Author: Perrin Derrick

Finished – How one man lied, cheated, and stole his was to completing the AZT300

Derrick Perrin on bike

Things didn’t work out as planned this year, they never do. Never! In 2016 everyone around me was healthy and I taped out of the AZT300 due to an illness. Jump to 2017, I’m healthy and everyone around me is sick.

On one hand, planning, workouts, sponsorships came together perfectly, and then there was chaos falling apart in the opposite direction.

It takes me back to my chemotherapy treatment days. For every victory out there, there was something kicking you in the nuts trying to break you.

Every decision had a bad effect on someone.

My family was not going to make the trip to Arizona so I offered up a seat to my aunt Tish. She jumped onboard and me, my mom and my aunt took off west.

Mountain bike on a suv rack

April 5

Balmorhea, Texas to Sonoita, Arizona. We made one pit stop in El Paso, TX to pickup a new set of grips. Thanks, Crazy Cat Cyclery. You have a nice shop.

As a small business owner, you have to complete all the to-dos before getting on a bike and riding off into the wilderness. My last to-do was a big law video production. To get this one completed I found myself in a parking lot 35miles west of my cozy bed at 3:30 am. Not having internet sucked. By 4:30 the edit was complete and uploaded, everything had been checked off the list and it was time for rest.

April 6

Prep day Thursday
The first day to have all the bags loaded up. A small amount of anxiety knowing that day 1 and the Canelos are calling. At the Xanadu guest ranch, I had a great talk with Don, a road tour rider from Nebraska. Don spent the last part of March traveling Arizona by bicycle. He and his riding buddy were quite the inspiration.

Packing bike bags is a problem without a perfect answer. You must keep heavy stuff down low, items needed quick need to be close, and bedding gear tends to be fluffy and bulky. So if you pack for weight alone you will not have quick access to the things you need. If you pack for quick items you might have a lopsided bike. If you pack your pack… blah blah blah, I will figure it out as I go was the plan.

There were fires causing a detour in the route up Mt Lemmon. I was bummed hearing this because I wanted to trudge through the suck that came with taking off to Redintton Road and climbing the mountain.

Camber frame bag

April 7

Friday – Race day Goal – No rest till Kentucky Camp
My mom had brought Cinnamon Rice Chex as a special breakfast treat. Thanks, mom!

Breakfast with a bike at the Xanadu Guest RanchWe packed up and made the drive from Sonoita, AZ to Parker Canyon Lake. I wasn’t the last person to show up, but I was cutting it really close. Tish didn’t make it out of the truck to wish me off. My mom, Becky, took a few photos and wished me well. After the standard prep talk from Scott, the pack is off.

Specialized Camber with frame bag

I give my last goodbyes and head off into the Canelo Hills. This year starting on time afforded me the opportunity to ride with a lot of different riders. Casper from Denmark and I seemed to play tag all through the east hills. I didn’t seem to have weak lungs like I did in this section of the ride last year.

AZT 750 rider Casper Ortvald

Casper Ortvald on day one of the Arizona Trail – 2017

A few miles in I learn that my bag test the day before was thorough enough. I was questioned with a group of riders about a missing orange bag. Yes, I was the owner of the lost orange bag. I really didn’t believe the rider when they said someone had it and was bringing it up the trail. I had just put my bike down and was ready to head back down the trail when I saw Jeff Hanson and his wife coming up to greet me with my handlebar bag. I was grateful.

Jeff Hansen - AZT 300

What is in the orange handlebar bag?

I had carried an extra niteze wire bungie and used it to secure the orange bag into place. Once setup this bag stays put for the rest of my ride.

bike packing handle bar bag

Riding in a group had its benefits and drawbacks. I had plenty of water and knew a water hole was getting close. I wanted to be sure to always keep 1 liter of water until I made it to the next refuel stop. So I missed a spot I used last year and found a new spot to fill up a jug. So I found a small pool of suspect water. This water was not flowing so I used my tabs to treat it before loading it into my hydration pack and sending it through my Sawyer mini. I chose to put the Sawyer inline this year so I had immediate access to water. On my 2016 ride, there were too many times where the 35 min tablet wait was a pain to deal with. The Sawyer allowed me to scoop my bladder into a pool of water, hook up my water line and start to drink. This would also work as a gravity filter. I could just hang my bag in a tree and let it drop into my bottles.

Mountain bike riders hiding in shade

By mid-day, I kept passing riders hiding in bushes. I couldn’t blame them. It was hot on the trail. Last year I hit Patagonia 5 minutes after the stores closed. This could not happen this year. The Canelo west trailhead hosted 4 or 5 resting riders.  one rider asked me something like “How’s it feel to kick the Canelos in the ass?” I let him know it was the other way around.

Canelos west meant fewer riders yet an easier ride despite the gusty winds. You get out on the trail and feel all alone. There might be riders out there but you don’t see or hear anything. Around 5 I hopped off trail to take care of some bush business.

If you are ever feeling lonely or need to see someone just stop  off trail for a #2 … someone will show up.

