Can you tell me a bit about this infamous ride?
Our ride starts at the Nordic Village of Northern Arizona, 15 miles north of Flagstaff. We start early to miss the inclement weather that usually occurs in the afternoon. And, we can’t control Mother Nature, so be prepared for all sorts of weather. We plan to have sag support stops along the way for you to quench your thirst and fill your belly but make sure you carry plenty of water and grub with you. Most riders usually take 6 -7 hours to finish, stronger riders have finished in 5 or fewer hours. This is NOT a race, we do not keep track of finish times. Ride with caution! Limited medical support (med support is available at Sag 1 only). Sag drivers will be driving along the course to give support to riders in need. When you arrive at camp we’ll have showers, cold beverages and munchies ready for your arrival.
When is the ride?
Saturday, August 7, 2021
- Rider check-in Friday evening from 5-8 p.m. and Saturday 5:30 to 6:30 a.m.,
- Mandatory ride meeting, Saturday 6:45 a.m.
- Ride Start: 7:00 a.m.
Many riders camp at the start area on Friday night.
How hard is the ride?
You climb a bit from the start, then descend to the high desert, then back up to the pines. The last 8 miles or so is a gradual climb. The ride is primarily on forest service and fire roads. There is only one descent that is somewhat difficult if you’re a “roadie”. Remember: This is not a race…have fun…enjoy the scenery, friends and outside time.
How long will it take me to finish?
Most riders take 6-7 hours. Riders in a hurry have finished in under 5 hours.
Will you keep track of our finish times?
Since this is a ride, not a race, we do not keep track of finish times. If it’s important for you to know, you will want to keep track of it yourself.
Do you have an online map of the route?
Yes, check out the course on the MTB Project.
Directions to the Nordic Village: Flagstaff, Arizona:
From Phoenix: Take I-17 north to Flagstaff. The Arizona Nordic Village is located in the Coconino National Forest 15 miles northwest of Flagstaff, Arizona. From Flagstaff, simply follow the Highway 180 signs to Grand Canyon. Our parking lot is alongside Highway 180 at Mile Marker 232. Our address is 16848 U.S. 180 Flagstaff, AZ 86001.
Directions to End Camp: Tusayan, Arizona
From Flagstaff: Take US 180 north to AZ64 (Valle, AZ). Turn right (N) onto AZ64 and travel approximately 23 miles to Tusayan (Do not go into Tusayan. If you have, you have gone too far). Look for the yellow Flag2GC sign on the right marking the turn onto Forest Service Road 302. Follow the Flag2GC course signs for approximately 6 miles to the end camp. Our Saturday night camp is fringing on the border of one of the most spectacular National Parks. If you’ve never seen the Grand Canyon, take some extra time to visit. You’re so close, it’s one not to miss!
Can we camp at the start on Friday?
Yup! Areas are first-come, first-serve and we ask that when you pack up to leave no trace. There will be porta-johns on-site and a limited selection of cabins and yurts available. Most people come up Friday afternoon to stake their spot for the night. Rider check-in will be open from 5-8 p.m.
Can we leave our vehicles at start camp?
Absolutely! If you paid for the bus ride back we will transport you and your gear back to your car on Sunday after the event. Buses depart at 9am, getting you to your car by 11 am. If you bring a buddy they can drive your vehicle and gear to end camp Saturday and hopefully set up your campsite for you!
How do I get my gear to the end camp?
If you don’t have someone taking your car and gear to end camp, your gear will be shuttled to the Canyon camp prior to your arrival. You will need to load all of your gear on the truck early Saturday morning prior to ride start. Please label your items as we are not responsible for lost or stolen gear. We will arrange to have riders and bikes* back to Flagstaff Sunday morning starting at 9 a.m. via extra vehicles, trailers, and bus. For return transportation, please indicate on registration form if you need a ride to start camp ($25) or make arrangements to have someone take your vehicle to end camp (directions available at start camp).
What happens at end camp?
