Wright Training member Kris Shean did some serious mountain biking down South. She was part of an organized 146 mile ride on the Kokopelli Trail. The ride started in Fruita, Colorado and finished in Moab, Utah. Kris has been training in the Run and Bike Fitness progression course to prepare for the long ride. Recently, Wright Training caught up with Kris with some “Q and A”. Check out her responses below!
What was the event? How long? Where?
It was an organized ride. 146 miles (with some extra loops for those who could do it – I only did 85 miles total) Started in Fruita, CO. to Moab, UT on the Kokopelli Trail. The first day was the most technical riding before lunch. Then on jeep trails. The second day was a combo of jeep trails, pavement and some single track, but not as technical, except for riding in the willows along the Colorado River. Steering around rocks and making sure not to get clotheslined was a challenge. The third day there was two choices. 5000 vertical feet gain or riding out Onion Creek with twenty creek crossings and twenty miles on the highway to Moab. We chose the creek crossings, it was so much fun. I felt like a kid again!
The first day was really technical. I was way in over my head. There were lots of small ledges and rocks on the trail that made for challenging riding. I am not very good at “popping the curb”. There were also stretches of the trail that was too steep for biking up and we had to haul our bikes over rocks or down steep hills with lots of “baby heads”. Definitely not my favorite terrain to bike on. It was also getting into the 90’s the first two days. Too hot for me.
How did the run and bike fit progression prepare you for the race? Mentally? Physically?
Working out in the gym definitely help with my stamina and endurance. Off the single track when we had pavement or old jeep trails to ride. I felt strong and could ride forever. The gym also help with recovery. I felt really good the next morning. Felt strong and ready to go. Mental toughness is something I have a lot of. That comes from years in the gym. I play mental games with myself too. Thinking to myself, “you only have 10 more miles to go, that’s like riding around Southpark”. By the time there was three miles to go, I knew in my mind how far that is up Cache Creek. It’s tough to describe mental toughness or how to teach someone. It is something that comes from years of work and builds up over time. Mental toughness comes from within. I may be a turtle, but I’ll get it done. Speed doesn’t matter to me. It’s the accomplishment of finishing something the best way I can. And if that means calling for support because I am in over my head……well that’s ok because I did my best.
Would you do something like it again?
Maybe if I can take some clinics to improve in my technical skills and do a trip in the fall after being on my bike all summer. It’s tough to train on single track around Jackson late winter/spring. I drove to Dubois and Pocatello to mountain bike and get on dirt. Prior to the trip, I probably only logged about 15 miles on dirt. I had enough miles logged in for the easy riding. If the Kokopelli was all jeep trails and pavement, I would have done great.
Any suggestions for people looking to do something similar?
Make sure you have the technical skills. I would totally recommend Bikerpelli as the outfit to go with . Very professional. A great staff and really good food.