Arizona Trail Race Prep

As winter ends here in the mountains of Coloardo, most people have mountain biking on their minds. Moab and Fruita would be the economical route, but maybe a trip as far as Sedona would be considered. I’ve done it all and yes it is well worth it. Usually my spring trip consists of going to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  Chilling on the beach, drinking beer, and eating as many fish tacos as I can stomach. Its paradise, and a real way to ring in the summer especially living in the Colorado mountains, where its been dumping feet upon feet recently. This year however, I have decided to take a stab at the 300 version of the Arizona Trail Race. The Arizona Trail Race has been around since 2006.  Since then, the 750 version (from Mexico Boarder to Utah Boarder) has been a second option for those that want more. This year I’m going to start slow and try the 300 mile version.

Complements of Topfusion.com

The Arizona Trail Race 300 starts at Parker Lake which is just about 6 miles North of the Mexico/Arizona Boarder. The 300 mile version ends at the Picket Post trailhead near Superior, AZ. I’ve been doing endless research regarding the route, water, and gear. I feel pretty confident that I know the route, where I need to get water, and that I’m packing the proper gear.  However, I have never ridden any of this trail. There are a lot of ‘things’ (for lack of a better word) that want you to drop out. Cacti that pokes and scraps you and your tires. Rocks that are much sharper then the ones in Colorado. The weather, in past years its has snowed, this year looks clear and HOT. Something goes wrong with your bike, and well, you just can’t fix it in the middle of nowhere. Lastly of course, is the mental aspect, its always telling you to stop, but I know I just need to keep pushing. Either way I feel confident, I wish I had more time on the saddle especially longer rides but that’s what you get living in Colorado. Here is my gear list for the big race.

Arizona Trail Race (300) Gear List:

Revelate Design Front Bag:
    •    Bivy Marmot
    •    Sleeping Bag 25 Degree Big Agnes
    •    Arm/Knee warmers
    •    Arm Coolers
Revelate Design Saddle Bag
    •    Big Agnes Clearview pad
    •    Down jacket
    •    Rain pants
    •    Rain jacket
    •    Long johns
    •    Long sleeve thermal
    •    Extra socks
    •    Food (meals)
    •    Tent footprint
    •    Stuff Sack
    ⁃    Small knife
    ⁃    Tape stick (assortment of tapes)
    ⁃    Super glue
    ⁃    Small first aid kit
    ⁃    Tweezers
    ⁃    Bandaids
    ⁃    Ibuprofen
    ⁃    Antibiotic ointment
    ⁃    other first aid kit stuff
Revelate Design frame Bag
    •    2.5L MSR bladder
    •    Extra food (meals)
    •    Sports drink mix
    •    Aquamira (water Purification)
    •    Sun Screen
    •    Side pocket
    ⁃    Maps
    ⁃    Cues sheet
Gas Tank
    •    Emergency
    •    Trail Mix
    •    Cliff Bars
    •    Cliff Gu’s
    •    Snickers
    •    Spot Device
Osprey Viper
    •    3L bladder
    •    Pump and Co2
    •    Spare tubes (one Injected with Stan’s)
    •    Multi-tool
    •    Tire levers
    •    Patch kit
    •    Extra Stans sealant
    •    Replacement shifter cable
    •    Organic pain cream
    •    Spot Device
    •    Squirt Lube
    •    Zip Ties
    •    Three park tire boots
    •    Clear and low light lenses
On Bike Bars
    •    Garmin Etrex 30
    •    Cat Eye bike computer
    •    Fenix LD20 mounted.
On Me
    •    Hincapy bibs
    •    Pearl Izumi base shirt
    •    Hincapy full zip jersey
    •    Long ‘White sox’ (pale hose)
    •    Six Six One bike gloves
    •    Pearl Izumi Alp Enduro Shoes
    •    Giro Aeon Helmet with Fenix LD20 mounted
    •    Pearl Izumi under cap
    •    Smith Eco shades
    •    Hope and confidence
    •    And a dash of luck

 Laying things out to get a better idea of what I need, I’m a visual guy and this helps alot!

 My Front Revelate Design Bag with My bivy and sleeping bag stuffed in.

