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1  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Tour Divide 2019 Race Discussion on: June 25, 2019, 10:09:11 AM
Nothing ugly about Scott S. expressing an opinion and we're not going to make him wrong for expressing that opinion.  Stand down, righteous people.  I don't relate well to those front-runners that call it quits over a little snow and mud, either.  Although, I don't go so far as to say it's disrespectful of other racers, riders, or some larger 'community'.  It's just their choice and I've adjusted my view over time to shrug and say "I don't relate to that, but that's what's working for them right now, and it's not like I've made stellar decisions at each time in my life".  I certainly relate more easily to those 4 riders that pushed over past BML, because that's more my style.  I'm okay with attempting to carry/drag my loaded bike through mud/snow/hail/rain for 4, 6, 8, 16 miles, or whatever, and am okay with 'wrecking my body' by doing it (whatever that means).  Over the past decade and half of this event, we've seen some 'heroic' efforts and recoveries, racers losing a day more to mechanical issues then retracing their steps under own power in the spirit of the rules, and we've seen others quit for reasons that we might see as 'dubious' or 'not a strong enough reason'.  Sometimes they are at peace with their decision, sometimes it eats at them for awhile.  Again, to each their own.  Either we can relate to their current situation/choice/decision or we can't.  Some riders are really good at riding and just can't stand the brutal HAB slogs.  Can't relate, since I'm am average-paced rider who's masochistic about HAB and brutal slogs, and have been accused of seeking out such challenges intentionally; and I view TDR through an Adventure Racing lens rather than through a Cycling Race lens.
This pass is the same pass that unfortunately claimed a TD racer's life 9 yrs ago, a few hours before I raced over from BML to Clark; so, if anything, we're all breathing a sigh of relief of sorts that there's adventure to be had without it going that far.
And whether or not I confuse the common English idioms of 'speaking my piece' versus 'holding my peace', like a large chunk of the population, doesn't make me a bad speller.  But, feel free to highlight all my other grammar, punctuation, and spelling ehrars.
2  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2019 AZTR Race Discussion on: April 18, 2019, 02:59:15 PM
Pulling for you, too, Aaron.  Recover from the mishap and restart for a clean run!
3  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Tour Divide 2018 Race Discussion Thread on: June 14, 2018, 09:54:15 AM
... Especially with BS like Koko Claims being included...


One person's "This is BS" is another person's "Heck yeah, bring it on, this is what I signed up for!  Sweet!".
4  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Tour Divide 2018 Race Discussion Thread on: June 14, 2018, 09:32:36 AM
But I don't recall when anyone here (including me) has been brave enough here to post when a front runner or friend breaks the rules. 

Dave

Dave, I gotta say (which may be re-treading what you've said in different words), having been around since pre2010 and having my own 21day finish in 2010, I recall something diff from past TD race discuss threads, where plenty were "brave" enough to call out suspected "rules breaches" or whatever.  There was all sorts of watch-dogging and bird-dogging going on, and I recall riders calling each other out 'in the field' as it were.  I took it as legit peer-to-peer integrity and one of the purest forms of "gentle-person's agreement" in action.  I dared not take a candy bar, let alone a used toothpick unless the person dropped it on the ground first.  Not that I'd want to, either.   But, maybe you are saying the same the thing: that it used to be the case to call each other out to maintain some semblance of integrity and it's not the case anymore, save for the easy-to-spot-and-validate route deviation.
 Moreover, there was Matt, and then later Toby, holding people's feet to the fire so the speak, and some people (majority?) couldn't handle it and those people often defaulted to the "who the 'eff are you to tell me what I can and can't do, it's not an organized legit 'race' anyway!" logic.  After a while, Matt, Toby, and others, went silent (of their own volition).  I also recall plenty of racers going to great lengths to resolve mechanical issues and get back on route where they left off, within rules set (Aidan, from Brit Isles, is one example that comes to mind), and being commended and celebrated for it.  Things have mellowed and diluted considerably over the years, that's for sure.  I, for one, appreciate the pinned list of 'route deviations' and scratches on the current TD'18 FB page.  Which brings me to asking: are you one and the same as the admin of that FB group?
5  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Tour Divide 2018 Race Discussion Thread on: June 14, 2018, 07:35:04 AM
Reply #146, red shirt, gray helmet, pic correctly labeled as Meyer, as in Gary Meyer, Bend, OR.  Get it!
6  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Tour Divide 2018 Race Discussion Thread on: June 12, 2018, 02:13:11 PM
Does the lead female (SOBO) have an interesting story about hiking around Richmond Peak?  Or, do you think those were just random pings?