Down Under Tank 03-035a (Mile 18) was my next water stop. I had a mission this year. I missed the cement damn with the pipe that feed off the bottom Trap Tank. It was a minor victory, but I was glad I found it. Very nice and cold water off the bottom of the stock tank. As I was topping off I met a fellow Texas rider named Don Schwieters (750). He quickly earned my respect for being a Tour Divide 2016 finisher with the time of 29:07:58. Congrats on that achievement Sir. Don’s AZTR750 time was 13:08:25. Congratulation on that achievement also.

Down Under Tank 03-035a arizona trail
Don Schwieters at Down Under Tank
Don Schwieters

Evaporative Cooling – My best friend in the desert

If I was stopping for water I would fill up to capacity and then work on cooling off my body. My hometown is so humid I never get to take advantage of the body’s natural ability to cool itself. On the trail I got into a routine of taking off my long sleeve shirt, soaking it in water and putting it back on. I would also wet my hair to enjoy the cooling effect. This helped me lower my body temp so I could push on in the heat of the afternoon.

Water trough on the Canellos section of the AZT
The Down Under Tank water held me all the way to the corrals at Red Bank Well 03-068 Mile 21 when I met Don for the 2nd and last time. He was off to conquer the 750.

Front wheel off of my bike

The Canellos – Translation – what bicycle tire nightmares are made of.

Mile 20.5 – sidewall gash – Orange Seal to the rescue. This was larger than my cut from last year. Stan’s couldn’t seal that one, so I knew a tube was in my near future. Orange Seal, do your thing to my front tire, please. I really didn’t want to use up a spare tube and loose my sealant setup. I pulled my front wheel and placed it where the cut was face down in the dirt. I was hoping the dirt from the outside and the sealant from the inside would make a bond. It did and I was back on the trail. I strolled off trail to a mine opening and waited for the fix to work.

It worked! After pumping a bit more air in I was back on the trail. It wasn’t long before my slacker riding got me in trouble. It was just a little sidewall rub but it was at the perfect spot to rub off my dirt seal. Once again, off the bike yanking a front wheel out of the forks while pulling for a superglue pack. Waiting for the glue to set I kept placing bets in my head of how long this might last.

Canellos West

The ride to Patagonia was pleasant. I was a bit surprised when the trail ran out and I was on the black top. All this happening when the sun was still up. Wow.

The women with the white dress on?

As I was on the blacktop heading into town I saw a greenhouse farm and then looked up to see an angelic woman walking in my direction. This same scene was repeated a 1/2 mile later. So if someone knows where the ladies in all white are going please let me know. It was intriguing to me.

In Patagonia, mom and aunt were ringing a bell and cheering me on. Well, my mom was, my aunt didn’t seem herself. Noy at all.

Once in town, hit up the Velvet Elvis for a large hot plate of spicy spaghetti.

Derrick Perrin at Velvet ElvisIt was a surprise to see how many riders came into town why I was sitting there eating. The Hansens had the same Velvet Elvis craving that I did.

Next door, the Mercantile had a few rides hanging out cursing the Conelos, but today it was not the Conelos that was the problem but the heat.`As riders would come to the store I would hop up from the restaurant and go trade war stories. I was hoping my 2016 riding buddy Steve would show up. 

bikepacking the AZT300

My sidewall gash was letting air out of my tire but I chose to air it up and ride to Sonoita, Arizona. Becky and Tish were staying another night at the Xanadu Guest Ranch and I knew it was an option for good rest. During my 12 mile ride to Sonoita, I had made a change of plans. Sleep 3 hours at the ranch and then head out to Kentucky Camp. I made the ranch 3 hours earlier than I did the year before.

I walk into the room and quickly notice it feels like an inferno. Tish was shivering and could not get warm. Mom pulled me to the side and said she had booked Tish on the first flight to Texas the next morning. The tried to get into a clinic but couldn’t get an appointment.

Overall I was feeling good at this point. I grabbed a shower and put on my camp clothes. It was bedtime. Around 2 am someone is waking me up. What the hell? This is a bed for one. It was Tish. She wasn’t talking to clear and when I asked if she was climbing into my bed she just mumbled and made herself at home. Long story short Becky was alarmed and a few moments later we called 911 thinking Tish was having a stroke. It freaked me out so it was back in the truck and we headed off to the hospital in Sierra Vista.

I was taxed with the job of calling loved ones sharing the bad news.

Well, what about your race? They all asked.

To hell with the race, that old trail will always be there. I can come and ride it another time.

We made it to the hospital. The doctors ran some test, rehydrated and boosted up her potassium levels. Canyon Vista Medical Center 5700 E. Highway 90 Sierra Vista, AZ
After a few hours, she started to make complete sentences again. They ran a culture but would not have results for a few days so they let her go. She didn’t seem perfect, but she didn’t stroke out so I felt like continuing my effort on the AZT. Day 1’s sidewall gash had grown a stalactite overnight. I noticed when I started riding and something was ticking the fork on every rotation. 

Orange Seal tire sealantWe traveled back to Xanadu so I could get back on the bike. A quick stop for a food order at The Chuckwagon and I was off into the wind at 10:30 am. Despite the stroke scare, the trip to the hospital, and really slow food service, I was still ahead of the game by 3 hours.

