By Dave Iltis
The inaugural Wild Horse Dirt Fondo took place on May 30, 2015 in the Cedar Mountains in Delle, Utah. The weather couldn’t have been better, sunny, not too much wind, and a high of 82.
The 76 mile timed event, and 31 mile short course, was held on the dirt roads around and over the Cedar Mountains. Some raced the distance, while others just rode to complete the challenge. Technically, it is not a race, however when you put cyclists on a great course, they will compete to be the first to finish.
The area is seldom ridden by bicyclists despite being only one hour from Salt Lake City. The Wild Horse Dirt Fondo may change that as riders enjoyed the views and the course.
Roger Arnell was first across the line in the 76 mile event followed by Scott Patten and Darrell Davis. Arnell rode away early in the race and kept tempo until the second rest stop. Arnell said, “I thought it was a great course. It was long. This is a perfect early season race.” When asked if he saw any horses, he said, “No horses. I did see some cows and antelope. Two antelope were cruising as fast as they could.”
Scott Patten started out well, but blew his shock after about 20 miles and had to ride gingerly for the remaining 55 miles. When asked about the race, he said, “Great course. Super fast. Super fun. I definitely wouldn't have wanted to do it in the rain…Great support. (The rest stops were) Right where you needed them. They were well stocked and really friendly.” When asked about the course, he said, “I saw a badger out there. It hissed at me. The south end is really pretty.” He also saw lots of birds and snakes.
Darrell Davis commented on his race, “It was interesting. It’s such as a long race. You know that the key for these things is to be with a group. We had a pretty good group until the backside. You try to keep it together but people blew up or attacked. And so from that point on it’s just every man for himself. For the last hour and half I was by myself.” When asked about the course, Davis said, “It was great. It was pretty technical for doubletrack the whole way. Especially with the rain and the ruts. There were a lot of things that you had to jump over.”
Tom Noaker was the first to finish in the 31 mile long Little Wild Horse. He rolled in with Kurt Reynolds and Tom’s son Dylan Noaker.
The post event support was stellar with a taco plate for the riders, along with ice cold watermelon and drinks.
Look for the Wild Horse to return in 2016 with an increased number of spots available.
See results on page 14. For more information on the Wild Horse, see ridewildhorse.com