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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by E46_M3 View Post
    I am planning on riding WRIAD on May 3rd and will have the luxury of my buddy in his 4Runner starting about 4-5 hours after I start so I won't have to pack everything. I had previously felt like I could train by putting in 1 high intensity interval day during the week, one long day on the weekend and then a ~90 min recovery ride the day after. I've started with ~3hr road rides for my long day and plan to up the time every week or two and build up to around 6-7 hrs on the bike over the next 2.5 months. My schedule doesn't really allow for more than 3 rides/week. You guys think this is do-able? I read something recently indicating thatfor an endurance event like this, 4-5 days/week is more realistic with long days happening back to back every Sat & Sun. But there's just no way I'm going to be able to put in 3-6 hrs each day on the weekend. I would be to worthless to my wife/kids after that and since I live in Colorado it is totally possible that we'll get enough snow between now and then that I will have multiple weekends skiing instead of cycling between now and then.

    Anyone see a problem with my plan? I'm unsure just how much riding I need to accomplish in order to be fit enough to complete this. Esp since it is going to happen about 1 month into the riding season when I don't have a summer full of miles under my belt yet. I think the longest ride I've ever done was 8.5 hrs (although it had more like 15,000' of climbing). I was waaaaay more fit than I am now and it sure felt brutal then. I'm on the fence of if this is even do-able for me. Some people make it sound like it's no big deal, but 10-12 hrs in the saddle sure sounds like a big deal to me.
    I will be there this Friday 5/3/2013 also. Starting early from the bottom of Horse Thief Swithc backs. I will see you out there.

  2. #27
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    I've done it a bunch of times with and without sag. I think the best way to do it is to stash food, water and supplies at the start of hose thief road and then drive down to the bottom of Shafer's. Go CCW and start with a light back pack and climb Shafer's. You get the big climb out of the way while you are fresh, you don't have to start with a heavy pack, and most importantly, you FLY down horse thief road which is a lot of fun. So much better than the drudgery of going up the road, which as others have said is long, not interesting, and seems to go on forever when going clockwise.

  3. #28
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    I just rode the White Rim Trail for the first time yesterday.

    This was a total last minute trip. I called a buddy last Monday and he informed me that he was planning to ride it solo. I cleared some things on my scheduled and decided to join him. We hit up 18rd on Sunday and then drove into Moab late Sunday Night.

    We camped at the top of the horsethief / mineral bottom road. We started about 5:45am and rode it clockwise. The first 13 miles on the mineral bottom road were really pretty with the sun coming up. The entire ride was an amazing experience. My buddy and I finished in roughly 9 1/2 hours with about an hour for lunch breaks and mechanical issues. I rode my 29er hardtail, if I did it again I would be inclined to bring my full suspension. I used a 100 oz camel pack and three bottles. I had more than enough water by the time that I finished. The weather could not have been more perfect - mid 70s all day. The final climb out of horsethief was an interesting challenge after riding 98 miles.

    I am already trying to plan another trip back this fall to ride it again. I love the idea of riding it fast in a single day, but you do miss out on all the site seeing. I rode the Leadville 100 last year and I found this ride to be a similar challenge with obviously less altitude or climbing. The challenging part and the invigorating part was being 100% self supported.

    I loved it. I can't wait to do it again. I think the only thing that I would change would be not driving back to Denver after finishing the ride. I was pretty tired doing the White Rim in a day and then hopping my truck and driving 5 1/2 hours home!

  4. #29
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    Re: White Rim in a Day, any advice?

    You rode right past us. First time I've done it in longer than a single day. We did it in 3, Cw, starting on Sunday morning. Loved it. Much more relaxing and yes, the weather was spectacular.
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  5. #30
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    That is awesome. I recall passing 5 groups in total. Two groups were camped really close to each other about 15/20 miles into the ride after Shafers. The next group was at top a ridge on Murphy's Hogback. The next group was all of their bikes and exploring a canyon after the hogback. The last group was riding and seemed a little dis-jointed, they were right before the Potato Bottom area.

