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Scott in Tucson
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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
[email protected]
 

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7 Posts
Scott,

I'll be there.

Rudi

Krein said:
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
[email protected]
 

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Occasionally engaged…
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1,772 Posts
Hmmm...

Endurosnob said:
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...
 

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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. :)
 

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Scott in Tucson
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1,331 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Endurosnob said:
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.
 

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your ankles are fat
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335 Posts
Endurosnob said:
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.
 
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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
 

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Scott in Tucson
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1,331 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Bill M said:
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
 

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Scott in Tucson
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1,331 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Aid

Mike Brown said:
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.
 

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Krein said:
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
 
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Gps

Krein said:
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
 

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Scott in Tucson
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1,331 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Bill M said:
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?
 
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Krein said:
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
 

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Scott in Tucson
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1,331 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Bill M said:
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
 
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Mike and Pete

Krein said:
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.
 
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