Monday, May 16, 2011

2011 Kokopelli Trail Race Assault-Post Ride Report

The Kokopelli Trail........where to start. First off the statistics of the ride; 18 hours and 51 minutes total time out in the elements (15:34 pedaling time). 141.36 miles, Elevation gain 16,712, calories expended 7783. 9.1 mph average moving time.
We had 6 riders start on Friday night at midnight. Of the 6 riders 4 were on single speeds; myself, TR, Cat and Paul. Of the 6 starters 3 of us finished the whole ride; Myself, TR and Cat. 5 of us started in town at the Moab town park and we met up with Thomas Ray at the Slickrock TH. So, it was 6 of us to attempt the ride fully self supported and get through with no major mishaps. Mostly that held true but there was some mishaps. Only one mechanical in our group (except T-Ray later on) which was myself while descending down Thompson Canyon to Hideout chain ring completely fell off as I had apparently lost all 4 chain ring bolts. WOW. Well, I was prepared and had 4 chain ring bolts with me as these are easy to carry and you never know what may happen. Extra chain links, chain section, bolts, cleat bolts, etc can come in handy on these epic rides. It took me no time at all to replace the bolts and continue on. All 6 of us were together when we filtered water at Hideout. This was about 5.30am on Saturday morning. We were making good time of the trail. The first two major climbs were brutal as always coming out of Moab. I was looking forward to the eventual sunrise and as we completed our hike-a-bike in the Cottonwood Canyon/Rose Garden Hill area the sun was hitting the La Sal's. (pictures to be uploaded later from the camera.) Cat was moving quickly and T-Ray, TR and myself were shedding clothing at this point and we hadn't seen Paul and Chris since we turned right off of Fisher Valley Road after leaving Hideout on the Thompson Canyon Trail. TR and I waited a bit and with no sign of them we assumed they missed the right turn. We continued on with our suffering, riding some sections and hike-a-biking some until we ascended to the top of Cottonwood Canyon Trail/Rose Garden. It was all down hill for the most part except for the climb out of Cottonwood until we hit Dewey Bridge with some rollers at the bottom. We caught back up to T-Ray on the descent into Dewey on the Entrada Bluffs Road and Cat as well at Dewey and to our surprise there was Paul and Chris. Sure enough they had missed the turn and descended down Fisher Valley Road and over to Dewey Bridge. We were all together again. We ate some food and continued on to the Yellowjacket area. Cat had started before us and we were not to see her again until the finish. T-Ray was a few minutes behind us. After getting through Yellowjacket we filtered water along the Colorado River which would be out last watering hole and worst case we could filter at Salt Creek if needed. We had a nice tail wind going into the flats toward Westwater Mesa. We descended off of Westwater Mesa and were grinding away to Rabbit Valley making good time. At this point going into Rabbit Valley Chris started to fade a bit but he regrouped and stayed on for a while. We eventually lost him on the climb to Salt Creek. Paul waited for him at the top of Troy Built and stayed with Chris to bail at Mary's Loop where it connects to the frontage Road. They called Laura and she picked them up. Chris was pretty far gone and it took him a couple hours to get better. We encountered a rattlesnake on the Westwater Mesa which was my first time to see one up there ever. He wasn't very happy it seemed. The last 15 miles may be the hardest as you have to ride/hike down to Salt Creek and proceed out of Salt Creek drainage hiking up to Troy Built. Once on Troy Built it is mostly rideable but with tired legs the small climbs seem tough and I chose to walk more than ride. Once off of Troy we descended down onto Lions which isn't much fun this late into the game. I was again walking techy sections that I could clean otherwise but I was tired and didn't want to hurt myself close to the finish. I was thoroughly happy once TR and I turned onto Mary's loop as it would be the last stretch of trail before the finish. I was pretty tired and was happy to see Laura with cold water, cold PBR's and pizza. Cat and her boyfriend Matt were there waiting for us to finish which was nice. Cat rocked the course! Back to T-Ray. Apparently he flatted 4 times and was walking down the frontage road when Susan found him and picked him up. Nice effort T-Ray! So, of the 6 that started 3 got the total completion. T-Ray, Paul and Chris didn't earn the Kokopelli merit badge but came close. They had equal miles and a bit less climbing. Next time. Also, I told myself this was the last time to ride the KTR but pain has no memory and I'm already planning next year riding from Loma to Moab. This was my 5th completion of the KTR and I hope to continue the tradition until I really get sick of doing it. A true test of endurance self supported riding and the gear you bring. Yes, there is bigger rides to do out there but this one fits nicely into my schedule. The Grand Loop and CTR are on my bucket list.

5 KTR starters on Friday night. Cat Morrison, me, Chris Horton, TR and Paul Adams.

Filtering water at Hideout. This was about 5.30am Saturday morning.

Filtering water on the mighty Colorado.


1 comment:

Judd said...

2012.... I bet I can round up a bunch of slowpokes to head out a day early and meet you at the finish. I would love to do this ride, this adventure. But I'd need about 8 additional hours. Or more. Either way, let me know when you plan your next assault on the Kokepelli.