Video: Lowering the Fastest Known Time on the 100 Mile White Rim Trail in Utah

Nov 15, 2020
by Ed Spratt  

bigquotesIn lieu of physical bicycle races, setting Fastest Known Times on popular routes is the new measuring stick for cyclists in the Covid era. And the White Rim trail in Utah’s Canyonlands is inarguably the most coveted off-road FKT crown in the world. Chartered cycling tours typically cover the 100-mile loop in three days, but world championship contenders of both road and mountain bike racing continue to lower its FKT with elite women completing the course in 7+ hour, while pro men push sub-6-hour finishes.

Within the last few years, personal-best efforts have set faster known times on the White Rim—the trail entices top athletes to challenge the epic route, go faster, and continually decrease the fastest time as we know it…

This video documents the all-out efforts of Amity Rockwell and Peter Stetina en route to lowering the overall fastest known time on the White Rim in early October 2020.
Canyon Bicycles

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Member since Mar 16, 2017
2,718 articles

  • 88 11
 Respect on the effort, but riding a fire road for 100 miles just seems like torture
  • 72 1
 I think that's the point.
  • 19 4
 If you have to ask, you’ll never know.
  • 21 24
 And boring.
  • 31 2
 Gravel racing: big upgrade for roadies b/c fewer cars, you're not crit racing in a tiny circle, and you actually see some nature. For MTBers, notsomuch.
  • 13 0
 @b1k35c13nt15t: i tend to agree, but the Canyonlands NP is a stunning wilderness area. if you give yourself time to look around and enjoy it that is.
  • 13 7
 Plus, I don't trust Strava times, when you can ride right next to your buddy on the same exact trail and have your times off by minutes
  • 4 8
flag b1k35c13nt15t (Nov 15, 2020 at 18:41) (Below Threshold)
 @jamesbrant: haha. I’ve guided there. I’ve lived near. I think I know. Doing the half-roadie is the boring part. Peter hung out with the owner of a guide company to get the best lines to go fast. Not the most fun or creative or scenic. Just for a title. BORING.
  • 7 0
 @b1k35c13nt15t: It'd be boring to simply ride it for speed alone, I agree. However, to take your time and look around you there is the antithesis of boring. The Canyonlands NP area is some of the most beautiful scenery on this earth. Wish I was there!
  • 13 0
 @mikeyb76: The longer the segment gets, the smaller the sampling error. I'll often run two different devices, and for segments over 5mins, timing discrepancies are typically +/- 1 seconds. A major discrepancy of several minutes can only really be caused by hovering too long near the start/stop point of a segment. If you stop for a break within 5-15m of a segment start or finish (the normal range of GPS device accuracy), then you will often see one device trigger the segment start while you sit there, while the other waits 'till the segment is actually started. If you are concerned about accuracy of segment timings, be sure to start/stop more than 50ft away from segment end points.
  • 5 3
 " Inarguably the most coveted offroad FKT"
Yeah, I don't know, looks like a dirtroad to me. What can I say, I'm glad someone is really getting after it, just glad it's not me. Not my jam I guess! Congrats to the athletes!
  • 24 4
 Yeah, unarguably an incredible effort, something about this just makes me rather sad. Maybe it was him riding head-down while fiddling with his bike computer, or complaining about poor service for his strava times to upload. Or the way the camera keeps framing the bike instead of focusing on his expression. It's an unsettling contrast between one of the most beautiful places on earth and our gross obsession with virtual competition online. Honestly fuck strava.
  • 2 0
 @mikeyb76: That's a hardware issue, not a Strava issue.
  • 1 0
 @mikeyb76: brother and I just tried to PR a local loop together. He took off in front of me, and gained ground on me the whole way. Strava scored me 8 seconds faster than him. He was pissed. I was ok with it.
  • 2 0
 @MurShane: Again, that is a hardware issue. Not a software one.
  • 2 3
 @b1k35c13nt15t: Why are people downvoting a reasonable opinion? Say what you will about the stunning fitness, commitment, and will of these folks, this sort of riding is the opposite of fun, ergo boring.

