Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Coco Macho 200 = A Coco Loco Bike Packing Adventure

The Morale Chairman, Mad Rhino and The Judd headed out on a classic adventure @ The Back of the Pack. Yes, three dudes and three attitudes and three cogs hit the trails outside of Flagstaff. The Goal: Survive. The Duration: 4 Days. The Details: Keep Reading.

If you're here for pictures - follow the link... Coco Macho 200 pictures, 230+ in 3 pages.

The Background:

After we recovered from the Arizona Hurricane at the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo - we convinced ourselves, convinced The Team, to tackle the Arizona 300. So. We prepared. Then... we changed our minds.

It was obvious that the Arizona 300 presented 2 challenges, 2 challenges we would leave for another day: 1) The Arizona Heat, 2) The lack of H2O, i.e., the lack of knowledge where the H2O could be acquired, filtered, begged for. Call us Fully Rigid Singlespeed Wimps, BUT don't simply call us Wimps. We may have killed our share of brain cells back in the day, but we can still make good decisions while cranking our way through Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

So Mad Rhino, The B.P.R. Tour Guide, put on his thinking cap and formulated Plan B. Plan B? What the HELL is Plan B?

Well Plan B is the 4 day monster that Rhino planned via a large set of documentation - provided by the masters of Arizona bike packing. Plan B is the ride that The Judd now calls The COCO MACHO 200. Yes. The Judd has used many temporary names for Plan B. But Coco Macho 200 it is. Coco Macho Roles off the tongue, like a scoop of Chocolate Mint from The Professor Emeritus' Baskin-Robbins. And I like Chocolate Mint.

It's getting deep here. So I'll put it in English, with a few mathematical equations.

The Coco Macho = The Coco Mucho = The Coco Loco...

BUT the Coco Macho DOES NOT EQUAL the Coconino Loop or the AZ300. Get it?

Yes. Mad Rhino planned for the Coconino Loop, a 250 mile beast. But us dudes at the Back of the Pack are always behind schedule, always lost, or always bellying up to the bar. So a flexible plan was required - Plan B. You see Plan B was designed to evolve with our progress @ the Back of the Pack. And evolve it did.

The real goal was to ride FOUR DAYs. NO MATTER WHAT. That's the real reason we ditched the AZ300. Because the probability of bailing on the AZ300 near Tucson was greater 38.78%, based on The Judd's calculation. And bailing at Tucson meant a short adventure, like a 2 day adventure. Yeah, We aren't in this for the podium, we are in it for the ADVENTURE. AND a FOUR DAY ADVENTURE is what we SURVIVED.

For Rhino's take on the Adventure - check out the Adventures @ The Back of the Pack blog, dude!

So, enough background. Enjoy the details. Enjoy the pics. And... you are always welcome to join us for the next adventure - assuming The Morale Chairman doesn't scare the S*^T out of you. Which is a real possibility.

The Bizarre:

Before I get to the track, the data, the pics: check out the damage that a tornado (yes tornado!) did to the forest NW of Flagstaff. Wow! It looked like an Alien landing zone or like an Alien spacecraft executed a low altitude, low speed flyby... in honor of The Lt Col.


The Ride:

Simple. 4 Days and 200+ miles.
  • Day 1: Flagstaff to Munds to Sedona. ~ 58.1 miles, 10.5 hours
  • Day 2: Sedona to Cottonwood to Jerome to Perkinsville. ~ 49.4 miles, 10 hours
  • Day 3: Perkinsville to Williams to Sycamore Canyon. ~ 51 miles, 11 hours
  • Day 4: Sycamore Canyon to Flagstaff. ~ 42.2 miles, 8 hours.

The Awards:

B.P.R. AZT Steeplechase Championship:
  1. Mad Rhino
  2. The Judd
  3. The Morale Chairman
Discussion: Mad Rhino is a bunny hopping, tail sliding freak. He was jumping over all the obstacles on the AZT - as if he was late for dinner. Actually he was. The Judd was behind, far behind. The Morale Chairman? Good Question.

B.P.R. Coco Macho Downhill Championship:
  1. The Morale Chairman
  2. Mad Rhino
  3. The Judd
Discussion: Mad Rhino, the bunny hoping freak, was definitely the fastest on the downhill course. BUT Mad Rhino had to stop EVERY single mile to take a few pictures. The Morale Chairman cruised to an easy victory - after The Judd mistakenly stopped 20 feet short of the finish line. Yeah, the victory was handed to The Morale Chairman.

