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1  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2019 AZTR Race Discussion on: April 19, 2019, 03:55:21 PM
Hopefully the boys at the front aren't melting in The heat after dropping off Lemmon. Huw spent the winter in the Canadian Rockies and Neil in Minnesota...both a far cry from what must feel like a furnace now. I bet they're both counting down the hours until the sun sets. With <100 miles to go, we might be seeing a 51 hour finish for Huw and 53 for Neil (for the 300 portion of his ride) if they can keep the wheels on. Or at least those are my predictions 😁
2  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2019 AZTR 300/750 Race Preparation and Planning Thread on: April 11, 2019, 10:15:06 PM
Yup, the roads in the park are all open to bikes. It's just the trails that are closed to bikes.
3  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2019 AZTR 300/750 Race Preparation and Planning Thread on: April 09, 2019, 03:48:09 PM
Ugh, my brain isn't working. Yes, the 17th. I corrected that in my post. Thanks, John.
4  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2019 AZTR 300/750 Race Preparation and Planning Thread on: April 09, 2019, 02:07:47 PM
Might anyone have space to give two amazing Scottish folks (and their bikes) a ride from Picketpost to Parker Canyon Lake on Wednesday the 17th? They're in need of some help with logistics, and it sounds like the Homegrown shuttle is all filled up.

Such a bummer that the Snowbowl detour is needed this year. That's such a fun and iconic section of trail.
5  Forums / Routes / Re: Plateau Passage route beginning late May on: March 28, 2019, 08:48:06 PM
There's definitely a lot of snow on those high plateaus and isolated mountain ranges.

Follow along on these snowpack maps to watch how conditions evolve as the snow gets melting here...
6  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2019 AZTR Race Discussion on: March 28, 2019, 09:12:22 AM
What an exciting finish to "watch." Lael put in a huge ride...and it looks like she'll become the 5th fastest rider ever on the 300 by my count! Now two of the five fastest riders ever are women. How long until one breaks the 45-hour barrier and takes the overall record?
7  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2019 AZTR Race Discussion on: March 26, 2019, 07:07:17 PM
It's dot watching time for me this year! The 750 last year was an absolute blast, but I'm stoked to spectate this year with so many friends and folks I coach racing  icon_biggrin

It looks like as dusk sets in, Lael is trailing both Neil and Kaitlyn's ghost dot from last year by roughly 80 minutes if my math is correct. That's a dang fast pace...but night two is when things really start to get interesting, so we just get to be patient and see what shakes out.

Adam, my method is to compare an ITT's point from a specific location with another year's rider's point at that same spot from a past tracking page.
8  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2019 CTR Preparation & Plannning on: November 30, 2018, 07:22:19 PM
No date announcement yet...according to Facebook, the RD is currently determining the date...
9  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Abandon Bikepacking Seatbag for Dropper Post Priority...questions on: November 30, 2018, 07:19:48 PM
Adam, I second MikeC's thoughts - it's all about compromise. I personally wouldn't want to ride a lot of the trails that I love to bikepack on (including the AZT and CT) without a dropper. That being said, I'm not willing to give up on a seat bag. So I usually limit my dropper travel to 3" or so, and I use a Revelate Designs Vole dropper-specific bag - the plastic sheet on the underside protects the bottom in case I occasionally use all my rear travel and buzz the tire with the seat bag. And with the slacker front end geometries and longer travel forks on the bikes I'm riding these days, a bit more weight on the handlebars than I used to prefer has been fine.
10  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2019 AZTR 300/750 Race Preparation and Planning Thread on: November 30, 2018, 07:04:41 PM
Yeehaw, John! That sounds awesome, especially the bit of new trail toward the top of Lemmon! I consistently have so much trouble staying awake for that much pavement.

Count me in for another run at the 750!