April 8

It was a repeat of last year. I was on the road to Santa Rosa Mountains driving right into the wind. I had a good feeling knowing there was a great stretch of singletrack coming up. Not tail, but honest to goodness track you can ride your bike on. From Sonoita to Kentucky Camp there is a lot of water. I stopped off at the same tank I visited last year. Good news is I was 3+ hours ahead of last year’s schedule.

Bikepacking gear at Kentucky CampI made it to Kentucky Camp and was hot. I went ahead and made camp behind the old building. I got some food and bedded down to get a little rest. It wasn’t long and a couple who was through riding the Arizona Trail wanted to chat. So we talked for awhile and I let them know about the microwave in the building. Yes, there is a microwave to heat water in the Kentucky Camp building. This was a blessing. So after a few Camp meals and some coffee, I headed off into the sunset. 3 hours spent relaxing in camp. When I left the camp a text came in from Steve saying he was 3 hours away.

Couple riding the AZTSometime after 8 p.m. I tore the plug out of my sidewall. I knew it was going to be a long night so I put in a tube. Every mile I Road got me closer to the bike shops in Tucson. It was a long night with a beautiful moon. Oftentimes I could turn off all lamps and just hike the bike with no light other than the moon. There were sometimes I thought I was going to be run over by deer that I would startle out of the bush.
This was the section that Steve and I tackled last year overnight. I kept on hearing him say in the back of my head there are only three little humps and we are over this big hill. Well, I counted three humps all night long. Somewhere around 2 I finally hit some single track. This cooled me down quite a bit. I kept on with my meal plan of eating something every 15 minutes. At some point, it began to be a struggle. Just the mental capacity and discipline of stopping and eating was not fun.

Must have been after 3am when my camp was set and I was in bed. I went to bed happy because I had made my goal and hit Twin Lakes.

 

I missed the exit for twin lakes and had to backtrack to the road and make my way there. It was 3ish if I remember it correctly. I showed up with at least a 1L of water so I went thru the process of putting on all my layers but my 2nd pair of long johns, ripping open a pair of hot hands, blowing up an air mattress, slipping it into the bivy and then slipping me into my sleeping bag liner. I stopped moving and the cool of the night hit at the same time. Note to future ryders: Hot air rises, cold air drops. This is good to know because if you are sleeping in a valley or close to the water the cold air is coming for you. Twin Lakes has been a great goal the last two years, but I will not sleep there again.

April 9 – Day Goal – Tucson Hotel

I’m not sure if I set an alarm or not. I do know that if I had not prepared my camp stove right outside my bivy, I’m not sure if I would have made it out before 10 am. The Colossal Cave was my next item to check off the map. I wanted to get there before the heat of the day. The plan was to rest in the heat of the day and buzz into Tucson around sunset.

AZT300/750 trail sign. I knew there was a lot of fun riding ahead and was very optimistic for the day. I had no idea of the magic that lies ahead. The trail takes a few detours to run underground.  The first is 83 and the 2nd is interstate 10. At 83 I stopped for a breakfast of Pink Salmon. There were clouds in the air that had me checking the weather radar often.

AZT 300 signAt Gabe Zimmerman, some sweet soul had a poster and two styrofoam coolers sitting trailside. You could see empty glass coke bottles sitting next to one. As I walked over to open these white treasure chest I could not hold back tears. You read trail reports and hear about trail angels and their magic, but this was my first experience. Thank you, whoever you are.

After the angel refuels stop, I was soon battling horse traffic on the Arizona Trail. Thou shall not spook the horses, but come on with the horse shit people. I ran into a pair of riders and they let me know the clouds were connected with the fires on Mt Lemmon. But no worries because the trails were open.

Came off the trail and hit up IHOP and then crashed hard. Overnight I had laid out baby food packets and made sure to inhale one or two each time I got up for a bathroom break.

April 10 – Day Goal – Reset

Rest – Fix Bike – Eat – Sleep – Eat

When I came off the trail I found Aunt Tish had been checked into a hospital in Tucson. She was not doing well and they were still working to figure out why her fever would jump off the charts and then come back to normal. The lab culture came back as E-coli and they started pumping her with different antibiotics. After visiting the hospital it was off to the bike shop.

Brian at Broadway BicyclesBroadway bikes – put on bigole tire on the front end and new shorts due to sunburn arse crack. If I lived in Tucson, Broadway Bicycles would be my local bike shop. Thanks to the team over there for getting me fixed up. They also referred me to a Mexican food place close by. It was close to the Sprouts and that was a great place for a resupply.

Napping and washing clothes completed the afternoon fun. One last IHOP trip and nightly rest were next. The plan is to hit the trail at 5:30am.

Bontrager XR3 Team Issue TLR

Bontrager XR2 Expert mountedup on my bike.

 APRIL 11

Day Goal – Climb Mt LemmonBikepacking gear

Get up before 4am and have the bike packed and loaded and did my last checks in the McDonald’s parking lot. The morning coffee did its job and when the mickey-ds lights came on I was the first in line to use their facilities.

Derrick Perrin at McDonalds, AZRested and with a bike that was back to 100% I was ready to take on the day.

