Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Moab Century

Moab: The adventure capital of the USA, home of the 24 hours of Moab, Moab Jeep Safari, Fat Tire Festival, Skinny Tire Festival and the Moab Century Tour.

The Moab Century Tour ( http://www.skinnytirefestival.com/century/century.html ) consists of a 45, 65 and 92 mile ride. The 65 and 92 mile rides include the great hill climb called "The Big Nasty". The whole climb gains 4500 vertical feet in roughly 20 miles, but its real claim to fame is that the last 3000 vertical come in the final 7 miles. Naturally, I went to do the 92 miles and the "Big Nasty".

I was invited on this ride initially by Melissa (a good friend and my roommate's girlfriend) and her father, Randy, who were planning on doing the ride. After some very slight problems getting registered, we were on our way. We drove out in Randy’s van, which is all set up for the cycling vacation, bike racks on the roof and rear capable of taking 7 bikes. The middle seat in the rear had been removed to make room for a cooler and food, and made the back of the van have more leg room than my living room. We were riding in style.

We arrived in Moab around 11:30, and quickly laid out the sleeping bags to get some sleep. The night was clear, so we elected to skip the hassle of the tents.

The next morning was sunny and had a slight chill in the air. The kind that is refreshing in the morning, but you knows it will burn off when the sun pokes its head over the mesas. A perfect day for a bike ride. Breakfast, then off to the start.

What a ride: The "Big Nasty" proved to be one of the easier obstacles on the trip. The wind proved much less forgiving. We had a headwind nearly all day. Of the 100.22 miles we did that day, only 15 of them had a tail wind. The rest were slow, contributing to our painfully slow average speed of 14.9 mph. Despite the wind, fun was had by all. The temperature was perfect, the sky was blue, and the sandstone of Moab was its vibrant red. Although the ride was officially only 92 miles, we tacked on the little extra to make it a true century.

We returned to Denver Sunday morning to find crazy weather. Snow, wet and wind. 18" of snow have already fallen in Summit County. The weather slowed our trip home by a couple hours, but I don't think anyone in our van cared. Between naps, we snacked on root beer and Ritz crackers, a well deserved rest.

The century was fun, and everyone involved had a great time, it's important not to forget why we were there. All the proceeds from this event benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation ( http://www.livestrong.org/ ).

"The Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) believes that in the battle with cancer, unity is strength, knowledge is power and attitude is everything. Founded in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist, Lance Armstrong, the LAF provides the practical information and tools people living with cancer need to live strong."

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