This past spring Red Bull mountain biker Payson McElveen set a new Fastest Known Time on the classic 100-mile long White Rim mountain bike trail in Moab, UT. The previous fastest time wasn’t totally clear as attempts aren’t standardized. But McElveen wanted to set a new endurance benchmark & get more riders in on the idea, so he brought along the Red Bull video team to show what pushing boundaries out on a real trail is really like… in the Standing Man.
Standing Man – Fastest Known Time on Moab’s White Rim Trail
This past March, less than a week after starting his season right with a three-up sprint win at the Landrun 100, Durango mountain biker (and at the time US Marathon MTB National Champion) Payson McElveen set out to bring mountain bike life to the FKT concept – or Fastest Known Time – on the classic Moab trail.
While many of us have spent the last decade chasing miniature pieces of KOM glory on Strava segments, the FKT idea is about doing something big, and challenging others to try and best you. So that’s what McElveen did.
He was supported by Red Bull and his Orange Seal/Trek team at the start & finish (and his dad).
But the FKT ride itself was completely self-supported as it must be for the result to stand.
The FKT idea is more prevalent among off-road runners, but it fits the ethos of endurance off-road riders as well, probably both on mountain bikes or gravel bikes. Set a big goal on a tough route, then go out and hammer it, sharing your total elapsed time. And props to whoever can best your time with a new Fastest Known Time.
McElveen wants to see more mountain bikers chasing FKTs over little KOMs, and it seems his push is paying off. Since he set the White Rim benchmark in March out in Canyonlands National Park, he’s already been bested. And that’s something he pretty psyched about.
As we know it now, the current White Rim FKT is something like 5 hours 41 minutes set by 5x Jr. National Champ Quinn Simmons starting from the base of the big final climb. Who’s next?
The Adventure Stache with Payson McElveen
Want to hear more from Payson McElveen? The pro mountain biker has a free unscripted long-form interview podcast called The Adventure Stache where he sits down with big names in mountain biking to tell their stories and just chat about riding bikes. Check it out.