Also, golf, NASCAR, soccer, baseball, and football are all boring.
  • 1 0
 @JakeEPooh: Amen on Golf, Nascar, baseball, & football! Them's fightin' words 'bout soccer tho! ;~>
  • 1 0
 @mikeyb76: This can be caused by the autopause feature being enabled. Happens all the time with my buddies who have their autopause set to 5kmh for instance and it pauses on climbs.
  • 3 0
 @JakeEPooh: I ride a trail bike, several times a week, here in Marin County. That said, I’ve done three, day-laps on the White Rim, all in the 9 hours, lots of photos, time range.

While it is not the same kind of thrill that one gets from sending doubles off kickers into loamy landings, there is a great satisfaction in turning oneself inside out for a long period of time.

Ever lifted weights? You know that feeling you carry for the rest of the day? Think that. Again, maybe not your cup of tea, but “not fun” is definitely a lazy assessment of another’s good time.
  • 2 0
 @Veloscente: Ahh makes sense, because we will sometimes have a beer at the trailhead.........right next to the start of a segment
  • 2 0
 @KaffeineKeiser: I hear you, my brother. I understand the appeal of pain and suffering, I really do. It's just that words have definitions, and the feelings one may derive from this sort of riding don't match the definition of "fun". Satisfying, exhilarating, gratifying, all good things and all worth pursuing, yet none of them related to fun.

Wait, I just realized I'm being a pedantic tool. Holy crap, I hate myself. Speaking of definitions, who said fun and boring are always opposite ends of a single spectrum.

Did I mention I hate me? sigh...
  • 36 0
 I've done the White Rim several times. I always shoot for the slowest known time. I can't imagine doing this in those sort of times. Savage! Congratulations!
  • 13 22
flag onestuntwonder (Nov 15, 2020 at 8:25) (Below Threshold)
 So, the best way to enjoy would be to go slow and appreciate the surroundings? This doesn't even look like mountain biking, and they have Tri-bars... why even use a mountain bike?
  • 4 0
 @onestuntwonder: thats actually a good question - why an MTB vs a gravel bike?

My guess is the washboard and downhill sections and increased control via an MTB make up for the slightly slower speeds compared to a gravel bike.
  • 9 0
 @PHeller: In the vid he said he did it on gravel bike and 'couldn't walk the next day' so I'm guessing even bigger tires + fork would be why.
  • 3 1
 @ryan77777: thanks for catching that. I suspected that it was increased control and comfort, but he didnt set the record on a gravel bike (despite beating himself up), he did it on an MTB.
  • 4 0
 @onestuntwonder: it's actually quite a rough 'road'. very rough in spots, worthy of an xc mtb.
  • 3 2
 @onestuntwonder: White rim is exceedingly chundery. Gravel bike would not make it.
  • 3 0
 @PHeller: Eddy Merckx used to ride kind of heavy road bikes. He said, why gain 3 minutes on a climb and loose 6 on the decent.

