There’s no time limit, no race, but you’ll need to be in solid bike shape to complete 3 days of 50 miles on terrain which varies from smooth, flat, 2-wheel drive roads to technical, steep singletrack sections, not to mention several difficult climbs. Expect to spend 6-8 hours per day on trail.
Expect a marathon, not a sprint. You will need a SOLID base of mileage more than technical skills. If you have both, even better, but the name of the game here is endurance. In the end, if you’ve put in the miles, you’ll finish strong & with a huge grin everyday.
A word about technical riding skills – while this isn’t a technical ride, there are some very technical stretches. Without respectable technical ability, you’ll find yourself walking quite a bit, especially on day one. It can be done, but will add several hours to your ride time. This is real mountain biking and is very intense! It is not a beginner ride!
Equally important is your sense of self-reliance. There ain’t no bike shops or gas stations out there. If you break it, you fix it, or corral someone else into doing it for you – – it’s not unusual to complete the entire Kokopelli Trail without seeing anyone outside of your group. Check out quick how-to classes at local shops.
We’ll have with us an extensive selection of tools available at sag stops & camp, however you’re expected to take care of yourself while on-trail. Come prepared!
As for altitude, if you come from sea level, expect to slow down a bit — air is thinner here. Most acclimatization takes place in the first couple days, so if you’re able to swing it, arriving a day or two early would be a real bonus. If not, no problem, you’ll acclimate on the trail.
So if this has scared you a bit, good. You’ll have the proper motivation to start training today. You should be on your bike regularly by early spring.
And now that you’re properly spooked, know that we’ve seen a 72 year old man, numerous teens below driving age and a pregnant woman with no bike suspension complete the trail. They were strong riders who trained. If they can do it, so can you. This will be a challenge, and the rewards you’ll feel at the end will be immense. Get pedaling!
You will need to supply your own bike & camping gear for this event, which isn’t much. All meals are provided – you basically bring your bike, some clothes, Powerbars, a toothbrush & a sleeping bag. As with all our events we’ll provide you with a detailed gear list once registered.
If you’re flying out, you can ship your bike ahead of time to one of several locations who will hold it for you. We usually get a deal with a local shop who’ll receive & assemble your bike for a reduced fee, or you can ship to your hotel.
Bike rentals are available in Fruita. This is a good option if you don’t want to ship your ride or would like to try out a better bike – the local rentals are very high quality.
Ideally, full suspension’s the way to go, it’s simply more comfortable over a long haul. It’s not necessary, though. Plenty of riders have completed the trail on entirely rigid bikes.
Flat tires in the desert are a fact of life even though we’re not in cactus country. Using a tubeless setup like Stan’s NoTubes has all kinds of benefits, just be sure to get it dialed in before the ride.
All your camping gear will have to fit into a single duffel bag, so pack smart & share whatever you can. You’ll receive detailed info about exactly what you’ll need once you’re registered.
We recommend you carry a quality Kokopelli Trail map and compass and know how to use them. The best we’ve found are the Latitude 40 maps, both Fruita and Moab East, about $12 each. Most shops sell these, as do we.