True Grit Epic and my first time riding in Utah- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    True Grit Epic and my first time riding in Utah

    TRUE GRIT EPIC | Long, Tough, and Technical
    I'll be leaving NorCal on Wed to make the long trip to St. George Utah for the True Grit 100. I figure since this will be my first trip on the motorcycle carrying my bike and all my equipment I'll spill the trip into two days and arrive in St. George Thursday night. I want to have all day Friday to loosen up my legs after 1100 miles of riding a sportbike. I'll have all my camping gear to take advantage to the tent camping that available at the event on Friday night but I'm not sure where to stay thursday or Saturday night. I don't want to start my trip home right after the race for fear of falling asleep on the motorcycle.


    If you've don't the race and used a drop bag was it easy to get in and out quickly or was it hard to find your stuff? I've done plenty of solo 24hrs with multiple laps but this will be my first 100miler where I won't be passing my pit every hour.


    Has anyone done this race before? How is the camping situation, anywhere at the event to camp Thursday night or do I need to start looking at the local national parks for reservations?


    Where is the easier place to access the Zen trail and is it clearly marked. I'm on a 29er Single Speed and for racing I run a carbon seat post but for my local more adventurist rides I use a 3" dropper post. I figure I'll start with the drop and pre ride the course and if I feel its well within my comfort zone on a HT then ill ditch the dropper for the race.


    If anyone is planning on pre riding the course or just wants to ride in the area Friday and doesn't mind a California tagging along let me know. Don't worry I'm well above average so I should hold anyone up.

    Thanks for any advise

  2. #2
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    When I was out there for the first time (riding solo), I had no idea where the trail started, as there was no trail marker. I went up a dirt road that I thought was it, then realized I was on the wrong side of the little gulch. So I had to double back on get on the right side. It's a pretty cool trail, though. I always have issues on the very last part of the trail, as I miss the turnoff. It would be best if you rode with some of the locals there. I'm sure there will be plenty pre-riding the day before, so hook up with some of them.

    We stayed at a condo rental place close by. Not sure if you can camp anywhere, although the field adjacent to the Zen trailhead is gigantic. On the map, where it says "alternate return" is a dirt road that you may or may not be able to make on your sportbike. But there would be a lot of camping spots along the way. I just don't know if that is legal or not...

    You can download the GPX if you have a GPS device.

    Zen Trail

    From last weekend.


    By the way, Good Luck in the race. I believe Gerry Pflug will be there racing SS and he is a monster.

    EDIT: Found this picture that may be helpful. First go around, I was heading up to Bearclaw Poppy, when I should have gone left. You can't really see the Zen trail itself, but just stay to the left of that gulch and you'll be on the trail.


  3. #3
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    Yeah I've been in contact with Gerry and he's giving me some advise on gearing for the course, I've never met him before so I hope he isn't leading me astray

    That picture makes me want to leave tomorrow and ride a whole week out there.

    I could always just get a room at a local motel but I'm trying to keep the cost down for the trip because this is only my first of hopefully many out of state trips this year for Mtb racing. If anyone has a empty floor I could crash out on I'm house trained and everything

  4. #4
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    Yeah, I wish I could be down there for a week to ride. Conditions are excellent right now.

    Glad you were able to hook up with Gerry. I'm sure he wouldn't deceive you. I'd be interested to see what gearing/set up he runs for this race. Please post, if you're able.

  5. #5
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    Gearing last year was 34-19 but thinking 34-20 this year. I think I'll try the 34-19 on the pre ride but if a 34-20 seems better to climb the rock garden then I'll change for the race. I know most riders will say just run the hard stuff but getting off and on can cost a lot of time so I like to be able to clean most stuff. Luckily I can pull a very tall gear for a long time but I'm not so sure I can spin the cadence some of these SSers claim to do. I'm still rather new to riding SS so this will be my first race with other fast SSers so I'm looking forward to comparing their style to my own.

    I'm good a going really fast through corners and finding traction in the dirt but big rocks have always been my achilles heel do to lack of practice so this race will be interesting. It to bad to because I rock in the bouldery gardens on the motorcross bike.

  6. #6
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    I see, thanks for the info. I was running 32x20, but had porky Ardent 2.4's in the back, plus I am out of shape now. There were two sections of Zen that I couldn't clear (steep, techy climbs), and few techy sections that would have been much faster dismount/shouldering.

    Have fun at the race.

