Summary: WR in a day is a tool we use to get in shape for the rest of the season. In Feb. we are on the bike in the snow to get ready. This was the 6th time we have done it in a day. We had rain from 50 miles to 70 miles and the temp. may have reached 59 degrees. We dumped about 2 liters of water. Last year we had 89 degree temp. and used all but 2 oz of our 2 gallons of water (The week before there was 6" of snow on the White Rim!). We ride the last weekend of April for the best weather and day light.
The way we carry the water is with the Detours High Tail (www.detours.us), two frame mounted water bottles, and a 100 oz blatter. I try to use the water off my back first for less stress on my bottom and body. Carry spare tools, tube, and other items in a seat bag. Detours makes a handlebar bag (Metro) that is perfect for food, map, first aid kit and extra clothing. Keep the weight off your back and you will feel better late on this ride. Do not count on getting water from others, they may not be there when you need it or at all!
If you can ride 100 miles on the road with 5,000'-10,000' of climbing you are ready for this ride. I did 6 hours of riding on the Colorado Springs singletrack two weeks before this ride and had no problems on the White Rim. If you would like to do all the climbs clean make sure you do some very steep, sandy/gravel climbs late in your training rides. One warning, if you are not ready to do it don't do it anyway, or meet your friends at the top of Shafer and skip the road sections. Last year I was not ready and the last 45 miles was full of pain, frustration, walks up the climbs, and a very sore bottom. It was not fun.
If you are thinking about doing it in a day go for it! Great views, fun challenging climbs, smooth doubletrack late in the ride, and friendly people make it a great time!
Recommended Route: The way to ride it is clockwise starting at the bottom of Horsethief! Here are some reasons why it is best to do it that way: The climb up Horsethief is smooth and not that hard. The gravel road to 313 is an easy climb and a good warm-up. The early climbing takes you to your high point at Dead Horse Point turn off on 313 and uses up over 1/3 to maybe 1/2 of the climbing. The bumps that can kill your bottom (between Shafer and Airport)come early when you are still fresh. From Murphy's Hogback 70 miles to Potato Bottom 91 miles it is mosly dowmhill for 21 miles on smooth doubletrack (3-4 short climbs). You can coast most of it at 15 mph and get ready for Hardscrabble! After the Hardscrbble climb and the sand the trail is smooth and flat back to the car. I have done it counter-clockwise starting at the top of Shafer and the bottom of Shafer and clockwise is the best way to go. The drive down and up Horsethief is easy with a medium clearance car. One problem is that if it rains and Horsethief is wet it would be hard to get a non-4X4 up Horsethief and very scary going down.
Other recommended trails in the same area: The 80 miles of Skyline Drive, The Spring Race Course is a great training ride for the WR, Porcupine Rim from town, Gooseberry Mesa is one of the best rides in the USA, Park City singletrack.
Review Date August 12, 2003
Overall Rating 4 of 5
Aerobic Difficulty 3 of 5
Technical Difficulty 2 of 5
Ridden Trail: Once a year
Visitors rate this review 5.00 of 5,
Reviewed by: John Mavor
, from Salt Lake City, Utah
Summary: The White Rim in a day is a great test of your butts abillity to withstand jackhammer like abuse. Once completed, you are in an exclusive club of ner do well graduates of biker boot camp.
Our group of 8 spent the night before the big ride getting hammered around the camp fire on the Mineral road. It was beautiful how you could feel the electricity in the group, especially after multiple Optimators. We slept in, made a huge breakfast and fumbled around to ensure a late start on the ride. Tee-off was around 9:30 and we went counter clockwise. The only climbs of note were Hardscrable, Murphy's Hogback and "The Neck" (Shaefer Trail). We faced the final hill, The Neck, as the sun was going down and began to regret the night befoe but hey, what's life without a few regrets. I mean, it's not as if we were racing or anything! My wife had a minor wreck on the Mineral Road as we had about 3 miles in the dirt in the pitch dark. After arriving at camp, it was a few rounds to the trail gods and off to La La Land. This trail rocks and rolls and anyone who doesn't do it in a day is just a big ol' sissy! Long live long rides.
Recommended Route: Counterclockwise starting on the Mineral Road.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Just go to Moab and follow the crowd.
