Sushi on a brevet!  We’ll get to that later.

The forecast was for 86 degrees and light winds. It sounded almost too good to be true, and who would believe it after the crappy winter we’ve had. We’ll, much to the delight of 14 brevet riders on Saturday that’s pretty much what it was. About half of the riders were new to brevets so I guess it took a nice day to lure them into the sport. Winter has been pretty wet this year in southern Utah and as a result everything is green and the streams are full of water.  Cruising the backroads of red rock country on a warm spring day with a backdrop of snowy peaks is a fine thing to do.

Water water everywhere.

Matthew Campbell

 There is a surprising amount of water in this area. Riders start off crossing the Santa Clara River almost immediately, then ride across the Virgin. The route continues along the Virgin River for a few miles then wanders through irrigated alfalfa fields before crossing the Virgin again. Over Quail Creek and around Sand Hollow Reservoir then through the fruit orchards on the way into Hurricane. Cross the Virgin again on the way into La Verkin and North Creek before Rockville and then you pretty much follow the Virgin River all the way to the head of Zion Canyon where it issues out from the side of the mountain in a slot called “The Narrows.”

Free Park day!

This day just happened to be free entry day into Zion National Park. All visitors entered for free! I would like to claim that I had planned it this way but I cannot say that honestly. Good luck trumps good planning any day though. Another plus is that after April 1 each year there are no private vehicles allowed in Zion Canyon. The free shuttle buses were running but other than that cyclists had the roads to themselves. It is amazing how quite the canyon is during this time.

Sushi on a brevet?

Joe Lansing

Now, I know there are lots of events that offer great support but even I am surprised by this one. I provide pretty basic services on my events, nothing fancy. Water, drinks and a few snacks most riders can expect to get at some point. The routes are designed however so that there are good opportunities to access shops and services at many points. At Sol Foods Market at control #3 while I was sitting in the sun watching for incoming riders, I was surprised to see one of my riders come strolling out with a plate of sushi! I guess I never really thought about it but it would make a pretty good brevet food. You probably won’t find much sashimi or makizushi at the typical gas stations or minimarts where you stop on most brevets but on the Zion Canyon 200k it’s no problem!

 Trifecta.

Near perfect weather, spectacular scenery and gourmet food, there was hardly anything one could complain about. There must have been some problems however because we did have a couple of DNF’s. Riders finished up along the shores of Quail Lake and finally following the Virgin River bike path back to the start/finish. Congratulations to all those who rode today. Even some of those who did not finish did accomplish a personal best for distance. 13 official starters, 11 finishers.

Results are here

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