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Gooseberry Roll Call

22 Sep

I’ve got a few calls and emails from people heading down this weekend and just want to remind everyone that if you are doing the whole 100k a gps or gps enabled riding buddy would be a good idea.

If your season is over and you just want to chill and only ride around Gooseberry still come on down and at least start with us then head back to camp and get the party started.


Kenny had the brilliant idea of stashing some water at about the half way point at the parking lot of the Hurricane Rim.  So, yes, there will be some water at the halfway point.  Plan on packing all your food items with you and if you’re debating on whether to use a Camelbak just strap it on now.

There will be prizes (still working on the categories, suggestions please!) and after ride drinks.

Come celebrate the end of Summer.

2nd Annual Gooseberry 100K

23 Nov

I can’t believe it has been one year since I posted about the Inaugural Gooseberry 100k.

For 2009 the 100k will take place on January 31st. For all the folks headed down to Old Pueblo two weeks later this should be a great training ride/race.


Last year nobody finished the full 100k although Kenny Jones and Kris Holley gave it a good run. This year the course will be slightly different.

We will camp Friday night on the North rim by the windmill and the ride/race will start at 9:30 a.m. We will NOT be descending the North rim like last year as it proved a bit dangerous but will instead be doing the Gooseberry Mesa loop first and in a counter clockwise direction.

I will post a gpx file with the route within the next month and everyone will be on their own for route finding and support. I highly recommend you get a mapping GPS or have a ride partner that has one and knows how to use it and doesn’t care that you you are tagging along.

The following map is just a preliminary idea of what we are doing. It does not include the section through Apple Valley to the JEM Trail and has the North rim drop that we will NOT be doing.


The basic route is pretty straight forward. After doing Gooseberry counter clockwise the route will travel through Apple Valley and then cross the highway and hook into Goulds, Jem, Rim trail which will also be done counter clockwise with the Jem descent being done twice, yahoo!

The route will then head towards Rockville and eventually across Bridge Road and up the nasty climb back onto Gooseberry finishing at the windmill.

I think it should be close to 100k and 6-8 hours of ride time. Of course, I could be totally wrong which will make for a great adventure.

Any questions?

No Yurt Raising Party

20 Mar

At least not in March. I’ve been so excited to get the Gooseberry Mesa project up and going that I just figured the county would catch the fever too. They haven’t. The green light I got from the them was to change the zoning to allow me to do what I want on the property. You wouldn’t think the rest would be too difficult.


The whole process has been a bit more work than I originally anticipated. I sometimes get caught up in my vision of how things should be and forget some of the necessary details. Progress is being made and I’m getting closer each day but there are still a couple things to be worked out to get the final permit. Nothing major just time consuming.

Thanks for all the support and help with the project. It feels more like a mountain bike community project than my personal project. And that is exactly what I hope it turns out to be. I’ll keep you posted.

Gooseberry Forrest

26 Feb

Forrest has never been to Gooseberry Mesa but that didn’t stop him from catching the Gooseberry sickness. He hooked me up with this monster aerial photo of the mesa. It must be 5 feet by 5 feet. It’s huge. I’m willing to bet it’s the largest aerial photo of Gooseberry Mesa in the world. Thanks, Forrest!


Smack dab in the middle of the picture is my little piece of prime real estate. The Gooseberry peninsula, as I like to call it, where I will be spending a lot of time working and playing but mostly playing.


Mr. Sabrosa, Jon Hanson, also caught the sickness and was nice enough to put together a site plan for the yurt project. Eventually there will be 4-5 yurts and a central gathering area with a fire pit and deck for hanging out post ride. I think a sweat lodge is in order as well. Thanks, Jon!


Thanks to the help of Forrest and Jon I will be throwing a yurt raising party on the mesa sometime in March. Check back for details and go find your hammer and dust off your circular saw. Oh yeah, Kenny will be doing brats on homemade bread. Right, Kenny?

Mas Gooseberry Mesa Por Favor

23 Jan

I can’t get enough and it’s not going to stop anytime soon. The Gooseberry stuff, I mean. I’m an addict. It’s beyond my control.

Karl Burns posted a link to some pics he took on the Inaugural Gooseberry 100k Report in the comments section. I then borrowed some pointers to make them “pop” from pro outdoor photographer Adam. Here are my faves:


Dug, Paul and Myself waiting for the detoured group to catch back up and in no hurry to go anywhere. See how happy and peaceful Dug looks, that’s what a day on or around Gooseberry Mesa will do to you. I mean, wow! look how beautiful it is and the weather, don’t get me started on the weather.


A portion of the hike-a-bike.


Barely walkable in sections but tons of fun.


