David Gensch joins Moots this year for his second season on the GrassMoots Team. He’s and amazing person, adventure on skis, bikes and life. This time around he takes us on his White Rim in a day trip. For those of you that know this route and for those that don’t, it’s a ride that either done over multiple days with support or one big ride with no support, it’s an experience either way. For today you can read Dave’s account of it below:
My breath deepened and slowed as my mind expanded with the horizon line, realizing just how log it had been since I was last in the great South West desert. After setting up camp at the bottom of Mineral Bottom, the evening light broke through the afternoon thunderclouds and gave us quite a show during our walk to set up the beer cache.
The alarm went off early and just as quick as the night had ended the coffee was brewed. Oatmeal, spiked with Honey Stinger gel took a bit more work to get down, but we were off shortly after 5:00 A.M. This was Matt’s first time riding both the White Rim as well as this length of ride. I had no doubt that he would stick it.
The first hour and a half is a climb in the pre dawn light and at sunrise we crested the high point for the day. Riding a few miles further to the top of the Schafer Trail where our water cache was, we noticed the morning chill. Dropping into the canyon, our thin rain jackets did little to shelter us from our chattering teeth and numb toes but the decent is fast and soon we were committed to the next 75 miles of desert.
It always seems that the next ten or so miles trend decieviously uphill but I wonder how much of it is my mind telling me to settle in for the next 8 hours. I hear some of Matts fist heavy sighs and feel my own tweaks and twinges as the early season creeps its way into our ride.
The morning sun trended upwards and our layers began to shed as the rhythm of our pedal strokes regulated themselves. Stopping at some of the more spectacular viewpoints, we made sure to keep fueled and hydrated. By mid day we were half way and although I felt different parts of my body more than others, the simple joy of peddling my bike in the desert far out weighed any discomfort.
Lunch on top of Murphy’s Hogback was timely and welcomed as some famish and heat goose bumps teased us both. The cool rock and warm sand soothed our poorly prepared spring bodies while we lightened our packs by grubbing down.
The rowdy double track downhill off of Murphy’s sets up the remaining 30 something miles with some more featured and fun riding and stunning scenery. We lucked out with not too much afternoon wind and enjoyed a smooth pace. Late in the afternoon, dark clouds came quick and we put in a push to get over Hard Scrabble before any rain would come. We enjoyed a beer at the top that I had previously frozen and it was still nice and cold.
I told Matt that there would be a sand section towards the end of the ride and it was soft and deep this year. It’s definitely a, “put your head down” section and not much fun but we had a beer cache at the old corral. Another treat to bring in the last 6 miles.
We washed off the day in the Green River and cooked some burgers to enjoy by the fire. We had no flats or mechanicals and although we both were not in biking shape we had great day in the desert. It’s always a gift to spend time in these ancient and ever-changing places…
Many thanks to Nic at Aloha for setting our bikes up as we had a completely maintenance free day.