Arizona Trail, Desert Southwest (CO,AZ,UT,NM), Trip Reports » AZT 300, Pretty much a mixed bag this year.


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 Body:

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.

The Bike:

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 Trail:

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!!   

The Race:

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.

The Route:

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……..

Part 1:

Part 2:



Comments (5)

ScottMApril 20th, 2009 at 10:56 pm

Great videos. It’s fun to hear your voice ‘on route’ and in the midst of it.

Glad you liked the route and stuck with it, despite the ‘mixed bag’ effect. For not pushing it, you sure took a bunch of time off last year!

MarshalApril 21st, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Playing back the videos was fun, better than a picture.

I actualy rode slower–more total “”ride”” hours– this year, just a lot less ‘break’ time. Slept a bit more also this yr. This yr I was on top the water/food from the 1st hr and never had to “stop, rest, eat, rest, recover” like I did last yr. Just a nice easy/steady ride/eat/dirnk/ride the whole way with just that one ‘extra’ break that is in the video, even that one, in the end was only 50 min total.

Next big ride I hope to actualy be in shape and not have to deal with saddle sores…….one can always hope……

ChrisApril 23rd, 2009 at 10:29 am

Marshall I’m impressed. In fact I’ve been impressed with every one of your big rides. You going to be back on the CT this summer?

MarshalApril 23rd, 2009 at 10:35 am

CT this summer?? Well I want to see that last 40 miles in the worst way, so it’s in schedule at this point in time.

MaryApril 8th, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Thanks for posting the videos! I haven’t ridden traverse o’ death or the sections near the Gila River, so it was great to see what’s in store for me!

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