Arizona Trail, Desert Southwest (CO,AZ,UT,NM), Trip Reports » AZT 300, Pretty much a mixed bag this year.by trail717
This year’s AZT was a mixed bag. For a variety of reasons I arrived at the start with a sore back, 15 lbs over weight and my last training ride 20+ days ago. I was determined to ride smart, slow and just finish. An in the final analyses I did ride smart and defiantly slow.
The only true problem I had with my ol bod was terrible, painful saddle sores, they were expected considering the lack of training but that was a small consolation. They started at the end of the 1st day and were a constant nuisance. I finally resorted to liberal amounts of oily Preparation H and a couple of Advil’s. This combo would get me about 4-6 hours down the trail. I also did a lot of walking to take pressure off the ol butt. Other than that I held up pretty good, by the last day the ol legs were actually starting to get stronger. Yup, nothing like a 300 mile multi-day ‘training ride’ to whip your self into shape.
I rode my new Trek 60er this year. Bike responded beautiful, I like the 69er format!!!!. And I never once pulled out my multi-tool. All I did was add a bit of air to the rear tire (it was new and not 100% ‘set’) for a few ‘burps’ and oiled the chain twice. That was it for the entire trip. Say YES WE CAN for STANS
The cool conditions made most of the ride quite present. I did have to deal with some sticky mud/clay and I did get a bit cold. The biggest problem with the wet was on the 1st night when my tarp arrangement sprang a leak and I got water in my bag before I woke up. I did not hit Mt Lemmon till after the big storm so that was a non issue for me. I did bivy up early just before you start the pavement; this was a nice warm campground, down below all the high altitude cold. Oracle is a pain a night, this year it was no big deal during the daylight. I saw lots of deer, road runners, rabbits, coyotes and two rattle snakes (one was ‘frozen still’ and I almost stepped on him) and my 1st ever wild Gila Monster!!
Actually, for me, this year was a bit boring from a ‘race’ perspective. I was so far back the tire tracks were faded away. I was hoping for some ‘touring’ riders to leap frog with like last year but half the field was done and finished before I reached Mt Lemmon. I didn’t sleep a lot, or take more than a few ‘breaks’, but I never really ‘pushed’ like last yr. Just rode/walked along at a sustainable pace, some times happy, some times sort of sort of jaded. Sort of a mix bag mentally.
Scott has done an excellent job of laying out a fun and challenging route. If you read the other accounts you can quickly see how the route can seem totally different to different riders. It all depends on your personal condition and abilities mixed in with your gear prep/choice and topped off with individual weather/altitude conditions. Kudos once again to SCOTT!!!
Attached is my “home made” video, don’t laugh to much, it’s the 1st video I ever made and I ran out of patience learning all the edit stuff. Anyway, it’s in two parts so I could put it on the web for free. Enjoy……..