    I think the three day trip would be cool in regards to really appreciating the area for what it is. I would have liked to have stopped more and enjoyed the views. However, I really liked the idea of grinding out 100 miles in on day.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by drmurrow View Post
    ...I think the three day trip would be cool in regards to really appreciating the area for what it is. I would have liked to have stopped more and enjoyed the views. However, I really liked the idea of grinding out 100 miles in on day.
    I started planning, permitting, and supporting white rim trips with friends back about 20 years ago. First couple were 1-nighters, then several 2-nighters, one time a 3-night just to really drink it in and check out all the side trips. For years I openly criticized people who did it in a day because I felt it was a waste not to linger and really enjoy it, and explore. But then I did it in a day by myself about 6 years ago, and really enjoyed it. Have done WRIAD three more times since then. Love it. But I also just booked permits for a 2 night trip for Halloween and Día de los Inocentes (Nov 1). Going to take my girlfriend and her lady pals. Me and 6-7 ladies; I like those odds.

    But yeah, if you've never stayed out there, it's really a treat. I may book a 2 nighter for next spring and do it bikepack style. Probably need to haul a BOB to have enough water for me and the girl...
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  7. #32
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    Re: White Rim in a Day, any advice?

    We were one of the two groups camped near each other at the Gooseberry camp site. It is nice to sleep in, eat a good breakfast and roll out around 9am. We rode a leisurely pace for about 4-6 hours and got to camp in time to set up, clean up and have a few beers before a big dinner and good conversation before we got too tired. Doing that 3x was awesome. My next time there we're doing it in one night on June 21st.
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  8. #33
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    Just finished our White Rim in One Night last night. Mid 70s temps average, perigee moon (bright, full and close). We hardly even used our lights. Amazing.
    I guide and rent bikes in Northern Utah

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  9. #34
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    two wheelsets (or two bikes) for WRIAD?

    Getting ready for the loop in early Sept, reading up, thanks for all the great advice, what a great forum this is.

    For those who like to start at the bottom of mineral switchbacks, and go clockwise, perhaps with water stashed at top of shafer, a quick question: If I will stash water at the top of shafer, why not also a second wheelset with dramatically different tires? 42c cyclocross tires for the boring 30 miles climbing up mineral and the dirt and paved road into the park, then 2.2 inch mtb tires for the rest of the loop, down in the canyon, murphy/hardcrabble, etc.

    Overkill, perhaps, but no more driving, the potential benefit all depends on how rough mineral is and whether the potentially faster ride would be significant early in the day. Thanks for your thoughts on this hair-brained idea, which occured to me while riding knobbies on smooth roads today. My buddy on cyclocross kept leaving me in the dust and it is not usually so.

  10. #35
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    I think the extra wheels would be overkill, but a fast xc tire like a conti race king 2.2 has a really low rolling resistance but plenty of bite for that route.

  11. #36
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    Doing the White Rim in a Day solo on Sept. 6 or 7 if anyone is interested in joining me. I plan to start about 5am in the dark at the bottom of Horse Thief and ride clockwise. Stash water near the ranger station at the top of Schaffer.

  12. #37
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    many thanks and some observations from a newbie

    My one day white rim ride was on Sept 7, 2013, solo, unsupported, and I owe it all to the MTBR team. I am deeply indebted to everybody who wrote here, and elsewhere on MTBR, about how they have done this great ride. Thank you. To close the loop I'd like to report my findings, things that maybe would have helped me even more during the preparation stage.

    I'm 46 and hardly an endurance specialist. A good week includes 2-3 recreational rides, maybe 2 hours and ~2000 feet each. The commute adds ~3 hours/week. To get ready, I added longer rides on four weekends: Two at ~40 miles, two at ~60 miles, building up to 6000 feet of climbing to match the rim ride.

    OK, so here are my observations...

    1. Here on MTBR, many recommend clockwise, and a few advised to start from a campsite down by the green river with a water cache at the top of Shafer. This was the advice I followed, seemed perfect for a first timer. The cache is quick and its placement offers a great "go/no-go” point in case you are not feeling so good after 2K of climbing. If you are desperate for water towards the end, the green river is a last resort.

    2. Obsessive attention to hydration and nutrition may help make up for lack of endurance experience. Sept 7 was my only chance but it was terribly hot, so I had 100oz of water leaving from the green river, and then 200oz stashed at the top of shafer. I consumed it all, along with 8 gu packets, 5 energy bars, and 3 PB&J sandwiches. Felt great at the end even in 110 degree heat.

    3. A frame back is a great way to get water weight off of your back, Revelate Designs makes great models for hardtail and full suspension alike. Check out the dimensions of their offerings for Salsa and Surly - they match many hardtails. At Shafer top I picked up two 100oz camelback bladders, one on my back and one in the frame pack with the food.

