Full Throttle Round Valley & Big Boy Big Wheels

This year the Full Throttle Midweek Mountain Bike Series added Round Valley as the venue for the first 4 races, then it moves back home to Solitude. I've never mountain biked Round Valley so I decided to race, figuring if nothing else I'll get to ride some new single-track.

After changing clothes and registering I warmed up a bit and got in line by Andy who gave me a good idea what the course would be like - thanks! Mark N. and Mark A. were two rows up.

I did my usual slow start up the gravel road. Nearing the end of the road section I looked back and discovered I was dead last. My pride kicked in and I passed two riders before the single-track started. I passed a few more riders on this flat-ish section then settled in behind a racer going my speed.

At the switchbacked climb I was surprised to see Mark N. up ahead. He went out so fast I thought he must be having a good day and I'd never see him again. We sat on his wheel for a while and then passed him when there was room.

We climbed over the top and then hit the swoopy, mostly banked downhill. It was good single-track, but the combo of my lack of downhill boldness and not knowing the trail meant I was cautious and slow. The rider in front of me opened up a gap. Half way down I gained some confidence and started gaining on him.

We passed the lap junction and now back on the flat-ish section I slowly caught him and hung on his wheel. I needed a rest. At the switchbacked climb I decided I better pass and hope I could open up a good gap up the climb because he did better on the downhill on the first lap. It worked, but that push hurt.

I did better on the downhill on the 2nd lap. I'm still a wimp, but I took the corners faster and pedaled hard out of each one. I was sure he was going to catch me. I almost blew past the left trail fork. I kept the speed up and headed down from the lap junction. Blew the first sharp corner and almost the 2nd. Finally I could see the finish and gave one last push.

Mark A. was there. He had a pretty good race and finished 4th.

Mark N. rolled in and explained how his fast start had taken it's toll and he'd blown up. Done that, not fun.

After the race I chatted with other riders and hung around for the prizes (didn't win anything this time). Loaded the bike in the car and headed for home via Heber and Provo Canyon.

But that's not the end of the story.

Elden (Fat Cyclist) recently organized a 100 mile ride to nowhere. One of the participants, Ryan, is an old friend of Elden's and just for fun he rode his Trek Mod (a Big Wheel for big kids) for the final lap. Intrigued I read Ryan's blog post and commented about a video I found on YouTube posted the day before of some guys riding down Squaw Peak Road on Mods. He knew the guys in the video, and informed me they were having a group Mod ride tonight and they'd set me up with a Mod if I wanted to give it a try. So tempting, but I'd committed to the Full Throttle race.

But on my way down Provo Canyon I saw a truck with a big trailer and I was sure it was the Mod riders. So I flipped around and pulled along side.

"Is this the Mod ride?"



"Are you Kris?"


"I'm Ryan."

"Have a good ride guys."

And they were off up the road. Must have been more than 10 people piled in the truck. I'll bet they had a good time.

Here's the video I mentioned. At 10 minutes it's kind of long, but it's worth watching the whole thing to get the flow of the ride. Some highlights to watch for: lots of drifting, a battery added to the back for extra weight, a few blown corners, oncoming cars and cyclists, 360 spin, banking up high on a dirt sidehill, blowing a rear tire near the end. It looks way fun and reminds me of MarioKart.

This just in - another video. Shot in high def. (Saw it on Ryan's blog.)


eber said...

the MOD rides down Squaw has fleshburger written all over it.

Ski Bike Junkie said...

I'd try the mod, but only with full face helmet and armor. You're welcome to borrow mine if you want to give it a go.

I take it those things have free wheels and brakes?

KanyonKris said...

I agree, armor is a smart move.

Yes, the Mod has a a freewheel and front brake. I'm not sure how having only a front brake works on those high speed downhill runs.

JoshuaMcC said...

I seen a lot of cool stuff in my day. But that.....was........awesome!

Anonymous said...

Where do u buy the trek mod 3