line (roughly 1.5 hours away).

    The website has more info, a route description and some pics:

    http://www.topofusion.com/azt/race.php

    Sorry about the late notice on the date. Some of us can’t think beyond calendar year boundaries.

    Feel free to ask questions here in this forum, so others can learn too.

    Thanks.

    Scott Morris
    smorris@topofusion.com
    www.sock23.com

  4. #4
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    Sounds Great!!

    I wish it wasn't so close to TransIowa. I will really look forward to hearing how it goes.

  5. #5
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    Hmmm...

    Quote Originally Posted by Endurosnob
    I wish it wasn't so close to TransIowa. I will really look forward to hearing how it goes.
    Let me see, which sounds like more fun -- single track through the Sonoran Desert in April or gravel roads through Iowa farmlands in April? That's a tough one...
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  6. #6
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    Apples and Oranges

    Each sounds like fun in their own way.

    Besides, fun is what you make of it. If apples are your gig, great. I will go with the sampler platter and be happier for it, even if that means considering the AZT in 2007. There are too few races like this out there to start bagging on any of them.

    I'd rather sit down with a Guinness next year and talk about having finished them both.

  7. #7
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by Endurosnob
    Each sounds like fun in their own way.

    Besides, fun is what you make of it. If apples are your gig, great. I will go with the sampler platter and be happier for it, even if that means considering the AZT in 2007. There are too few races like this out there to start bagging on any of them.

    I'd rather sit down with a Guinness next year and talk about having finished them both.
    I think PeT's comment was in jest, but you're right that the two races are very different. And they each have their place. Personally I like long dirt road races, but I also like to ride challenging singletrack all day.

    As for doing both -- you've got a whole two weeks to recover! You can recover from anything in 2 weeks. (Thinks back to GDR... nevermind).

    We can try to space them better in '07. The weekend of April 14th has the most usuable moonlight, which I think will come in handy following 1-track in the dark. Otherwise I would have put it earlier in April.

  8. #8
    your ankles are fat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Endurosnob
    Each sounds like fun in their own way.

    Besides, fun is what you make of it. If apples are your gig, great. I will go with the sampler platter and be happier for it, even if that means considering the AZT in 2007. There are too few races like this out there to start bagging on any of them.

    I'd rather sit down with a Guinness next year and talk about having finished them both.

    Damn right.

  9. #9
    Scott in Tucson
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    GPS up

    I posted a detailed GPS file of the AZT 300 route. It's at:

    http://www.topofusion.com/azt/race-route.php

    Current estimated stats:

    318.25 miles
    45,577 feet of climbing
    48,860 feet of descending

  10. #10
    Bill M
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    -40 to +100

    Scott,
    Sounds like a great race and the timing is perfect for us. If we finish our Alaska Ultra Sport race to Nome early enough to get some time in the sauna so we can handle the transition from -40 to +100 Kathi M and I would love to give it a shot. If you find yourself bored in February we still have a few spots left at the starting line here in Alaska. Any tips on creating a refrigerated helmet.
    Bill M

  11. #11
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    I did about a third of this route 8-9 years ago- great idea, people have no idea how sweet this trail is.
    How frequent will the water/aide stations be?
    Mike

  12. #12
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill M
    Scott,
    Sounds like a great race and the timing is perfect for us. If we finish our Alaska Ultra Sport race to Nome early enough to get some time in the sauna so we can handle the transition from -40 to +100 Kathi M and I would love to give it a shot. If you find yourself bored in February we still have a few spots left at the starting line here in Alaska. Any tips on creating a refrigerated helmet.
    Bill M
    Hi Bill,

    I will likely end up at your start line sooner or later. This year I didn't start early enough on gear prep and I'd sure need it coming the other direction (+100 to -40).

    I'd love to meet you two for the AZT race. I can't guarantee 100 degs, but it sure is possible down by the Gila River (low point of the course). It'll thaw you out.

