09/03/06

Location =  Moab UT  
Distance =  38.84
Time =  3:27:10
Ave. Speed =  11.2
Max. Speed =  34.0
Monthly Dist. =    83.95
Yearly Dist. =  2442.86

Day 3 in Moab, and my goal is to try and find the 24 hour race course, and get a feel for how tough it is going to be. I have a map that I downloaded from the website, but it's crude, and does not include landmarks. The site of the race is 12 miles south of town, so I head down the highway, on an adequate shoulder. I'm the only idiot that drives for hours to get to Moab, and then rides his mountain bike down the side of the highway, for miles. Even worse, I began to feel a wobble from my rear tire, and I realized that I had a flat. I stopped to check it out, and I pulled a metal staple out of my tire. A couple of drops of slime oozed out of the hole, and I cross my fingers and hope that I can just add some air, and the slime will seal up the hole, without actually having to replace the tube. I ride easy for a couple of miles, and much to my delight, my plan works, and the tire holds.

I finally reach the turnoff, at the top of a hill, and the area is called, "Behind the Rock". It's a beautiful place in the National Forest, but I can quickly see that trying to find the race course is going to be hopeless. According to my map, the start is about 2 miles in, but after that, it's a needle in a haystack. I can see the general area where everyone is going to be camping, but beyond that, I have no clue. The landscape is completely carved up by four wheel drives, atvs, and two wheel drives, and there is not a trail marker anywhere to be found. I decide that it is a beautiful day, and I'll just keep heading up the road, and see where it goes.

I could see a brown spot in the distance, and closer inspection showed me a pretty cool area of sand dunes. I took a power bar break in the sun for a while, and just laid in the sand. It was quite peaceful, until a couple of atv riders came by and shattered the silence. They didn't stick around very long, and neither did I, deciding to make the trip back to town, having failed in my objective of finding the race course. I'll have to ride it the day before the race, and hope for the best.

The ride out to the highway had a beautiful view of a big mountain for me to enjoy, and then that was followed by a long downhill trip back to town. I hadn't realized how much uphill I had climbed to get to the race area, but it was certainly a lot faster going back, than it had been on the way out.

Once back in civilization, I took another break by a creek next to a gravel pit. The water was clear, and there were even some tiny little fish in there. The day was sunny, and it warmed up from the 80s to the 90s.




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