The weeks leading up to an adventure race always involve lots and lots of preparation. We are leaving for Abu Dhabi in just over two weeks and already we are planning what to pack, what food to bring, bike tires, etc.
After racing in the enormous sand dunes of the Arabian desert last year, we found out one of our biggest challenges was keeping the sand out of our shoes (duh!) Even our Nike Aire Structure Tirax shoes with Gore-Tex couldn’t keep all the sand out. Mike, Mona, Chris and Gordon had similar issues at their race in Brazil a few weeks ago. My solution is to order some gaiters from the folks that produce the Marathon des Sables desert race in Morocco. I figure these guys must know how to keep the sand out of their shoes. It’s that, or I’m going to order one of those sweet suits they wore in the movie Dune.lank
Hard to image much sand getting through these.
Of course, ordering the gaiters has turned into an adventure of its own. After a few calls I’ve learned that France is 8 hours ahead of Colorado, the company is only open until 2pm local time and they don’t speak any English. So, I’ll be setting the alarm for the middle of night on Sunday evening in order to reach the sales department before they head out for the day. Oh joy…
The weather here in Colorado continues to be warm and dry and the mountain biking has been great. Juniper and I have been exploring some of the country roads in the area and have found some nice dirt roads with good climbing where I can tow the Chariot. The resistance training is great for me and the scenery and cows are good entertainment for Juniper. Hopefully this pattern will continue for a few more weeks and then the snow will come in full force while we are racing, just like last year!
I’m off for some more riding!
Taking out at Gold Bar
It was off to the desert this past weekend for some more training for the Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge. Moab is the closest thing in our area to the Arabian sand dunes of the UAE, and it’s getting harder and harder to paddle and mountain bike at home as winter approaches.
I started on Saturday with a two hour paddle from Moab to Potash on the Colorado River while Ian and Juniper hiked to Corona Arch with our friends Andi, Rachel and our four rambunctious dogs.
Ian and Juniper on the way to Corona arch.
Ian and Juniper did this same hike about year ago. Look at how different Juniper looks now and then. More great photos that Nick and Rachel took on the hike here.
Castleton Tower in the distance...I'm remembering how I had to jug up that beast at Primal Quest.
Then, Ian really wanted to show me the Hazard County/UPS/LPS/Porcupine ride from the LaSal’s into town. I thoroughly enjoyed the technical singletrack descent out of the mountains along the cliffside, but afterwards I felt like I needed more climbing. So, I decided to ride the shuttle. The 30-mile ride back to the car was mostly on pavement, but there were 20-plus miles of climbing back into the La Sal Mountains, making it a pretty long slog. I enjoyed the effort and felt like I was getting some good miles in for Abu Dhabi; however, it was a relief to have some fellow bikers drive me the last 2 miles to Warner Lake as it was really dark and cold by then (and they were convinced I was crazy for riding back to the car).
The view from UPS
Ian was in the pain cave on UPS 🙂
More paddling and then riding with Juniper in the Chariot on Sunday in the warm sun rounded out the weekend. Part of me is convinced I need to move to Moab part-time, but for now I’ll have to settle with going back for Thanksgiving with Mike and Michael for some more fun.
On Thursday, Juniper and I are leaving for Maui for the XTERRA World Championships. My good friend Pam is also coming along to watch Juniper while I’m racing…Ian has to stay home and work 😦
I’ve been training as much as possible, swimming in the Hot Springs Pool, riding and running whenever I can. I’ve also been watching some training videos like this one from XTERRA World Champion, Melanie McQuaid.
It’s funny though, none of the videos I’ve found suggest chopping wood to train for XTERRA:
Hopefully, this will be my secret weapon for the race!