 

The morning was cold and I really didn’t know what or how the day was a going to turn out. I had a good idea I would be running into rider Steve today.
Redington Road
5:30 am – With a fresh body, I marched through the sand pits at the end of Broadway and onto Rredington Road. A few motorbikes came buy and I wished my mountain bike had a motor. I trucked it up and down this craphole of a road. I found the ride enjoyable as I moved on at a good pace. My friend Robert text me and told me to slow down because it would be a long day. Not an hour went by and I met Steve getting ready to close a gate.

No hug, no handshake, just work. It was as if the past year had not  With little more than a head nod we were on the trail. We started to motor on down the trail. We hit a waterhole around 2pm. At this time I noticed I was missing one of my fork bottles.

We rested longer than expected before we started packing. In an attempt to know some sense into himself, Steve headbutted a tree branch. He was fussing a bit before I broke out my nurse kit, and then he was fussing a lot.


The Woundseal worked like a champ and we were off to find this Canyon named Mediera. As the sun set the blood moon was rising. Nature must have known about it. Right before we made the saddle a pair of deer showed us how easy it was to climb mountains. As we dropped into a national park campground we scared the piss out of some campers who didn’t expect nighttime riders.

The blood moon was absolutely amazing.

Must have been about 9:30 pm when we took a break for dinner. Hot camp meal for me, power mix pemican non-food for Steve. We had some coffee and were off to find pavement. This would be the pavement (Catalina Highway) to the top of the mountain.  It kept getting cooler it got later and we were ascending Mt. Lemmon. We had a cabin waiting for us in Summer Haven and were determined to get there.

As we stopped to put on another layer of clothing we heard running water. There was a creek below and we topped off with ice cold water. This problem was fixed in the making of coffee. Found this toad on the water run.

We rode some and hiked the pavement a lot. The road had very few travelers that time of night. I found myself waking up on my bike. It was just like nodding off while reading a book at home, but I was on a mountain in the middle of the night climbing. There were times when a quarter mile or more would separate me and Steve. His clip in pedals were killing his feet.  By 4 am he deemed it necessary to pull the cleats and improve his hiking comfort. As he pulled out his toolkit I curled up in the road’s gutter and took a nap.

It was this very moment that I realized my previous stops for camping were premature. I was not nearly exhausted enough. I needed to be “sleep in the gutter exhausted” before I set camp again.

By sunrise, we were near the top of the trail. I had been texting with my dad about progress as he was preparing to go to work for the day. I was spinning cranks going up a 9,000-foot mountain at 4 miles per hour talking on the phone and getting ready to put an end to a 24-hour push on the bike. Yea, I was feeling good about my accomplishment.

From the top of the mountain to the village of Summerhaven is downhill.
There are no free miles
Climbing up the mountain works your muscles good and creates warmth and sweat. Riding downhill will chill you to the bones as the wind helps your sweat a subzero nightmare. Well, it is not that bad, but it is not as enjoyable as you wanted it to be.

I reached the cabin 25 hours after taking off from Tucson. The mission of the day was a success. There were 2 riders behind us at this point and it would be nice to run into them, but we were going to take a full 24 hours off.

April 12 – Day Goal – Rest

Rest on the mountain was awesome. The store had a good supply of everything we needed including a polethera of organic goods.

Steve working on riding plans

Steve and I had time to sit and worry about what lies ahead. We sat there and thought we knew what lies ahead. I read water reports and kept going back to mountain view tank. The report read, “Watch out for the killer minnows, but the water taste great.”
Food, nap, food, repeat was the agenda for the rest of the day. We found time to clean clothing and water filters. We went to bed knowing the morning would be early and there might not be much rest till the end of this AZT party.

April 13 – Day Goal – Get off the Mountain

Steve and I hit the trail and it happend to be the wrong one.

 

Noon – Magic Gate

somewhere along the trail we found people actually working on the Arizona Trail and we’re very thankful and let them know how much we appreciated the work they put in on the trail.

4:30 High Jinks

We arrived at the high Jinks Ranch somewhere in the afternoon this was the first time I heard Steve talking about ditching the race. I really did not like this idea. You understand people are on the trail and pushing their bodily limits but you really want to see your fellow Riders make it across the finish line. Sure you’re in competition and you want to be first place and you want to be the fastest and you want to be the most badass guy around but you also want the other people who are on the race to accomplish their goals as well.

The folks at the ranch for a nice offer does hot water coffee a place to stay a place to tent we probably hang out there for about 30 minutes cooking up coffee Camp Mills and using their facilities we placed a small donation in the donation box and headed back out on the trail. The afternoon was hot when we cruise through bloodsucker wash or it might have been Grant wash either wash it was hot. I knew I was about to lose Steve in the heat so we found some brush on the side of the road and hid for a short afternoon nap. At this point, my give-a-s*** was really really low I found myself waking up laying on a down Mesquite Branch with thorns in my leg and just not really caring just appreciating sleep. We motored on and search of our next Watering Hole named be well.

