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  Topic Name: 2012 AZT 300/750 on: October 13, 2011, 03:49:05 PM
dream4est


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« on: October 13, 2011, 03:49:05 PM »

Well since there is already a 2012 Tour Divide thread lets discuss the AZT action coming up a short 6 months from today. I was just looking at my 2010 pix and the desert is calling. Winter training here in Colorado can get boring/cold/lame but dreaming of AZT 750 can help. I missed the 2011 race due to business reasons (I opened a store here in Idaho Springs) but was so ready to ride and cannot wait for the next one. I also missed out on the CTR in 2011 so I am really ready for the 100-year anniversary of the AZT and the new sections planned for next year.

Anyone else out there been testing gear, dreaming of cholla and Grand Canyon death marches?

Mark C.
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  Topic Name: 2012 AZT 300/750 Reply #1 on: October 13, 2011, 04:16:11 PM
Chad B
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2011, 04:16:11 PM »

(I opened a store here in Idaho Springs)

yeah, talk to us about this handmade, bath and body line you make.
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  Topic Name: 2012 AZT 300/750 Reply #2 on: October 13, 2011, 05:10:13 PM
dream4est


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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2011, 05:10:13 PM »

yeah, talk to us about this handmade, bath and body line you make.

Well I had the ad for the chamois/pain cream up on the site here but we had some issues for a little while. I need to renew that sucker asap. Leila (my girlfriend and biz partner) makes the BEST lotion and pain cream bar none. I dont know how she figured it all out, but it just works. I think it is the best chamois cream on the market and I test it all the time to make sure I am not biased.

I never finished a race before her cream. I completed an unsupported ITT of the CT in 2008 without her product, but failed in the 2007 CTR and The Grand Loop four times. Pain and how to deal with it always was a big issue. Since using her cream I have finished four races in a row. Not fast, but always staying on track. And with hardly any ibuprofen.

The other bath and body stuff she makes rocks as well. No mineral oils, alcohol or petroleum.

I asked Leila to make Geronimo Pain Cream specifically for bikepacking and bikepack races because I think it is the greatest sport ever and I just wanted to finish the races so bad but kept failing. Now with this cream and some finishes I actually train hard and feel confident now. Like confident that I can finish the AZT 750 again.

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  Topic Name: 2012 AZT 300/750 Reply #3 on: October 14, 2011, 04:26:41 PM
AZTtripper
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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2011, 04:26:41 PM »

Mark, glad to hear your thinking of coming back down. I am hoping to have my shit together for this spring as well.

I was up at Mormon Lake for the annual ATA Rendezvous last month and got a little info out of the Executive Director. It sounds like the new White Canyon Passage will be completed with time to spare.

Also talked with a couple of different hikers who have been north of 4 Peaks, west of Roosevelt Lake, in the one section Scott has been letting people slip past. Sounds like the trail in that area is clear so hopefully we can add it in for next year. Somebody will need to get up there and ride it but it is a great area. Both Scott and Lee, and I did this section during our own thru trips. So I think it should be part of the race.

Also there is new trail in the Apache Junction area. It's not AZT but could become part of the bike route. The new trail would get us off of the highway before AJ and drop into Lost Dutchman State Park. It puts AJ off of the course though so it's a tough call. The guy who told me about it is more of a hiker but he put a lot of time into the trail, so I think he is hoping that we will use it so it can become part of the AZT bike route. Just so he can say he built part of the AZT, actually I heard that there are some hikers talking about doing the bike route instead of the official hiker route. More access to resupply so I guess it makes some sense. I have also heard that there are some horse people doing the full on dirt road version just to make better time on horses that don't like rocks.

Early forecasts call for a drier then normal winter. Sucks for anybody who cares about the state of water resources but rocks for AZT riders hoping for more single track up north. 
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  Topic Name: 2012 AZT 300/750 Reply #4 on: October 16, 2011, 02:07:41 PM
JayP


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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2011, 02:07:41 PM »

how ironic, we (Tracey and I) too have been giving this A LOT of thought and discussion recently....

-JayP
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  Topic Name: 2012 AZT 300/750 Reply #5 on: October 18, 2011, 10:25:26 PM
krefs


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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2011, 10:25:26 PM »

It seems like racing on the AZT has become an annual thing for me. It'd be odd if I didn't do it this time around seeing as I'll be living a heck of a lot closer come January. It'd just be the 300 for me, though...I'll have one of those jobs now, reducing my flexibility a bit.
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  Topic Name: 2012 AZT 300/750 Reply #6 on: October 22, 2011, 07:04:58 AM
SteveW


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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2011, 07:04:58 AM »

I've been thinking about this one lately too. Why does the Grand Canyon death march hold such appeal to me? Just figuring out logistics from the UK getting to the start and from the finish. Also wondering whether doing the ITI in March and AZT in April is a good way to have used nearly all my annual leave in the first four months of the year...