Dots locations on that terrain is way too fast for hiking/bushwack pace with loaded bike to be legit.  It's either random pings, or it's 1 legit ping indicating wrong way (on Rice Ridge Rd) followed by a course-correct back to and then down the route but with no pings in between to truly know.  Either way, it's gotta be legit and she's on a decent pace through 4+ days.
7  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2018 AZTR300/750 Race Discussion Thread on: April 13, 2018, 08:03:36 AM
... and staying off the sugar

This I have pondered and thought about often, as the cause for sluggishness and other things ... super hard to not reach for the Gatorade and Dr Pepper in every convenience store, tho' ... will be curious to hear your thoughts after you finish your solid run this year.  Keep it up, Aaron!
8  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2018 AZTR300/750 Race Discussion Thread on: April 13, 2018, 07:59:20 AM
Mike, it was a long, cold, windy day today and I was over the hab for the day. I preferred the easy distance with a tailwind back to route over another potential hab. Its brutal out there!
Dave H.

Solid ride/hike so far, smart nav choices, keep it up!  Finish strong!  Make no mistake, I'm pulling for you all to finish the beast.  Just be glad it's not raining and turning the dirt to sticky peanut butter.
9  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2018 AZTR300/750 Race Discussion Thread on: April 12, 2018, 03:55:32 PM
We caught up with Brad Ells and Justin Dubois just a little bit ago.

Brad: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bhe5e-olEic/

Justin: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bhe6Fsnl_X1/

Great vids ... wish they were a little longer  thumbsup.  "it's not about the race, it's about finishing at this point" - I can relate, especially by Flag.  Finish strong, y'all !!!
10  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2018 AZTR300/750 Race Discussion Thread on: April 12, 2018, 03:49:51 PM
Looking for Dusty next he looks like he's crushing the canyon.

Very quick hustle through the ditch at just over 10hrs, or maybe closer to 11 when he tops out.  Either way ... quick walk, that.

Interesting drop into Mormon Lk for Beth S and Dave H, taking AZT to Dbl Sprngs CG then doubling-back on the paved road to the store.  Saves on 500ft of elev gain over Navajo Sprngs direct drop from the ridge to store but adds ~4miles (?) of bonus distance.  I've dropped down both the Nav Sprngs trail and road 219A/90N a little further North, and have my personal preference btwn those two were I ever in that situation again.  Maybe they were pushing past the store and gunnin' for Flag, then reconsidered.
11  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2018 AZTR300/750 Race Discussion Thread on: April 10, 2018, 01:33:03 PM
... watching Adam on his SS to see if he can do it faster than I did last year. He is currently out of Pine with a couple hours ahead of my time from last year. Wheeee!

Watching that one, too.  Really interesting choice by Adam to roll/walk all the way to Pine TH through the night last night, then sleep 4 to 5hrs and up at noon-ish to hit it again.
12  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2018 AZTR300/750 Race Discussion Thread on: April 09, 2018, 05:52:59 PM
WTF... Kurt is 32 miles to Flagstaff!   I can't believe that.