Just kidding  icon_biggrin
11  Forums / Bikepacking / Re: Bikepacking Roots 2018 Community Survey on: September 06, 2018, 11:57:47 AM
Thanks so much for sharing that here, John!
12  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2018 AZTR300/750 Race Discussion Thread on: April 15, 2018, 12:14:13 PM
Scott, Steven says he can clean that Reddington cache up tomorrow!
13  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2018 AZTR300/750 Race Discussion Thread on: April 15, 2018, 12:02:07 PM
Has anyone been out to Redington yet?

I'll shoot Steven Terry a message and see if he can take care of it. I think that's where he had dropped off some gallons before the race. 
14  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2018 AZTR300/750 Race Discussion Thread on: April 13, 2018, 10:11:22 AM
Aaron - keep crushing! I can't even imagine how hard that climb up Oracle Ridge was, but now all the big obstacles are behind you!
15  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2018 AZTR300/750 Race Discussion Thread on: April 13, 2018, 10:09:55 AM
Hey all! I'm staring at my computer back at home, thinking my brain is now able to put together sentences, but I might have not yet have had enough coffee yet this morning. It was fun reading all the discussion from during the race - there are so many inspiring rides and stories on out on the trail. My own ride was an amazing experience - really fun overall until hitting Grand Canyon. The riding on the AZT is, as everyone knows, unrelentingly challenging, and this year more than ever, I was really enjoying the technical riding since it was so engaging. I pushed a comfortable pace for the 300, shared some great hours of riding with Neil and Kaitlyn each, and then followed their tracks into Picketpost.

Kaitlyn's ride was so spectacular to see first-hand - after all the energy she's put into past AZT race and time trial efforts only to be met by bad luck, everything came together for her on this one, and she stomped out one of the fastest rides ever in the 300, and with a smile! Her persistence and vision has proven to be a formidable combination. Although she and I aren't together any longer, we're still one another's biggest supporters, and her massive ride provided a deep well of inspiration for the remaining days of my ride.

North of Picketpost, I transitioned into pushing the pace on the most rideable sections and dialing it back and being patient on the more technical and unrideable terrain. The heat nearly melted me on the new dirt sections near Gold Canyon, but being off pavement and at the base of the cliffs at the edge of the Superstition Mountains was well worth the extra effort and time. Highline Trail is improving nicely, but it's still quite an adventure to traverse. And the 50-mile boulder field (as described by Cjell Mone a few years back) north of there was just as rocky as ever. (John Schilling: I said hello to all those rocks for you - they asked how you have been and when you're coming back for another visit!). By Mormon Lake, I was still feeling strong, so I continued to push the pace all the way into Flagstaff, quickly grabbed some food, and climbed into the night. I was excited to get out north of the Peaks to sleep that night, but as soon as the descent began, I couldn't keep myself on the trail despite feeling wide awake, so I had to stop. That was the first sign the lack of sleep was starting to really catch up with me.

After a few hours of sleep, I hit it out across the dirt roads and 2-tracks of the volcanic field, once again feeling strong, but the fatigue in my legs was becoming more obvious. I was eager to get to the Canyon, and after a quick stop at the post office in Grand Canyon Village to grab a pack, running shoes, and trekking poles, I found myself at the South Rim. The crossing was uneventful, but it was a struggle - one foot in front of the other, tired legs, a knee that was not happy with hiking downhill, and patience that was wearing thin. My running shoes were actually less comfortable with the heavy pack than were my cycling shoes, so gave up on the running shoes just a few miles into the hike. By the wee hours of the morning, my brain decided it was time to get creative and started spicing up the darkness with all sorts of strange hallucinations. I had been pushing the sleep deprivation envelope too far, apparently, and it got a little frightening at times as I neared the North Rim. The crossing took ~14 hours with just a few quick breaks along the way, but it felt like it could have taken days.

Back on the bike, I was weaving all over the road in the day's first light, trying to keep my eyes open and to not be too alarmed at my brain's growing dysfunction. I got frustrated with myself for letting things get that far and ignoring the early signs that I should have been sleeping more. But that internal dialogueseem and a steady stream of food seemed to wake me up, and before I knew it, I was blasting into Jacob Lake with a huge tailwind. Fresh cookies, coffee, and the thought of the trail's amazing final descent to the border got me excited again. And that last segment of AZT was delightful - my grin returned, I hammered as hard as I could, and by mid-day, I could see the end of the trail. A few tears flowed, I stopped to absorb the view, and then I dropped off Buckskin Mountain on what's got to be one of the sweetest sections of the entire AZT, wrapping up the 30-hour push from the Peaks to the Border.