    Scott

  13. #13
    Scott in Tucson
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    Aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown
    I did about a third of this route 8-9 years ago- great idea, people have no idea how sweet this trail is.
    How frequent will the water/aide stations be?
    Mike
    There is definitely some sweet, sweet stuff in there.

    Zero water, aid or drop stations. It's a self-supported event. There are quite a few opportunities to resupply on water and food along the route--(towns, shops, creeks, etc). I will have a complete list for racers reference and planning.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    There is definitely some sweet, sweet stuff in there.

    Zero water, aid or drop stations. It's a self-supported event. There are quite a few opportunities to resupply on water and food along the route--(towns, shops, creeks, etc). I will have a complete list for racers reference and planning.

    I see. Very challenging, indeed. Thanks, Mike

  15. #15
    Bill M
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    Gps

    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Hi Bill,

    I will likely end up at your start line sooner or later. This year I didn't start early enough on gear prep and I'd sure need it coming the other direction (+100 to -40).

    I'd love to meet you two for the AZT race. I can't guarantee 100 degs, but it sure is possible down by the Gila River (low point of the course). It'll thaw you out.

    Scott
    Hey Scott,
    I have spent my life avoiding technology for navigation but I wonder if maybe I should get a GPS and learn how to use it for the AZT. Kathi and I only made one 5 mile mistake this fall on the GDR (because I was at home in WYO and thought I knew where the turn was and didn't consult the map) but I wonder if the AZT map or trail notes would be so precise. If you think it is necessary I could get one to practice with during our race to Nome where I already know the trail.
    Bill M

  16. #16
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill M
    Hey Scott,
    I have spent my life avoiding technology for navigation but I wonder if maybe I should get a GPS and learn how to use it for the AZT. Kathi and I only made one 5 mile mistake this fall on the GDR (because I was at home in WYO and thought I knew where the turn was and didn't consult the map) but I wonder if the AZT map or trail notes would be so precise. If you think it is necessary I could get one to practice with during our race to Nome where I already know the trail.
    Bill M
    Avoiding technology definitely has its merits.

    For the AZT, if you learn some basic GPS skills it will be a huge asset in following the trail. The signage on the trail itself is usually pretty good, but we have to detour for wilderness areas and incomplete sections, and then it's just general navigation -- following the cues that I'm making and/or the GPS data.

    In the first ~40 miles of the race there are quite a few illegal immigrant trails that get 100x the traffic the AZT gets. Common trail sense would put you on the most traveled path, but common trail sense would be wrong.

    That said, the cues and signage should be enough, but on a GPS you'd quickly see if you start going astray...

    Did you two ride the whole GDMBR in the fall?

  17. #17
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    This event sound greats. It is officially next year's goal.
    Mike

  18. #18
    Bill M
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Avoiding technology definitely has its merits.

    For the AZT, if you learn some basic GPS skills it will be a huge asset in following the trail. The signage on the trail itself is usually pretty good, but we have to detour for wilderness areas and incomplete sections, and then it's just general navigation -- following the cues that I'm making and/or the GPS data.

    In the first ~40 miles of the race there are quite a few illegal immigrant trails that get 100x the traffic the AZT gets. Common trail sense would put you on the most traveled path, but common trail sense would be wrong.

    That said, the cues and signage should be enough, but on a GPS you'd quickly see if you start going astray...

    Did you two ride the whole GDMBR in the fall?
    Thanks for the tips and advice. We rode the whole GDR in September last year but we took our time and toured it in 32 days. What a great ride. It made acumulating base for Nome a pleasure. We started the 1st of Sept. at Rooseville. Great month to ride north to south.
    Bill M

  19. #19
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill M
    Thanks for the tips and advice. We rode the whole GDR in September last year but we took our time and toured it in 32 days. What a great ride. It made acumulating base for Nome a pleasure. We started the 1st of Sept. at Rooseville. Great month to ride north to south.
    Bill M
    Took your time in 32 days, huh? That's an average of 78 miles per day! Most people take 2-3 months.