From something like 2.5 hrs behind the current 750 record split time at the M. Rim to ~2hrs ahead at the Flag split.  That is a solid 14hr effort since 4am this morning.
And Denberg continues to fly on wings South.  Impressive.
And good to see Max M., Dustin E. chewing up those hard won miles between Payson and the M. Rim.
And Brad E. looks to be making use of gears to pulling in Adam M. on his SS - those flat miles from the dam to just under Payson have got to be brutal for SS.  But, I'm pulling for you Adam - Ridin' Strong!
And keeping on eye on the ladies 750 to see if Beth S. can continue to close the gap on SS'er Alice D.
13  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2018 AZTR300/750 Race Discussion Thread on: April 06, 2018, 04:33:14 PM
Aaron is at the North Rim.

Warm day for this time of year. 86 down at Phantom. Hope the water is turned on and the lemonade is cold.

He packed up and dropped in quick (~40min) ... not messin' around.  If he moves thru the night, there's no lemonade to be had that early in the morning.  Here's to hoping he tops out on the South Rim 3am-5am and gets breakfast in Tusayan.  That'd be a sweat way to roll into that tourist trap.  " ... 'sup everybody, what have YOU been up to the last 24hrs?"

On the 750 NB side, there are fully twelve riders on sub-9-day pace.  Long way to go, but damn that's a fast field this year.  3 SS in that group, too.

14  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2018 AZTR300/750 Race Discussion Thread on: April 06, 2018, 01:14:59 PM
 
Denberg is blazin' south towards the North Rim.

Well, 67 is all downhill in that direction, isn't it  icon_biggrin?

We're witnessing quite a treat this year.

Yes, yes we are.  There are quite a few dots moving with some real purpose and pace.  I can't quite recall a non-event in the past 5yrs with this much going on.  I keep toggling back-and-forth btwn women, men, 300, 750, SS sub-cats, then realize that there's ITTs and the SB riders to track, too.  Also, thanks for the splits, John.
15  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2018 AZTR300/750 Race Discussion Thread on: April 05, 2018, 03:59:26 PM
Yep, easier to rip it on day 1 than it is on day 2!

Scott, any interest in posting up 'record splits' in the leaderboard, a la Tour Divide tracker?  Just curious, not a full-fledged request.  Maybe just for the 750?  You know, since the 300 is "over so quickly"  Wink.
7hrs to K Camp from Parker, and 8hrs from the border seems to be de-facto standard target for the faster riders over the years.  Inspiring.
Topping out from Molino Basin is next time-stamp of interest for me.

Good luck and tail winds to all this year!
16  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Tour Divide 2018 Race Preparation on: January 16, 2018, 02:59:48 PM
... And I'm guessing the retailers and bike shop owners and store proprietors and so on are not that enamored by racers anymore after seeing them year after year for over 10 years - and probably having many expecting special treatment/service. I hope I'm wrong on that last point. 


This recent article in High Country News suggests that you would be wrong: http://www.hcn.org/articles/the-montana-gap-rural-towns-capitalize-on-cycling-tourism.  At least in the case where Ovando, MT and other such communities located along cycling routes are concerned.  Also, I'm pretty sure High Country Lodge outside of Polaris, MT intentionally caters to TD racers and GDR touring riders, to either fill the gaps between fishermen and hunters, or to increase their margins.  I'm also willing to bet that some of the more prominent bike shops (Orange Peel, Absolute Bikes, among others) staff and stock their stores in anticipation of the "TD rush" rather than the other way around.
17  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2018 AZTR300/750 Race Discussion Thread on: December 15, 2017, 04:52:28 PM
Hi there, I am in for the long haul and would like to arrange my logistics over Xmas time. My understanding is that there are several reasonable options to get to the start. My question is how do 750 riders get away from the AZ/UT border. Coming from Germany, I donít have relatives or friends (do I?) near by to pick me up. My plan so far is to ride to the nearest B&B place (Paria Outpost) at the highway 89 and onwards to Page. However, I have to get back to either Tucson or Phoenix. Unfortunately there seem to be no flights from Page (and no bike shop to grab a bike box) and not even a rental car station. Any ideas would be much appreciated. Many thanks!