Nice silhouette of Dug pondering his place in the universe. Yup, that’s what he told me he was doing.

Inaugural Gooseberry 100k Report

21 Jan

Thanks to everyone that showed up. I think we had 21 riders by my count.

Nobody finished the 100k on Saturday. Most everyone did finish what I think is the hardest 40 miles I’ve done on a mountain bike. Ride time was 5 hours and total time on the trail was 7 hours. Those extra 2 hours were used to retrieve Christian Roberts and his bike from a tree that stopped his 30 foot tumble down a cliff and then re-set his dis-located shoulder, clean mud from stuck drive-trains and wait for GPS enabled riders who took a rather long detour. Total climbing was around 5000 ft with the last 3/4 mile of the ride being a 1000 foot elevation gain hike-a-bike.

In opting for the 56 mile route over the hike-a-bike 40 mile route Chris Holley and Kenny can claim the most miles for the day but in doing so they missed out on the hardest most satisfying section of the day. That extra 16 miles they did is only about 45 minutes of ride time longer than the 40 mile route.

Click on the thumbnail for the exploded view of the GPS tracks and elevation profile of what we actually did.


If you missed out don’t worry we’ll be doing it all again next year with a few modifications. I can’t guarantee that all the famous celebrities that attended this year will be there next year though. Sorry, I promised not to name names.

We rolled/hiked off the North rim at 10:00 a.m. and it wasn’t 10 minutes before we had our first casualty of the day, the above mentioned dis-located shoulder. I’ve often listened to Fatty tell me in great detail how painful it is to dislocate his shoulder and pop it back it in so it was with some hesitation I started filming ER doctor Mike Young going to work on Christian’s Shoulder.

The anti-climactic moment of the year. I thought for sure there’d be blood curdling screams not laughter.

Turns out Mike Young wasn’t the only doctor to attend the inaugural Gooseberry 100k. Here’s Dr. Jones vaccinating Josh’s tires the night before.

I’d always thought it was an urban legend.

Good times and good trails. Here are some more pictures from the day’s adventure.

Love to camp Love to camp Kennny ready to roll dsc01896.jpg

The start dsc01901.jpg Riding the hike-a-bike dsc01902.jpg

The shoulder incident scared us off our bikes dsc01905.jpg

Dug & Karl dsc01906.jpg Paul Dame dsc01908.jpg

The Holley’s dsc01907.jpg Rick S dsc01909.jpg

Lunch break dsc01913.jpg Mark dsc01915.jpg

Master frame builder Mr. Sabrosa dsc01914.jpg

Views dsc01916.jpg Mark dsc01917.jpg Hike dsc01919.jpg

No one died. Yeah! Most of us finished without anything in the tank and looking more than a little pasty. I just love that feeling of being totally fried and finishing a ride having left it all on the trail. If anyone wants to go do the ride on their own just drop me a line and I’ll e-mail you the GPS file. I’m looking forward to doing it again.

Gooseberry 100k Maps

14 Jan

I sorta figured out this GPS mapping stuff. The Jem-Rim-Gould trail is well marked so if you can get to there from the windmill you should be OK. Nothing tricky after that if you decide to do the longer sections. The longer routes take a 7 mile paved section through Rockville and then a brutal small climb back to the top of the mesa for a loop around the Goose. This is what Saturday will look like:


The purple and yellow sections will be the 40 mile ride and will consist of dropping off the north rim, heading 9 miles over to do the the Jem-Rim-Gould trail in a counter-clockwise direction and then heading back up on the mesa the same way you came down.

The 56 mile route will add the blue section and part of the red section to the BLM outhouse then straight back to the windmill.

The 67 mile route adds the loop around Gooseberry clockwise to finish at the North rim and then back to the windmill.

Here’s a little 3D action:

goose3d3.jpgGo at your own pace and have a good time. I plan on running sweep as I’m pretty familiar with the route but remember you are on your own. Bring plenty of water and food to last for 5-7 hours depending on your speed and route you choose. I will be packing a 100 oz. Camelback and 2 large water bottles and lots of good food but I’m not sharing.

I will share before and after the ride. I’ll bring coffee and post ride beverages. If you’re camping plan on 30 degrees overnight. Daytime should be 50 degrees. Try to be there between 9:00-9:30 we will be rolling between 9:30-10:00.

Any questions?

Edit – Another option would be to do the loop around Gooseberry after doing the 40 mile route. Link together the purple, yellow and red sections. This is a great option if you want to go longer than 40 but want to avoid any pavement. I like this option a lot.

Gooseberry 110k, 90k and 60k

6 Jan

Those are your options. Saturday January 19th we will be rolling off of the North rim of the mesa between 9:30 and 10:00 a.m. instead of the previously reported 9:00 a.m. because it’s a little chilly that early.

