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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all. I'm borrowing my boyfriend's sign in to post this. He's the SS. I roll a hard tail of the newly mentioned "mullet" fame. I did a search to see if I could get some info on the upcomming whiskey off road and only saw postings from before last years race. There was quite a debate on the level of difficulty. Bottom line- I'm not trying to do this at race pace. I'm a decent rider and have done a fair variety of trails around Phx. Longest ride to date is about 30 miles. Longest ascent about 3000 feet over 7+ miles (did this very slowly- even walked some). Just wondering if there is anyone else out there that will be averaging a 5 hour race so that I know I won't be alone in the rear of the pack. :(
 

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Ok, first is a long gradual climb on asphault and hardpacked graded road. Climb about 1200 vertical, but it's a gradual climb spread out over many miles.

Next comes the only real hard part IMO, trail 48. This consists of many short and steep ups and downs. Milege isn't very long, like maybe 3 miles or so, but it's slow and there are some technical climbs. It's all ridable, although for a couple of the climbs you need to be turning a larger gear up a fairly loose slope and getting your body+bike up and over a few waterbars. It's doable and I've done it, but I usually don't do it every time I ride it. This trail only tops out at 6800, so that's only 300 feet of vertical from where the trail started at the road (6500) but it's a lot of up and down and it takes it's toll. This is the end of the hard climbing though.

Next you start descending, a little down trail 48. Notice the waterbar on the switchback where everybody has been going AROUND the waterbar, which has created erosion and a washout that has made the waterbar much deeper and created a big rut past it. Thank you cyclists with more ego than skills. After a couple little technical sections on the descent it opens up and you start picking up speed on trail 260, which takes you down to highway 89. This is loose and fast. No real "fun factor" as it's just too loose to be fun and there's no real technical sections. Total vertical drop is around 1400.

Next is the gradual climb back up to the saddle below Mt Francis (top of Copper Basin Road). This is actually two roads, but it's all a climb. Climb from 5400 up to 6700, that's 1300 vertical feet. This is a very gradual and pretty easy climb for the most part, great stuff for singlespeeding.

At the top of Copper basin you turn left and head out on the ridge to the overlook, where you take a singletrack trail, after a 40 foot hike-a-bike (yeah, only 40 feet) you get on a short singletrack that only lasts about a half mile, then you start descending on a fire road, and there are a few ups and downs but it is mostly down. You intersect fireroad 51 eventually, turn left, and intersect fireroad 332 for a short climb up(~150 vert, 1/2 mile), which takes you up to fireroad 326. Fireroad 326 starts out flat and becomes singletrack descent in about a half mile to 3/4ths of a mile, which lasts almost for a whopping mile. Then you are dumped out on thumb butte road, where it's all downhill to around whipple street, where it's flat the rest of the way to the finish.

You can probably do this ride just fine, just two major things to watch out for IMO; Not pushing too hard on the first road-climb so that you are wasted by the time you get to trail 48, and not going too hard on trail 48 that it completely kills your energy level. Remember that after trail 48 there's a long descent and a gradual climb after that, but going directly from the climb on the hardpacked road to trail 48 can hurt you, there's a killer climb at the beginning of trail 48. Pace yourself correctly here and you'll probably survive the rest of the ride ok. The descent down doesn't require much leg power, the gradual climb back to the top is easy, and the descent down the thumb butte trails/fireroads is easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the input. i would feel so much better if i could get up there to preride the course but I think you gave me the next best thing. Thanks again.
 

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Occidental Tourist
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Nice description of the 25 - exactly how I remember it
 

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Sublime Absurdity
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Jm. said:
At the top of Copper basin you turn left and head out on the ridge to the overlook, where you take a singletrack trail, after a 40 foot hike-a-bike (yeah, only 40 feet) you get on a short singletrack that only lasts about a half mile, then you start descending on a fire road, and there are a few ups and downs but it is mostly down. You intersect fireroad 51 eventually, turn left, and intersect fireroad 332 for a short climb up(~150 vert, 1/2 mile), which takes you up to fireroad 326. Fireroad 326 starts out flat and becomes singletrack descent in about a half mile to 3/4ths of a mile, which lasts almost for a whopping mile.
As usual, Jm. nails the description. Just a couple additional comments on the course:
1. That 40 ft hike-a-bike section across from the overlook has been replaced with a new prescott hiking club created S curve that is pretty gradual ie. no more hike-a-bike.
2. The fireroad after the overlook singletrack (and parts of 260) are very steep down and filled with babyheads, golf balls and the occasional dodgeball - all over sand and the ocassional rut. Some of these sections are more like surfing than riding, but just keep some, but not too much, momentum and it isn't too hard. I usually ride these sections with my chest on the saddle and just gently steer the front end.
3. 332 and the fireroad section of 326 are soul-killingly ugly right now - these are logging roads and they are thouroughly torn up and have ditches dug across the road for a 1mile stretch. (I guess the logging co figures if they create breeding grounds for the west nile virus, they won't have so many recreation users in their way of logging all of the old growth).
4. I ride these trails on my hardtail all the time (I live off Copper basin) and, while a FS bike makes dropping the waterbars on 48 more fun, the HT is fine for the whole course.

A note on energy conservation:
There is a creek crossing on Copper Basin road that is about 100 yards before the left that goes up the steep hill to 48. As Jm. notes, hammering up the road and then encountering this section can be a beatdown. So the trick is to get your heartrate down once you cross the creek.
 

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Camping????

I am not gonna race the whiskey this year but was wondering if there is a camping spot where most of the bikers will be...I just plan to come out and cheer folks on, plus I would like to be camped around other bike personnel cuz those kinda of people are rad :D
 

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Sublime Absurdity
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Dirdir said:
Jm, was your course outline of the 25 or 50 miler? Yuri has me confused.
Description is for the 25miler - the 50 you just add a long slog out and back to Skull Valley on dirt roads...
 

