The 2007 Moab Century was an epic. Michele, Greg and I started
about 7:45 in rain. I always ride at my own pace so Greg and I were
leap-frogging most of the day and Michele was a ways back. When we
started the climbing at about 20 miles it started raining harder and soon
turned into snow and finally blizzard conditions where we topped out at
8700 feet after some steep, nasty climbing. They closed that
section of the course a few minutes after Greg and I started down
because too many people were getting in trouble with the cold.
The descent was one of the most miserable experiences of my life. You
wanted to go fast to get down quickly, but because of the conditions and
the fact that we were bordering on hypothermia and frostbite we had to
go slowly. My gloves were soaked, my fingers were frozen solid, and at
times I was shaking uncontrollably. We had to stop every couple of
minutes because our hands would get too cold to use the brakes effectively.
Some people just started walking and we even saw people huddling together in
the ditch just trying to stay out of the wind. Eventually several
hundred people (including Michele) had to be rescued and driven back to
town due to cold related issues. The group organizers were calling all the
outfitters in town to get buses, vans, personal vehicles, and whatever else
they could get to haul people back to town.
Greg and I made it down to a lower aid station where they had started a
fire, but unfortunately there were so many people that it was impossible
to get close to the fire for long. I did manage to thaw my fingers out
some and it was painful as hell. After getting what warmth we could
from the fire we headed back down to the river and by the time we got
there the rain had stopped and the weather was clearing so we decided to
carry on with the ride rather than start back to town. It was another
14 miles out to the last aid station (Dewey Bridge) and then we retraced
our path back to town for 30+ miles against a very strong headwind.
Because of where we parked it ended up only being about 97 miles for us.