80% of the roads are unpaved, and gravel graded. If they have recently been bladed the gravel can be deep in places especially the shoulders. If they haven’t been bladed recently washboards and ruts are common. Between Lucin and Wendover the roads can be very rough, with deep washboards. In the Hamlin Valley spring run-off often runs across the road and sandtraps are frequent and deep. Most riders will have to walk across some of the deepest sections. Modena Canyon and Enterprise Reservoir areas are fast with steep drop-offs along the side of the road, watch your speed especially after dark. The 20% pavement follows state roads and highways. Cars and trucks on this roads will be moving at desert highway speeds, make sure they can see you.
Average temperatures in May tend to be 70 on the high side and 40 on the low, but can, of course, be higher or lower. Rain and light snow are possible. With the rain you can expect the normally dry stream beds that cross the road to be full of water, these are not deep but can be swift and full of debris. 30-degree shifts between day and night temperatures are common, whether riding or sleeping be prepared for a cold night near freezing.
Water is scarce. There are occasional ranches, water troughs, and stream beds but you should not count on their availability. Known water sources are Almo, Grouse Creek, Wendover, Border, Modena, Enterprise and Beaver Dam. Distances between these known water sources are between 80 and 100 miles. Having capacity for and carrying 1 gallon of water between the long stretches is highly recommended.
The route details will be provided in both GPS and cue sheet format to participants. Signage, in general, is scarce and road markers are nearly non-existent. Use of a GPS and back-up maps is highly encouraged. Know how to read a map and plot your location on it before you start the ride. Turns are easy to miss and people are regularly lost in the West Desert. As mentioned below don’t rely on cell phones for anything, maybe 10% of the total route has cell coverage.
Wild horses are abundant along the race route, as well as deer and antelope. Hawks and eagles are also fairly common to see out hunting for jackrabbits. Although rarely seen during the day, you can expect coyotes to be very vocal yipping, howling and barking at night around your bivy site.
SPOT or other satellite-based tracking devices are highly encouraged. Cell phones will not work on most of the route. The major water stops will all generally have cell coverage as well as businesses with phones (except for Modena).
The organizers will help and other riders should help in an emergency situation. Having said that, don’t count on others to be there to help you. You should come to the race ready to deal with whatever situation you find yourself in. Have a back-up plan and a back-up to that plan. First responders can be potentially hours away if they know where to find you. Extraction insurance is relatively cheap and not a bad idea.
If you need transfers to or from the start and finish locations, pick-up and drop off service is available from Saint George Express. They will transport bikes but ask for advance notice so they can plan for the additional space needed. The Burley, Idaho and Mesquite, Nevada stops are near the start and finish. Other riders may also be coordinating rides to the start or from the end. As we get closer to the event we’ll post additional options on this site.
Pre-Race Riders Dinner
Not required but we highly encourage riders to attend the pre-race riders dinner at the Almo Creek Outpost Steak House in Almo. Dinner will start at 6pm May 24, 2018. Casual opportunity to get to know one another and compare notes before the race starts in the morning.