the thing to do in Phoenix …

… is cycle the canals.

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They’re part of the Central Arizona Project (CAP), a 336mi (541km) diversion of water from the Colorado River through to southern Arizona. The largest and most expensive aqueduct system ever constructed in the United States.

In Phoenix I rented a mountain bike from the hostel ($15/day) and rode the flat desert until I got close to one of the many “mountain parks”.

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Locking up my ride, I then ran up rough trails to the summit.

Great training for Adventure Racing, was my thinking.

My best day was a ride to South Mountain Park (not on canals this time) and a trail run from Holbert trailhead up to Dobbin’s Lookout.

BikeHike – best Biking Outfitter On Earth?

I’m in Phoenix, Arizona for some bike hiking. Proving unfailing dedication to my Adventure Racing Team — the Fast Farts.

Then I saw BluePeak post a shout out for BikeHike.com

(I like the sound of that domain name.)

National Geographic Adventure Magazine named them #2 ?? (as I read it) for cycle tours. Winners were profiled in the November 2007 issue.

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Check out the site – BikeHike Adventures Inc – BEST Biking Outfitter On the Earth

Tongariro Northern Circuit in 10.5hrs

Craig Stanton from New Zealand is preparing to start the Pacific Crest Trail in April. He’s got a great website — PCT2007.org — and looks very organized.

Looks like Craig will be ready for the PCT. He blazed through one of our top 10 hikes.

Yesterday I completed the challenge I was unable to finish last week.

Under perfect skies I hiked, and at some points ran, the Tongariro Northern Circuit in one day.

Less than 10.5 hours actually, and I’m pretty pleased with that because usually it is billed as 3-4 days … (read more)

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documentary – Wonderland Trail in 24hrs

The Wonderland Trail is one of the best hikes in the world. Circling Mt. Ranier in Washington State normally takes 7 days, 6 nights for experienced hikers.

But in a day?

The Wonderland Project is the name two friends gave their shared goal: To run the Wonderland Trail, circumnavigating Washington’s Mt. Rainier, in a single 24 hour push.

Ultramarathon runners Skye Thompson and Zac West forged their friendship into a critical partnership over two years of training, but things took a bitter turn at mile 60, when one runner was forced to drop out.

In a difficult decision, the other decided to push on alone. Join us in watching the story of their partnership in the face of an immense physical and emotional challenge and their record-breaking attempt at the Wonderland Trail.

The DVD is available at LenticularPictures.com.

Click PLAY or watch it on Google Video.

(via the GreatOutdoors.com TV page.)

human-powered circumnavigation of Earth

National Geographic Adventure Magazine named them “Adventurers of the Year”, calling them “The New Magellans”.

Colin Angus (along with Julie Wafaei for much of the time) had powered himself around the globe using exclusively human power.

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National Geographic Adventure Magazine

official website – Angus Adventures

But British adventurer Jason Lewis claims that Angus’ circumnavigation does not count because it did not “pass through two antipodal points on the globe” (co-ordinates on exactly opposite sides of the Earth).

His own human powered circumnavigation attempt is still happening.

Looks like Guinness Book of World Records is siding with Lewis. (Canadian newspaper report)

official website – Expedition 360

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route of Jason Lewis

The dispute certainly trivializes accomplishment.

John Muir Trail record attempt(s)

“I built a castle in the swamp and it sunk. I built a second castle and it sunk too. I built a third castle and it burned down and then sunk. But the fourth castle, Ahhhh! That one stood.”

—Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Well-written account of an attempt to speed hike the JMT by 49-year-old Al Shaver.

Before my attempt, Reinhold Metzger held the unsupported, unresupplied speed record for the 208 mile John Muir Trail at 5 days 7 hours. I hoped to best his time this September. After three valiant attempts, his record still stands.

I knew I wasn’t necessarily the person best suited to break Reinhold’s record, but I was drawn to the challenge and I thought it was possible. …

As it turns out, the third time is not always a charm. I could take the advice of Mssrs. Cleese et al and try one more time, but I fear I took on a 40 miles a day challenge with 30 miles a day feet.

Results: John Muir Trail (JMT) Record Attempt – Unsupported, Without Resupply @ Backpacking Light

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Al Shaver and the gear

(via The Adventure Blog)

the fittest man in the world

Labelled “the fittest man in the world” by Men’s Fitness, Dean Karnazes’ past feats include running 350 miles continuously, mountain biking non stop for 24 hours, swimming across the San Francisco Bay, and running a marathon to the South Pole.

from the Geared Up Blog

He is author of Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner.

Confessions of an All-Night Runner

What’s next?

50 marathons in 50 days!