Friday, September 14th, 2018
Good morning Park City! It’s Friday, September 14th and this is your retro, limited edition, one-time-only(until next year), Tour Des Suds trail report/history lesson…
A few trail updates:
> The snowmaking trench work that impacted lower Deer Crest/Pipeline is complete and that area should be open in it’s entirety for the weekend.
> A reminder that Tidal Wave will be closed after this weekend(beginning the 17th) for a rebuild.
> Due to the extremely dry & loose conditions on the new Crescent to Mid Mtn trail, we will not open the trail to the public at this time. Any use under the current conditions would be unsafe and cause significant damage, so PLEASE adhere to the closure until we get some precip.
“It takes an endless amount of history to make even a little tradition”- Henry James
This year marks the 34th running(or rolling) of what has to be one of the most enduring mountain bike races in the Rocky Mtn West, the Tour Des Suds.
Long-time local, bike enthusiast(understatement) & president of South Summit Trails Foundation, Tom Noaker, was one of the gents who brought the TDS into existence back in the early 80’s. We’re super-stoked to have him joining us for the race this Sunday! He shared a few nuggets on the origins, along with some killer photos from back in the day…
“Jim Rasmussen and I organized the first ‘event’ in 84′. Tim Mertens named it. Tim had a reputation of stopping for a Sixpack on long rides. He’d finish with one in the cage and five crushed cans in his jersey pockets. “It’s not a tour without the suds.”
The route was over Guardsman, up Puke Hill to Thaynes access and down the canyon to City Park. The first guy in was responsible for tapping the keg (we sought no permission) and firing the grill (wood fired at the time). Nobody wanted to be first. It was a group finish with an anemic sprint.
We were kicked out of Thaynes after I caught an attacking rug rat(a poodle derivative) in my rear Der and dragged it to a bloody, yapping stop.(said poodle survived sans some hide) From then on the event did not include a ‘race’ descent.
85′ was the snow finish. Richard Barnum Reece did the timing and we loaded the keg in his VW bus and he drove up the guard road until he got stuck. Unbelievably, he made it to the top in a foot+ of fresh. Several runners from UofU entered that year and finished 1-2-3 because they didn’t have a bike to push uphill to an undisclosed finish line. There were 43 finishers.”
The times and Park City have no doubt changed. Mountain bikes have evolved from heavy, rigid, steel “Klunkers” to full-suspension, ultra-light, carbon fiber whips & helmets are now a given.
Hundreds of miles of single track now grace the local mountainside where only mine roads once existed and costumes, food trucks and craft beer have been thrown in the mix.
That said, I like to think that the spirit of this race is still alive & well; some friendly competition & camaraderie with fellow locals/friends, a celebration of Fall & the greatest of all human-powered machines- the bicycle. And of course it wouldn’t be a tour without the suds!
Have a great weekend and we’ll see y’all at the Tour!