We will meet at the windmill between 9:00 and 9:30 a.m. I’ll be camping out there Friday night with anybody else that wants to join me. There are plenty of empty motel rooms in Hurricane this time of year if you don’t want to camp and it’s only 30 minutes away. I’ll bring coffee. It will be kinda cold so bring two sleeping bags and extra clothes if you are camping. It should warm up real fast and be about 50 degrees by noon.


There will be several bail out points if you want to head back early, not that I expect that from anyone.

All 3 routes stay together for the first 55k or so and then the 90k and 110k options stay together until back on top of the mesa where those wanting a 110k can opt for a loop around the Gooseberry trail. We will start and finish at the windmill.

The 60k is all off-road and there is only 7 miles of pavement for the 90k and 110k. Plan on anywhere from 3.5 to 6.5 hours total ride time depending on which option you choose. Bring everything you need for that long of a ride unless you want to beg food and water in Rockville.

Our routes will consist of sections that I rode a couple weeks ago. I promise not to get lost this time around.

I’ll try to get some maps up this week.

Any questions?

Circumnavigating Goosebery Mesa

31 Dec

You gotta love it when your original plan is replaced by the unexpected.

I have been telling myself for the last week that once I figured out how to use my new GPS (I now know what GPS stands for) that I was going to Gooseberry Mesa to plot important way-points on my property. For example, the property line, the road going through the property, where the yurts will be, toilets, fire pit, sweat lodge, pool, etc. So, Saturday evening I finally figured out the GPS and took off for Gooseberry. All by myself.


I’ve always thought it would be cool to camp out in the wilderness all by myself. Saturday night out in the middle of BFE I turned off the engine and the lights of the Yotavan and found it to be a little spooky, actually, way spooky. It was totally dark and eerily quiet. Did I mention I was all by myself? My ears turned into mini radar dishes trying to make out any little sound. I heard some strange gurglings and became a little spooked until I realized it was just my stomach. Somehow I made it through the night in one piece.


My plan was to work on the way-points and GPS stuff in the morning and then spend an hour or so trying to figure out how to connect the goat trail that goes off the north rim to the Jem-Goulds-Rim trail.

The next morning I tried to call Tasha to tell her I was OK and that no coyotes, psychos, chupacabras or polygamists had had me for dinner. The phone was dead. I knew she would be worried so I decided to finish up the GPS work since I was right there and then head to Apple Valley and call her by pay phone. Once in Apple Valley with my phone call done I really didn’t want to drive all the way back up to the property as it was almost 1:00 p.m.

I decided to start riding from the South Jem trail head which is only a few miles from Apple Valley and try to find my way over to the goat trail. Well, the Jem is a total blast especially counterclockwise and I just couldn’t help myself and kept on going when I should have turned off the trail.


I then started taking any road or trail heading in what I thought was the right direction. I finally ran out of tracks and took off through the sage brush half riding half pushing my bike. I was pretty sure I was going in the right direction. I eventually came to a point where I either had to back-track, jump off a cliff into the Virgin river or hike up to the top of the mesa above me. I hiked.

I then got lost and went left when I should have gone right. Luckily I somehow ended up in Rockville but realized I now had to climb the north side of Gooseberry. That climb would have been hard all by itself but after nearly 3 hours of biking and hiking it just about did me in. I was baked!



Almost 4 hours after I started I finally made it back to the Yotavan. An accidental circumnavigation of Gooseberry Mesa. 38 miles and nearly 4 hours may not quite make it to the epic category. Let’s call it mini-epic. As a matter of fact, it’s my last mini-epic ride of 2007. Happy New Year!

Binge Training

18 Dec


That’s what Lynda Wallenfels calls it. Back-to-back epic training days. I’ve known about Lynda for several years although I’m pretty sure we’ve never formally met. She is as hardcore of a biker as I know. She beat me at the 06 Desert Rampage and later that same year I rode with her for quite a bit of the E50 in Park city. Yes, she beat me there too. I didn’t even finish.

I came across her blog a couple weeks back and noticed she has some epic binge training rides planned for the weekend before my Gooseberry 100k. Her 3rd day looks very similar to what I have planned for the 100k. I think Tasha and I are going to make a go of her camp. At the very least we plan on doing days 1 and 2.

The unsupported nature of the rides she has planned apparently require using a GPS. I must admit I’m intimidated by GPS. I don’t even know what the letters GPS stand for but I now know what Tasha is getting for Christmas. I’m sure she’ll love it.

I’ve never been so excited for a January in my life and yes, I’m still going down on the 19th for the inaugural Gooseberry 100k.