December 8, 2018

BCT: AES Classic

 The old Arizona Endurance Series Black Canyon Trail route, or AES BCT for short, is one of my favorite day rides. I was overdue for a lap. We gathered a small group of fellas together and met up at the Rock Springs trailhead just south of Black Canyon City.

The route is straightforward enough - ride a few miles of downhill pavement towards Black Canyon City, pick up Maggie Mine Rd for the next 15 or so miles and enjoy the dirt ride up to the singletrack turnoff at Antelope Creek. BCT for the next 29 miles back to the car for an even 50 on the day.
We discarded the pavement in short order.

It was bright & cool. A perfect day for a long spin.

Kaolin & Dax pulling off the front. We wouldn't see those speedsters again.

One of the highlights during the dirt road north is the outpost of Bumble Bee.
Our group alone grew Bumble Bee by over 50%!!

There are two sustained climbs during the 21 mile 'warm-up'. The first is just after the road turns to dirt and this one, the 3 mile grind up to Antelope Creek.

Topping out.

Stowaway Stick bug.
We now numbered 5, Ezra, Sam, Steve, Brett & myself. Time to blast off down the singletrack.
Caught in the act of pointing...again. Photo by Sam.

A short singletrack tease before the main event a mile down the trail.

Yeehaw!! The trail routing along Antelope Creek is surreal.

Contoured trail to the extreme.

Brett drops in to the final descent towards Hidden Treasure Mine.
Enjoying a little bit of uphill among the boulders. Photo by Sam.

Ezra cleaning a tricky chunk turn.

I wonder if the motorists at Sunset Vista (far right horizon) on I-17 are having as much fun as these guys?





New addition.

Love this shot of Bumble Bee Creek. Always nice to see it flowing.

Passing near Bumble Bee Ranch below Sunset Vista.
Remote self-timer shot by Sam.

Brett's glam shot. Photo by Sam.

Some of the finest desert riding around.

Soap Creek. Photo by Sam.

Sam giving the tough right-hand switchback a go.
Black Canyon City is deceivingly far away.

Dropping into the Agua Fria River basin.

The very low Agua Fria River.

Watch your step!!

On our way up the final 8 switchbacks to the finish. Photo by Sam.

Brett cruising in to mile 5-0.

I love the new signage along the trail.
Thanks to all the guys who came out, such a beautiful day on the BCT. This ride really needs to be an annual occurrence.



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