“Believe in yourself, and then act like it.”
— Alisa Cohn
I attended Moab Rocks last week, a 3 day stage race featuring some of the most iconic routes in this mountain bike mecca. I camped both in a regular tent and in my new Roofnest, which I’m very excited about having when next year’s “ camp in a wet field over there” mountain bike season starts off.
I wrote a race report for the new team I joined this season,which might be bigger news! After years of mostly training solo, I was looking for the right group of folks that both shared my current level of racing stoke, were committed to a certain amount of volunteer hours, and would also push me outside of my comfort zone a bit. This has been good for me.
Race Report Below-
The weather was definitely a factor last week, we originally were planning on riding in Ely on the way out, but a forecast low of 10 deg F changed those plans to a southerly route.
I was a day ahead of Jay and enjoyed a night on the BLM land outside of St George before riding Stuckis and Bearpaw Poppy the next morning. I considered the black trails above the BP complex like Zen but thought it might be better to save myself for the days in Moab ahead.
Jay met up with me and after a windy night in the NF above Leeds UT, we headed to Moab. This was also my first trip in my RTT and I liked it! It held up to some strong winds and was super spacious compared to crawling in the back of my Suby. Negatives would be the inability to ” stealth camp” and the 70 mph speed limit stickers plastered on the back. Driving a little slower has its positives also.
Day One- Porcupine Rim
We rode all of these stages blind, and neither of us had been to the Moab area before, but we read the profiles and watched some videos. The climb up Sand Flats was tough, I rode right at my FTP ( which is not setting any land speed records) and hit the singletrack at 7000 feet plus feeling fairly awful. The first few technical spots had me wondering how I was going to get through this with my bones intact, but then things mellowed out a bit, I followed some good lines, and I got a little more comfortable on the endless drops. I also stopped to take some pictures 🙂 The day was really fun and ended up being 57 km and 1200 M of climbing with the ride back to our campsite in town.
A note on that- we stayed at Up The Creek in the middle of Moab. Really cool, walk-in tent sites for about 30 bucks a day. Both of us got sites which we didn’t need to do, I was a bit confused when booking.. Hot showers, water, cool people staying there, walkable to everything, and totally reasonable. A 2 star motel in the fall on Main Street would have cost over a thousand bucks. The only negative is the main drag is very close and it is noisy. RAZRs, Jeeps, garbage trucks at 4 AM. I figured out why there was an earplug dispenser at the campground check-in, and paired with a big fuzzy balaclava, I was able to get good sleep the last two nights.
Day Two- Klondike Bluffs
Really fun and a little more XC-ish. I let the front groups go since sitting in I was at 400W, and had a great day battling for mid-pack spots. I cramped at the very end which was a bit surprising. Baby Steps was a blast and I may have actually jumped my bike a couple of times. 48 km and 836 M of climbing.
We had a great dinner at a local place, get the Banh Mi Nachos to share.
Day 3- Mag 7
I think everyone was a bit tired by the third day. I rode at my pace up the first climb, sat in until the bigger climb up to the plateau, where the trails kind of loop around the edges for 20K or so. I was in a good group but decided again to take some pictures and have some fun. We ended up back at Gemini Bridges TH, so no Portal trail. Bull Run and Great Escape were AWESOME. I felt way more comfortable on the slickrock and ledges than the first day. Some hard dirt road on the way out and we wrapped it up in one piece! 47 km and 767 M of climbing for the last stage.
I ended up 12th on GC for my AG and already planning the next trip out there, so a very positive experience. The race organization was great and I would highly recommend it. It’s been over ten years since I did a multi-day event, especially while sleeping in a tent, but I felt pretty decent.
I wrapped things up with two days of hiking at Arches and Zion, then pulled a big day/ night of windshield time and podcasts heading home.
Thanks, Jay for all of his planning and the idea to go out there in the first place. He also was able to find some NOS kit for me so I could represent TRM, thank you!
This is the book we will be working on for the next four weeks with Dr Amy Saltzman. Theres more information below, but I’m very excited to take the course after reading the book.
Kudos and Results!
Jay Parkhill- 7th GC, 50-59 Moab Rocks Stage Race
John Cheetham- 12th GC, 50-59 Moab Rocks Stage Race
Noah Hayes- 44th Pro, Fat Tire Crit, Bentonville, AR
Noah Hayes, 38th Pro, Epic Rides Backcountry 50 Mile, Bentonville, AR
Owen Irving, 1st Varsity XC, Crab Cove , CA
Matt Christiansen, 15th 50+ Men, Jinglecross, Iowa City
Matt Christiansen, 13th Masters 50+ Men, Jinglecross, Iowa City
Matt Christiansen,14th 50+ Men, Jinglecross, Iowa City