It was a huge relief to finish, but having really enjoyed so many of the miles, I was somewhat sad to have things come to an end. My final ride time was 6 days, 6 hours, and 6 minutes according to Tim's race-starting clock, a rather beastly time as has been pointed out. This ride was so incredibly different than my 2010 through-ride - that year I knew so little about the trail, what to expect, if I could even survive the adventure, and so on. This time, it was all about controlling the controllable variables as carefully as possible and keeping my focus 100% on moving forward quickly and with a smile. And all that worked out - I had zero mechanicals, only one crash, only found my frustration growing a handful of times, and really enjoyed the experience. I'll share a bit more about my gear and all that jazz over on Instagram in the next few days, so check that out if you're so inclined. And thanks to all of for exuding so much positivity - I could feel it while I was out there!

And now I'm watching all the dots with all of y'all! Dusty's ride that just ended at the Utah border was so impressive - a huge congrats to him!
16  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2018 AZTR300/750 Race Discussion Thread on: April 04, 2018, 02:29:35 PM
For anyone driving from Picketpost south yet today, do not go through Florence. A big country music festival had traffic backed up for miles north of Florence.
17  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2018 AZTR300/750 Race Discussion Thread on: April 02, 2018, 08:56:34 AM
One other note on water - High Jinks Ranch ( is just a few hundred feet off the AZT below Oracle Ridge after you end up on the Cody Trails ( They have a water spigot at their front gate for AZT users - that would be a great place to tank up if not heading into Oracle so as to not need to take more than a bit of water from the Tiger Mine water cache.
18  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2018 AZTR300/750 Race Discussion Thread on: March 26, 2018, 08:20:05 AM
Another update from GCNP on the water situation in the Canyon. Apparently the transcanyon pipeline broke in multiple places, yet again:

Drinking Water in the Cross-Canyon Corridor
date updated Mar 16, 2018

On Friday, March 16, 2018 Grand Canyon National Park will begin phasing to Level 3 water restrictions and conservation measures due to a series of breaks in the Transcanyon Waterline. Until park staff repairs the break and water in storage tanks reaches sustainable levels, the park will remain in conservation mode.

Drinking water is available at the following inner canyon locations: Phantom Ranch, Bright Angel Campground, and Indian Garden. The South Rim water bottle filling stations- including those at the South Kaibab and Bright Angel trailheads- are turned off.
19  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2018 AZTR300/750 Race Discussion Thread on: March 25, 2018, 10:06:04 AM
I talked to a few Flagstaff folks yesterday, and they're currently riding up to 8,500'. Word is that Aspen Corner should be fine in 2.5 weeks if no more snow falls and it stays warmish. The descent off the  north side could still have a bit of snow, but it sounds like things are melting out steadily.
20  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2018 AZTR300/750 Race Discussion Thread on: March 21, 2018, 08:28:24 AM
In this area there have also been confirmed cases of rabid foxes (two).  Riders need to be aware of this especially if camping.  The warning is for all of the western Superstision Mtns. 

More of 'em!? When riding Montana Mountain a year ago (just off the 750 route north of Picketpost), Kaitlyn Boyle got attacked by a rabid fox that came charging out of the bushes at her! She was off her bike to hike across a wash, and she put her bike between her and the fox. Twice the fox lunged and latched onto her front tire. She swung the front end of the bike with the fox clamped on all around and up and down into the ground until the fox finally ran off, yelping as it went. Fortunately, both Kaitlyn and her tire escaped unscathed (that was a dang good test of Terrene's "Tough" casings).

The kit foxes that come out at night are so much cuter than rabid gray foxes. Hopefully we all just see the cute ones :-)
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