Tuesday, November 29, 2016

White Rim Time Trial: 5:59

Looking down some of the Shafer switchbacks

Since I hung up the skis in April (earliest ever) I have been dutifully training on the bike for a smattering of races, both road and mountain.  The season was mixed with some good results, some dnf's, and a couple unfortunate flats.  My best results seemed to come against people who didn't know they were racing i.e. Strava! 

One goal for the year was to return to the White Rim in Canyonlands National Park and try to set the FKT for the loop.  I rode it last year with Tom, Jason, and Jason and felt like I could go a bit faster.  When trying to break a "record", it's good to know what that time actually is.  The internet could only tell me that Jeremy Nobis was suspected of having the record with a time of 6:10-20ish. 

In early November, I got an invite from the Simmons boys and Paul Hamilton to try and ride to loop fast as a group.  We started at the top of the Shafer climb and rode counter clockwise, trading pulls until eventually I found myself off the front gunning for Nobis' time.  Bonking hard, I completed the loop at the top of the Shafer climb in 6:09.  I felt a little sheepish about calling that the "record" so I decided I'd have to go back and ride it solo. 

A couple weeks later, a work window opened up and I made to solo drive down to Green River for a night at the Comfort Inn.  All too early, the alarm pierced through my ear plugs.  Packing up, I was anxious to get started. 

This time, I parked at the visitor's center and rode down the Shafer switchbacks to start my loop at the bottom, climbing back up, and continuing counter clockwise.  I reasoned that it would be good to tackle the climb while fresh and then finish on the mostly "false flat downhill" towards the base of the climb. 

It was a cool autumn morning in the desert and I was feeling fairly fresh in spite of the Grandeur laps that I'd been doing in preparation for ski season.  At the junction with the Potash Rd, I stashed a long sleeve jersey, started my watch, and set in for a long day.  It felt good to start climbing and even though I didn't have a power meter, I sensed I had good legs. 

Hitting the pavement in 27 minutes, I was ahead of schedule and told myself to not push too hard so early.  I tried to stay steady until the Mineral Bottom Rd and then use the down hill treading section to maintain a high pace and get in some calories.  At the river, I found the road to be dry and even a little sandy which was not a good indicator of the conditions ahead. 

At one point, I dropped a gel flask, thought about leaving it, but flipped a U to go back and grab it.  I figured the 30 seconds lost to do so would pay dividends later.  I was also glad to not litter.  I was not however, glad about the increasingly sandy road ahead.  The last trip with the Simmons boys held very little sand and was overly wet.  This day was the opposite. 

Spinning out and wasting watts, I was a little bummed to be working so hard to be going so slow. My optimistic goal was under 5:45 but I was still going to be happy with sub 6 hours.  I could feel it slipping away in the sand. 

Fortunately, I still had good power on all the short punchy climbs and didn't experience even the slightest cramping.  Maybe I'm getting better at metering these long efforts, or maybe it's the flask of pickle juice that I started nursing around the 3 hour mark? 

Doing the math, I could tell that the last hour was going to be tough.  I needed to average around 17 mph to slip in under 6 hours.  I kept telling myself that I was supposed to feel crappy by this point compared to the last effort as I already had done the big climb.  The finish line was the outhouse by the Potash Road. 

On the final rise, I laid down all my remaining watts, which by this point weren't that many. With a short and fast downhill to my finish line, I still had a couple minutes to spare.  I coasted with glee, glad to be done with the torture and stopped my watch at 5:59:30.  To my knowledge, that's the fastest complete White Rim, but as always there are a ton of people that could or maybe have gone faster.  It's a big claim, but I'm a big claimer so I'll take it for now. 

Near where I started and finished.
Breathing a sigh of relief, I picked up my long sleeve jersey where I left it and started to cruise easy back up the climb to my car.  Within five minutes of soft pedaling, I was going cross eyed and bonking hard.  I got off the bike and laid in the dirt for a few minutes.  Somehow, in my excitement earlier, I forgot to stash any food or water for after the TT. 

