The Utah mixed epic
The Utah Mixed Epic is based on the concept of a rotating showcase of challenging and scenic riding within Utah, rolled into a grassroots grand depart style event each fall.
Each year, the route will be modified (to the extent, TBD) splicing together different segments or areas of the state. The overarching goal will strive to be point to point, aim for ~1,000 miles of challenging riding on a wide variety of surfaces (mainly off-road) that consistently changes terrain and ecosystems.
For 2020, the concept is seeing a slight deviation. 2020 route develop was heavily weighted towards a southeastern trajectory to showcase Moab and the Bears Ears National Monument. However, given pandemic challenges, the Inter-Tribal Coalition requests the public to avoid visitation to the area. The 2020 route will be ~850 miles and 76,000 feet of climbing.
How mixed is "mixed"? You'll encounter mostly everything you can think of. The off-road surfaces will include hyper smooth kitty litter, mild chunk, moderate chunk, HAB gradients, slick rock slabs and sand surfing (all technical terms, of course). A touch of single track included for safe measure. Likely some B and C class roads.
The perfect rig is one that can manage a wide range of surface conditions, and is not over geared towards a specific one only. Riders will have to make compromises depending on what is most important to them. A very capable gravel bike, drop bar mountain bike, or possibly a rigid 29er are likely the best options. If you want some squish, you'll enjoy sections a bit more, but it's probably not necessary. Our guidance is at a minimum a 40c tire setup tubeless with hydraulic disc brakes. Utah climbs can be also be steep and long (and at elevation), so choose your gearing wisely.
The grand depart is scheduled for Friday, September 4th, 2020 at 6:00 am MST from Salt Lake City.
Registration is full and closed for 2020. Registration for 2021 will likely open sometime around March/April.
Email Nextgearadventurecycling@gmail.com with any questions you may have.
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