To quote Curiak, “a challenge is something I’m not quite sure I can do.” This Trans Utah concept is becoming a challenge in many ways.
The original concept was to have something that would make a good shakedown roughly 2 months prior to GDR. Big problems with that though: it limits elevation to ~ 7k’ (april snow up high), and an April race date will force riders to choose between Scott’s AZT race and Trans Utah. But the real deal killer: there’s a massive chunk of real estate between StG and Moab that is made up entirely of sand. Unrideable sand. Improved/paved roads are the only way through by bike.
Creative redirection this weekend yielded some pleasant surprise finds – and ideas. The fall is crispy dry in southern Utah; the deserts and the mountains are rideable and pleasant. So why not shoot for an October date, remove the elevation restriction and AZT conflict?
It’s an evolving process, but I’m leaning heavily towards an early – mid Oct ’08 start. Level of effort along the lines of GLR, perhaps a bit more. First half in ’08, StG to Escalante, 2nd half in ’09, full route in ’10. Start training now.
Not many viewpoints will go untouched by this route.