Steve Wilkinson
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Steve Wilkinson

  Topic Name: 2012 AZT 300/750 Reply #7 on: October 24, 2011, 03:17:04 AM
bartspedden


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« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2011, 03:17:04 AM »

oh no, I might have the AZT 300 bug! Is there an official date/course for 2012?

Found it:  Friday, April 13th, 2012 - 9am
« Last Edit: October 24, 2011, 03:24:06 AM by bartspedden » Logged

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  Topic Name: 2012 AZT 300/750 Reply #8 on: October 24, 2011, 04:09:24 AM
AZTtripper
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« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2011, 04:09:24 AM »

Start date was set a while back Scott likes to put it in the middle of the month and try for the full moon or close to it for those who ride all night.

The course won't be set until we see how much, hopefully all, of the White Canyon trail gets done. They were supposed to start in the last week or so. And the way it sounds it should all be done by the end of the year. So no more detour down to the diversion dam, and no more HAB from hell on Martinez. The new stuff on the north side of the Gila is pretty sweet once it's done the end will be almost all ST.
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  Topic Name: 2012 AZT 300/750 Reply #9 on: October 24, 2011, 06:53:22 AM
bartspedden


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« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2011, 06:53:22 AM »

Sounds like an amazing adventure! We're just getting ready for ski season here in colorado and I'm already thinking about my next bikepacking race. Looks like I'll be juggling bike and ski training this winter :-)

Is there an old that you would recommend reading for an AZT rookie? I've read a bunch of trip reports.  Looks like tires and tire repair are something to dial in for sure! But I've got all the typical rookie questions too that I'm sure have been answered, just need to find the thread.

Thanks!
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  Topic Name: 2012 AZT 300/750 Reply #10 on: October 24, 2011, 09:14:41 AM
AZTtripper
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« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2011, 09:14:41 AM »

Here's a link from last years planning thread http://www.bikepacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,1832.0.html and last years discussion during the race http://www.bikepacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,2021.0.html

Last year I made up a water table some of that will change with the new route so I'll have to update it as we get closer. Feel free to ask any ? you might think of even if it's been covered some times the answers might have changed.

Tires have been an issue in the past as well as brake pads. One mistake that has been made repeatedly is not having sealant in the spare tubes. Water how much to carry when and were to refill is very personal but a big part of the strategy I should think. Personally I like to carry as little as I feel comfortable with and then knowing were to refill and how much. Of course how much will vary from year to year depending on that years temps.   
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  Topic Name: 2012 AZT 300/750 Reply #11 on: October 24, 2011, 12:16:39 PM
dream4est


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« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2011, 12:16:39 PM »

I agree with Tim- Slime filled tubes are a must. 3 tubes to start. Tubeless tires that are brand new to start. Tough tires like Geax TNT bead. Extra brake pads.

I had to buy various tires, tubes and pads to survive (barely, and sometimes by sheer luck) in 2010 for 15 days. I finished on one brake but with a intact tubeless kit after two tire replacements, flats, tube failures, etc. Know where the bike shops are the whole way.

Bart- for the 300- dont leave Tucson (halfway point) with a hobbled bike- go to the shop. I didnt, thinking I could score stuff in Oracle or something. That was a bad idea.

« Last Edit: October 24, 2011, 12:20:45 PM by dream4est » Logged

  Topic Name: 2012 AZT 300/750 Reply #12 on: October 26, 2011, 09:51:08 AM
bartspedden


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« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2011, 09:51:08 AM »

Thanks everyone for the help.  I'm digging into the threads and sucking out everything I can.  Having never really done any mountain biking in the desert before, this feels like another epic adventure in the making! It's pretty clear that there can be a huge variety of weather. Some reports show snow, while others talk about oppressive heat.  The one thing I couldn't figure out is if these extremes occur on the same race, or are they from different years? Or do they happen within the same day? I'm fine with big mountains, lighting, rockfall, avalanches... but the desert is a spooky place to me because I don't have much experience.  Clearly I'm taking it seriously and am starting the learning process now.  Wonder if it would be worth it to plan a trip soon before winter sets in? It's already snowing where I live.
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  Topic Name: 2012 AZT 300/750 Reply #13 on: October 26, 2011, 10:09:53 AM
AZTtripper
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2011, 10:09:53 AM »

Spooky shit down here for sure, just kidding but yes it's a different skill set but there are plenty of things that overlap no doubt.

Weather down here is just getting nice come on down. Other then the very top of Mt Lemmon all of the 300 course is in prime time starting now.