11:30 North Tiger Mine Camp

Finding a campsite when you are tired

We left tiger mine Trailhead and said goodbye to my mom who was there to cheer us on. Steve was about ready to quit and I kept prodding him on and on sometime around 9 we stopped for a hot meal and some coffee in hopes that we would ride all night.

By 11 Steve was looking to crash anywhere and I mean anywhere. Everything was looking really good to him. So we went ahead and found a spot right off of the trail. It seems that my camping spot was really close to a new Cactus friend of mine. I backed into it and found a piece the size of a fist mounted on the back of my calf muscle. Steve yelled at me not to move anywhere and he came with his Leatherman tool and began to rip the spines out of my leg. If I was tired when I first set up camp I was definitely not tired now. But I managed to set up camp and bed down it was a decent night sleep.

April 14 – Day Goal – Don’t Stop

I need to hit it till I quit it.

7 am hit the trail.

In the morning we packed up camp, had a little breakfast including coffee and hit the road North. Not far from taking off we found an entire Forest of the same cactus that decided to attack me the night before. I decided to walk through this section. the trail throughout the morning was not bad. Not really enjoyable but did not have tons of hike-and-bike. There seem like there were sections to where Steve and I would get some distance between the two of us at the next gate I would stop and hold the gate for him and he would catch up the same thing would happen throughout the day. When we hit the watering hole who is a good spot to really cool off. This was Mountain View tank where we had read reports of the killer sized minnows. The water was nice and cool and we saw a lot of people out on their ATVs. it’s really interesting you seem like you are all alone with no one else around but then all the sudden people to show up out of the middle of nowhere and cruise on by.

11:15 Mountain View Tank – Killer Minos

 

Mountain View Tank, AZ

We topped off all of our water tanks at Mountain View waterhole. I was really hot so I soak my body over with water and then I would get the chills. It was an odd thing if you were in the shade or wet you were very cold if you were in the sun you were burning up. See would try to catch the shade of a Mesquite tree that would let just enough to keep you the right temperature. We grew up a little bit and then hit the trail An afternoon ride. are next to the main destination would be the watering hole at the high Jinks Ranch. Ever since reading about this Ranch I was really looking forward to seeing it and making it a little water stop Oasis.

 

3:30 Bloodsucker Wash

4:30 Bee Hive

I don’t recall the ride being that strenuous. I do recall showing up and having 1 or 2 thru-hikers at the watering hole. The big tank was full of water and full of thick green stuff. And there were bees. One poor hiker and hike to head and found that there was a tank North that was empty and height to back to fill up his water. We felt bad for him but really Information. at that point we talked off and headed north. Steve could not feel his feet at this point of the race.

5:00 pm breakup

It wasn’t but a mile up the trail when Steve let me know this’ll be the last mile we would ride together. I was crying as I told Steve by and let him know that my mom would probably be cheering us on at the next Trailhead and if he needed to tap out that would be a great spot to tap out. It has been amazing riding with him for another year and I would have to do it again soon.

7:00 Freeman Trail Head

I put down the pedal and worked to make the next trailhead by sundown. it was a good ride. I wanted to make it there to refill and hopefully there be water in the storage tanks or the storage boxes. So far all the reports had shown that there would be.

8:00 pm hitting for the last push

I took off from the trailhead leaving Steve and my mom behind. Steve at that point was talking big game about finishing the race and I was really impressed with his new attitude. But I left knowing there’s a 50-50 chance he might be completely done. I think him for pushing me on and riding with me as long as he rode in the race. I was really happy to have a friend out on the trail.

We were still really close to a full moon and I was trying to book it as hard as I could knowing that the cool night would afford me to run with less water consumption and not have to worry about my body overheating. I had Red Trail notes about passing under power lines or high transmission lines and I was surprised at one point when I stopped in the power lines were buzzing so loud. There were two times where I spilled off of the bike and into the dirt. no or no harm done to me or the bike just pick myself up dust myself off and got back on the trail. There were some good sections on this area and I felt like I was making good time.

April 15 – Finish

12:00 am Tortilla Mountain 3249 Feet above sea-level climbing switchbacks.

2:15 flat out near Kelvin Florence Highway Trailhead
A sidewall gash is a perfect reason to stop drop and sleep. This time it was the rear. But before sleep, I needed to do some work. After a new tube was dropped into the rear tire it was time to cook. Oats, apple, cinnamon, quinoa was on the menu. This was my last camp meal I had in my pack.  I heated up my water, mixed it in the bag and placed it between my ribcage and my right elbow. The clock was set for 2 sleep cycles. I fluffed my hydration pack, placed my head on it as the warmth of camp meal bag added comfort as I nodded off.

3:30 ate a few bites of my camp meal and then was on the bike Rolling to the trailhead. I had a hope of something magical being in the lock boxes at the trailhead. It was full of empty bottles of water, empty bags of chips, empty this empty that. It wasn’t that I needed anything at that point in time. I just knew from now until the end of the race there was one faucet and one dirty river water opportunity and no food. I closed the boxes back up and moved out. Next destination, water at the public works fence faucet.

The morning was crisp and chilly. I looked for a way to cherish it the best way I could. You want to cuss the cold while being thankful it is not blazing hot like it will be in a few hours. By 7:15 the sun had broken over the mountains and it was time to bask in the sunlight and brew a cup of Coffee. I mad soup out of what was left in my camp meal packet. That was the best quonia colored water a boy could ask for.

