Tag Archives: moab

Fail Moab

16 Nov

I missed Fail Moab Fall Moab this year for no good reason.  I so wanted to get back to the desert and ride with the team but I’m old, kids are busy, dug, Rick and Rick bailed.  Not to mention a Chicrosscup double header weekend for crying out loud. Wait, those are all good reasons.

Oh, and the debut of the CR skinsuit, front row!

Day 1 was awesome because the family came out to heckle and take pictures.  Kendra captured my favorite moment of the entire series – Cassidy running along side me heckling, “You suck, is that how you ride a bike? Can’t you pass me?”  The daughter heckle rules!

Day 2 was awesome because I finally got to zip on a superhero suit, I left it on all day – ask Tasha.  Thanks for the pic Duane!

Maybe it was the new superhero suit, maybe not.  All I know is I was riding out of my head, hanging with dudes I have no right to be hanging with. Finished 6th on the day, tying my best finish at a Chicrosscup.

Moab Rim Ride Sucks

31 Mar

I know I said I’d have a report up by Monday or Tuesday but Saturday was a much bigger effin day than I thought it would be.  I’ve now recovered enough to type.

When I say the Rim Ride sucks I really mean it sucks for you if you haven’t done it before and that it really  sucked for me at the 5 hour mark and the suckage lasted for what seemed forever.

The Rim Ride has been on my bucket list for several years but it has always scared me because it’s so early in the season and it’s so effin hard.  I figured if I don’t get it done this year before we move out of state who knows when or if it will ever happen.

For the uninitiated the Moab Rim Ride is an unofficial, unsupported (pack everything you think you’ll need for 12 hours in the desert) race that takes place every year in the Spring and links together some of the best, nastiest trails in Moab, all done in one day. Names like Metal Masher, Deal Breaker, Gold Bar Rim, Posion Spider Mesa, Blue Dot and Sovereign. So many trails I lost track, maybe a dozen.

I drove down Friday night and camped it in the back of the Volvo 240 at Moab City Park. Scary place. I wouldn’t recommend the city park to anyone, safer to camp out in the boonies. What is it about small towns?

This is the last happy picture you’ll ever see of the 240, me camping out with my bike in 76 posh cubic feet of space.

We started at 5:30 a.m. with 2 hours of some really technical trail in the dark with lights. I think it was Bar M and Circle O trails followed by Sovereign. I hate night riding so it was nice to get that out of the way. 4 of us broke away fairly early and spent the next couple of hours together finishing Sovereign and 7-Mile Mesa area. I started to fade a bit as soon as we hit Deal Breaker, I think it was the name that did it for me.  I soon entered that awful dark place with no windows, bed or toilet. I was so close to pulling the plug on the whole thing that I swore to myself that once we hit the Gemini Bridges road I was just heading back to town.

With thoughts of quitting in my head I somehow made it to the Gemini Bridges road and got to coast for a mile or so and regroup and think things over. No way could I go home and tell everyone that I quit. I turned onto Metal Masher and was mentally more in the race but still hurting pretty bad. I figured I’ll just do Metal masher, reassess and decide what to do.

After Metal Masher I was still wanting to drop out but as I headed towards Bull Canyon I started seeing all these crazy adventure racers, some were even bungee corded together, running up out of the canyon on their way to Gemini Bridges, they looked like hell. I’m thinking, damn, they are suffering way more than me and are still moving forward one step at a time. I also started thinking about the Team and there was no way I was going to tell them I quit.  That gave me a jolt of inspiration, better than a Red Bull. I started feeling like Superman and pounded out Gold Bar Rim and Blue Dot, yes, pounded them out.

If you haven’t done Blue Dot you’ve missed the most technical, challenging trail in Moab, I’m not sure it was meant for bikes, especially after 9 hours of biking, it went on and on and on. At least the views helped pass the time.  All that was left was descending Poison Spider and 6 miles of pavement to the finish.

I’m pretty sure this pic is from Blue Dot, things were a bit fuzzy at this point in the ride.

I ended up finishing 3rd in 10hrs 29min and feeling like I had something left in the tank, enough that I thought I should drive home, turns out that was a bad idea.

Here’s race winner Kurt Refsnider basking in the admiration of his minions, myself included.  Side note: Kurt took 2nd at the Tour Divide Race last year, from Canada to Mexico in 18 days and change!

I ended up eating about 2000 calories worth of salted nut rolls and gels and drinking 220 oz of CarboRocket carried in 2 bladders in one Camelback Mule. Wouldn’t change a thing with nutrition.  I was really surprised by how good I felt at the finish line.  The Rim Ride is one of, if not the roughest most technical day long races that I’ve ever done and It’s only March.  Either this will be a great year or I’ll be burned out by June.

