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.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

White Rim in a day, 102 miles on the singlespeed

Last Weekend Kiviok and I did the annual White Rim in a day 102 mile ride outside of Moab Utah on singlespeed mountain bikes.  Normally that weekend we would do the Kokopelli Trail race KTR but this year I was recovering from a rib injury and Kiviok from the flu so we decided to skip the KTR and instead do the White Rim.  This was my 7th time doing the White Rim and 5th one day ride.  Both of us used 32x19 gearing on 29rs.  See Garmin stats at http://connect.garmin.com/activity/86155888

I rolled out of Dolores and met up with Kiviok at 5:10AM and we continued to Moab where we ate breakfast at Zak’s.  After eggs and bacon we drove out and parked down the Mineral Bottom road at the top of the big climb out.  I like parking there because, when riding clockwise, you knock off the lame 14 mile road and 8 mile pavement section right away and at the end it’s nice to know the vehicle is just at the top of the steep Mineral Bottom climb.

We ended up having to go back to the vehicle twice to get something we forgot.  The second time it was for the Canyonlands Entrance fee.  The official start was just before 9:00am.  When we actually got to the entrance 20 miles later we were informed that about 60 miles into the route the road was impassable due to the green river’s high water level.  After talking to another Ranger (2nd opinion) it appeared that currently bikes could get around the closed section but if the water level got any higher bikes could not pass either.  In true renegade fashion we decided to go for it anyway.  Anyone who has been on the White Rim knows that once you drop in on the Shafer switchbacks there is no way out on a bike until the end 102 miles later.

The weather was great and the ride was fantastic as usual.  Great majestic views.  There were a lot of bikes going the other direction on the multi day trips, motorcycles and 4wd traffic early in the ride but nothing after about 30 miles.  We ate lunch on Murphy’s Hogback which is always my favorite spot.  When we finally arrived at the flooded area it was pretty unimpressive.  While it was obviously impassible by automobiles it was easy to portage around on the bike in a couple of minutes without even getting our feet wet.  On the remainder of the ride we encountered a small sandstorm then climbed the always painful Mineral Bottom Switchbacks up to the finish.

We loaded up and headed to the Moab Brewery for Beers and dinner.  I arrived back at my house in Dolores that night around 10.  Full day!

Check out this video of the ride stuffed into 18 minutes and pics.

White Rim in a Day, Moab Utah, Singlespeed mountain bikes, wriad from Shawn Gregory on Vimeo.