Friday, July 20, 2012


You know I love a good challenge, and you also know that I love the geekier side of cycling with all the gadgets and record keeping. Well, I found something that incorporates both. The Rapha Circle of Death Challenge. 
The challenge goes for 8 days but because I don't ride on Sunday I only have 6 days to complete the 22,575  vertical feet.
As a guy that has never been known for my climbing ability, (I was blessed with a body built for Greco-Roman wrestling) it has been an interesting change to go looking for long climbs and looking forward to every foot of vertical that I can find.

I had done about 100 miles and 7000' feet between Monday and Tuesday and I had Wednesday pegged as a day for some good climbing. I had heard stories that the road to Kolob Reservoir was a beast of a climb with some parts having a gradient north of 20%. 

I started at 5:15am from the Maverick, Adventures First Stop,  in LaVerkin. By the time the sun came up i was well up the climb, looking at the silhouette of Zion National Park.

My phone lens was a little foggy with precipitation. 

This is looking toward the steepest part of the climb, at one point I was standing up, grinding out 2 mph. 

Hop Valley in between the big climbs.

Every mile of this ride has incredible views and virtually no traffic. This was a little over half way and I had seen 4 vehicles.

You will notice that I am in 8th place, no great feat since there are only 8 participants for that climb.

After 30 miles, 3:30 hrs and 5160 ft of vertical I made it to Kolob Reservoir which sits right at 8000' elevation. It only took an hour and 30 minutes to get back to the car. 

It's Friday now, I just finished today's ride which leaves me with 2,400 feet to complete the challenge. So barring any catastrophic events I will finish tomorrow morning. This has actually been a very enjoyable week, I really like scheming and planning rides, I like the suffering in the middle of the ride, I like the feeling of finishing a ride.  
Now I am going to go and try to coerce the homies to go ride it again next Saturday. This time I would like to move up to 7th place. 

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