Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Scott in Tucson
Joined
·
1,331 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm holding a 300 mile race on the Arizona Trail this spring. Those familiar with Southern Arizona trails will know that this is one brutal route. I could make it harder, but not by much. It starts April 14th, 2006 at 9am.

Link to post in "Endurance Racing":

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=154932

Race website:

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

For locals familar with the trails, here is a blow by blow description of the route:

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

Dig deep.
 

·
Saucy Size
Joined
·
4,482 Posts
Krein said:
Hi,

I'm holding a 300 mile race on the Arizona Trail this spring. Those familiar with Southern Arizona trails will know that this is one brutal route. I could make it harder, but not by much. It starts April 14th, 2006 at 9am.

Link to post in "Endurance Racing":

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=154932

Race website:

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

For locals familar with the trails, here is a blow by blow description of the route:

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

Dig deep.
This sounds frickin' incredible!

Any idea what the course record might be? I'm guessing 2ish days (30 hours?) given good weather and support.

p.
 

·
Scott in Tucson
Joined
·
1,331 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No record yet

Paul B said:
This sounds frickin' incredible!

Any idea what the course record might be? I'm guessing 2ish days (30 hours?) given good weather and support.

p.
No support -- everyone is on their own. So that means more water, food and clothes.

I'll be impressed if anyone can finish around 72 hours. I think the first year it's going to be about finishing it more than anything else. It's a hard route.

But I really don't know how fast it can be done. Only one way to find out!
 

·
Saucy Size
Joined
·
4,482 Posts
Krein said:
No support -- everyone is on their own. So that means more water, food and clothes.

I'll be impressed if anyone can finish around 72 hours. I think the first year it's going to be about finishing it more than anything else. It's a hard route.

But I really don't know how fast it can be done. Only one way to find out!
Certainly makes the Soul Ride look like a nice warmup. Are you capping signups?

Any other information you can post about the race would be helpful. Sorry if it's redundant with whatever you've posted in Endurance.

p.
 

·
Scott in Tucson
Joined
·
1,331 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Paul B said:
Certainly makes the Soul Ride look like a nice warmup. Are you capping signups?

Any other information you can post about the race would be helpful. Sorry if it's redundant with whatever you've posted in Endurance.

p.
No cap. Currently I'm hoping that I won't be the only one who shows up!

Here is some more info on the race:

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]
 

·
Scott in Tucson
Joined
·
1,331 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Water

Paul B said:
Any pre-caching stuff along the route? Is Superior the only known source of water along the way?

Without any sort of support, yeah, I'm now seeing it as a 4-ish day race.

p.
Pre-caching is not allowed.

However, there are quite a few places to find water on the route:

Patagonia
Smithsonian Visitors Center (Mt. Hopkins Road)
Colossal Cave Mtn Park (snack stand)
Eastside of Tucson
Summerhaven
Oracle

Plus any creeks and springs that may be running, depending on if we get any rain this winter.
 

·
Occidental Tourist
Joined
·
3,563 Posts
Very cool Scott.
I wish I could play but my planned departure is actually the the day after (my bday and my bday present to myself - the azt).
and no way I could hang with some of the folks I anticipate will participate.
Keep up the good work.
Maybe in 07.
 

·
Old Fart at Play
Joined
·
637 Posts
Seriously,

I'm just jealous that I'm not young and foolish enough to take up the challenge. I've ridden almost all of the route, just not all at once. Good luck with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
454 Posts
I occasionally do the first part(50 mi. +/-) of this ride(Canello Hills east & west, starting from Sierra Vista)as a one way shuttle, and Canello east is a beeyatch! If I started this race, I probably wouldn't make it past the Velvet Elvis in Patagonia! :)
 

·
Scott in Tucson
Joined
·
1,331 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
skidmark said:
I occasionally do the first part(50 mi. +/-) of this ride(Canello Hills east & west, starting from Sierra Vista)as a one way shuttle, and Canello east is a beeyatch! If I started this race, I probably wouldn't make it past the Velvet Elvis in Patagonia! :)
Yup, the ride from Parker to Patagonia is a beast. I suspect there will be some people doing just what you describe -- calling it quits at the Velvet Elvis. Possibly myself!!

The start time is early enough that everyone should at least make it to Patagonia by sundown, and then be faced with the decision of continuing the madness....
 

·
Exactly 1/2 of 2-Epic
Joined
·
750 Posts
Trail condition question

Haven't done any of the trails of this route, but yesterday did the azt descent from Roger's trough to FR 650 - so the section of the azt just N of the finish of the race route. I found this section of trail fairly, uh, prickly: http://teamhealthfx.com/blogs/dave_harris/archive/2006/01/08/338.aspx. Cat claw everywhere crossing the trail...is this typical for the race route? Curious what those in the know do to prevent looking (and feeling) like coming out on the losing end of a cougar fight.
 

