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  1. #1
    This place needs an enema
    Reputation: mikesee's Avatar
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    A damn fine loop.

    The story goes that Scott and Chad were driving home from the Grand Loop, frustrated at the lack of quality singletrack on that route. I'm not clear how they were surprised by this--the loop has existed for better than a decade, Scott has ridden it before, and it's *never* had much singletrack. Anyhoo, I'm glad they were frustrated, because they spent the bulk of their drive home trying to brainstorm a multi-day bikepacking loop with as much high-quality singletrack as possible.

    The end result of their brainstorming, map-geeking, and on-the-ground reconnaissance is the Coconino Loop. Start in Flagstaff, get on dirt right in town, ride to and through Sedona, Cottonwood, Williams, and back to Flag on a heap of high quality trail. A bit over 200 miles in sum. There is a heap of singletrack, quite a bit of doubletrack or forest road, and a quasi-tolerable amount of gravel. Very little pavement, and it happens in short stretches.

    Tim Stern, Jeff Oatley and I spent four full days and nights out on the route, camping from roughly dark until dawn, and traveling at a comfortable, even leisurely pace during daylight hours. Naps were taken, as were photos. Snacks and stories were shared. NO ONE was in a hurry--none of us seemed to have any sort of schedule or agenda at all. We rode when it felt right, stopped when that felt right, and just sort of proceeded through each day. It seems the three of us have one main thing in common: Riding and racing on the Iditarod Trail. Thus you can probably guess that when the conversation wasn't lodged firmly on bacon, or bikes, or how much longer 'til we'd be into a town to get some more ice cream, we spent a *lot* of time talking about The Race in Alaska.

    And that was really good. I get asked about The Race all the time but it's rare to sit back and hear about it first-hand from the perspectives of two who've been there, at the front, several times.

    I really enjoyed this loop. I seem to have arrived at a place in my life (mentally and, um, chronologically) where I haven't the patience nor desire to repeat trails unless they tick all of my boxes. Put simply, the Coconino was the kind of loop that I could happily make into an annual trip.

    These pixels might tell the story that my words are failing to approach:


    In this day and age 4 days and nights is a lot of time to spend essentially doing one focused thing. If I had to pick one moment, one sensation from that length of time to list as the most memorable...

    ...hmmm. I guess I can't. My brain goes into overdrive and then brownout when I try. But the hyperspace descent into Williams, with millions of chunky manuals on a dark and hobbitesque trail...

    ...yeah, that one keeps bubbling to the top.

    Cheers gents--thanks for all of the hard work that went into making this a brilliant turnkey bikepacking loop.

    MC

  2. #2
    can't get here by wishin
    Reputation: fredfight's Avatar
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    woah!~

    nice guitar work... who is that?

  3. #3
    Clydesdale by CHOICE!!!!!
    Reputation: rcp916's Avatar
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    Nice man wish I was there.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    Wow some seriously nice views, looks real hot, bet you got through some fluids on that!

  5. #5
    Team Fearless Descender
    Reputation: El Salt's Avatar
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    Impressive and thought provoking.
    .
    "...when your ride is nearly over, it seems to have lasted but an instant..."


    Stuff

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: pop_martian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredfight
    nice guitar work... who is that?
    Andy Timmons Band - Resolution.
    "Donuts. Is there anything they can't do?"

  7. #7
    bi-winning
    Reputation: rkj__'s Avatar
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    It took me a long time to load your video.

    But, it's top notch stuff. Thanks a lot for sharing. Passion can't have enough of this kind of stuff.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  8. #8
    govt kontrakt projkt mgr
    Reputation: ArmySlowRdr's Avatar
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    somebody said took a long time to load, must be something wrong or slow abt connection/setup--loaded straight away for me.

    Damn but those prices at that cafe are high.

  9. #9
    Ridin my life away!
    Reputation: Fruita Girl's Avatar
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    Well done! What a wonderful trip with beautiful photography!

  10. #10
    Scott in Tucson
    Reputation: Krein's Avatar
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    Damn fine indeed. So much for your claim of not getting many good shots out there!

    Been waiting to see some pixels and it was well worth the wait. Now I'm really itching for some bikepacking. Do I really have to wait until next fall to ride the Coco again? (answer: no)

    Route info for anyone interested:

    http://www.bikepacking.net/routes/coconino-loop/

    Oh, and I don't think there was any surprise in the lack of ST on the Grand Loop, we just knew we could do better!
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  11. #11
    canuck
    Reputation: Aaron D's Avatar
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    awesome.

    I need to set aside some time...

  12. #12
    wg
    wg is offline
    Fermented Grain Sampler
    Reputation: wg's Avatar
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    Phenomenal.
    Don't harsh my mello

  13. #13
    Des(s)ert Rat
    Reputation: screampint's Avatar
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    Yeah, whatever....


    Thanks for posting!

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: cobi's Avatar
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    Very nice pics.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
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    Nice! You guys must be a real friends.
    I wish I was there, ride w/you guys. Did I mention I like 3:37 pic :-)
    Pain - It's temporary.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: KRob's Avatar
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    Very nice. I really want to do a ride like this some day.

    I may be heading your way the last week in April. You going to be around?
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
    Isaiah 58:14

    www.stuckinthespokes.com

  17. #17
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    Love it. Thanks!

  18. #18
    mtbr member
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    Looks like a fantastic ride. I'm in awe of the way you capture the little details of nature. I often stop and am blown away by a patch of moss or some ferns with the light falling just so, but mostly the pics I take don't do the scene justice. You have a way of capturing the magic. Thanks for sharing.

  19. #19
    Motobey
    Reputation: mstguide's Avatar
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    nice the great blessings of the outdoors.
    "Si todos saben lo que ay que hacer por que tenemos problemas" Choose xpst.

  20. #20
    This place needs an enema
    Reputation: mikesee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob
    Very nice. I really want to do a ride like this some day.

    I may be heading your way the last week in April. You going to be around?
    A definite maybe.

    Drop a line with your dates/plans when you can.

  21. #21
    mm9
    mm9 is offline
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    great stuff! Thanks for posting.

  22. #22
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    WOW! What a great looking trip. You really captured something there. Kudos to the three of you for getting out there and living right. I want to ride that loop!

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