I always like to chime in on "exit logistics" to help with what I've learned from two previous 750 finishes:
 - go back through previous year discussion threads on this forum for the large amount of detailed information that is just too large to recreate;
http://www.bikepacking.net/forum/ultra-racing/2017-aztr300750-race-discussion-thread/
http://www.bikepacking.net/forum/ultra-racing/azt-750300-2017-planning-thread/
http://www.bikepacking.net/forum/ultra-racing/2016-aztr300750-race-discussion-thread/
http://www.bikepacking.net/forum/ultra-racing/arizona-trail-race-aztr-planning-thread/

 - the Paria Outpost seems like a fun option - I have no idea if they are open year-round, and looks like a great place to try and catch a ride
 - in general there are 2 main ways to go if self-propelled:
     a.) West to Kanab, in order to get to St George, UT for a shuttle to Las Vegas airport (my way out in 2014)
     b.) East to Page, AZ in order to get to Flagstaff, AZ airport.  Typically, flights are much more expensive out of Flagstaff, but that's the way I recall Arno Minner from Germany went in 2014 (I think he had friends in Flag)
 - if trying to catch a spontaneous ride from near the AZTR750 finish, pedal 1/4 mile North to the trailhead for The Wave and other trails and make a new friend - this is a very popular trailhead every day of the year
 - get lucky and make friends with one of your nearest AZTR750 competitors as you hike across the Grand Canyon, and catch a ride with them
 - stay connected to this forum for racers that pre-coordinate either a shared ride from the finish, or a dropped car - I was very happy to have a prearranged welcome committee and ride in 2016
18  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2017 CTR: Planning & Who's In? on: July 11, 2017, 08:52:24 AM
Can anyone recommend a hotel or rental car place close to Waterton Canyon?  I've spent time in Boulder climbing but I'm not familiar with Denver.
Brad

Hotel: Hampton Inn & Suites, Highlands Ranch (South Denver metropolis); from there is easy 9mile prologue through Chatfield SP to Waterton TH.
19  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Tour Divide 2017 - race discussion thread on: July 05, 2017, 11:55:58 AM
..., I'd love to stage a special throwback year of TD in which smart phones and GPS navigators were prohibited. Make people go back to navigating by cues for a year. I think it could make for some really nice / challenging personal growth. It's not easy to navigate by cues, but boy does it teach you to know a route well.


I, for one, would love that as well.
20  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Tour Divide 2017 - race discussion thread on: June 22, 2017, 11:46:08 AM
BL just put 60 miles into Kato since early this morning! Is this going to go down as the race winning move? Kato has proven he can pull out some serious chase moves, but considering BL has had a few hotel nights in the past few days, he could prove to be un passable in the next few hundy to Antelope Wells.
thoughts?

My thoughts are not just ~60miles, but also 6hrs gap as of my own time check comparo at the turn at Pueblo Pintado.  Gotta look at distance separation, time separation, terrain, moving speed, and stopped time.  JK got the time gap down to 2hrs early yesterday by riding late and getting up early, but then moved slower throughout the day especially over Polvadera Mesa where BL went Abiquiu-to-Cuba ~2.5hrs faster.  On top of that, JK got a late-ish start this morning most likely to drop into Cuba when most food options are open by 7am.  I think it cost JK to not have made Cuba by 11pm-ish last night to resupply/fuel up before closing times instead.  Additionally, having fueled and rested early evening in Cuba, BL was up and at it by 3am this morning.  I think it's gonna come down to those types of 'stopped time' logistics tonight and what conditions they encounter on the roads into Pie Town and into and through the Gila NF.

Also amazing to see Ben S having caught up to Stefan M in Abiquiu, for joint 3rd place lunchtime chit-chat.
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