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Discussion Starter #1
So here's the deal: I'm registered to race solo at the 24 Hrs of the Old Pueblo in Tucson on February 18th-19th (President's Day weekend). Now I have to figure out how to get there. I have buddy in Tucson, so flying is a natch, but I have another good buddy who lives here in P-town and is my particular riding partner that also owns a BIG VAN.

I'm trying to convince him to go so we can ROAD TRIP! stopping in Sedona, Phoenix and/or St. George, Moab? to get the winter blues out on some sunny trails on our way there and back.

Price of fuel being what it is, if we can maximize the number of people to share the burden of cost we will also realize the potential of his BIG VAN.

Any Oregonians out there doing this event or thinking about doing this event? I'm looking to round out the BUS with a four-man team along with at least 2 solo riders to represent on a week's trip.

Play em if ya got em.
 

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timeframe

what sort of time frame are you thinking of for the trip?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nothing set in stone

tristan said:
what sort of time frame are you thinking of for the trip?
The race is over the weekend. I'd like to be at the race venue by Thursday afternoon. It's a full 24 hour drive non-stop to Tucson and another going back. I would be interested in spending at least one day riding somewhere on the way down and let's assume that on the way home we also spend a day riding somewhere. That would be leaving late Tuesday and returning the following Wednesday late in the day. That's a minimum of 8 days.

But there are variables. More time spent on the way down, then head straight back after the race? More stops on the way home? 10 days?

Admittedly it's a case of the cart before the horse: I was planning on flying and that's probably what will end up happening, but when my buddy with the BIG VAN expressed even the slightest interest, I started musing. My feeling is that to make that drive all the way down there it would be a shame to cruise right on by some great riding opportunities.

On the other hand, if the consensus among potentially interested parties is to drive straight to the venue for the race then turn around and drive straight home Sunday night after the race, it would still be worth the cost efficiencies of pooling for the fuel. Way cheaper than a flight and a lot easier to bring all the accoutrements of a fully supportive pit area.

The short answer is it could be as little as 6 days or as much as 10 days straddling that weekend.

Then again, the man with the van might not want to go after all and I'll have to fly.
 

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I'll likely be there around the same time. My good friend lives right at the base of SoMo, so I'll be flying in directly to Puh-honix. It would be cool to try to hook up with you guys while I'm there if you're interested.

Hopefully it won't be like last year at the same time. I flew out to get a break from the Maryland winter slump only to be received by flooding all around the area and some cold, wet riding. Now that I'm trying to escape the Portland winter slump, I hope Phoenix can accomodate.

My plans are also contingent upon my friends willingness to take a few days off work and his wife's willingness to make some scheduling changes, so we'll see what happens.

Won't Sedona be under a fair bit of snow at that time?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
smudge said:
I'll likely be there around the same time. . . .
Won't Sedona be under a fair bit of snow at that time?
Will you be at the race?

Don't know about Sedona, you might be right about that. When I made the trip in '04 I was looking into rides around there and don't remember that being an issue. I could be laboring under a misconception. We skipped Sedona anyway and spent 5 days around Moab. A snow storm had swept through the area prior to our arrival so there were patches of snow in places on some of the rides we did. Slickrock was awesome though: we didn't see anybody else. How often does that happen? Porc Rim was a bust, however. We had to hike-a-bike about 6 miles through snow. We did it as a loop from our camp along the Colorado River through town and up to Slickrock for that looper, then continued up and up. By the time we got below the snow level and coming off the rim it was dark. I lost my camera on that ordeal too.

I don't think Moab will be on the agenda this time. Plenty of stuff to explore further south.
 

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Snake Muesl said:
Will you be at the race?
I won't be at the race. When I went last year, it was by complete coincicidence that it was during the same weekend as the race. My days of suffering have been over for five years.

If I'm out there at the same time as the race again this year, it'll only be because of my friend's scheduling. Until recently he had the luxury (or curse...depends on your POV) of being a stay-at-home dad. Now that he works, we need to coordinate a bit more tightly. I didn't get to ride National last year due to the weather and that's #1 on my list for this year. Even if Sedona isn't snowy, it's probably not going to make my checklist due to it's distance from Phoenix and scheduling conflicts.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Good luck on your end with the timing. I've never ridden the National trail and would like to make a go at it.
Will keep the updates on our trip posted here. I think my buddy with the BIG VAN is close to making the commitment.
 

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Snake-unless you like to punish your self or just like riding in more cold weather I would look for some places a little warmer. A lot of the Southwest is high desert and winter is winter. A lot of it can be colder than Portland just no rain. I have a couple of different ideas, first just go the 24 hour course and set up and start riding. They cant stop you from camping and riding the course before the race becasue its on public lands. There will be more than a few riders out there the week before the race.

The other idea I have is hit a couple of warm places that have campgrounds and have decent non-technical trails that are in nice desert settings. Heres the list. 1. White Tank Mountains Regional Park-NW Phoenix just outside of Surprise. 2. McDowell Mountain Regional Park-east of Phoenix. Lots of bike trails and nice campground. 3. Organ Pipe National Monument-100 miles or so south of Tucson. It has a 23 and a 50 mile loop ride kind of overlooked by most mountain bikers because they are dirt roads. Still you wont see a car.
 

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I lived in Flagstaff for 24 years. It rarely snows in Sedona, but it has been known to happen. If you arrive after any stretch of clear weather, Sedona trails could be in nice shape. Would be worth it to identify a local shop and confirm latest conditions though.

Get ahold of Cosmic Ray's book, it is the best guide to AZ riding:
Fat Tire Tales and Trails

You could give these guys a call to check latest conditions:
Mountain Bike Heaven
 

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proposal

I live in Bend, and am signed up for the solo as well. I have already booked a plane for me, but I would pay for some gas to send my bike in your van. I would love to escape putting it in a box under the plane. You get the cash without having to hear all of my old stories. If you are interested, let me know. Eric Carter [email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Betsybikes said:
I live in Bend, and am signed up for the solo as well. I have already booked a plane for me, but I would pay for some gas to send my bike in your van. I would love to escape putting it in a box under the plane. You get the cash without having to hear all of my old stories. If you are interested, let me know. Eric Carter [email protected]
I know my buddy is motivated to go on a road trip-mountain bike vacation so I think the trip is coalescing. I was hoping to steer him into a solo bid, but now the category has sold out; yet he's still interested.
 

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Dry and warm

For those interested in riding up north, in Feb., it hasn't rained here in Phoenix, since October. It should be pretty nice down around Tucson, as well. Come prepared for heat though, it's been in the high 70's for the last week or so, and in a month, it could be even hotter.
 
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