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The Wild Horse

April 25 2020
Delle, Utah, USA

The Wild Horse will travel around and over the Cedar Mountain Wilderness, located 45 minutes west of Salt Lake City on I-80. Zero miles of pavement. All dirt and gravel roads. You will cover 76 miles and climb 5,000 feet.

The entire route is on county-maintained roads that are usually passable by any 2wd vehicle. The first nine miles are rolling uphill leading to the first real climb, up and over Hasting Cutoff Pass. Descend from the 5,775 foot summit to the west side of  the Cedars, and begin a rolling, fast ride south. At mile 38 the second climb, up and over Rydalch Pass, begins. Rydalch summit, at a little over 6,000 feet, is the highest point on the route. Descend to the east bench and begin the long, winding return. A rest stop at mile 54 provides a welcome break. You cross past the base of the Hastings climb again at mile 67. From there, it is mostly downhill, fast and smooth, for the 9 miles back to the finish.

Little Wild Horse

Not up for the full deal? Try the Little Wild Horse. Route is 31 miles and 1,800 feet of climbing, including many of the same roads as The Wild Horse. Just a touch of pavement. Same start and finish area.

From the start, the Little Wild Horse heads west, parallel to I-80, before turning southwest. A gradual climb takes you to the aid station at mile 15, and the start of the Hastings Cutoff Pass. Climb from the aid station to reach the Hastings Summit, at 5,775 feet. The Stansbury mountains are directly in front of you to the east. Enjoy the descent from Hastings to the main eastside road. Nine miles from here to the finish, almost all downhill, often a fast false-flat. 

Which bike?

Going the full distance? Use a mountain bike. The real question should be "which tires?"

Bike selection will certainly be something deserving of some thought, but a MTB is really the best way to go. Comfort over several hours is paramount. The entire route is unpaved. 

In some sections a CX bike goes like a rocket on the hardpacked dirt. There are two descents where disc brakes and the cush of full suspension are welcomed. I have ridden the Little Wild Horse on a carbon CX bike, 700c x 33 tires, 48/38 rings and 11-36 cassette. Did it, but wished I had more tire on the descent. And I only rode 31 miles that day.

If you do not have at least 35c tires, you will very likely have a hard time keeping air in your tires. There are fast road sections where you will easily top 25 mph but they also have large rocks lurking. Hit one at that speed with a CX race tire and it will fail. No fun.

You might be surprised how much tire you can fit in the front of a CX race fork. I can easily fit a Kenda Slant Six 29 x 1.8 in the front. I have run it at 30-35 psi for laps on the Little Wild Horse. Big improvement!

Most comfortable has been a dual suspension MTB, but it was slower on some of the fast roads. Trade-offs, of course.

For sure you will want sealant in your tires and very good lube on your chain. There are spiky things out there, and the dust is hard on the chain. Don't skip either of those two. Each aid station will have additional lube, sealant and limited tools and a pump for all to use.

Strava segments

If you like to play along on Strava, you will find two climbing segments created for The Wild Horse and one for the Little Wild Horse. Under segment search, type Wild Horse and options will start to appear. For those of you new to Strava, it is free to sign up, free to upload activities, and can work with a GPS-enabled cycling computer or a smart phone.

Routes: 31,76 miles
Difficulty of Greatest Route: D - Difficult terrain with longer, steeper hills

Registration will open on February 15. Registration limited to first 300 participants in any combination of The Wild Horse and Little Wild Horse. For The Wild Horse, $75 before April 5, 2016. $85 from April 5 - April 27, 2016.

For Little Wild Horse, $65 before April 5, 2016. $75 from April 5 - April 27, 2016. will handle registration, and their $5 online registration fee is already rolled into these prices. You will encounter no additional registration fees.

No registration after April 27 or the cap is reached, whichever comes first.

No refunds, no rain checks. 

What's Included?

Sunny and 80 might not sound too bad, but few of us have seen these conditions yet this year. Show up with your bottles filled! There will be plenty of ice and water at each aid station, as well as Hammer Nutrition HEED drink mix and a limited supply of Hammer Endurolytes Fizz tablets. Sunscreen and other snacks, too, of course. Drink up!

Prize / Race Categories

Prize drawing table

Rims from Stans NoTubes, tires from Kenda Tires USA, cleaning and lube products from ProGold Bikes, great clothing from KUHL, outstanding Hy/Rd brakes from TRP, gift certificates from Flynn Cyclery, BikeFitr and Gear Rush, Hammer Nutrition product, bike storage solutions from Feedback Sports, gloves, backpack and lantern from Black Diamond, shoes from Keen .... The prize drawing table will be loaded. And every dollar of every additional ticket will go directly to the NICA Utah League Scholarship Fund. More tickets will be available at check-in.

Gimme Five!

Catch the cash rabbit, say "gimme five!" and he'll peel off a $5 bill for you. You have to catch him before the top of Hastings Pass, at mile 15, and he gets a 5 minute head start. Don't worry, he won't be going too fast. There will be some cash for the Little Wild Horse, too.

Start Address: Delle UT 84029
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Tag: thewildhorse
Apr 25 2020 - EVENT: The Wild Horse