    Paula and I rode it in 38 days and thought we were pretty hard core. Then we ran into Mike and Pete....

    That's great that you guys were able to blast through it in 32. Congrats and I look forward to seeing you out for AZT 300.

    Scott

  20. #20
    Bill M
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    Mike and Pete

    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Took your time in 32 days, huh? That's an average of 78 miles per day! Most people take 2-3 months.

    Paula and I rode it in 38 days and thought we were pretty hard core. Then we ran into Mike and Pete....

    That's great that you guys were able to blast through it in 32. Congrats and I look forward to seeing you out for AZT 300.

    Scott
    Our trip did not qualify as a time trial since we had outside assistance. Mike met us with sushi and chocolate milk halfway down Marshall Pass. Everytime we finished a long(for us) day I was humbled even more thinking of the miles Mike and Pete rode everyday for 16 days. You gotta do it to appreciate it! If you want to see how we train in winter take a look at the Alaska forum Knik Glacier Expedition.

  21. #21
    Bill M
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    Best GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Avoiding technology definitely has its merits.

    For the AZT, if you learn some basic GPS skills it will be a huge asset in following the trail. The signage on the trail itself is usually pretty good, but we have to detour for wilderness areas and incomplete sections, and then it's just general navigation -- following the cues that I'm making and/or the GPS data.

    In the first ~40 miles of the race there are quite a few illegal immigrant trails that get 100x the traffic the AZT gets. Common trail sense would put you on the most traveled path, but common trail sense would be wrong.

    That said, the cues and signage should be enough, but on a GPS you'd quickly see if you start going astray...

    Did you two ride the whole GDMBR in the fall?
    Any tips on the best GPS for what we do? I have been looking at literature and it is a bit overwhelming for the technologically challenged. Weight, battery life and simplicity would be major factors for me. ps. if you and Paula have any cold weather gear questions to get ready for Alaska I would be happy to share what little I know.
    Bill M

  22. #22
    Scott in Tucson
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    Gps

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill M
    Any tips on the best GPS for what we do? I have been looking at literature and it is a bit overwhelming for the technologically challenged. Weight, battery life and simplicity would be major factors for me. ps. if you and Paula have any cold weather gear questions to get ready for Alaska I would be happy to share what little I know.
    Bill M
    Bill--I'd be happy to help you finding a GPS. Shoot me an email at smorris AT topofusion.com and we can chat about it.

  23. #23
    Bill M
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    Anti Spam

    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Bill--I'd be happy to help you finding a GPS. Shoot me an email at smorris AT topofusion.com and we can chat about it.
    Thanks for the info. I have ended up on your anti-spam list and my mail comes back.
    Bill M

  24. #24
    Scott in Tucson
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    No Spam

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill M
    Thanks for the info. I have ended up on your anti-spam list and my mail comes back.
    Bill M
    Bill--

    I don't have an anti-spam list. Everything goes through. Try emailing again, or hit me with a PM.

    Scott

  25. #25
    Scott in Tucson
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    Update

    Exactly three weeks until the start of the AZT 300!

    A few items:

    * I have been out riding parts of the course, and the recent rains have really shaped things up.

    * The route is 95% finalized. I am working on the cue sheets and supplemental maps. I will email again when they are available. For those familiar with the route, Canada del Oro and upper Mt. Lemmon stuff is out. The AZT association is recommending that even thru-hikers avoid this section. I rode it recently, but the trail is very difficult to follow and in bad shape. Otherwise, the course is as explained (and mapped) on the website:

    http://www.topofusion.com/azt/race-route.php

    * There is going to be a pre-race meeting on Thursday, April 14th at 5 pm. The meeting will be at Old Chicago Pizza (2960 N. Campbell Ave in Tucson). Attendance is optional.

    * GPS is highly recommended for following the route.

    * If you would like help finding a ride to the start line, let me know ASAP.