The final setup, without my backpack and me.

If you want to track My progress check out these links:
The whole field: http://trackleaders.com/aztr13
Just me: http://trackleaders.com/aztr13i.php?name=Neil_Beltchenko

Pictures of the week 4/8 – 4/14

 Well we received a foot of snow on the 9th here in Crested Butte. To bad the lifts were not spinning.

 but we decided to skin up the mountain to get some turns in.

 Bowie getting his work out chasing between Lindsay and myself.

 We planned on meeting Ray Harter on the mountain to drink some beers and ski down. we did just that.

 We found this guy and his snowmobile on the mountain. Snowmobiles are not allowed on the ski area after closing. he did not know that.

 We had are own little party, good times.

 Just before the sun rise.

 Bowie Chilling!

 Ray Harter and I made our way to Salida to get some biking in late in the week.

 Still unsettled but the temps were in the high 50’s. The trails were a bit on the wet side but still fun!

 Its been unsettled all week, the clouds below the Butte.

Today’s view out of the window, another big storm hit the area last night.

Winter is still here. Being a biker its a love, hurt relationship. We need the precipitation.

Pictures of the week 4/1 – 4/7

Well Hartman’s finally opened, at it was awesome!!!
My 29er tire vs. my car tire, the bike wins
 Opening day at Hartman’s was pretty good fresh singletracks is truly the best.
it was primarily snow free, and the sun was poking through.
I put all my bikepacks on the bike so I could get a little training in for the Arizona Trail Race.
Here on ‘Top of the World.’  Lots of snow was on the north facing slope just down from this picture.
The beauty of Hartman’s Rocks is the diversity. There is plenty of super technical trails, but also fun flowy singletrack! I would say its one of the best Trail systems in Colorado.
only two tire tracks on the ‘Buddy Bear.’ I can trust that dirt!
 Closing weekend at Crested Butte Mountain Resort.
Until next year lift serviced skiing…

Hartmans Rocks Nearly Ready!!!

So with the ski season almost over everyone has been talking about when Hartman Rocks Recreational Area will be ready. I have to get in shape some how for the Arizona Trail Race, but its tough living in a place where snow is on the ground until June. I’ve been to Fruita, Salida, and have done some road riding but I need to get on some local singletrack. I’ve been trying to get the latest scoop on the conditions and when the singletrack might be ready for bikes! I would not know unless I went out there and scope out the trails. Jacks Trail is usually the last to melt out as the trail is mostly north facing. So I decided to hike up Jacks to take a few photos.

I also walked on pipline a little bit and that too has plenty of snow on it. I looked around noticed all the trails around were snow free, Becks, Skyline, and Rocky Ridge. People seem to think its going to take two weeks but I would say were a week out especially with the the super nice forecast ahead.
YAHOOOO!

Pictures of the week 3/25 – 3/31

Ahhhhh the bookcliffs, 18 Road. Another trip to the desert!
Stew looking for the best line down Horsethief Bench entrance, I would never attempt this.
Horsethief Bench trail over looking the Colorado River
 Stew and I taking a break on the trail.
 We started in Loma at the Kokopelli Trailhead and finished at the Rabbit Valley Trailhead. This pictures is taken on a trail just to the west of Salt Creek.
Western Rim trail on my last day in the desert for a few weeks.
Looking over the rim towards the Colorado River
 I got back to my car to 70 degree temps, Its been too long.
 Back to skiing, which is actually very fun with super soft spring conditions. Here is a look towards the east river valley from the North Face on Mt. Crested Butte.
 Subaru Freeskiing World Tour was back at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. These guys are some athletes. big props to Will Dujardan who finished 10 overall.
 It was a busy weekend with the the Freesking World Tour and Elk Mountain Grand Traverse. Here at roughly 11:59 almost 200 Athletes were about to climb up and over to Aspen. Big props to Seth Tucker and Brian Mazaika for finishing very respectful finish times!
View From Phoenix Bowl, on Mt Crested Butte.
Yesterday it hit 60 Degrees in Almont (in between Gunnison and Crested Butte) So I decided to road bike from CB up to Taylor canyon!!
lots of sun!!! 
Until next week…