Monday, March 31, 2014

AZTR Countdown

The Arizona trail race is right around the corner. I've been going over what to bring, what not to bring, etc. never ends and I'm sure Laura is sick of hearing about it.

I did my last gear shakedown ride at Phil's on Saturday with Dan Holmes who is also doing the race with the full load of gear minus some food.

Here is details of my gear I will be using:

The bike: Kokopelli Bike Co titanium 29er hardtail, of course. I'm running a 32x22 gearing. I recently put on a new to me carbon Truvativ Noir Crankset and bottom bracket. New Maxxis Ikon 2.35 tires, a Rennon 22 tooth cog in the rear, 9 speed SRAM chain, new Eggbeater 3 Candy pedals and new XT brake pads.

On the bike: I will be going without a pack on the back and will have everything on the bike. This will include a Source 100oz bladder, two 32oz bottles in the feed bags, a 24 ounce bottle on the down tube with a Vapur 30 ounce  bladder for backup in the frame bag for when things get bad. That puts me at a full capacity of  218 ounces. That should be sufficient to get through the long sections. I will also carry a bottle of coke in the back pocket. Also in the frame bag will be most of my food and my bag of extra batteries for the Fenix PD 32 UE lights, SPOT and Etrex GPS unit.

The front handlebar Revelate Sweetroll will carry my sleep system. Including the Sweetroll it weighs in at a mere 3.5 pounds.  Tis includes the Sol Escape bivy, 30 degree Stoic sleeping bag, Klymit Inertia X-lite air pad and a ground tarp.

On the Sweetroll is a small pocket. This will carry small items like toothbrush/paste, small cable lock, water purification tablets, wet wipes, queue sheets, phone and other small items like motrin, butt butter, Thermatabs, etc. Oh, and tweezers and a comb for the nasty Chollas.

The rear seat pod will carry my bike repair items, two tubes with Stan's,, two small bottles of Stan's, tire repair items: needles and thread, tire boots, patches, extra cleat and bolts, brake pads, multi tool, air pump, chain links and super glue. I will also keep any extra clothing in the seat pod. This items will be dependent on the weather forecast.

Also on the bike is a Revelate Gas Tank and Jerry can carrying food and misc items.

That's it for the most part. 10 days and change until start time. 9am @ Parker Canyon Lake, AZ.

Follow the dots at this link:

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

WRIAD 2014

At least once a year the White Rim in a Day is either ridden on a fatty or on the single speed bike. This time around it was on the single speed with some AZT weight added to it. I knew I wouldn't be particularly 100% as on Monday night I came down with a stomach bug and losing two days at work. So, I had a few days to replenish and get out and ride 100 miles.

The group start wasn't quite a group start. The plan was to have Shawn and Terry meet Paul and I at the top of Mineral Bottom. While on the drive to Mineral Bottom we saw Kiviok out riding the opposite direction trying to sneak in his own ride and we convinced him to ride with us. We were all ready and as we rolled out Shawn and Terry rolled up and we just stated we would soft pedal up the road. Well, they finally caught up to us at mile 40. LOL. Shawn was messing with his AZT meal prep trial and error and the others rolled out as I waited for Shawn. We rode together until mile 75 or so and than I became rather tired and started losing energy. The stomach bug episode was catching up with me. I pedaled my own pace not wanting to bonk hard and I started to cramp a bit in my inner thighs. It was going to be a hard 20 some miles to finish by myself. I wasn't in the mood to spin after Shawn and the other boys had pedaled away earlier with no regrouping to be done on this day.

I saw Kiviok and Shawn on Hardscrabble a few switchbacks up and I resolved myself to just ride my own ride at this point. Shawn was crushing the climbs on his 32x19 setup with full AZT gear on the bike. I was content with my 32x20 gearing. I caught up with Kiviok at the bottom of the Mineral Bottom climb. I had already thought to myself that I was going to be walking much of it. Well, I ended up walking the whole climb. I didn't have much energy left in the tank. Still a good day to be out on the bike. 100 miles done.

The rest of the weekend I spent completing a 10 mile run with my new Altra Olympus running shoes and took the fat bike on Mag 7 and rode the trail system reverse order. Some good climbing on Bull Run in that direction.

16 days until the AZT. I hope I'm ready.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Disappointment Valley Loop

With about a month out from the AZT I got back out for another overnighter with a loaded down bike. I ran a 32x18 for this trip. We had some snow in the area so the thought of any dirt road routes were out of the running in the immediate area and around Rico the snow is abundant. June is about the time we can start reaching out to the high country.

I thought of riding out toward Monticello and riding a back road over to Newspaper Rock but with a suggestion from others I decided to do a loop through Disappointment Valley. Which is a long way on a single speed. Damn. I started off in Cortez as the highway out of Rico was iced over and it was 15 degrees outside. Laura was off to Cortez to run errands and ride Phil's so it was a perfect opportunity for a ride down south. I pedaled out to Dove Creek via HWY 491, took the turn at HWY 141 hoping the headwind I had been battling for the past 30 miles would subside. I was soon passing through Egnar and onto the downhill portion of Slick Rock Hill down to the Dolores River which would bring me out to Disappointment Valley, Big Gypsum Valley and to the Basin Store where I would bivy near an information sign. Just over 80 miles down for the day. There was lots of moisture on the ground and I knew I was going to be at my limit with my sleeping gear to stay warm. I was smart enough to bring extra layers for sleeping in though and was mentally prepared for a cold one. I actually ran in place at one point before getting into my bag to warm up a bit. My left toes were a bit numb from the cold wind I had been enduring coming out of Big Gypsum Valley.

It was a long night and the temps were probably close to single digit. My tent fly was iced over inside and out when I crawled out of my bag at dawn. It was the time change as well and I had lost an hour and knew it would be cold when I crawled out of that warm bivy. I was on the bike just after 8am with the sun starting to poke it nose over the mountains. I didn't have any hot coffee to make and I kept thinking of getting to Norwood for a hot cup of Joe which was still 30 miles away.

I arrived in Norwood at 10.30am with 11o miles clicked off. I pedaled straight for the coffee shop only to find it closed on Sunday's. WTF!!! Really. Off to the market I was and found some cold canned coffee with an apple croissant type edible to eat. Than I was off pedaling toward Telluride. Down Norwood Hill and than the long slog to Lizard Head would begin. I stopped in Placerville to buy a coke, banana and heat up my breakfast burrito I had been carrying since I started. Yum! Back on the bike and pedal, pedal, pedal.

I battled Keystone Hill and than onto battle Lawson Hill which would put me up past Mountain Village with a few miles of up and down road and than a final push up to Lizard Head Pass. The 32x18 was putting the screws to me at this point. I actually walked about 30 feet going up Lizard Head Pass. Finally arrived in Rico at mile 165. What a cool route.

Dolores Rivier.

Lots of crap!

A big valley on a single speed bike.


Bivy in the basin.

Moab Season

Enough of the snow!!

Well, it's Moab season for us people stuck in winter wonderland. But, than again it's always Moab season in my mind. It was dumping snow in Rico on this particular Friday and Laura and I decided to go over to Moab despite the chance of rain.

With the trails being wet we decided to go for a hike/run in the Devil's Garden located in Arches National Park. It's approximately a 6 mile loop with a handful of Arches to check out while on your hike or run. There is some rock scrambling involved on this hike and I wouldn't recommend it for my mom. There is some easier hiking immediately into the Devils Garden to see a few arches.

Sunday was super nice and we chose to ride Mag 7 trails. With the recent moisture the trails were in primo condition.