Sunday, September 24, 2017
Starting above the community Lukachukai 1 mile east of Buffalo Pass on Hwy 13
Ride organizers: Mark Povich and Kurt Refsnider
New for 2017! This event will be part of the Chuska Challenge Mountain Bike Festival, a weekend of riding, camping, and music high in the Chuska Mountains of northeastern Arizona. Saturday will feature a circuit race and family-friendly tours, and Sunday will be the AES Cove Classic event.
A few very important points:
- As usual for AES events, this route will not be marked in any way. You are entirely responsible for your own navigation. The GPX files for the route and important points along the way can be downloaded using the link farther down on this page.
- This route is entirely on the Navajo Nation. This is private land. Unlike other AES routes, we only have permission to ride this route on September 24, 2017 as part of the Chuska Challenge Mountain Bike Festival.
- We kindly ask that all riders make a donation of $15.00 to the Cove Chapter in return for the community’s support of this event (checks can be made out to made out to Cove Chapter) and will be collected before the ride.
- Please stay on the route, do not disturb sheep or other stock animals, beware of sheep dogs, don’t enter any of the many sheep camps, and be especially friendly to anyone you meet.
Having once been the lone Arizona venue in the 4-Corners Cup Series run during the 1990s and early 2000s, the Cove Classic was hosted in Cove, a former mining community very receptive to mountain biking. Because of its reputation, Cove is one of 10 communities across Dinetah that has been chosen to receive support by the Navajo Nation to further develop its many outdoor possibilities. This year, the Cove Classic is back in a new form as part of the Arizona Endurance Series and the Chuska Challenge MTB Festival.
The Cove Classic route will be ~60 miles with ~8,000 feet of climbing on a mix of maintained dirt roads, old mining roads, rocky 4×4 trails, one loooong sandy hike-a-bike (~2 miles, but it’s relatively flat), and some of the newly-developed trails around the once-bustling mining community of Cove. The terrain is rugged but beautiful, ranging from high mountain riding in pines and aspen to Moab-like sandstone slickrock. Water will be available from one spring, and a very informal aid station with refreshments will be available where the route drops into Cove.
A few key points along the route:
- Mile 2: Stay right. First loop is done counter-clockwise.
- Mile 14: Cove. Informal aid station with water.
- Mile 19: Piped spring. Should have water flowing (no guarantees, though).
- Mile 22: Begin ~2-mile hike-a-bike. It’s mostly flat but very sandy.
- Mile 31: Stay right. Second loop is also done counter-clockwise.
- Mile 32: Piped spring. Should have water flowing (no guarantees, though).
- Mile 42: Tsaile Creek. Water source if you treat it.
- Mile 52: Roof Butte out-and-back.
- Mile 57: Turn right to finish.