First, the Covid Things
Do I have to wear a mask?
Party the night before, right? Amiright?
I’ve already got enough to think about at registration, so how are you distancing people there?
This is a mass start event, right? So how does that work?
What do we do at aid stations? I want snacks, not diseases.
When I’ve crossed the finish line, will people hug me?
Can I draft?
I’m doing the Stupid Pony and I’m getting a lift back to the start. What are you doing to keep me safe and what do I need to do to keep safe?
You must wear a mask at our events when social distancing isn’t possible. We’re guests in Wendover and spreading disease there won’t play well. You have to wear a mask at the start, at the finish, when standing in lines, you get the picture. If in doubt, whip the mask out. You DON’T need to wear a mask while riding. Utah and Nevada both have mask mandates and we will happily DQ you if you are seen disrespecting them. Again, we’re guests.
Good news, everyone! Thanks to the power of positive thinking and masks, we’re going to host a limited version of the Coachella-meets-Dune party that we’ve always imagined! Festivities start with registration pick-up at 5pm.
Registration is the easy part. We’ll have you wait in line (marked out every six feet) and pick up one part of your registration from a series of tables. That way, everyone moves through quickly and no one has to be too close together. You are required to wear a nose-and-mouth-covering actual mask (none of that “minimally-compliant” nonsense) while registering. No mask = no check-in. You’ll move in a line from table to table and then head back to your car or camp to put on your plates. Same thing goes for both the Stupid Pony and the Salty Lizard 100, except it’ll be colder and darker at the Pony.
Yeah, starting is a little more complicated, but not much. At both rides, we’ll start everyone off in a starting grid that’s marked on the ground in the starting corral. Masking is mandatory in the corral. The idea is to get most of every category through all at once – we’ll announce each category and that category will head to the corral. If there aren’t enough spots for everyone, we’ll divide the categories up. Keep in mind, your overall time is determined by your time through the arches at the start and finish, so you don’t necessarily need to head out with the rest of your category in order to win it. Once you’re out on course, concentrate very hard on having fun.
For the Salty Lizard 100, riders will pull up to the station and hang out in distanced queues to wait for snacks. Just to make sure that everything moves along, we’ll have multiple lines for each station. We’re also going to bring back the funnels so that we can use coolers without sharing germs from the spigots and bottles. For the Stupid Pony, we don’t anticipate the need for lines, but we’ll have queues set up just in case. We’ll have the same assortment of jugs and snacks set up with the volunteers hanging back except to refill the jugs and such.
No. You will be gross. But more than that, we’re going to try to make sure that no one clumps up. With that in mind, we’re going to shoo people down the hill from the finish at Ana Smith back to the start at the Museum. When you get back to the museum, we will give you your finisher’s medal and you can check out our raffle to see how you fared.
Go for it. The science concerning drafting is pretty thin, other than one famous Dutch aerodynamics model that has been criticized for being somewhat misleading. Since COVID infection is generally acknowledged to be dose-depended (the more you inhale, the greater your risk of infection), and since there’s an enormous quantity of air churning through even heavy breathing outside, you’re probably fine working with other riders. If you’re doing the Stupid Pony and you can find someone to draft with, well, wow.
The awesome folks at Big Rack Shuttle will be taking everyone home who indicated that they need a lift. They have a raft of COVID precautions that they take, including masking, distancing, and providing hand sanitizer for riders.
What kind of gravel rides are these? Can I bring my road bike with bigger tires?
Is this a USA Cycling-sanctioned race?
Do you have any gear requirements?
Hell no. When people in Utah talk about “gravel,” what they really mean is “whatever happened to be in the ground when the road was cut through it.” There’s a lot of sand, lots of rocks, some bedrock, lots of dirt that sometimes kinda feels like pavement, you get the picture. Our recommendation is always to stuff the biggest possible tire in your bike that you can and run a mountain bike if you can’t go bigger than about 38mm.
The lovely folks at USAC provide the low-cost-high-value insurance that allows us to send a lot of people out into the desert without fear. We aren’t a USAC-sanctioned race. The thing in the registration page just allows you to skip entering all your information.
Other than requiring working lights for Stupid Pony competitors and helmets for all, you can ride absolutely whatever the hell you like. See above for why bringing your road bike is a terrible idea. You do have to start and end our events on the same bike with the same wheels and that bike can’t have a motor anywhere on it (unless it’s the near future and you’re in the ebike category). Aerobars are great, bar ends are great, everything’s great.