12.31.2016

2016: Pushing Limits & Going Big

2016. What a year of riding it was. I don't typically set goals other than some arbitrary number of miles I think I'll reach for the year. For 2016 it was 3000 which was about average for me over the past three years. This year was a little different. I had two goals in particular I wanted, no, check that, needed to reach. The AZTR750 self-supported bikepacking race from the Mexico border to Utah state line and the Maah Daah Hey 100 (MDH100) in the Badlands of North Dakota. This was a one day 100+ mile singletrack race that typically has a very high attrition rate.

Registration for the MDH100 opened on January 1st. I wasted no time and signed up on day 1. As for the AZTR750, well, let's just say it was on my mind for over a year and a half. Almost every ride I did from October to April was designed for 750 success.

I'm not going to repost blog recaps from the entire year, just some of the more memorable experiences from 2016. If you'd like to see more, simply scroll down the archive list on the left. It was a most memorable year from the bike.
The annual Curmudgeon 100 got the big rides rolling, even with a busted seat for 60+ miles.
The annual AZT charity event, the Jamboree, had a venue change due to weather. Perfect.
I came up with a route around Lake Pleasant, it had some dicey moments, but went through!!
I finally had a professional bike fit performed, but my seatpost was a 'little' stuck.
Queen's Ransom v3.0 had a fantastic turnout.
Chain of Lakes Loop around Four Peaks was the final confidence builder for the 750.
The Camp Tucson rides should be on everyone's AZT300 prep list.
A little bit of route scouting for the 750 near Rye.
Slate Creek Divide, it's only two climbs.
Made the switch to flat pedals for the 750, did a shakedown ride in Sedona. Pedals worked, cranks did not.
The AZTR750 was a true test of will all the way to the end..
After the 750 I spent some time recovering and tried to wrap my head around the whole ordeal. I needed to keep the big rides rolling as my attention turned to the MDH100 in early August.
I had grand plans for a 100+ miler in Flagstaff, but I found out early on I wasn't quite ready.
Early June found me back on the AZT in bikepacking mode, this time with friends!!
After the Grand Canyon bikepack, I found myself trying to keep pace with Kelly on a bunch of rides.
When it's hot, head south?? Ride Oracle Ridge?? Yes.
The year was half over and I was just shy of 2600 miles, by far my biggest 6 month stretch ever. I re-adjusted my yearly goal from 3000 to 4500 as I knew I wouldn't keep that kind of pace over the back half of the year. The most I had ever ridden in a year was in 2013 at 3,161 miles & 302,000' of elevation gain.
Bikepacking 101 was a success up on the Mogollon Rim.
Kelly's 7th & my first time at the summit of Humphrey's Peak, add in a 60 mile ride and it was an epic day!!
The car was loaded for our two week roadtrip to North Dakota, touring National Parks along the way. I was also able to ride in 7 states: UT - Thunder Mtn, UT - Park City, WY - Grand Targhee, MT - Bangtail Divide, ND (See Below), SD - Storm Mtn, NE - Chadron SP, WY - Curt Gowdy SP, CO - Canyon Creek, CO - Crested Butte & CO - Phil's World
Deep into the Badlands of North Dakota during the MDH100. Half of the field dropped out, I was the last official finisher, crossing the line sometime around 11:30p, 30 minutes prior to the time cut!!
The adventures kept piling up, #locorides was born up on Mt. Graham with these goofballs.
The high country rides kept coming, bikepacking on the Kaibab Plateau with a big group of friends.
Met this badass and did a few other cool short rides around town.
Made a weekend getaway to the ColoRADo high country before the snows began to fly.
I put together a modified Sedona BFL, swapping out the suck for fun.
Did a race up on the Navajo Reservation: Chuska Challenge.
Rented a big bike for a weekend in Moab.
The Tortolitas & Kentucky Camp came calling in November.
Fork experiment FAIL, but I did ride through Picketpost from home!!
N+1 day!!
Oracle Ridge loop...in the snow?!? Sure.
Gila Canyons overnighter.
Finally dialed in a mostly dirt 100+ mile loop from home.
Continued to mix in tour guide paced rides.
The Voodoo made the switch over to singlespeed.
Got phat on new-to-me dirt in Tucson & Oracle SP.
Rounded out New Year's Eve with friends on more new-to-me dirt in the West Valley.
The ride year came to a close and wow, what a year it was!! So many amazing places explored, friendships made, stories told and adventures had. I ended up crushing my previous best marks for distance & elevation in a year.

Here are the stats per Garmin Connect:
Count:103 Rides
Distance:4,335.62 mi
Avg Distance:42.09 mi
Max Distance:831.70 mi
Calories:221,949 C
Avg Speed:4.7 mph
Elevation Gain:448,473 ft
Avg Elevation Gain:4,354 ft
Max Elevation Gain:98,778 ft
Time:922:04:04 h:m:s
Avg Time:8:57:08 h:m:s
Max Time:321:44:01 h:m:s
Elevation Loss:458,220 ft

My Strava numbers display a little differently, I still think their elevation algorithm is off a bit.
The 750 kind of sticks out a bit!!
 I have big plans for 2017 including three big bikepacking events: Stagecoach 400, AZT300 and the Colorado Trail Race. We'll see how it goes. Thanks to all my family & friends for the support on these endeavors, it's truly appreciated. Ride on.
2016 was truly #loco thanks to my top training partner!!



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