Yes the snow and the heat can all come in the same race but not likely the same day. The year Mark was here we had snow at the start and I know he was feeling the heat the next day. Being from up north he did better with the cold then the hot. One of the Texas guys said it was great watching him in the beer cave at Circle K. This last year was a hot one at the start but then the nights are better for those pushing thru.

Tim
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  Topic Name: 2012 AZT 300/750 Reply #14 on: October 26, 2011, 10:28:17 AM
bartspedden


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« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2011, 10:28:17 AM »

Gila MONSTER = spooky fo sho! We have rattle snakes and tarantulas here, but once I start thinking about scorpions... at night... I swear the only thing more freaky is the boogeyman!

Seriously though, water for me is the first topic that I'm gonna start to figure out.

Thanks for the weather insight.  One last mountain bike trip before the real snow turns all my thoughts to skis might do me good!
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  Topic Name: 2012 AZT 300/750 Reply #15 on: October 26, 2011, 10:53:29 AM
dream4est


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« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2011, 10:53:29 AM »

Tripper is right I experienced some extreme weather/temp differences. 6-7" of snow on the border. 89F on Oracle Ridge. 21F at 5am on top of Mogollon Rim. 87F at the bottom of the ditch. 2 feet of snow on the north rim and 27F.

The colder temps were easier to work with for a Colorado rider for sure. Water in the heat is a must. Carry 180 or more everywhere (220 out of Oracle).

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  Topic Name: 2012 AZT 300/750 Reply #16 on: October 26, 2011, 11:20:15 AM
AZTtripper
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« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2011, 11:20:15 AM »

Gila Monsters are freaking cool. The chances of getting bit by one are like hitting the lotto. They move super slow.

The thing with snakes is knowing how they work, as they can only move when they can be warm enough but not too hot. The time of year that the race is they can only move for a short window during the day. Riding around here at night in the summer can be quite exciting. In one ride we saw 5 and had some close encounters.

Scorpions are more of a hot weather bug not that much of an issue. Only once have I seen one while bikepacking. See them more when doing trail work as you dig up their homes.

I'll have to look and see if Scott still has last years water table up. I will do a new one for this year hopefully it will not change again, at least not too much.

My thing with water is that it's so fricking heavy. I have made the mistake of carrying too much many times. Of course it helps to know where every little source is so I can plan on only carrying the amount needed. Of course there's always the better safe then sorry concept. But I know that at least one guy had 200 oz at Parker Lake in the snow. It's only 30 miles to Patagonia and there's a spigot at mile 19 if you know where to look, there was no water table yet that year. I had been checking that spigot for 3 years and it was always dry, now it's been on for 3 years, plus there has always been ground water there. Most of the faster guys just skip the pump and ride from one clean source to another though.
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  Topic Name: 2012 AZT 300/750 Reply #17 on: October 28, 2011, 09:35:21 PM
Foster


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« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2011, 09:35:21 PM »

Just curious.  Why would you need extra brake pads?
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  Topic Name: 2012 AZT 300/750 Reply #18 on: October 29, 2011, 12:54:26 AM
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« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2011, 12:54:26 AM »

Just curious.  Why would you need extra brake pads?

Those changes in temp can wreak havoc on brake pads.

Not to mention, there is no way you can predict if you will need a new pair out there......
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  Topic Name: 2012 AZT 300/750 Reply #19 on: October 29, 2011, 05:06:46 AM
AZTtripper
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« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2011, 05:06:46 AM »

Just curious.  Why would you need extra brake pads?

Realistically you shouldn't. However I personally know of 2 riders who did. In 07 my friend Zac burned thru a pair on the Oracle Ridge descent, that one may have been his fault as he was new to disc at the time. I could smell them like you do car brakes on the Catalina Hwy, luckily he had a spare pair. Mark C aka Dream4est chewed up both pairs, I believe, on the first day due to all of the grit from the snow that day. He did not have spares, he said he couldn't believe he'd need them. He ended up gluing plastic from a tire patch box onto the backing plates so as to have something other then metal on metal. Actually Scott told me latter that he had done the metal on metal thing and it's not the end of the world. I was riding that day in the snow as well and tho I didn't go thru as much pad as Mark, I didn't start where he did either, I did notice that I had to make an adjustment pretty early on. I was running BB7's and so had to do this manually, Mark was running hydro's so this happened automatically and he had no warning. That may be the only advantage to mech brakes, so far no one to my knowledge has suffered a brake failure due to hydro's loosing fluid, first time for everything tho.

In the end every racer will just have to make the call. As with everything. I wouldn't expect everyone to want to carry everything I might suggest. That's where things get interesting. Make your choices before hand and deal with what comes up along the way.
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