Review Date May 22, 2003
Overall Rating 4 of 5
Ridden Trail: Ridden Once
Reviewed by: Nancy Rizzo
, from Grand Junction, CO
Summary: This is one scenic tour and many hours in the seat which seemed to benefit road riders a little more than pure Mtn. bikers. There were 6 of us: Me, Husband Jon, Brother Chris and Sister in law Milissa, Uncle Steve and new friend Max. All capable riders but you never know on a 100 mile Mtn. Bike ride. We left Mineral Bottom road around 5:30 am on April 12. Still dark out which didn't phase us since Moab was on fire the night before and the power was out anyway. (Make sure you have everything you need before you get to Moab in case it's on fire, especially FOOD). Mineral bottom was a nice easy slightly downhill road, even in the dark. By the time we were descending down the steep stuff it was twilight and the possible endo obstacles were easier to see,...sometimes. Don't get caught gawking at the Rim's magnificence on one of the few technical (loose rocky downhills) sections, there's plenty of flat road to let down your guard and see the beautiful scenery, for miles. I took 70+ pictures with my compact digital camera so make sure you stop every now and then to stretch and actually enjoy yourself. (and use the restroom). Eat frequently, and definitely bring lot's of water and some energy drink, Thank you Cytomax, Powerbar, and my husband for making a bagel sandwhich that propelled me through the whole middle third of the ride. Keep your pace up, this is not a leasurely ride. We figured we had to at least average 10mph and we beat that. The slower climbing sections like Hardscrabble bottom, Murphy's Hogback and one or two others (that don't have names), can wear you out if you let them. Thankfully there are usually some gradual downhills and relatively flat sections in between them to revive yourself. Being a pure mountain biker mostly riding technical singletrack, without a lot of LONG rides under my belt, I had a real hard time being in the saddle for that long. Nicely padded shorts were a plus as well as having a full suspension bike. You'll be sore, in different places. Neck and back take a beating with the position on the bike for hours and the extra weight of the pack. Make sure you also look at a map before to have an idea of where you are. You'll experience everything out there. We we're prepared for cold, which it was in the morning to mechanical problems, to having to hike out or spend the night. Luckily the high clouds we're keeping the temp down which ranged from 40's -70's, so we're able to complete the loop back to Mineral bottom road in around 12 hours. Just over 9 hours of actual ride time, finishing with plenty of daylight left, and only one of us ran out of water. Around 80+ miles into this trail we we're estatic to see the Shafer switchbacks if you can imagine that. Something like 1500 feet (?) of climbing in a few miles, and with a head wind to boot. Those pesky road riders we're all over it, as my husband and I had decided this was a good time to get off the bike and enjoy the scenery. Can you say "Bonk". If you make it up this neverending hellacious climb it's a gentle rolling 8+ mile road ride back to Mineral Bottom road. Beware you may have to pay at the Gate to get out. It was closed when we came through. I don't know that any of us had money anyway. I probably carried the least and I had 260+ounces of water/cytomax(the least in the group), 8+powerbars/clifbars, 6 gel packs, 2 Bagel ham & cheese sandwhiches, organic gummy sharks, Trail Mix, Mustard(for cramping, really!), leg warmers, two jackets, tube, aspirin,etc...My fabulous husband carried the tools, for he's the mechanic in the bunch. We we're very well prepared, and had an excellent guide. My uncle who's now ridden it 5-6 times so he kept us on track, and it was comforting to know someone had been there before and knew what they were doing. In the end I think Max, the triathlete in the group, had us at 4000+ feet of climbing! Now that's a day well spent. Anyone who does this deserves a pat on the back, and a large dinner following.
Recommended Route: We rode it counter-clockwise and looped it from the Mineral Bottom Road turn off. 100+ miles.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Kokopelli. There's plenty to choose from.
Review Date May 15, 2003
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Ridden Trail: Ridden Once
Reviewed by: Mike Munno
, from Telluride
Summary: we left at 5 in the morning and it took us 12 hours with around 2 hours of breaks. It as a great ride. Tons of wildflowes on the whiteRim( It had just rained). It is a very exposed trail in terms of sum . Mid may would be the latest I would like to ride it. It was between 85-90 degrees with almost no shad. 10 degrees hotter and it would have been brutal. We caried around 280 ounces of fluids. This was enough but we retured with only 10 ounces left. Bring more water then you can imagine. Its easy riding except for a couple of hills. A great ride to do if your into long distances. Its amazing how much country you can cover on a bike. I have a 4 day permit in september and cant wait to explore the rim more. have fun and bring lots of H20
Recommended Route: rode this trail clockwise
Other recommended trails in the same area: take your pick
Review Date May 8, 2003
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Ridden Trail: Ridden Once
Reviewed by: Jack
, from Denver, CO
Summary: Three of us did the ride counterclockwise last weekend, starting at 7 am. at top of Horsethief and ending at Visitor's Center at 6 pm. Biggest factor was WIND. Nasty headwinds of 15 to 20 mph and gusts up to ?? [strong enough to literally stop you and/or blast you and your bike sideways a couple feet. Talking to others who have done the ride, it probably doesn't matter which way you go, if it's windy you are going to get clobbered at least 50 percent of the time as the route twists and turns above the canyons. [friends did this as a one-day, closckwise ride two weeks earlier and battled winds just as much as we did.) A little sand in places, lots of rock and hard surface; fast 4WD road. As others have stated, the limiting factor is carrying enough water; almost impossible even on a day in the 70s as we had. Counterclockwise you hit hardscrabble hill early and it seems a little easier in this direction. Murphy Hogback, in about the middle of the ride either way, also seems to be easier [not as loose] when doing it counterclockwise. BUT... counterclockwise brings you to the bottom of Shaeffer climbout after you have already ridden over 70 miles... brutal. All in all, a great ride; nothing technical, and while it is strong workout, it really isn't that bad... provided you pace yourself, and have water and food available [however] to see you through to the end. Full suspension is nice, but I was on a hardtail and that was OK too... just more being up on your legs over the rocks. Work yourself up to some longer [off road] miles though, before attempting... and know your own best pace; don't try to ride to someone else's... or it could be a long nasty day. AND watch the weather; getting caught in a violent thunderstorm could turn this otherwise pleasant ride into a nightmare. Also, don't go attempt this in one day during the summer!
Recommended Route: Clockwise/Counterclockwise... probably a trade-off; without doing connector road, there is a little more climbing doing it counterclockwise. About 80 miles without doing the connector road up on top.
Other recommended trails in the same area: all of them. Moab and Fruita area are both awesome places to ride