18th annual ‘24 Hours of Moab’ may be last, organizers say
by Jeff Richards
contributing writer
Oct 04, 2012 | 3776 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Riders race to begin the 24 Hours of Moab mountain bike endurance race in 2010. Photo by Jeff Richards
Riders race to begin the 24 Hours of Moab mountain bike endurance race in 2010. Photo by Jeff Richards
The 18th annual “24 Hours of Moab” endurance mountain bike race, scheduled to take place Oct. 6-7 in the Behind-the-Rocks area south of Moab, is expected to be the final such event, organizers said earlier this fall.

“It’s looking like this year will be the last race,” said event organizer and founder Laird Knight in a recent email sent to race participants. “It’s been a fun, 17-year ride. Lots of challenges, lots of victories, lots of friendships, and lots of memories. This year’s event is going to be bittersweet for me, but I’m looking forward to putting on a great show, as usual. I’m really going to soak it in. I hope you’ll get to soak it in, too.”

After experiencing a marked decline in the number of participants last year, Knight said he hopes to see the numbers for the 2012 event get up to approximately 300 entrants once again.

The 2012 race is scheduled to start at noon on Saturday, Oct. 6 with the riders lining up in for a LeMans-style foot race to their bicycles. Riders will then begin making 15-mile loops over the rugged course including sections of sand and slickrock. The race ends at noon on Sunday, with winners determined by who completes the most laps. Teams are grouped into various categories according to factors such as age, gender, experience, and number of people per team.

Two-time solo champion and course record holder Josh Tostado is among the top endurance cyclists scheduled to compete in this year’s race, Knight said.

In a message to participants following the 2011 race, Knight indicated that the cost of producing the event, combined with declining numbers, could force him to discontinue the race.

“The 24 Hours of Moab is an expensive event to produce. It always has been,” he wrote in 2011. “Hosting thousands of people in the middle of the desert is no small effort and, far from being a profit center, the camping and gate fees that we charge only serve to offset our expenses.”

More information is available on the event’s website at www.grannygear.com.

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.