I inventoried and had a few baby food packets left, some bee pollen, chia seeds, and dark chocolate.For my water, I was saving my nun tablets and my beat elite powder for the muddy water of the Gila River.  It looked like I might have a thousand calories for today’s efforts. My food every 15 minutes was not going to happen today. For the math folks out there I’m 6’4 and require a base of 3200 calories a day if I’m stitting at a desk resting. Today is not going to be one of those resting days.

 

Coffee on the Arizona Trail
The Gila was a big surprise. I 9:30 am Last waterhole on the Gila – Mud river

4:pm Passed on Tally Tank – Biggest mistake I made in the race

6:56 – Done

AZT Gear and bike 2017

Included in this listing are a few videos associated with my gear carried during the 2017 AZT300 mountain bike race in southern Arizona. To see more AZT videos from Derrick Perrin please visit https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnIAlMPx0_ZNiRzyvsITyut4IoDTBDUOE

Thanks for watching. If you have questions of comments please jump over to YouTube and comment on each individual video. I would love to hear from you and any suggestions you have to make bike packing better for everyone.

Derrick Perrin resting at High Jinks Ranch

Arizona Trail Photos – 2017

Derrick Perrin setting up to ride AZTR300

Photos of the Arizona Trail Race 300 by Derrick Perrin.

This is my collection or photos taken while riding in the 2017 edition of the AZTR. At this point, I’m still editing my trail report but wanted to share my photos with you.

Race Day 1

Day 2 on the AZT300

AZT Day 3 - Twin Lakes to Tucson

Day 4 - Rest and Repair

Day 5 - Leaving Tucson

Day 6 - Rest Day 2 - On Mt Lemmon

Day 7 - Oracle Ridge passed Tiger Mine TH

Day 8 - North Tiger Mine TH to Kelvin TH

Final Stretch - Kelvin to Picketpost

Post Race unwind - Texas - Chispa Road

Thanks for taking a look. If you see someone you know in one of the above photos please let me know so I can mark who it is.

From the back of the pack

-Derrick Perrin

Fun Cycle App – Relive

A few months back I came across an application called Relive. It takes your ride, photos, and date and combines it with a Google Maps flyover. Once done it spits out a video for you to share. Here is my video from a ride I did on the Chispa Road in Texas.

You can visit their site to find out more here: https://www.relive.cc/view/946771835

Green Gate towards Tucson.

Derrick Perrin – 8 Days 10 Hours 55 Minutes

Still working on the trail report from this year’s run at the AZT-300 mountain bike race.

Just wanted to share a clip and a few photos from this year’s race. Me and my 2015 Specialized Camber had a slow and successful run.

Summerhaven, AZ - Derrick Perrin

It was 10 miles to Picket Post and I was given the opportunity to sit down and pull my tubeless setup. In its place, I dropped in one of my 2 tubes left. Watch as I fuss in agony. Feel free to laugh, I know I do when I look back at this moment.

A note from Scott:

Strong work out there, Derrin.  You are welcome.  I am glad you
enjoyed the challenge and stuck with it.

I believe you own the 'slowest known time' (SKT) for the 300, which,
in my opinion is a feat more admirable than the fastest known time, in
many ways.  Well done.

Cheers and thanks for the note,

Scott

Do That One Thing – Derrick Rides For James Ragan

"Do that 1 thing"

D Perrin at MD Anderson
AZT 300 - Derrick Perrin on trail
Perrin on the Arizona Trail 2016

The title of this article is a quote from my friend James Ragan. With his sister Mecklin, James headed up the Triumph Over Kid Cancer Origination and encouraged folks to go out and find that one thing they can do to help end childhood cancer. I love the concept of going out there and doing your 1 Thing. Mecklin and the team of TOKC have been working hard to make sure everyone knows  that one thing they can do to help end childhood cancer is there and ready to be discovered. Seriously, look for it… it is there waiting to be put into motion and help squash out childhood cancer.

Broken Bones - Not Spirits

Shortly after James passed from cancer I was diagnosed with a cancer by the name of Diffused Large B-Cell Lymphoma. Cancer has a way of changing the way you see the world, and it does it in the blink of an eye. The oncologist found a tumor in my right hip that happened to fracture. To remedy this problem I spent 4 months coming and going to MD Anderson in Houston Texas. I tested into a potent new chemo cocktail by the acronym ePOCH-R.

While at MD Anderson I thought about James a lot. I was walking in the halls he walked in. I was meeting doctors like Valerae O. Lewis who cared for James for so many years.

I do a lot of video editing for the Triumph Over Kids Cancer organization. During my 2nd round of chemotherapy, I edited video for the TOKC Big Easy event. Emotionally it was rough editing because I was sitting there looking at a very live young man talking about doing that one thing, knowing he had passed and this was going to be the first New Orleans event without him. I was lame and didn’t have my one thing yet.