I alternated walking and laying in the dirt for the next hour and a half and finally, 1:54 after finishing my TT, crested the Shafer climb for the second time.  This "cool down" took significantly longer than the 27 minutes earlier that morning.  It also was much much more difficult and a fitting end to a painfully beautiful day in the desert. 


  1. Beautiful post sir Andy. Outstanding outcome.

  2. Just laid eyes on the White Rim for the first time, and am awed and fascinated with the in-a-day idea. Could you post some gear details- bike, tires, gearing, number of calories! Nice work on this; can't wait to see you getting back in the saddle in a few weeks! Heal up, #turnsforandy!

  3. تنظيف مسابح
    نظافة مسابح
    شركة تنظيف مسابح بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف المسبح

    السلام عليكم ومرحبا بكم جميعا.....فى بدايه كلامى احب ان ارحب بكم.....كلنا نعلم اهميه المسابح فى حياتنا لما نستخدمها من ترفيه واستمتاع
    ومن ثم فنستنتج ان تنظيف المسابح شى مهم وضرورى جدا فى حياتنا من اجل الحفاظ على صحتنا والاستمتاع بها ومن ثم عليكم جميعا الاتصال والتواصل مع افضل شركه تنظيف
    مسابح للتخلص من اى شوائب وعدم الاصابه بالامراض لان عندما يكون المسبح متسخ يودى لنا امراض كثيره ومنها الحاسسيه والحمه والبرص
    كلنا علمنا اهميه المسابح لما تدخله علينامن ا لسرور والمرح لدى الافراد سواء الكبار او الصغار كما ان المسابح ا تعد افضل ديكور وافضل منظر جميل يمكنك اضافته الى المكان الخاص بك
    حتى تبدو بمظهر جيد وراقى ونحن فى شركتنا نمكنك من الحصول على مسبح نظيف ومميز بخطوات بسيطة
    وسريعه ودون عناء او تكلفه وتنظيف المسابح من الاعمال المستمرة التى يجب القيام بها بشكل اسبوعى وتقوم شركتنا دوريا بتحديث الات الخاصة
    بنا وتدريب العمال على احدث الوسائل والاختبارات التى يفترض اجراءها على المسابح لتقديم الخدمة ويتم تنظيف المسبح على اكمل وجه وتميز وعن كيفية القيام باعمال تنظيف المسبح و
    هى التخلص من الاتربة وتأتى هذه المرحلة فى البداية قبل وجود المياه فى حمام السباحة وتكمن مشكله وجود الاتربة بعد تصفيه المياه من حماما السباحة ويتبقى على الجدران الكثير من الاتربة
    والتى تهبط على حماما السباحة بطريقة طبيعية نظرا لوجوده فى فناء المنزل او الفيلا ويمكن التخلص منها عن طريق المكنسة الكهربائية والتى تمكنا من شفط جميع التربة الموجودة فى قاع المسبح وهناك انواع من الاتربة والاتساخات تلتصق
    بجدران المسبح والحل للتخلص من مثل هذه الانواع من الاوساخ هو ضغط الماء وهذا ينتج من الخراطيم التقليدية عند توصيلها بالماء والضغط عليها
    من المقدمة وبهذه الطريقة يمكنك التخلص من هذه الاوساخ افضل شركة تنظيف مسابح بالرياض ايضا وهناك مواد كثيرة تستعمل لتنقيه وتنظيف المياه فى المسبح وتنظيف
    جزيئات مياه المسبح وهبوط الشوائب اسفل المسبح وهو الحفاظ على المسبح خالى من الطحالب كما نوفر المعدات و الاجهزة لتنظيف المسابح ومنها اجهزة البخار له اهمية كبرى فى تنظيف
    المسابح من جميع البكتريا والفطريات والاتربة وجهاز الشفط يقوم بتفريغ المسبح من الماء ثم شفط جميع الاوساخ والاتربة والاشياء الاخرى الموجودة فى قاع المسبح وعملية التعقيم
    هى عبارة عن اضافة كمية من الكلور وبكميه بسيطه مع اضافة مواد اخرى خاصة بعملية تعقيم وتنظيف المسبح قبل وضع المياه فيه وعمليات التعقيم والصيانة والتنظيف والترميم للمشكلة
    الموجودة داخل المسبح