Just some thoughts and experiences from a mountain bike endurance racer who likes to ride and race his single speed mountain bike a long long way on remote single track in the mountains and desert.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Kokopelli Trail Race Redo 2010, Singlespeed

Finished the Kokopelli Trail Race last weekend, better late than never but had to keep up the tradition.  We ended up having to do it as a time trial two weeks later because of the weather on the actual race weekend which was mud, rain and snow.  This is a non-sanctioned renegade race (These are popular in Colorado and the southwest) which is acceptable to be done as a time trial but is preferred to do on the same date every year.  There are a number of races like this in the southwest.  Because of the logistics and the fact that there are not a lot of people who can finish them (or dumb enough to put themselves through such misery) they have no entry fee or trophies and consequently no permits required.  This is actually one of my favorite races of the year so I didn’t want to miss out.

The race use to alternate directions each year but in 2007 they tried to shut it down in Fruita so it has, and probably will, always start in Moab from now on.  Starting in the town of Moab is a lot less conspicuous than 75 racers in a remote parking lot (closed at night) outside of Fruita at midnight.  Since we were doing the time trial version on our own myself and a friend Jeff Hemperley (Who I got to start running Racing Ralphs) elected to start in Fruita at midnight on 5/30 and ride to Moab. 

I like starting in Fruita better but it is definitely harder with the majority of the climbing at the end.  We had almost a full moon which was really cool shining off the Colorado River and the cliffs.  The first section of the ride is pretty technical and riding in the dark with a 25 pound pack was challenging on a single speed.  The temperature was a bit cold but not to bad in the desert.  When we started the three killer climbs we had already ridden 80 miles of ups and downs with about 4000 feet of elevation gain.  Within about 40 miles we had almost 13,000 feet of elevation gain with a 20 mile downhill at the end into Moab.  I used a cadence sensor this time and as I suspected before it would be better to run an easier gear next time.  My average cadence was 58 where normally I would be in the high 70s for a long ride like this.  Tried a new race fuel as well which was a bunch of McDonald’s cheeseburgers.  I never eat them normally but they actually worked out great even after 12 hours. 

We both ran Racing Ralphs and had no flats or any other issues.  The tires worked great!

 Filling my bottle in the early morning
 Oops, Wrong turn

 We filtered water out of this, no other reasonable choice!
 A long brutal hill
 Me, looking down in the valley we just road uphill from, for a long time
 Jeff cruising down to Moab
 Power food, every 4 hours we had one each
 Me at the top of the Rose Garden
 Home stretch
Finished in about 18 hours without stopping!  Off to the brewery for grub