Finding my ONE THING

After chemotherapy, the bone in my hip slowly mended and I rode my bicycle to strengthen my joint. It is still at a deficit, but I’m working hard riding and strength training so I can fix it. As I continued to train and get better I remember a speech from James Ragan. In his speech, James mentions his passion for playing tennis. He was really good and put in a lot of time making himself better. When cancer took away his ability to kick butt in tennis he switched to golf. He didn’t sit down and quit, he found something to believe in and went all in.

That “all in” attitude is contagious. It defiantly got to me. 10 years ago I was a runner, today I’m a rider. James had to hang up one sport he was really good and then shift to something his body would allow him to do. His positive outlook on switching sports gave me the confidence to drop running and start riding.

Derrick Perrin Selfi on the Arizona Trail

Last year I started to ride competitively. The type of race I like are ultra endurance self-supported mountain bike events. Training for these events is long and give you a chance to reflect on things happening around you. I keep thinking about James and his fight when I’m out there training.  I soon figured out this is my one thing. I can get out and spread the word for TOKC. I jumped on the awareness train and rode it to Arizona.
April 2016 was my first time to race, and my first time to ride in the memory of Jame Ragan.

It was an honor to be out there on the trail sporting the TOKC orange.

Last Race - San Angelo State Park

My last race was in October. I rode the 6-hour dinosaur race held at the San Angelo State Park.
Races like these give you the opportunity to ride with your competitors. Sure, you want to beat them, but then again you also want to finish in one piece. During the first 3 hours of racing, I was blessed to meet my new riding friend, Mat Day. The once Marine turned into a Buddhist bike rider now knows all about James, TOKC, and how devastating childhood cancer can be. Every 9 miles you make a lap. You talk, sweat and endure together. I love having the captive audience an endurance race provides.

You really had to meet and spent time with James to know how big a heart he had. I hope my discussions with Mat conveyed a fraction of what James had to offer.

Derrick Perrin on a mountain bike

6-hour dinosaur race – San Angelo, TX

Overall I placed 6th in the male solo class. Since this was my first race to finish I was really happy. Next October I will be training and be participating in the 6 hours of the dinosaur race.

Next Race- AZT 300

My first race was April 2016. I made an attempt at the Arizona Trail 300 mile mountain bike race. This is a multi-day event where all riders must support them-self from start to the finish. During ultra-endurance race many riders will pair up and ride together. This is a great opportunity to talk and let folks know about why I ride and who I ride for. That would be James Ragan.

You can read about my last AZT300 ride with a click of the button below.

April 7th 2017 will be the next start of the Arizona Trail 300 mile mountain bike race. I plan to be there on my bike ready to take the abuse. I still have some sponsorship items coming in that will enable my family to make the trip with me.

Sure, I’m still trying to figure out why I like this race so much.

Thank You

If you supported my 2016 AZT efforts, thank you. Please know your efforts didn’t go away. This year I will be running with all my bike and gear from last years ride. Add that with the knowledge I picked up on the trail and things are looking really positive for a finish in 2017.
I’m looking forward to going out there and doing my one thing to spread awareness on ways people can help TOKC end childhood cancer.

Would you like one thing to do? You can jump on over to http://triumphoverkidcancer.org/donate/ and make something happen today. They are accepting donations 24 hours a day. Just slap my name in the box so they know where the donation is coming from.

The AZT-300 starts in 9 days. There is a lot of moving parts that need to be put into motion before I get to Arizona. Yesterday I was able to cross off one big item from the to-do list. That would be my bike bags. One is pictured to the right. It was custom built for my bicycle by a seamstress here in Corpus Christi. My other bags were a sponsorship item that  I can’t wait to load up and test ride. There are a few more sponsorship items coming in before my family hits the road for Arizona.
Here are a few things on the to-do list:

  • Activate SPOT GPS tracking device
  • Pay yearly dues to the Arizona Trail Association
  • Clear race registration
  • Load the Garmin GPS with the new trail map
  • Rebuild bicycle medical kit.
  • Convert to tubeless using my Orange Seal sponsored supplies.
  • Mount new GoPro mount on the new bicycle helmet
  • Send thank you cards to my 2016 sponsors
  • Send thank you to new 2017 sponsors
  • Secure hotel stays along the way
  • Clean hydration packs
  • Pick trail food
  • Learn how to best pack the new bicycle bags
  • Print paper maps
  • Study on trail water locations
  • And many more
TOKC bicycle frame bag
Triumph Over Kid Cancer

Thanks for taking the time to hear about my one thing. I hope you can find a way to do your one thing to help out. If you need help give TOKC a call and they can point you in the right direction.

Thanks again, and I will keep you posted on how things went after the race is over.

-Derrick Perrin

https://youtu.be/X8nPESiCSTk

AZT17

Tuesday April 4, 2017

Tuesday April 4, 2017

Stay at Balmorhea State Park.

9207 TX-17, Toyahvale, TX 79786
(432) 375-2370

Reservation Confirmation – 18062157

Travel Time
6 h 58 min

Wednesday April 5, 2017

Wednesday April 5, 2017

Xanadu Ranch GetAway
92 S.Los Encinos Rd, P.O. Box 1291
Sonoita, Arizona, 85637-1291, United States
520-455-0050

Travel Time

7 h 11min

Thursday April 6, 2017

Thursday April 6, 2017

Xanadu Ranch GetAway
92 S.Los Encinos Rd, P.O. Box 1291
Sonoita, Arizona, 85637-1291, United States
520-455-0050

Local tourist attraction day.