Hipster Instragram accounts not withstanding, you can descend so much faster on a mountain bike than a gravel bike. Also, when you're tired the extra capability allows you to think less about line and generally not crashing.
  • 1 1
 @onestuntwonder: how dare you question the pure awesomeness of off-road time trialing!? Next you'll be advocating shuttling and chairlifts! Your, sir, have no place on this august website. Good day to you!
  • 1 0
 @vegankidd: People ride it on gravel bikes all the time
  • 16 0
 Mental strength at its finest. Congrats to both and anyone else capable of enduring the test. Eric
  • 10 0
 Next spring I am planning to attempt the White Rim Trail in one go! This gets me pumped to see if I can do it!
  • 1 0
 Great! What starting point are you planning? Which direction? Whatever it is, have a great time!
  • 8 2
 I have ridden the White Rim Trail before and although the trail itself is nothing special (basically a Jeep trail) the scenery is amazing. Other than the decent in and the accent out of the canyon, it’s primarily flat.
  • 5 1
 I did the White Rim for the second time last month with 6 others on dirt bikes. The scenery is absolutely stunning in all directions! We passed a LOT of mountain bikes along the way....maybe even some were trying to reset the record in retrospect. No way would I attempt that on a mountain bike. I gave out a BUNCH of thumbs up as we went by, much respect!
  • 4 0
 It's so nice to be out getting in some riding in sick places these days. I may be stuck in a cold rainy London right now but this video stoked me up for the possibilities I hope 2021 could bring.
  • 6 0
 Doesn’t count unless you’re screaming STRAVA the entire time.
  • 4 1
 There’s a guy in the uk just broke the 100 miles road record , I know the terrain doesn’t compare to this.
He did it in 2hr 57 minutes.
  • 1 0
 He also timed it to take advantage of the wind plus the wind advantage of traffic blowing past. But...still an incredible amount of effort. And he broke his own world record doing it.
  • 5 0
 Stagg kettle plus Kalita wave... anyone else notice this?
  • 4 0
 Is there refill points or did he actually ride it with only 3 waterbottles?
  • 2 0
 There are no water resupply spots without hiking off route.
  • 2 0
 Payson actually did it with 2 when he first got this fkt thing kicked off
  • 1 0
 These people be crazy fit and fast. Good job! Looks like an incredible ride.

For those out there interested in mad biking feats.

The Munda Bindi trail in western Australia is 1,051km. Currently the record is Munda Biddi trail record two days, 17 hours and 22 minutes.
  • 4 0
 Twice in four days....animal.
  • 3 2
 Waits for someone on a CRF250 to snaffle it. What's the range on a Turbo Levo these days? My local loop top five are all e-bikes. Awesome.
Still, cool vid, loved that he came back so quick for another go.
  • 1 0
 This is a ride I would love to do on a motorbike
  • 1 0
 I've done this on a moto. Not a bad ride. Mostly boring dirt roads, but great views. You can hit 60-90 KPH no problem for most of it. I had to carry extra gas and you have to watch out for other vehicles.
  • 3 0
 Nice editing. "Hooooooolllly Fu-ive and half hours and it comes down to 16 seconds."
  • 1 0
 Glad you appreciated it. He was dropping so many f-bombs, had to find a way to soften it. The edit came to me while out riding single-track.
  • 5 1
 why is it called a trail?
  • 1 0
 That was a rad video. Don’t know whats with all the hate. Looks fun and just absolutely awful but still fun!! Thanks for the entertainment. You guys are ridiculous (machines).
  • 2 0
 I strongly disagree with Peter. There are many other situations where picking one's nose is acceptable.
  • 3 0
 moustache off - another 5 seconds to gain Smile
  • 2 0
 My butt feels chaffed just watching that.
  • 2 1
 Respect on the mental toughness, definately not going to win "Go Pro Best Line"
  • 1 0
 Sounds 100% F*ing awful. That said, mad props and Kudos for Amity and Pete. You two are animals!
  • 1 0
 White Rim is an amazingly beautiful but mellow ride. I prefer a moto for it though.
  • 1 3
 For the love of god, are we gonna see guys in spandex riding TT bars on trails going forward? It's getting ridiculous! You would've thought the guy would be smart enough and rode on a gravel or cross bike with skinnier tires to lower that time some more.
  • 1 0
 Freaking animal. I do not ever want to attempt that.
  • 1 0
 amazing scenery, would be great to do it one day
  • 2 1
 Luckily we also got that shower section...
  • 1 0
 Does anyone know the name of the background song?
  • 1 0
 What’s the time code on the song you’re looking for?
FWIW, the music credits are viewable on YT.
  • 2 1
 I know what fun is and that is not it.
  • 1 0
 What's the slowest time? I'm up for a challenge.
  • 1 0
 Those tires looked knobby and slow.
  • 1 1
 KOM is life. Cool I guess...
  • 1 0
 What tires did he run?
  • 3 5
 Why mountain bikes? What about gravel grinders???
  • 8 0
 He said why in the video...
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