    By the way, 1100 miles on a crotch rocket would be a torture. I used to have a CBR back in the day and couldn't ride it more than 200 miles. If you're going to be racing a lot, maybe something like the Honda fit or a Yaris may be a better option. They get the same gas mileage as a motorcycle from what I recall. Plus, you can sleep right in the car if necessary.
    Last edited by phsycle; 03-04-2014 at 05:25 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by phsycle View Post
    By the way, 1100 miles on a crotch rocket would be a torture. I used to have a CBR back in the day and couldn't ride it more than 200 miles. If you're going to be racing a lot, maybe something like the Honda fit or a Yaris may be a better option. They get the same gas mileage as a motorcycle from what I recall. Plus, you can sleep right in the car if necessary.
    True that but I've never been one for practicality, beside after preriding the course I can't go tear up the local canyon's and drag knee in a yaris

    Maybe after this year I'll get a cheap small car just for this reason but for now I had the moto already and the rack was free so I figured why not

    After blowing up in yesterdays XC race I can't wait to put CA behind me a ride some new trails with new riders this week. Something tells me I'm going to need a vacation after this vacation

  8. #8
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    Hey, how did this go?

  9. #9
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    not so well actually. The trip out there was fine but quite boring on the hwys but that was expected. I did get to visit with friends in SoCal as I passed through which was nice. In the race on what was the hardest of the downhills with all the bigger rock drops I decided to ride down since it didn't give me any problems in the pre ride the day before. Well on the last drop my front wheel dropped in and for some reason it didn't roll through so my rear end came up and I went over the bars. I didn't feel I was going that fast so I didn't go flying through the air, I just tipped over the front and landed on a pile of rocks. When I got up after 30 seconds of wincing in pain from my right quad the volunteer stationed there said I was bleeding a lot. So I look down at my arm and find this
    True Grit Epic and my first time riding in Utah-8a526e3e-823d-4719-854f-0fc48d2f522e_zpsqjp266ub.jpg
    So the first thing that goes through my mind is **** now I have to go get stitches after the race and that's like a $250 copay I was only a few miles from the first aid station so I figured I'd patch my arm up to keep the dirt out and keep going. When I rolled in asked for some first aid they said they didn't bring any. The volunteer then asked what I needed and as I rolled out a bit anger I flipped my arm so they could see and yeld out "a damn bandaid". I continued on course and hoped that maybe the medical staff would be there when I got back to that aid station in an out an hour.

    As I roll back in I was greeted with a "there that's the guy we told you about" the volunteer directed me to two gentlemen in medical gear hold and large medic bag. They patched me up ok but I had already decided to drop out because my right quad wasn't working and it made pedaling the single speed up hill impossible in the rocks. I had actually tipped over again because my leg gave out mid climb and left my stranded between two rocks. It turns out the aid station called an "ambulance" out and these two medics were on call in the city. They said the event didn't staff any medical for the event so they were leaving as soon as I was patched up. They were kind enough to say we never saw each other and that none of this ever happened so no paperwork needed to be filed. I was kinds disappointed with the organizers for promoting this race as a top tie national series and this course being by far its most challenging and dangerous course but then not staffing even the bare minimal medical support you see and just about every other race I've ever been to. Yes it was my fault I crashed and I'm ok with that but it just seems for national race with a equally hefty entry fee, you'd get a little more for your money.

    Also the course marking sucked if you weren't a local rider. It was like they were trying to save ribbon because the strips they used on the bushes here and there were no more then a couple inches long so they easily faded into the brush. You had to really look for the next ribbon in lots of place which made it hard to hold any momentum over the big rocks gardens. Several times I clean a section only to stop and find out I went 15' to far and there was a ribbon way of to the left down the next pile of rocks.

    I'll probably come back next year and give it another go since apparently the second half of the loop I missed was the best part

  10. #10
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    It was two weeks before I could ride a bicycle or walk without limping. Somewhere I ended up with a rather large contusion to my right quad along with a pint he'd never that was causing a great deal of numbness of the outer skin. I race this past weekend and this wed and my leg is starting to feel better, after two weeks off I felt like crap but now I'm back in the grove and rolling again. The arm healed up fine with 22 stitches from the local ER and I was able to ride the motorcycle the 1100 miles back home without issue.
    True Grit Epic and my first time riding in Utah-8106b252-3ad0-439d-b063-eb26d0c6ea2c_zpsuon1akc1.jpg
    True Grit Epic and my first time riding in Utah-67bd0744-5e71-4cb4-9af5-a02a2b8555c3_zpsxxvppfzk.jpg

  11. #11
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    Yikes! I just read Pflug's blog about the race. Looks like you had some tough winds to deal with. Hope you got some good riding in before that crash. Wish you a fast recovery.

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