2019 MTB Marathon USAC Nationals

Other than a few low lying areas the trails in Palo Duro Canyon handle the rain pretty well and a little bit of sun will have them in good condition. Lack of rain can leave them too hard for my taste so I usually prefer them after some rain. So unless the trails just get pounded things should be good.

If the canyon gets much rain at all the park closes the trails to bikes and hiking to protect them. And the type of mud there isn’t really something you can ride in anyway, it sticks to everything until your wheels stop turning.

For Amarillo we’ve had a lot of rain lately but local word is that the canyon itself has not gotten that much so far this week and I’m seeing this morning that only the lowest points may be muddy later today.

Personally I also run ikons.

For updates and info on the trails I usually use Facebook, though I loathe it, Palo Duro State Park has a page and trail closures are posted there and updates if they’re muddy sometimes, and also on Amarillo Mountain Biking where locals often post updates as people get down there to the park.

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Thanks for posting up those FB links to check. Just checked and found the trail is closed today (5/9). Which really sucks but nobody can control the weather. I wonder if it’s possible they might open it up later in the day? /sigh

If it dries they could open them back up today, I’m not seeing more rain in the forecast this afternoon but it is not exactly sunny around here right now. :slight_smile:

Cold too! haha where’s that Texas sunshine?!

I’m waiting to see if they do open them, if not, I would really like to ride somewhere. Any other options that aren’t very far? I saw the Canyon Trails at Buffalo Hill, maybe that’s an option if PDC doesn’t open?

The weather here has been all over the place lately, it always changes rapidly but recently it is something new everyday.

The trails at Buffalo Hill are easy enough to check on, they’re not that far way from Amarillo/Canyon or the park but if you go down there you can walk out and take a look at them pretty easily. That trail setup is not the most scenic place in the world but it is good enough to go get a ride in etc…

There are also gravel roads in just about every direction from Amarillo. On the west side of town are a few that are actually graveled, not just dirt, I’d stay clear of the dirt only roads right now some of those become like pudding after a good rain but the gravel ones are probably ok.

Amarillo is unusual in that you can be riding gravel in the middle of fields that stretch to the horizon while also being two blocks from the mall.

If any of that sounds good or good enough and you need directions let me know.

Sorry, I have been offline - trying to get an answer to you today. Better late than never.

Just to add to what GT7 said - I only road the high trails at PDC last night before the rain and the inside trails which is about a 3rd of the of the first lap would not be able to ride based on past experience of the .4 inch of rain the past day. Its all along the creek. They got .61 inch last night added to the .4 inch from a couple days ago. Probably the best way to track the rain in PDC is the KVII SchoolNET app in the in the google play store. After installing, you pull up Palo Duro Canyon Amphitheater/Pavilion to see real time rain and past 48 hours. Anything close to half inch will make inside trail unable to ride.

When PDC is wet past hero dirt, it becomes suppy, slick and sticking to everything adding substantial weight to bike and destroying drive trains.

It is unusual for us to have this much moisture. Usually we have drought-like conditions. Also the temps are lower than usual. So, prepare for anything at this point. The weather changes very fast especially when scattered thunderstorms are predicted.

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Yeah, last year Amarillo essentially had no spring at all and it barely even rained here till the fall.

Thanks for all the local info guys! I did hit up the Canyon Trail at Buffalo Hill. The flat part was wet so I avoided it and just stuck to the dry parts.

Something I thought of this morning, if the trails aren’t open today (Friday) and there are riders who haven’t been down to the canyon at all, you can still go into the park and get oriented a little. Which I’d do if I’d never been down there, the canyon is definitely not anything like the area around it.

Not optimal obviously, but the park road is paved and you can still go in and do a driving tour on the paved road and get a feel for what the canyon is like and get your bearings a little. You could also ride the paved road, there’s enough pavement that it’s possible to do a decent ride without losing your mind and that would give you a chance to ride through the area of the race even if you can’t get on the trails. I believe some of the paved road is part of the course also.

If you take a bike down there, they will probably let you know at the gate the trails are closed. But I’ve never had a problem if I explain that I’m just parking and then riding out of the park or only going to use the paved roads.

So after 97% trainerroad since November of 2018, I finally made it to Palo Duro.
Issues was too big of a pre-ride (2 hours on Friday the day before the race) due to rain closing the trails. I managed 15th in the 50-54 age group. Travis Brown (former pro and hall of fame) won it. I guess there were some more former pros in the top 4 or so.

I noticed a few things , first 2.5 hours felt pretty darn good. Up with a high pace. But where I see the gap in my training was the lack of punchy climb repeats. The course took its toll on me and I didn’t feel as strong as I think I could have if I focused the last 4 weeks in trainer road specialty block,(Marathon) including more interval work way above threshold than what the plan had in it.

I did get stuck behind some of the slower riders on lower Comanche, and we got jammed up like a string of pack mules. That’s where the front group really opened the gap.

I did qualify for XC Nats I got the last transfer spot.

Looking forward to Xc Nats in July and will jump into the high volume MTB Olympic specialty plan from now until then to create a more powerful me.

Not bad for not riding outside much at all . Thanks TR.


Way to go and rep Montana! Nice work. :smiley:

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Nice work and great effort!


Thank you!

Chad, Thank you!

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Way to go !!

If any of you want to get really familiar with the Course there is a 24 hour endurance race there coming up next month June 1st/ 2nd “24 hours n the canyon” entry closes in a couple days.

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Good job. Old pros should be required to gain more weight :grinning:

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I was looking at the results from this. Why were there so few people in the races?

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I’m not following you, just in my 4 year age group there were 30