    * Race start is 9am sharp from the AZT trailhead at Parker Canyon Lake. See you there.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    I posted a detailed GPS file of the AZT 300 route. It's at:

    http://www.topofusion.com/azt/race-route.php

    Current estimated stats:

    318.25 miles
    45,577 feet of climbing
    48,860 feet of descending
    It's...

    It's...

    It's a shuttle ride?

    I *had* some respect for you until I learned about this...

    You've been shuttling all winter, haven't you?

    !!

    MC

  27. #27
    Scott in Tucson
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    Shuttle monkey

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    It's...

    It's a shuttle ride?

    You've been shuttling all winter, haven't you?

    MC
    Big time shuttle ride! Dust off your Behemoth, don your body armor and I'll see you at the start line.

    !!!

    I think every long distance ride/race I've done has been a shuttle ride. I just can't stop. What are the start/end elevations of Koko? It better be a net loss or I'm staying home.

  28. #28
    Scott in Tucson
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    Race update

    I posted updated GPS data for the AZT 300 course. I cut another section
    (Ripsey Hill) from the race since it is difficult to find/follow without
    GPS or prior knowledge. The route keeps getting easier and easier....

    I also have the mileage cues available. I might make some minor updates
    to it, but I wanted to get it into people's hands so they can start
    studying maps, etc. The cues are an excel file. The second page on the
    cue sheet lists services on or near the route for planning purposes.

    GPS and cues are at:

    http://www.topofusion.com/azt/race-route.php

    Also, a few things I've thought of recently:

    * Don't underestimate the first ~30 miles to Patagonia. Pack minimum 140
    oz of water.

    * Watch (listen) for snakes, they will be out since it's warming up.

    * I highly recommend Dave Hicks online guide to the trail - but be sure
    you know when we're on the trail and when we're detouring around
    wilderness!

    http://www.geocities.com/davehicks01/index.html

    * Please close all gates, unless you can *actually* see someone coming
    behind you. There are quite a few on the trail, with a wild variety of
    shapes and open/close methods.

    * It's looking like a beautiful spring here in AZ. Time to get out on the
    trail!!

    Scott

  29. #29
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    results wanted

    ...well...?

  30. #30
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Punk
    ...well...?
    So far there are three DNF's and one finisher. Two more are either on course or have dropped out -- I don't know yet. As soon as I get word from them I will post official results.

    When my body stops swelling and my mental faculties return I will begin my writeup. In short, this is a brutal, amazing race.

    Winning time was 2 days, 16 hours and 57 minutes.

    More later....

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    So far there are three DNF's and one finisher. Two more are either on course or have dropped out -- I don't know yet. As soon as I get word from them I will post official results.

    When my body stops swelling and my mental faculties return I will begin my writeup. In short, this is a brutal, amazing race.

    Winning time was 2 days, 16 hours and 57 minutes.

    More later....
    Scott-

    Thanks for the update. Between milkshakes (and naps?) at the moment?

    Congrats on the smoking fast time. Now we know about how fast it can be done, and future racers have a mark to shoot for. Heh heh heh...

    Can't help you with the swelling, and as to the mental faculties...

    ...well...

    ...nevermind.

    Enjoy the sleep.

    MC

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    So far there are three DNF's and one finisher. Two more are either on course or have dropped out -- I don't know yet. As soon as I get word from them I will post official results.

    When my body stops swelling and my mental faculties return I will begin my writeup. In short, this is a brutal, amazing race.

    Winning time was 2 days, 16 hours and 57 minutes.

    More later....
    Wow!

    Congrats Scott. I was in Fruita over the weekend and met up w/ some friends of yours. They reminded me this race was on and our thoughts were with you guys.

    Good job, heal up and rest.

    Ed E

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    So far there are three DNF's and one finisher. More later....
    Hey Scott,

    Patti and I were thinking about you and what you guys were going through over the weekend. Congratualtions and we're waiting to hear the story.

    Gary

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