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Flagstaff, AZ roadies your comments....

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Flagstaff, AZ roadies your comments....

Old 09-13-07, 11:11 PM
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oilman_15106
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Flagstaff, AZ roadies your comments....

Well I finally got to ride from Flagstaff to Mormon Lake and back. I have a few questions.

1.How long does it take to get used to the elevation? 7000! I give you guys/and gals credit. After 10 miles I was in pain. Most of my time is spent in PA at about 800 feet elevation.
2.I used a backpack drink system and was glad I did. Not another rider except a gal on a comfort bike near town had one. Is this out of style in Flag?
3.Is it always this windy up there? The weather service said 10mph but it had to be 15mph plus
which made it harder. Seemed to be a headwind in both directions.
4.What is a decent speed to cover this ride? Was at 18mph thru 40miles but mr. Wind got me on the last 18. Finished at 17.5 mph.

Couple of observations: There is almost no water in Mormon Lake. However there was a herd of Elk, maybe 50 of them in the middle of where the lake was. Who was the genius engineer that proposed Lake Mary? There is a lot of glass and cinders in your bike lane. Most of the truck/auto drivers were good about things. Good ride and a nice town.
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Old 09-13-07, 11:32 PM
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AdamJaz
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I went running in Flagstaff once... I died after 2 miles.

Good luck
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Old 09-13-07, 11:36 PM
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I'm in the valley but ride up there in the summer a lot, so I'll post something for the locals to rip on!

1) a few days to feel human at 7000, a couple weeks to get good. I usually read the HRM & stay 10 beats down, for survival.
2) LOTS of camelbaks all over the state. On that particular ride, eh, there's water every 25 miles. Less even.
3) it's usually that windy up there. The cliffsides add to the gust factor and the canyon/lake funnel in the wind. Road curves a lot, cliffs angle a lot, you catch wind a lot.
4) you finished, any speed will do. If you had to hitch it would be poor. Locals will laugh at anyone but George Hincapie.

Yes, genius engineers. Sure, been dry for the last several years. Fall ride gets the sweeper out (forgot the name of the ride). I like it there too, just couldn't stay in work in such a small town. Wish I could go back to school!

Next time, try Wupaki. Some of the best hills in the state. Pain and pleasure
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Old 09-14-07, 10:36 AM
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Sandlizard: Where is the ride you mention, Wapaki? I'm out here about 6 weeks a year. Inching toward retirement and hoping to spend more time in the West. I was going to try the ride out of Camp Verde toward Strawberry. Looks like a challenging climb but I am going to wait until it cools down a bit.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 09-14-07, 12:03 PM
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Hi! I live at 2900 feet and I do this ride during the season. I find I need no time to acclimate to Flag's altitude (but we're all different) other than the time it takes to drive up there. I was a heavy smoker for twelve years when I was younger (yes I know - stupid stupid stupid), and in 1995 I had a second surgery to remove part of my right lung. If you live down in Phoenix, or in another area closer to sea level you might spend a hour or two hanging out in Flag before you go out on your ride. Important - Be hydrated and fueled b-e-f-o-r-e you head out, and don't push yourself if your body is giving you signals to back-off. Carry hydration and energy supplements for the ride, you'll need them.

I suggest you park in the Walmart/shopping center parking lot a few miles away from the start and bicycle out to the lake. We have had incidences of cyclists vehicles being broken into that were parked alongside the road by the lake. Enjoy the area - it's a nice ride and a beautiful location.

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Old 09-14-07, 12:58 PM
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Wait??? ONLY 7,000 feet? *yawn* Hop up here next summer and try Mount Evans. Highest paved road in North America. I think the road climbs to about 14,200 feet. You have to hike the rest of the way to the top.
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Old 09-15-07, 03:51 PM
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Colorado road riders at lower altitudes intimidate me. I may be mistaken, but I get preconceived ideas that CO road riders have an advantage because they utilize oxygen better at lower altitudes because of all that high altitude riding.

Colorado is a beautiful state for bicycling.

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Old 09-15-07, 06:33 PM
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I live in Flagstaff and ride on Lake Mary Road often. I live less than 1/2 mile from the Lk. Mary Road/Highway 89A intersection. The past few days have been pretty breezy but it is usually quite calm during the summer and fall months. Spring is usually very breezy here. The wind direction does seem to shift often on that ride! It can be pretty frustrating. Your average speed wasn't bad at all, especially considering you're not used to the elevation.

I often use a Camelback because my bike only has mounts for one bottle cage. Just like everywhere else, there are cyclists here that look down on those using Camelbacks. It is very easy to get dehydrated at this elevation so using a Camelback for longer rides just makes sense.

You're right about Morman Lake. It only has water when the area has a good amount of summer precipitation or after a winter with normal or above normal snowfall. The elk herd you saw was actually pretty small compared to what is common this time of year. Lake Mary was the idea of one of the Riordan brothers (a prominent local pioneer family that was big in the timber industry) and was instrumental in the development of Flagstaff. Lower Lake Mary is has been mainly dry the last decade or so due to the extended drought in the region. The one exception I can think of is spring 2005 when there was a large amount of snow/rain.

I've never had an problems with drivers here around Flagstaff. I do know of other riders that have had some problems but it doesn't happen often. Lk. Mary Road is a very popular ride and there are dozens of riders on it on the weekend.

The Wupatki-Sunset Crater National Monument loop is NE of town off of Highway 89.

Flagstaff is a great place to live! Glad you enjoyed your time here
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Old 09-18-07, 11:58 AM
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jcrous - response appreciated. Will try the Wapatki ride next time I'm in town. Is Novermber too late or too cold for that route?
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