Event photo by Kurt Refsnider
Pinyons and Pines is an underground self-supported bikepacking race that starts and ends in Flagstaff, AZ (6,910 feet). The route is a magnificent tour of Northern Arizona, utilizing a mixture of singletrack, double track, and dirt roads. The start and finish are at Flagstaff Bicycle Revolution, located at 3 South Mikes Pike, sandwiched between Pizzicletta and Mother Road Brewery. The course is roughly 282 miles and consists of two distinct loops, the Southern Loop and the Northern Loop. The total elevation gain for the route is about 22,000 feet, split evenly between the two loops. For 2020, the Southern Loop is 135 miles and passes through Sedona (4,350 feet) prior to following a mixture of dirt roads and the Arizona Trail back to Flagstaff.
The Northern Loop is 147 miles and circumnavigates several extinct volcanoes, including the San Francisco Peaks, home to Humphreys Peak (12,633 feet), the highest point in Arizona. Each year, the Southern Loop will more or less stay the same while the Northern Loop will differ from year to year, typically alternating between a clockwise (odd years) and a counterclockwise (even years) orientation. Most years the Northern Loop will overlap substantially with the popular Craters and Cinder Cones Loop.
When riders transition between the two loops, Flagstaff will be neutral territory. This means that riders may visit their cars, hotel rooms, homes, loved ones, etc. However, riders must return to the route where they left it. Riders can choose between two categories: solo or duo (2-person team).
Make sure to check out last year’s event recap here, which includes a write up from Dana Ernst and photos gathered up from the participants.