    4. There is much discussion about the right kind of bike. I went fully rigid (see picture), loved it and might choose this next time, but I did conclude that front suspension would be faster...There is enough bumpy slickrock that a bit of suspension lets you keep more of your momentum. This is a highly personal choice.

    5. My wife and I discussed how this might be more than a bit irresponsible for a father with two kids, no support, no cell coverage, etc. I did a lot of research. Sat phones are expensive and still pretty heavy and require a costly plan. You can rent them but that is not cheap either. There are newer, lighter text messaging devices that go through the satellites, but if you study the reviews carefully, you find that folks are spending a lot of time getting them to work properly. And the plans are not cheap for these either. Instead, I purchased an ACR GPS beacon, at only 4.5 oz. 30 minutes to register and that was it, no fidgeting with firmware downloads, etc., no plan to buy. You pull the trigger as a last resort.

    6. There is an optional short cut on the north side of the route, at least one post here on MTBR referred to it. If you study Google Earth you will see a dirt road that connects mineral road to the paved road back into the park, shortening the loop by about 5 miles. This shortcut is a mixed bag, sandy with some ledges that you have to climb in the clockwise direction. It likely saves a bit of time, but may cost a bit more energy, than the full route. Also, taking this shortcut drops the total distance a touch below 100 miles, so if having a full century is a big deal for you...
    White Rim in a Day, any advice?-hogback-bike-mtbr.jpg
    Again, thanks to all of you for the guidance and support, what a great community.

  13. #38
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    It's almost time again for our White Rim in One Night event. June 13th. Full moon. Start at 7pm and over whenever. Fully supported. Check out the links in my signature line for details or you can PM me.
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  14. #39
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    Oh man what a thread revival! Now I have a new obsession!!
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  15. #40
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    Bumping this.

    Pretty good sized group going so far.

    Additional details concerning the support. One truck will head off at 7 pm going clockwise. It will make a provisions drop at 20 miles and 40 miles. These will include water, food, spares and anything each person would like to add in. The truck will then continue on until it meets the other truck at the back of the group going the other direction (giving out additional supplies to riders it passes).

    The second truck will start with the group but will move ahead about 25 miles. This way no one will have to start with lights. As riders pass this truck, they can install lights, get additional water/food and then continue on as they see fit. As the last rider passes, this truck will take up a following position.

    Once both trucks are together, they will each follow along behind the last riders.

    Keep in mind that even though you will have lights, unless it is a very overcast night, you will most likely not need them. Last year we only used them in technical sections (rare) or when trying to go down hill fast. Each of us was able to make the enitre trip on one set of batteries.

    We are trying to make this ride as self paced friendly as possible. If you feel like riding in a truck for any duration of time, feel free. You can hop back out whenever you want.
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  16. #41
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    Bumping this just because it helped me decide my weekend plans!

    Anyone have any extra tips or a good reason not to ride the loop in December?

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singletrackd View Post
    Bumping this just because it helped me decide my weekend plans!

    Anyone have any extra tips or a good reason not to ride the loop in December?
    Best reason to not ride it in December, ~10 hours of daylight. Cold mornings make early start tougher, cold nights mean if you don't finish when you'd hoped, cold. And expect to see exactly nobody down there.

    I did it solo in late November one year (2009?). It was rewarding, but kind of spooky. I carried a HUGE pack, since I felt like it would be irresponsible to go down there without enough clothing to survive a night if needed. No cell service, nobody else down there...

    You may not be aware of the potential for wintery-ness. Yes, it is close to Moab which tends to be warmer, but Moab is at 4,000 feet elevation. The Rim is higher, the Island in the Sky is a little over 6K. When the sun goes down it gets nice and cold. When I did it that year I started at ~5 AM from the bottom of Mineral Bottom (extra redundancy). I finished before sunset, but it was getting co-o-o-o-ld.

    Good news is your water consumption will be lower (doesn't mean you don't need to drink!). But you need to bring extra clothing, lights, extra food, and a brain in your head. I'd highly recommend going with a partner, especially if you haven't done it before (do as I say, not as I do).

    Good luck!
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Best reason to not ride it in December, ~10 hours of daylight. Cold mornings make early start tougher, cold nights mean if you don't finish when you'd hoped, cold. And expect to see exactly nobody down there.