B.P.R. Jerome Hill Climb:
  1. The Judd
  2. The Morale Chairman
  3. Mad Rhino
Discussion: The Judd was cranking over a 32 x 19 on a fully loaded sheep. The other B.P.R. dudes were rolling the 32 x 20. End of story. Not really. The Jerome Hill Climb was BRUTAL. The heat was insane. But The Judd's freakish victories at the 2010 B.P.R. High Altitude Championship and the 2010 B.P.R. Ultra High Altitude Championships provided the required skill and mental power to suffer through the conditions and pull out the victory. The Morale Chairman sucker punched Mad Rhino 10 feet from the finish and pulled out the 2nd place finish.

THE FAILURES!

The Judd had 3 instruments fundamental to survival: a) a gps with Coco Macho tracks and topo maps, b) a SPOT beacon, c) a water filter. ALL of these intruments failed one way or the other. AMAZING. Be Prepared? Yeah. But what does 'Be Prepared' mean. Hell, I don't know. But I will figure it out some day.

The Lessons Learned:
  1. If you carry an iPhone BECAUSE you know your SPOT device will fail, make sure it is completely powered off, NOT just in Airplane mode. Trust me. It's hard to find an outlet in the middle of nowhere, sometimes.
  2. Packing efficiency is fundamental. I had more than enough room in my packs.... as proven by all the air pockets. I HATE air pockets, it's very frustrating when you must jam in 3 burritos, 2 honey buns, 3 snickers, beef jerkey and a few Clif Bars into your backpack WITH 4L of water. I had NO ROOM for the potato chips that The Morale Chairman lived on AND wouldn't share. It's frustrating, just saying.
  3. When you think you are out of H2O, you really have 2L left. Really, you do.
  4. If you have a 5:45AM wakeup call, you still won't have the cranks turning until 8:20AM. Just because.
  5. Don't camp near a river, if you don't want to donate blood to the creatures that some call mosquitos.
  6. 50oz of Dogfish Head IPA may, just may, create a world of leg pain the next morning. 
The Crazy Question:

A lady approached The Morale Chairman at the Verde River near Perkinsville
  • The Lady as she scanned the plaid and saw the B.P.R. Patch: "Mr Morale Chairman. Are you and your team sponsored by P.B.R.?" 
  • The Morale Chairman: "No it's just a play on letters. It's B.P.R. for Back of the Pack Racing"
  • Lady: "Oh, I was just wondering. My roller derby team is sponsored by P.B.R."
The Ludicrous

Remember I mentioned that my GPS failed on Day 1. Well, what a crazy failure. The topo maps just DISAPPEARED around hour #5 on Day 1. I messed with it, and messed with it and messed with it. Finally, through a series or rash and careless steps, all the data and gpx tracks were erased. YES, erased. Great. I was blind. The geek of all data geeks was blind.

Oh well. 

GPS Lesson #1: Don't let a small failure turn into a monumental failure.
GPS Lesson #2: Check your SIM Card. On Day 4 I changed the Lithium batteries in my GPS. I about fell over... my SIM card slipped out of the holder. That was the minor failure that turned into a monumental failure. Live and learn, dude.

The Pics:
Two Data Geeks - Geeking it Up

The Rock & the Mud on the Arizona Trial

More Mud, More Rocks. AZT Style

Cruising down I-17, just for 2 miles
We took a detour due to the mud

The Beauty
The Sheep
The Overlook @ The Schnebly Vista Point - ABOVE Sedona

another pic, just because

Wow! The Southwest. Sedona Arizona

See that mountain - far in the distance? 
That's where we're headed, back to Flagstaff.
109 miles to go!

Mad Rhino and The Morale Chairman walking... Again

Just a Bridge Near Perkinsville
Did you know that Perkinsville has as many empty Bud Light cans as Leadville
Must be a 'ville' thing

Single Track? Not Really

Oh the ROMANCE @ the Back of the Pack

The B.P.R. Camp @ Perkinsville

Don Miguel - Representing @ the Back of the Pack


Mad Rhino - Pigging Out on a Don Miguel

Mad Rhino? The Morale Chairman? Is Breakfast Ready? I'm Hungry
AND I don't want that day old ham sandwich
AND I don't want another Honey Bun



The B.P.R. Morale Chairman is The Brother of The Judd
The Judd's life is very difficult when The Morale Chairman is PISSED OFF
BUT it would have been funny to see The Morale Chairman go for a swim. Wouldn't It?

Costanza? Mad Rhino?

4 comments:

  1. I thought you guys modified the route, based on Rhino's spot updates....just curious....why did you all carry more than one SPOT for the group? One less SPOT means more room/weight allowance for beer.....

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  2. Damn. I wish I put two and two together. Rhino is so freaked out about weight that we (Morale Chairman & I) freaked out and ditched EVERYTHING - even our flasks of Captain Morgan. Yeah. Live and Learn. Next time I'm trading the clean socks, the toothpaste and the pillow for the booze. I think.

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