Friday April 7, 2017 - Race Day 1

Friday April 7, 2017

Xanadu Ranch GetAway
92 S.Los Encinos Rd, P.O. Box 1291
Sonoita, Arizona, 85637-1291, United States
520-455-0050

First fay of AZT 300

Drop of Derrick at Parker Canyon

Kendra and Crew do local attraction

Race Information

What? I’m sorry I can’t hear you

Two days after my 39th birthday I’m woken by Kendra. She is checking to see if I can hear my alarm. I was sleeping on my left side and my answer was a big fat NO. I got up and realized my right ear was working at about 15% and part of my face was numb. That day’s work was a video shoot in Laredo, Texas. Driving down to the shoot didn’t help my hearing. Dizzy and dazed I did the shoot. I had my bicycle with me so I managed to break into a closed city park and have aa bicycle ride  Things were going great until I had a flat.

Laredo Mountain Bike Trail Obstical

That day I learned the importance of riding a bike with a pump, or how bad it is to not have one. So 4 miles of riding and a half mile hike and I was back to my truck. That evening I arrived in Corpus Christi with a deaf right ear. I would go to sleep knowing tomorrow would be big.

I awake with little to no hearing. Not enough to matter. My ear is not the important thing today, it’s the tumor in my foot. Kendra and I are off to MD Anderson for a CT-Scan and an appointment with the brain/spine surgeon. The Dr. eases our worries and says it doesn’t look like cancer. This is a relief but doesn’t explain my sudden hearing loss. He scopes my ear with the ear thingie and says it’s crooked but looks clean. We make it back to Corpus Christi and I go to sleep with a dead ear.

Two days pass and nothing is changing. I freak out a bit and make an appointment with my ear, nose, & throat (ENT) doctor. After a few days wait I get in and get tested. I have 100% hearing loss. After a triple threat of nasty pharmaceuticals for 6 days, I finally get some resonant frequencies back. It’s just enough to really annoy the piss out of you. My 7 day ENT follow-up yielded a hearing test of 65%. At my two week follow-up, my ear would be functioning at 90%. Incredible! One Dr. said I should go buy campaign while the other wanted to take me to the dog track. I’m guessing I’m lucky to have any hearing back.

Two months have passed since my sudden loss of hearing. I’m not 100% but I’m very functional. The body does a great job of compensating for the loss. Being deaf for a few days was harder than I would think. I’m so thankful I’m back to almost normal. I really don’t think I will get all of my hearing back. Dr seems to think I had a virus that shut it down. I know, not my typical funny post. I just wanted to get the story down in my medical notes so I don’t forget. For now, I’m off the meds and back on my bike training was suspended for a while due to meds making me feel funny.
-Derrick

derrick-perrin 11-18-1981

A foot in my tumor.

Time for a little update on life. I turn 39 next week. After having a small lump in my foot I went to have an MRI.

Results show a nerve sheath tumor that is not a Morton’s Neuroma. I’m getting transferred to a new department at MD Anderson. Looks like I have been updated to the Brain and Spine Center. If that doesn’t scare you a bit I’m not sure what will. This is all perfect timing since all Obamacare plans will pull coverage for MD Anderson starting January 1, 2017. Thanks ACA, you are awesome! I will let you know what the surgeon in the Brain and Spine department has to say about my foot. Sure hope my ass-kicking days won’t be cut short due to this tumor friend of mine.

Back to real life here.

Still been riding the mountain bike a lot. As of this week I have done 959 miles on the bike this year. If you are a Stava workout person check me out https://www.strava.com/athletes/8625592
In October I raced in a 6 hour endurance challenge. Landed in sixth place.

Derrick Perrin on a mountain bike


6 hour dinosaur race – San Angelo, Texas

derrick-perrin 11-18-1981

I have also been copying VHS to DVDs and scanning in old family photos while working on my family tree.
I was thinking of finding out who the descendants of the fella who created the 110 film format so I can go slap them.

The photos and memories are precious. So many great memories and so many people in my life I’m thankful for.

Sogo out there and have a great Thanksgiving. Give me a call if you want to catch up on life and have a cup of coffee.

-Derrick Perrin

Corpus Christi 7-Day Film Project

It is hot, the kids are off for summer, and creative juices are on the rise.

Last year my family and I decided we would do a CC7D film project together. Year in, year out we are video producers. We shoot a lot of different video but don’t typically make movies or films. The Corpus Christi 7 Day Film Project is a great opportunity to stretch the skill set and make a family movie.

Last year Grason took over as the team leader and created Super Avenger. Please take a look if you have a few minutes.

 

We had a serious good time making this film. So many of the lines in this film have become inside joke worthy one-liners.

Here is a film made in 2009. It starts my good friend Jeff Durrwachter.

July 6th is the start of the project. We look forward to share our film once it is completed.

Thanks for watching.

-Derrick

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