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Occidental Tourist
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scanjok said:
I am not gonna race the whiskey this year but was wondering if there is a camping spot where most of the bikers will be...I just plan to come out and cheer folks on, plus I would like to be camped around other bike personnel cuz those kinda of people are rad :D
I think the majority of folks are hoteling but if you wanna camp and can get a spot at Granite Basin I'd go there. You can also try Lynx lake
 

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Dan:

I'm going to be pre-riding the course tomorrow (thursday) starting around 1:00 if you want to come.

Great descriptions JM, I will take exemption to the fact that the climbs (especially the second long one) are either gradual or easy. They are not technical, but they are long, and I think fairly steep. Certainly small ring for me. Remember the elevation as well if you are coming from lowlands. It will slow you down considerably.
 

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Roni1az
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ss gearing suggestions??

can anyone who is familiar with the course recommend a decent ss gearing ratio? currently i am running 32:16. i plan on a decent amount of pain, but don't want to be too wasted to miss out on the post ride wild turkey shots? any info would be greatly appreciated.
 

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thats about 52 gear inch im running 34x19 with 29" tires = about the same gear inch
its pretty tall for out here depending on your condition .i think youll see alot of people runing 32x18 or 34x20 just a guese.
 

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BTW, there's one switchback on this course on trail 48 a few hundred feet from the intersection with trail 260 where riders are going around the waterbar. This has created a HUGE rut. I stacked up rocks today to try and prevent people from going around it and to try and help catch some soil runoff. They made the problem worse by going around the waterbar because now there's a HUGE rut after the waterbar, they basically created a new fall line where water runs right through.

There's also a section earlier on trail 48 where there was a nice tree that had fallen and was easily cleanable, some idiot chainsawed it.

I was out pre-riding it today, although I turned right at 260 and climed to the top of it so I could ride down all of 260 from the top, it's pretty fun at the top, banks and such.

BTW2, I hate bugs.
 

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Sublime Absurdity
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Jm. said:
BTW2, I hate bugs.
Yeah - that fireroad climb up from the bottom of 260 is flush with very persistient gnats - especially on the lower sections. I keep repeating the mantra - "they are not mosquitoes - they won't bite" - but it doesn't keep me from trying to speed up away from them and swatting. Most places only have heavy gnatage after 6, but I was there in the heat of the day and it was still pretty annoying. Any idea how long the gnats will last?

Interesting that going down 48/260 consumed way more time than I expected - it is a brutal downhill on a HT, it would have gone a lot faster on my Truth, but the HT is way better suited to those long fireroad climbs. I'll probably end up riding the HT anyway unless Magura gets me a new master cylinder soon...
 

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sodade said:
Yeah - that fireroad climb up from the bottom of 260 is flush with very persistient gnats - especially on the lower sections. I keep repeating the mantra - "they are not mosquitoes - they won't bite" - but it doesn't keep me from trying to speed up away from them and swatting. Most places only have heavy gnatage after 6, but I was there in the heat of the day and it was still pretty annoying. Any idea how long the gnats will last?

Interesting that going down 48/260 consumed way more time than I expected - it is a brutal downhill on a HT, it would have gone a lot faster on my Truth, but the HT is way better suited to those long fireroad climbs. I'll probably end up riding the HT anyway unless Magura gets me a new master cylinder soon...
Yeah, it's a brutal downhill due to the loose sections, no doubt.

I pretty much climb one handed and use the other hand to swat gnats. They are an odd thing though, a few years ago I saw none over the summer, it was especially dry, and then I think it was after a good monsoon season they popped up and were all over, because I hadn't experienced them it was very annoying to have them "pop up" all of a sudden after living here for a while. I can't say how long they'll be here, they seem to be a function of moisture and temperate temps. There are places that are not affected greatly by the gnats, trail 305 is usually not bad even when other places are. Doing the big loop and going up 62 to 299 to spruce mtn road to 297 only sucks as far as a little before spruce mtn road, which means that most of the ride is gnat-free. Granite Basin can be fairly good (but also hot during the summer). Other areas are horrible for the gnats, like the climb back out from 260, boy scout trail is horrible, it's hard for me to remember all of the areas that get real bad right now, but I'm sure I could fill you in better in a month or two. ;)

Do you really want to take the HT over trail 48 and down 260? I got an old avid caliper lying around, as well as an extra rotor (and maybe a lever but I haven't checked). The offer is there if you really want to take your truth, as I was flying down 260 today I thought about how nice it was to have suspension, and how much it would suck on that trail to not.
 

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Sublime Absurdity
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As for the I will say that a key reason for moving here was to escape the wicked bugs of New Hampshire so it is all relative. The other day when I was riding up one handed I was wishing I had one of these...

Jm. said:
Do you really want to take the HT over trail 48 and down 260? I got an old avid caliper lying around, as well as an extra rotor (and maybe a lever but I haven't checked). The offer is there if you really want to take your truth, as I was flying down 260 today I thought about how nice it was to have suspension, and how much it would suck on that trail to not.
Appreciate the supercool offer of the brake, but my real problem is laziness: I have identical sets of Martas on both MTBs - I could pull the rear off the HT. I really should get the Truth set up though because I have been riding more sketchy trails lately and I built up the HT for trails like 305/297...
 

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you guys sure are painting a pretty picture for what to expect this weekend.bugs,rough and loose trails and the forcast is 78 for the race.and i never did preride it.OH WELL i stil cant wait.
anybody doing the mayor city bike month ride thing friday morning let me know and ill look for you.
 
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