Sunday, March 21, 2010

White Rim - March 20 - Self Supported

This was my first self supported White Rim trip in one day. Jamie Kent and Matt Davis invited me on this crazy adventure. I've raced cyclocross with these guys for the last 2 years. We camped at the bottom of Mineral Bottom road. It was a frosty morning around 25 degrees. We started riding at 7:30am and climbed out of the canyon in a clockwise direction. It was sunny but still cold. We had on full winter gear: Tights, booties, gloves, double jersey's, cap.The Mineral Bottom was a long ride. Luckly the road was dry, I bet it was muddy a few days ago. The was still snow on the road going to the park. At 10:30 it was only 34 degree at the ranger station. Ouch!!I had icicles on my water bottles for 3 hours. We took a 1/2 hour stop at the visitor center to let Jamie get some feeling back into in his frozen toes. We stashed a bunch of bladders filled with water the night before at the top of the Shafer trail. We were sure the bladders were going to be frozen solid but the morning sun warmed them up just fine. The Shafer trail was closed to 4x4's because of snow. As you can see it was no problem for our bikes.
Temps warmed up on the actual White Rim. We were able to shed some layers and get moving. I had my bonk early in this trip. I guess it's good to get that out of the way. Matt put the hammer down in route to the Potash Camp site. My back was getting sore and I could never seem to bridge the gap. I wanted to stop for some Advil but I didn't dare stop. I thought he would never stop. When Matt did stop, we enjoyed some delicious cold Barbacoa burritos for lunch. The cool temps kept our water consumption low. 3 water bottles in 5 hours of riding. We only passed 5 cars the whole day. Winds gods must have really liked us with the calm winds all day long.

Matt and Jamie road with two 100 oz bladders on their backs. I chose to carry the water on my bike and save my lower back. I mounted some aero bars on the my handle bars and strapped on a hip pack and my camel back on the front bars. I had 100 oz bladder, 5 water bottles, 3lb burrito, 10 Cliff bars, tights, and jacket all on my handle bars. It must have added 25 pounds to my bike but it sure beat having it my back. Steering took some time to get used to.
Jamie was hitting his bonk just before White Crack. Murphy's kicked my butt. I gave it a good shot but after having 8+ hours on the legs and the extra weight there was no way. I walked most of it. We took a 1/2 hour break at the top and enjoyed some warm sun.
We were glad to see Matt hit the wall on the descent from Murphy's to Potato Bottom. Sunset was at 7:15 and were approaching our last climb at Hard Scrabble. We past a camp site at Potato bottom with everyone cheering us on. "Bring on the night riders." It was an interesting descent from the top with our lights. The temperature differences were dramatic as we followed the small dips in the road following the Green River back to the car. We finished just before 9pm. 13:23 was our total trip time covering 102 miles.

The last thing I wanted to do was camp. I talked everyone into taking a short drive to Moab and we found a nice warm bed at the new La Quinta. What a ride!