Huge thanks to Fred Wilkinson for putting this together and Jamie Pogue for the suspension fork, I’m sure I woulda died without it.

What’s a good road trip/race report without a little carnage? Coming down Spanish Fork Canyon I T-boned a deer and totaled the 240. Way bummed about it but glad I’m Ok. I’ve relived that moment over and over a hundred times, it was so surreal. I actually looked the deer right in the eyes in that split second before impact and then watched it die instantly and cartwheel across the other lane and off the road. It happened so fast there was no time to brake or swerve. In hindsight things could have been a lot worse had I had more time to react.

No new car in the near future, gonna try and make it with just one. Sounds like more bike time.

RAWROD 09

27 Apr

At this very minute Kenny, Adam and Bart are getting ready to start the White Rim.  They will be doing it twice, once today and again tomorrow with the RAWROD gang.  I’m a little jealous that I’m not starting it with them.  Since I’m not there I hope it’s really windy and they have a couple flats, nothing serious as long they don’t set a blazing record time.  Not really, OK, maybe a little really.

I wrote the above paragraph on Friday morning but never got around to posting anything.  Since I wished them wind I guess it’s only karmic that we got wind on Saturday.  In spades.  I take complete responsibility.  So much wind that I am still getting sand under my fingernails when I scratch my head.  Maybe I should shower.

I’ve ridden around the White Rim at least a dozen times probably more like 15 times over the years and this year just might have been the most difficult and the most crowded.  I think we had over 70 riders.

The day started out nice enough with donuts mooched from dug, Vietnamese coffee and a cocoa pistachio Probar for breakfast.  After descending Shaeffer we were greeted with a nasty head wind all the way to White Crack at mile 55.  At White Crack we waited for the sag wagons so we could refill our empty water bottles.  We waited.  Waited some more,  got cold, blasted by sand, waited and then got sandblasted again.  The sag wagons finally showed up and the group, actually, mob or crowd better describes it, quickly drained somewhere between 20-30 gallons of water.

Next stop, Murphy’s Hogback. The 10 miles to Murphy’s may have been the only time we had the wind at our backs but we were then greeted with more gusts of wind, cold and rain.  Nobody was in any mood for the traditional group photo and it quickly became every person for themselves as people began heading for home in hopes of beating the storm.

I rode with Rick S, Jonathan James and Steve Wasmund for the next 20 or so miles to Hardscrabble.  Ouch!  The hardest section of the day.  Huge wind, no time to fuel for fear of dropping off the back of the train, and false corner after false corner.  “Yeah, everyone, that’s Hardscrabble over there.”  I was sure of it.  Many, many false hills and corners later we hit Hardscrabble where Rick S. showed me exactly what he thought of my navigational skills with a one finger salute.

Once you’ve made it to Hardscrabble you know you’ve made it.  A nice little downhill and a few rolling miles puts you at the bottom of Horsethief where you could walk or crawl to the finish.

RAWROD 09 totally kicked my corn.  It hurt in more  ways and in more places than I thought possible.  At least I learned a few things.

Lessons learned:

  • Don’t forget camera
  • Never invite anyone as they all show up anyway
  • Get a prescription for Ambien
  • Get some new shorts, no pair should ever go around White Rim more than once
  • Don’t disturb Elden after he’s taken Ambien
  • Never say, “we’re almost there”
  • Don’t forget the CarboRocket
  • Stock up on cocoa pistachio Probars
  • There’s no shame in walking
  • Always send the Sunderlages ahead to Rays to order burgers for everyone
  • Hug your spouse, you could be married to Jilene.  I’m just kidding Jilene, really.

Fall Moab 08′

10 Nov





White Rim In One Day

15 Apr

I never tire of this ride. It’s always a blast and it always hurts. I think I’ve done it a couple times a year for the last 10 years or so.

Recently, as in the last few weeks, I’ve become obsessed with how fast I could do the whole loop in one day. Chris Plesko just posted a 7:59 which seems really fast to me so that’s gonna be my benchmark.

I don’t care about any rim to rim times.  I’m only interested with the time to complete the entire loop. I’ve heard talk in the past about fast times only to then hear it was rim to rim and not the whole loop. If you’ve got a fast time I want to hear about it.

While I’m doing the loop this month I won’t be time trialing but just having a good time as part of the annual RAWROD event. Of course, there will be competitions like who can ride Murphy’s, Hard Scrabble and Horse Thief without dabbing and who can eat the most brats the night before.

I’m pretty sure whoever wins the brat contest won’t be a contender for the other contests. I could be wrong.

So, how fast has the White Rim been done and in which direction?

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