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Team Photo Scrapbook 2014

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Rumble at 18 Road
Fruita, Colorado - April 19, 2014

Our riders will remember this race for a long time. It may take electroshock therapy to ease the memories. For racers who were staged later in the first wave, this ride was a mud-slog extraordinaire.

This is Daniel's bike after one lap around the race course.

The course started in a broad parking area just east of 18 road, north of Fruita in the Book Cliffs area. The main race loop started on doubletrack, climbing up to a northbound ridgeline. The path then descended singletrack to 18 Road. (The rain loop turned east at this point, shortcutting over to the return route.)

The trail photos that follow were done on Friday on the pre-ride.

After a blazing descent, the narrow singletrack dumped onto 18 Road. The loop passed a large camping zone as it continued north.

This view is looking back south toward the Colorado at the point where 18 Road meets Prime Cut.

From 18 Road, Prime Cut meanders north on a fun but gentle climb. Sage brush gives way to juniper as the trail gradually becomes a tad more technical.

We're looking north toward the Book Cliffs, early on Prime Cut.

On the Friday afternoon pre-ride, cyclists approach the top of Prime Cut.

This is nice flowing singletrack. There are many fast flowing trails in the area. But I won't give you much help finding them, because Fruita is Not in Utah.

From Prime Cut, the race loop entered Chutes and Ladders. This starts with a brutal climb. On race day, nobody was riding this.
The undulating track of Chutes and Ladders is tough under the best conditions. But it was boggy mud on race day.

Phil Blair won his race by shouldering his bike (before it became too heavy with mud) and running a full two miles through this area.

On the down-side of the loop a long winding downhill singletrack heads back south. For the racers who came late in the 8 a.m. wave, even this area was a difficult sea of mud.
Race day!

Dallin gets his race plate onto the bike. A light rain is falling at 7 a.m., but it's not too cold. The riding surface is firm -- and not even slippery.

At 8 a.m., riders are staged to go up the hill. Because of the many individual groups, it was about 1/2 hour from the first start to the last group of riders. During this time, the rain steadily increased.
Dallin Hatch (3rd rider back) heads up the hill as the Cat 2 Men 19-29 category starts.
Maybe it was the rain, but a lot of riders missed their starting group. More than I've ever seen at any race.

Here Daniel Truong heads up the track, late for his Cat 2 19-29 group. Open road, with his fellow racers out of sight over the hill.


And as jackets were deployed, team riders became harder to pick out in the rain. I tried to shoot a couple of photos of every race group, hoping that a team member would be somewhere in the pack.

I didn't know that this was Phil Blair until I saw his race number in the official results. Phil took 1st in Cat 2 men 50-59.

The camera was a hit-and-miss proposition. Often the camera was fogged over from being hidden under my coat. Or it simply refused to fire.

John Twitchell climbs the hill in Cat 2 Men 40-49.

At first, it didn't seem too cold. Riders were standing in the rain in their summer jerseys, like Draeden Jensen. As temperatures fell and the rain picked up, racers put on jackets and even winter coats.

Draeden's mom bundled him into a coat by race time. Notice that at this time, about 25 minutes after the first riders went up the hill, mud is starting to stick to the tires.

Corey Spencer lowers his head to keep the rain off his glasses as the trail gets more slippery.
Now it was getting cold. All but the most prepared spectators headed for their cars. Umbrellas came out, and the race ledger went into a plastic case.

The race official reads the starting order through a plastic bag.

Denmark Jensen is easy to pick out in his UMB warmup jersey.

Because of deteriorating conditions, the race was shortened to one lap for all riders. But for the racers who were already uphill on Chutes and Ladders, it was too late to shorten the course and save them from the mud.

The first few riders seemed to come through with only splash-type mud on their bikes and bodies. They got through before the rain had fully soaked into the mud, and thereby escaped the buildup of sludge that stopped riders only 10 minutes further back.

Notice the timing clock is at 44 minutes. These first bikes were barely splashed. It got worse in a hurry.

Here's Dallin's bottom bracket. There's a crank in there somewhere. Constant rubbing of mud-on-mud between tire and frame.
Daniel's rear derailleur. The derailleur will have some wear, but should be OK. The chain has lost about a year of routine wear, and probably needs to be replaced. Cables? Probably should replace cables and housing, too.
Those with broad clearances between tire and frame, and those with disc brakes, fared better. Here's Dallin's front tire. Hope the shock seals made it.

The rain let up for about an hour, and the ground began to firm up. Race officials decided to do multiple laps on a short loop (the 10-12 category loop) for the 11:00 race.

Corey Spencer sucked his chain and broke his derailleur hanger. It was a long long long hike back. But Corey got an official finish with 2nd place in his category. So it pays to keep going.

I passed riders who were still hiking back from the first race almost FOUR hours after they'd left.

Several of our riders were waiting for the 11 a.m. race. Most made the intelligent decision to save their bikes, and their bodies, as their team mates came back covered in mud and blood. Mitt Stewart, Katy Nafus, Rick Morris, and Joe Benson became cheerleaders.

As conditions improved, Bruce made a late decision to "go for a ride" and heads toward the start line. Unknown to Bruce, the second wave had been changed to a mass start. So even though it's 10 minutes before his scheduled start time, the other riders left 5 minutes ago.

All riders did five laps around a 3.6-mile loop with around 200 vertical feet of climbing per loop. Light rain resumed, but nothing these riders faced was that bad.

Tim Wagstaff heads toward the start-finish area on his first of five laps. Regardless of category, for the second wave the race was 18 miles with 1100 feet of climbing. This is a different bike for Tim, as he rode singlespeed for this race.

By lap five, the sun was shining and the ground was dry. Bruce was soaked, not with rain, but with sweat under his warmup jacket as he became overdressed for a humid 68 degrees.
Phil Blair is our top finisher with a first place. Dallin Hatch took a third.

More photos of this race (in full resolution) are posted at

Results for the UMB race team:
Phil Blair          - 1st M50-59 Cat 2
Dallin Hatch     - 3rd M19-29 Cat 2
Daniel Truong  - 5th M19-29 Cat 2
John Twitchell  - 4th M45-49 Cat 2
Bruce Argyle    - 3rd M60-plus Cat 1/2/3 open
Corey Spencer - 2nd M40-49 Cat 3 with a hike
Tim Wagstaff    - 4th Singlespeed

Draeden Jensen  - bogged in mud, DNF
Denmark Jensen - drivetrain lockup, DNF
Mitt Stewart - elected not to race
Katy Nafus - "present"
Rick Morris - elected not to race
Joe Benson - elected not to race

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