So, this Utah grad, and current Phd student created a ride that goes from Eagle Mountain to Wendover. If we lived closer I’d definitely be up for attempting the ride. Having done LOTOJA a couple of times, that would be a picnic compared to 200+ on dirt roads.
I’ve spent a lot of time on the Pony Express trail there and seen a lot of amazing things. It is an unconventional beauty out there. I actually wonder if I came across those guys in 2015 - there was a group of cyclists I came across near the geode beds. Chatted with them for like 3 minutes and they just said they were buddies doing a few day trip.
I had teammates do this last year who managed to finish. They said it was indeed stupid hard. I’m looking to buy a gravel grinder this spring so I can go play in the dirt on a road-like bike. I suspect that like Lotoja this is really a test of your willingness to suffer for hours without pulling the plug. For comparison, the Men’s winner at Lotoja usually comes in at under 9 hours, last year’s winner for the Stupid Pony came in at just under 14. My fastest ever Lotoja time is ~11 hours, if it’s the same adjustment we’re talking at least 18 hours of saddle time, quite an undertaking.
I have a friend who every year rides from Salt Lake to St George and on some occasions from the Wyoming border (up Chalk Creek Canyon in Coalville) to the Arizona border straight. They time it to ride through the night for the hottest parts. Brutal.
My best time for LOTOJA, one year (2002) that it ended in Idaho instead of going up Snake River Canyon, was 8.5hrs or so. But I had stopped racing it after positioning myself poorly on a climb and got gapped and could never get back on. I was in great shape, but made a mental error, and paid for it.
I suspect that I’d be out on Stupid Pony for 15 or so hours. I wish we lived out West again, to at least try. Altitude does make a difference for events like this. We currently are at, maybe 200ft above sea level. Salt Lake is approx 4200ft. It takes your body 2 to 3 weeks to acclimate to altitude.
Regardless, it looks fun. FWIW look up my website. I may have a frame (carbon) in stock that fits you. I also have a couple of demos up for sale right now too. Sorry about the plug, but I can help.
Soul-crushing endurance cycling event? Looks like fun! I’d love to give it a try. I’ve seen this grow from just a few people the first year to a much bigger event last year with some pretty decent sponsors.
I’d love to have this event come back as well, it will give you a taste of the west desert without being nearly as long: The course — The Wild Horse (cancelled last year due to Covid, and haven’t seen any announcements for this year yet), I tried it a few years ago and had a stupid crash early on when I wasn’t watching where I was going. I ended up spraining multiple joints in my hand and wrist. I couldn’t finish once the adrenaline wore off and I couldn’t grip my bars anymore.
My little brother lives in the Dallas area and did Lotoja with me 7 times. He’d come up the week before to acclimate but it was never enough time. As you say, it’s a big, big deal. I always get gapped going up Strawberry. This year I’m eligible to ride with the 55+ group and am thinking about giving it another go. Of course, at my age the folks that are still racing tend to be serious about it, so I may do no better than when I was in the 45+ group, eh?
Today I learned about Quattro Assi bikes. Who knew? Fun back story on that brand. I’ve been thinking I’d pick up a used Specialized Diverge but when the time comes I’ll look into one of yours. They look like fun bikes and if it ain’t fun, why ride it?
I started doing Lotoja when it was about 500 riders total - my last time was massively crowded in my estimation and zapped most of the fun from it. (For perspective, my first time I registered the day before, was able to get a hotel without issue both in Logan and Jackson).
My cousin was also the guy who passed away a few years back after riding off the bridge. A real freak accident and tragedy. Since then I’ve basically sworn off Lotoja, I have no desire to put that kind of toll of bringing up bad memories for loved ones. Oh… and I also have no desire to put in that level of training anymore and wouldn’t be satisfied with just ‘riding’ the event.
Wow, I had no clue that was your brother. I don’t blame you for swearing it off. I swore it off, more or less, since officiating it a few times. Brent, the promoter, should change it over to a Gran Fondo. It’d take much of the headache out of it for almost everyone.
I have some of the history of Quattro Assi as part of the blog on my site. I don’t even have half of the info up. Just about any of the long term racers in the Salt Lake Valley can tell you about the Einstein’s guys and their Quattros. If they weren’t on Quattros they were on Rogues.
Actually my cousin, but yeah… an extremely rough and traumatic thing to have happen. He was a very experienced rider, nobody knows exactly what happen, other than it was a combination of freak instances.
I read an article on his crash. It seemed like a rather odd situation.
On a more positive LOTOJA experience. I was supporting a couple of riders the year that Scott Moniger set a speed record. It was a combination of him being really well trained, a tail wind, and him using a rear disc wheel to help with aerodynamics. Brent gave him $1000 for setting the record, and I think entry to the race whenever he wanted it. The only times I saw Scott was at the start, and presentation the next day.