Today was our day to do the White Rim Trail. It’s a hard ‘dual sport’ trail that runs from start to finish 100+ miles.
We decided to do it backwards from what most people normally do and started on the far end down Mineral Bottom Rd.
At the edge where the pavement ends they try to warn people off with a sign
We did this backwards for a couple of reasons.
- The morning sun would be at our backs
- We would be tackling the technical parts earlier in the day
- When we finished, we would be closer to Moab (home)
With over a 100 miles of dirt to cover, temperature around 100 degrees, we started at 6:00 am so we could get a bunch covered earlier.
The beginning section is 20 miles of super easy dirt road.
Once we got off the fire trail access road, it was much more technical. Plenty of deep silt beds bogged us down early. This is what everyone usually complains about at the end of their rides. We got through almost unscathed.
Before I go any further I need to explain a few rules. If you are not familiar with Adventure Riding here’s what you need to know.
- You will drop your bike
- When you drop your bike your buddy behind you will take your picture first
- Then your buddy will help you right the bike and get you on the way again
- Unless you are injured, at which time your buddy will take care of you first, then take pics, then get you back up and running if possible.
Now that you understand the ‘rules’…
Ernie dropped it along here first in the sand.
We tackled the silt beds along the Green river pretty well. That’s when we hit our first major obstacle – The HardScrabble they call it. (and it is)
The HardScrabble was tough. It’s not an easy climb up.
That’s were Ernie dropped it here…
You can’t tell but this is very steep. Score another one for the left side of his bike.
Higher up on the rim there were quite a few places to stop and take pictures.
Riding along the edge where there’s a 1,000+ foot drop everywhere to your right. Drop your bike anywere, just don’t turn right.
Speaking of dropping your bike. We had one section where Tomm dropped his and Ernie dropped his (again).
I was behind Ernie so I didn’t see Tomm. He’ll try to deny it because I didn’t get a picture but the scratches don’t lie. 😉
Yes, his bike is almost upside down and backwards. This was another steep and rocky section. Score one for the left side! Tomm fell on the downside of the hill and scraped his left crashbar and hand protector.
Pretty much from Mile 1 to Mile 100 there are fantastic views all around you on this trail.
Every curve offers up a completely different set of WOW.
Around mile 52 I had my own issue. I snapped off one of the bolts in my left foot peg assembly. We all stopped and tried to fix it as best we could. The idea here is to do what you need to keep riding. We looked at trying to pull out the snapped bolt and replacing it with one that we harvested from elsewhere on the bike. In the end we tightened it all up and I tried my best to keep as much weight off the left peg.
Somewhere after my fix it stop, Ernie had yet another ooops. Yes that’s the right side (again).
All issues aside, we continued to plug away.
Finally we got to the end and reached paved road. Just over 100 miles like everyone says.
We still had 30 or so miles to get back in to town. My first stop was at a quickie mart for a few bottles of gatorade. I was done. absolutely dead tired, hot, sweaty, dirty and done.
Oh, that picture at the top? Looks inocent enough – right? It’s of me on an arch called MuscleMan Arch. It’s just a thin piece of rock that you can walk on that sits thousands of feet above the canyon floor. Cropping is everything.
Here’s a better picture – just don’t tell my wife! 😉
Tomorrow: We’ll start by fixing the damage we did today to our bikes then head towards the Grand Canyon.
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