One of the best things about the Dixie’s is the people it attracts. A small, talented group toed the start. Everyone’s kit looked tight and pro. It’s amazing how far bikepacking has come in a few short years.
Left to right: Eszter, Ken, Sara, Taylor, Aaron.
Since I had to be back in St George Sat evening I chose different ride for the day – one that put me on top of Powell Point when the leaders arrived.
Aaron was first up:
Followed shortly by Eszter.
They were carrying spots – with bluedot I knew when they’d be up there, and who was coming next. It appeared nobody – so I rode the route to Tropic with Ez. What a blast! Super fun 2 hour descent, it throws a little of everything at you.
Ken and Sara on the way up Powell Point looking snappy (they don’t have a spot):
Ez on the Henderson Canyon descent
Looking the other direction on the trail…I finally discovered my droid was set on blue tint, doh!
Aaron about ready to roll south of Tropic
They are in the thick of the hardest part of the route. Very remote and the southern exposure can make it feel warmer than it actually is. It is gorgeous down there tho! We’ll see what the day brings, but I don’t think we’ll see any finishers before dark.
Follow the race progress at http://trackleaders.com/dixie200
I like the blue tint!
No finishers before dark? It’s a tougher 175 miles than last year eh?
Much, much harder. The southern traverse of the Paunsaugunt on the Grandview is beautiful, but very slow and taxing. I’ve only raced it once (Paunsaugunt enduro in ’09), the 22 miles of Grandview trail + Crawford pass trail took me 5.5 hours. Ez is in the middle of that right now and Aaron is just getting started. There is a lot more trail once they finish those sections too. I just looked up my notes from the day I raced it:
“Tough route! Tons of hike a bike, friggin hard. Have I said it was hard? Fun and beautiful. Hot on the southern traverse.”
Beyond that, there is 24k’ vert in 173 miles. Great stuff for the truly masochistic ;)
Thanks for the midrace report, Dave. Looks like Kirk is doing his own thing, but having a heckuva ride as always too.
Ez is cruising, and has a Hornet 24 – nice!
Not much hiking last year. Really only the Spruce trail. I wish I was out there today, I’m jealous of the little pins on the map.
Just looking at the route a bit more…
Once they descend into Tropic the hard miles are over. That ATV route form Tropic to TH is smooth like butter, although it will seem like eternity if it’s dark and the legs are blown! LW and I camped at the end of that stretch last year. TH at dawn was mind blowing. Maybe that’s how Ez and Aaron will finish tomorrow morning. Although based on their Spots, they could finish around midnight tonight. Strong riding!
Tropic Res. I should say…
Looks like an awesome race you guys are doing over there… thought you might like to check this out… arguably the toughest MTB stage race on the planet according to Craig Ritchey!
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