|Rolling out in the early dawn along the Colorado River.|
|Paul, Pete and Dan.|
FITFP (feet in the fucking pedals) 6am. We rolled out of camp and headed out to the highway riding a few miles before hitting the bike path that runs parallel to highway 191. The temperature was about 40 degrees making it a cool descent down the bike path but not unbearable. At mile ten we turned right on highway 279 that leads out to Wall Street (climbing area), Poison Spider Jeep route, Portal exit from atop the rim and to Potash road that leas us straight into the White Rim. The road follows the Colorado River making for some sweet scenery riding out to Potash Road. We really didn't take many pictures on this trip. It was hands on the grips and stops were for eating and drinking. I did understate the miles that would carry us to the White Rim. I was thinking around 30ish miles and we were at mile 39.5 with 3 hours pedalling time when we arrived at the tie in. We rolled left and we were on our way with winds already in our face. We should have pedaled it counter clockwise with the winds we faced later on. Hindsight is 20-20.
At mile 48 the winds were really whipping in our face and I was unsure with the longer miles added to the route and with the fierce winds battering us that we would have enough water. I was carrying nearly 170 ounces which would typically get me through a hot long day but the winds dry you out quickly. The temperature had also rose to the mid 70's. And pedalling a nearly 50 pound bike doesn't help at all.
A few miles later we ran into a group from the front range that was doing a multi day ride and Pete didn't hesitate to ask for water. The group filled a couple bottles for us. Thanks!
|Me topping out at Murphy's Hogback at mile 80.|
We made it to Murphy's Hogback for a lunch stop around 2pm dropping down out of the wind to eat. This was mile 80 and I wasn't feeling so hot at this point with my body feeling a bit weak. I had just fought a bout of food poisoning on Wednesday night and bounced back quickly to ride the route. I'm not sure if that was smart or not. We ate and jumped back on the pony's heading to our next climb which was Hardscrabble. With the gearing of a 22x36 and 4 inch tires the first big climb of the day on the Hogback was rideable. We headed off to Potato Bottom, 20 miles away from Murphy's Hogback which is typically a silt garden. It wasn't any different on this day and Pete took a digger in the Potato Silt. He was on my wheel tight on his 3 inch tire steed Krampus and couldn't see the line and ate it. He looked like Casper the ghost. We made quick work of the climb on Hardscrabble descending to ride along the Green River which leads us to Mineral Bottom and the way out. Yaah!!
|Pete eating dust on Potato Bottom.|
The next big climb was Mineral Bottom and a long 13 miles to highway 313. I was not looking forward to this long meat grinder. As we made our way up Mineral Bottom the winds were shooting down off of the cliff walls. Once we topped out it was game on to the highway and to camp which at this point was 20 some miles away still. It was around 6pm now and I knew we would be back by dark. We all had some type of lights so the darkness wasn't a worry. the wind was now to our back for the grind to 313. Thank you!
It was every man for themselves it seemed at this point and Pete was up front putting down the pace on the Krampus. The 30.5 inch Knard tires ate up the route and with his 1x11 gearing it was working out well. Us other three were on Salsa Mukluk's with 4 inch Nate tires. They roll fast but not as fast as a 3 inch Knard tire.
Once we arrived at highway 313 it was a horse race to highway 191 and to the gas station to get ice cream before they closed. I was time trialling down the highway with Dan right behind me. Pete had stopped at the end of the Mineral Bottom road at 313 to eat and wait for Paul who had imploded and was limping up the road.
Dan and I were eating our Fat Boy's when Pete and Paul rolled up. They went inside to do the same and Dan and I rolled to the highway and back to camp arriving back at 7.45pm. We had been gone nearly 14 hours. What a day! 141 miles with 10k of climbing.
Eat, beer and bed.