·
Scott in Tucson
Joined
·
1,331 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
hairball_dh said:
Haven't done any of the trails of this route, but yesterday did the azt descent from Roger's trough to FR 650 - so the section of the azt just N of the finish of the race route. I found this section of trail fairly, uh, prickly: http://teamhealthfx.com/blogs/dave_harris/archive/2006/01/08/338.aspx. Cat claw everywhere crossing the trail...is this typical for the race route? Curious what those in the know do to prevent looking (and feeling) like coming out on the losing end of a cougar fight.
Trail conditions on the route vary. Overgrowth and fighting through it is part of life on the AZT. Many sections (like the one you rode) just don't get enough use. Others sections are wide open and buffed.

The first part of the race usually has a fair amount of overgrowth including white thorn and cat claw. I wouldn't say it's everywhere, but depending on tolerance level (everyone's is different) it can be bad. Elephant Head is usually not bad, and then it's fairly clear in and around Tucson. The backside Mt. Lemmon trails can be ripe with catclaw and other nasties. I don't think any of it is bad enough to destroy skin as in your picture (I think that was more from a crash, right?).

In general, yes, overgrowth and getting scratched should be expected. I don't think it's bad enough that it would deter anyone from the race by itself. It's just one part of the bigger challenge a back-country event like this presents. Things like no support, carrying all your gear, trail finding, and hike-a-bike to name a few.

Thanks for the ride report on Montana Mountain. I enjoyed it.
 

·
Scott in Tucson
Joined
·
1,331 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
hairball_dh said:
Curious what those in the know do to prevent looking (and feeling) like coming out on the losing end of a cougar fight.
Here's an impromptu solution I came up with last spring while contemplating heading north from Superior:




The result was fair to middlin'. We did not go to Montana Mountain due to the 30 miles of wilderness the AZT goes through from there. We went part way up 650, then diverted to begin a 'route' through Haunted Canyon and, eventually Gunsight Gap.

I don't have a good solution except to ride when it's cold enough to minimize exposed skin. Even a light shirt or knee warmers make a huge difference.
 

·
Exactly 1/2 of 2-Epic
Joined
·
750 Posts
Thanks Scott

Krein said:
In general, yes, overgrowth and getting scratched should be expected. I don't think it's bad enough that it would deter anyone from the race by itself. It's just one part of the bigger challenge a back-country event like this presents. Things like no support, carrying all your gear, trail finding, and hike-a-bike to name a few.

Thanks for the ride report on Montana Mountain. I enjoyed it.
I was more than a little awed at your AZT TT write up and performance...glad you enjoyed the ride report. Thanks also for the impromtu leg guard pic - funny to see such creativity for the same section of trail!

I'm quite interested in the event. To be honest, it probably isn't in the cards as that would leave me baked heading into the race season...already overtraining being down here in the winter sunshine :) But who knows...thinking about it.
 

·
President Skroob
Joined
·
499 Posts
Race

Will maps be made available, or will you tell us how to obtain them? Will you give us a clue how to get water/food along the route?

I would love to understand what it takes to do the GDR, but have had nothing around to really get exposure to that type of race.

Also, for those who are definitely doing it, what type of bikes are you guys using. I already have a Stumpjumper FSR, but am looking at getting a Soma Juice or Niner Bikes Sir 9 for this type of racing. How many of you plan on using clipless? The race says a lot of hike-a-bike, how many are foregoing clipless for platforms so the transition is faster.
 

·
Scott in Tucson
Joined
·
1,331 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
GueroAZ said:
Will maps be made available, or will you tell us how to obtain them? Will you give us a clue how to get water/food along the route?
I will be making cue sheets marked with mileages. Plus I will have GPS data out so that people can follow that and/or print out their own maps to bring along. "The Map" covers a large portion of the course, also.

Yep, food and water locations will be divulged to the best of my knowledge. Above in the thread there is a list of major water locations. There's no problem, really, until you hit Oracle where there is a long stretch without water.

Food shouldn't be a problem since the route goes through towns like Patagonia, Tucson and Oracle.

GueroAZ said:
I would love to understand what it takes to do the GDR, but have had nothing around to really get exposure to that type of race.
Cool. Keep in mind that while the format is similar, the race course is almost nothing like the GDR. This is a singletrack, all-mountain type of event. The GDR is primarily dirt/gravel/county roads.

GueroAZ said:
Also, for those who are definitely doing it, what type of bikes are you guys using. I already have a Stumpjumper FSR, but am looking at getting a Soma Juice or Niner Bikes Sir 9 for this type of racing. How many of you plan on using clipless? The race says a lot of hike-a-bike, how many are foregoing clipless for platforms so the transition is faster.
This type of racing is so new that I expect a variety of bike types, gear and strategies. That's one of the cool things about it -- no one is an expert (certainly not me) at this type of event, so there is a large unknown element. There's no formula to follow.

Personally, I'll be riding a 29" hardtail with clipless. I'm not worried about time transitioning between riding/walking. It's more the extended sections of hike-a-bike that people need to be warned about. There is also the very real possibility that sections that are normally rideable become hike-a-bike after 24+ hours on the bike carrying more gear than any of us are used to riding with.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top