    I did it solo in late November one year (2009?). It was rewarding, but kind of spooky. I carried a HUGE pack, since I felt like it would be irresponsible to go down there without enough clothing to survive a night if needed. No cell service, nobody else down there...

    You may not be aware of the potential for wintery-ness. Yes, it is close to Moab which tends to be warmer, but Moab is at 4,000 feet elevation. The Rim is higher, the Island in the Sky is a little over 6K. When the sun goes down it gets nice and cold. When I did it that year I started at ~5 AM from the bottom of Mineral Bottom (extra redundancy). I finished before sunset, but it was getting co-o-o-o-ld.

    Good news is your water consumption will be lower (doesn't mean you don't need to drink!). But you need to bring extra clothing, lights, extra food, and a brain in your head. I'd highly recommend going with a partner, especially if you haven't done it before (do as I say, not as I do).

    Good luck!
    This is great advice! I have done WRIAD twice (both times in April). I would love to do it as a December ride. These tips are valuable. Thanks.

  19. #44
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    Yea I didn't think about the temperature difference over at island in the sky, I have been looking at moab weather...as of right now the trip depends on what happens on Friday/Saturday but I'll definitely keep that in mind when Checking the weather. As for night time and cold I have recently dialed in my cold weather riding gear and also have been playing around with night riding. So I was thinking of around a 4am start time to make it more interesting.

    But my big question now, is there parking at the bottom of the horsetheif switchbacks(on Google maps it sure looks like maybe a spot right at the intersection below the switchbacks)or is there just parking at the top of the switchbacks?

    I am going to do this on a single speed and would hate to end with a climb up horsetheif switchbacks

  20. #45
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    There is not a designated parking area at the intersection (or nearby) at the bottom of the Horse thief switchbacks.
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  21. #46
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    damn so only way around ending the day with a climb is getting a backcountry permit and camping down at Labyrinth Campground or something like that, maybe I should just spend the 30$ and get a campground down there

    thanks btw that would have been nagging me the whole way and I would have driven down horse thief at 3am looking for a parking spot

    guess I'm starting my ride at the top of the switchbacks......ugh that's going to suck to ride up at the end of the day

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singletrackd View Post
    damn so only way around ending the day with a climb is getting a backcountry permit and camping down at Labyrinth Campground or something like that, maybe I should just spend the 30$ and get a campground down there
    No, there is another way. My preferred way is to park at (near) the Mineral Bottom boat ramp (Mineral Bottom Road all the way down the switchbacks to the Green River.) It isn't in the Park there. You can just camp at large. The park boundary is maybe 5 miles downstream from the boat ramp.

    I like clockwise for doing it in a day, start by climbing the horsethief switchbacks and up the boring-ass Mineral Bottom Road. Then go south on the paved road, into the park, down Shafer and on your way. I've stashed water right near where Mineral Bottom hits the pavement so I don't have to leave and climb that ~1000 feet with all the water I'll need.

    EDIT: Starting out in the dark climbing out of Horsethief Bottom and up Mineral Bottom Road is a decent plan because there's really nothing to look at on Mineral Bottom anyway. Might as well be dark.

    map image:

    The little circle is an official BLM river access boat ramp. I think there might even be a vault toilet. Road is good enough for big vans hauling huge raft trailers to get there. The little square is where I camp down there. There's a road that goes up into that canyon. Good road, graded gravel. I have followed it a mile or so. The line is (I think) the National Park Boundary (could just be the Montezuma County line). The X is a spot on top of the Horsethief switchbacks where lots of people park and stage for the WRIAD. The climb at the end up Horsethief is MUCH less of a deal than Shafer. Maybe 25 minutes as opposed to an hour+



    White Rim in a Day, any advice?-shafferpano.jpg
    View from near top of Shafer to the east, November 2009
    Last edited by TomP; 12-08-2015 at 08:17 AM.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  23. #48
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    Wow thanks for making that pretty damn crystal clear for me. I really appreciate it and you have cleared up the grey areas in my plan all in one post, that and you are saving me the 30$ reservation fee to go camping.... I definitely owe you a beer but instead I'll just post up pictures after the ride

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singletrackd View Post
    ... I definitely owe you a beer but instead I'll just post up pictures after the ride
    I'm sure your pics will be great; but I'd rather have the beer
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  25. #50
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    thanks for bumping this thread...now that I'm in Flag this is looking like a worthy trip, maybe as a two day backpack to make it worth the drive...

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