This is the best part of the ride and the most talked about! There will be snacks upon arrival at the end of the ride with our Marine League chefs and volunteers whipping up a delicious fajita dinner. Beer provided by our friends at Deschutes Brewery and of course, the infamous raffle party happens on Saturday afternoon! Our roving photographers put together a great slide show of the event shown at sunset, and afterwards, the festivities tend to kick into gear with a party in the pines! (Those who prefer to chill are advised to camp in a location away from the evening festivities). Sunday morning awake to coffee, beverages, and a hot breakfast. Guests: For a $20 donation to Marine League Charities ($5 for kids under 13), guests are invited to the Saturday night dinner, beverages & Sunday breakfast.
How does camping work on Saturday?
If you loaded your gear onto the truck Saturday morning, you’ll find your gear near the truck upon your arrival. End camp is an open, forested area with plenty of porta-johns. This becomes a tent city for the weekend. Due to Forest Service restrictions on the impact on the land, RV’s and cars are not allowed more than 50 feet off of the road. The area will be marked and we will be monitoring the area to make sure this is enforced. Saturday night festivities in certain areas can tend to be a bit…well…crazy. So, if you are one of those who like their peace and quiet or just wants to crash early, it is advised to camp in the far western part of the end camp (areas you’ll spot when you first drive into camp) The further east you go, the further you’ll be in the party zone.
Can you ride a gravel bike?
Sure. We’ve seen all sorts of bikes. You will be riding along terrain that varies from single track along the Arizona Trail, rocky roads, to wide open Forest Service roads. We recommend riding a bike that you feel best suits your riding ability for off-road riding.
Can I ride my e-bike?
We love bikes. We really do. E-bikes are not allowed on the Arizona Trail, as such, we are still evaluating our options on e-bikes. Stay tuned!
What should I expect the weather to be like?
Even we can’t predict the weather. Be prepared for sunny and rainy weather. Bring sunscreen and rain gear. It can get cold and hot. Most of the northern Arizona weather moves in around the early afternoon. Promoters reserve the right to cancel ride on-site due to extreme weather conditions. No refunds. Remember, all monies are donated to our charity.
What happens if the weather is severe? Will you stop the ride?
Depending on the route and weather conditions, we may have to stop riders at one of our checkpoints. If this happens, we will still have the party at the end camp /finish (weather dependent). You are responsible for your own well-being. While we will have SAG support driving the course, there is no guarantee that they are able to get to you very fast. If you fail to bring rain gear, you will be cold. If there is lightning, you will need to get off of your bike and seek low ground.
What happens with all of the trash we generate in the forest?
We do our best to make sure we follow the Leave No Trace principles. We make an impact on the environment in how we camp and what we do with our waste. Our waste reduction efforts include the intention to have NO single-use/disposable cups or water bottles. Everyone who does the ride will get a reusable, commemorative beer cup at the finish line and there will be markers to write your name on your cup so you don’t lose it.
What can I do to help reduce our impact?
Bring your own water bottle to the finish area to refill it with fresh water. Bring your own reusable glass as well for beverages. Feel free to bring your own plate/utensils and just do a quick wash at the camp. This way we minimize the paper and plastic trash we have to haul out and less pollution for the environment.
Will there be recycling bins at end camp?
Keep your eyes out for which container to place your trash in. If it is recyclable (plastic, aluminum, clean/dry paper) make sure it gets into the recycling container. Everything will be labeled.
Thanks for your help!
Will there be medical support?
We do not have medical support on the route but will have medical support at SAG 1. If you do require a medic, we have SAG support drivers available to take you back to Flagstaff or the nearest hospital. We also have the Ham Radio Club supporting our ride so that we can radio in help if needed. There is only one spot on the ride where someone riding out-of-control can get hurt. Please do not be that person.
How should I prepare? And what should I bring?
- Train! Make sure you’re ready to ride 65 miles!
- Get your bike tuned up before the ride
- ANSI approved helmet
- Water and trail snacks
- Extra bike tubes and lube
- Anti-chaffing supplies
- First aid kit/pain relievers
- Camping gear and camp chair
- Toiletries, towel, biodegradable soap, etc.
- Rain gear for ride and campsite
- Extra cash to buy raffle tickets or massages
- Good mojo and excitement to be on one of the best rides in the state!
I want to volunteer for the ride. Who do I contact?
Please contact Jamie Brown. Thanks! We couldn’t do this ride without volunteers!!