Bring on the Fastest Known Time, forget segment KOMs with Payson McElveen on the White Rim FKT

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.

Payson McElveen Standing Man FK, mountain bike Fastest Known Time on 100 mile Moab, UT Canyonlands National Park White Rim Trail

photos c. Payson McElveen & Orange Seal/Trek racing

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.

Payson McElveen Standing Man FK, mountain bike Fastest Known Time on 100 mile Moab, UT Canyonlands National Park White Rim Trail

He was supported by Red Bull and his Orange Seal/Trek team at the start & finish (and his dad).

Payson McElveen Standing Man FK, mountain bike Fastest Known Time on 100 mile Moab, UT Canyonlands National Park White Rim Trail

But the FKT ride itself was completely self-supported as it must be for the result to stand.

Payson McElveen Standing Man FK, mountain bike Fastest Known Time on 100 mile Moab, UT Canyonlands National Park White Rim Trail

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

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.

PaysonMcElveen.com

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John Bart
John Bart
2 years ago

This is old news. Quinn Simmons, on his 18th birthday, smashed Payson’s record in early May, 2019.

https://durangoherald.com/articles/276097

I know better
I know better
2 years ago

https://www.strava.com/activities/2765858105
Keegan Swenson beat both Quinn’s & Payson’s time by A LOT!

dan
dan
2 years ago

Yeah, I think it’s just rehashed PR. It’s the slow season for media, and the vid is from early 2019.

Bob
Bob
2 years ago

Sooo… a FKT is like a really long segment? And to prove it, it must be recorded on Strava?

Greg
Greg
2 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Yes and apparently yes.

Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benedict
2 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Probably doesn’t have to be recorded on Strava, but it just so happens that the FKT for this route is posted on Strava.

Galen Pewtherer
Galen Pewtherer
2 years ago

Running/trekking FKTs are tracked here: https://fastestknowntime.com/