Friday, April 04, 2008

The Classics

Well, that's it: the last ride was today, the bikes are broken down and packed, and we're getting ready for tomorrow's 6:30 AM departure. The party is over.

We saved the classics for last. Yesterday we did Slickrock, and today we did Porcupine Rim. Slickrock was so tough, even though it was only 11 miles or so, that we were totally spent -- it didn't help that yesterday afternoon was also our shopping trip into town, and what we shopped for was mostly margaritas... We ended the evening at Frankie D's, the Quonset hut bar.

NThis morning was a little rough, we were all moving a bit on the slow side, but we managed to get breakfast down and meet the shuttle with time to spare. We started the ride a little differently, from a few miles up the road and higher up the canyon wall, some new singletrack I'd never seen before, with a few crazy hike-a-bike sections as well. It was beautiful, not a cloud in the sky and the mountains still had a snow cover. The riding was pretty good too... I got a bunch of photos, and even some video of Rich jumping a few drops.

Tonight we'll probably hit the local nightlife, and tomorrow the show is over.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


It was supposed to be a rest day -- up to Klondike Bluffs for a snack break, but we also tossed in some new (to me) singletrack, some stuff called Baby Steps. We rode some fun singletrack, got lost where these guys got lost last time, and did some killer stuff that was totally new to all of us before getting back on track. The trail ended at the back end of Arches National Park, and we walked out onto the cliffs, and finally had our picnic. The ride back was essentially downhill and fast, except for a few flat tires, and a stop to look at some dinosaur footprints in the rock. Rocking high speed chase back to the car.

Dinner was steak on the grill, and we're doing laundry now (but laundry night has been every night) while taking turns getting massages -- she makes house calls! I'm done, and I am now pretty damn relaxed.

Tomorrow, if it doesn't rain, will be Slickrock.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Fruita: Grazing On BLM Land

Today we took a day trip to Fruita, Colorado. We got up early and took the drive down, maybe two hours or so, hitting the bike store there about 9:30. Got some stuff, maps etc, and were on the trails by 10:30.

The trails at Fruita are mostly on public grazing land run by the Bureau of Land Management, and are much more singletrack-oriented than here in Moab: buff and twisty with lots of ups and downs, and just the occasional rocky "physical challenge." Lots of cliffs and bluffs, as we rode along the canyons next to the Colorado River. The trails themselves are configured like at Fell Mountain, one big loop with several smaller loops shooting off the main one. Instead of a big single-loop meal, you graze on a bunch of smaller hors douvres.

So that's what we did. We started on Mary's Loop, took a spin on Rustler's Something Something, back on Mary's Loop to the Horse Thief Bench loop, then after some backing and filling we ended up on Steve's Loop aka "Handcuffs." Instead of completing Mary's loop -- the last section is supposedly lame -- we took it as an out-and back, and raced each other along the cliffs and down the hill. Everyone rode well, we were flying and it was an awesome, awesome day. I took about 33 pictures (stay tuned), but Brian brought his good camera and he was the one who got the best shots.

We had an early dinner in Fruita, at the place which used to be a sports bar but is now a really good Mexican restaurant. Too much food, and it was all good. (We also picked up some good beer while we were in Colorado, where there is no Utah-style "max 3.2% abv" restriction. The beer in Utah is tasty, but it really isn't potent so much as bloating.)

So that was today, another 22 fantastic miles. We're just hanging out at the house now, no idea what we're doing tomorrow.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Without A Map: Like Rain In The Desert

The Old Quonset Hut Ain't What It Used To Be: We hit Pasta Jay's last night for dinner, then went to find the old dive we discovered last time, a scary bar in an old Quonset hut. We found it, but things had changed... it was now a "private club" *(I signed up for a three week membership --$4.00) and the beers were a bit better this time, but it was still good. Cheap too.

Hurrah Pass: It poured last night, and it was still a bit drizzly this morning. We were doing a pretty long ride (Hurrah Pass, Jackson Hole, up Jacob's Ladder and down Amasa Back Trail), and there was some spirited debate on whether we should abort, wait, or start the ride in the rain anyway. We started anyway.

Things went smoothly, even without a map, until we got to the top of Hurrah Pass, where we saw storms bearing down on us. We put on our extra clothes, hunkered down under a ledge and ate lunch while the storm blew through. After that the day was beautiful, and we were back to smooth sailing. Until...

We were going through Jackson Hole, and it was all sand. Somehow we missed our turn, but Brian realized we could take the next right. More sand, but we eventually got to the bottom Jacob's Ladder, a hiking trail up the cliff. Forty minutes of carrying our bikes brought us to the top, maybe 200 feet almost straight up. From there it was mostly downhill, down Amasa Back Trail. Plenty of rock, drop-offs and high speed fun, and then (too soon) it was over.

Membership Has Its Privileges: That private club had some awesome food at ridiculously low prices, so that's where we went after the ride. We just came from there, after ribeye sandwiches and hefeweizens, and now we're just hanging out at home.

Tomorrow is Fruita, Colorado.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

This Sovereign Cure

Well that was quick! I'm not back, but John brought his laptop, and he's letting me mess around while he hits the showers.

So Far, So Good: Our trip started with dinner at Which Brew Friday night, me Brian, and Doug & Lori who saw us off. (Also saw many other peeps including Jay DeJesus, who gave us some introductions and greetings to convey to the locals out here, and hopefully they'll show us the good new stuff.) Next stop was Brian's house to crash for a while, then came our 3:00 AM rendezvous with Rich, the 6:45 flight, yadda yadda -- we got upgraded to the best seats on the plane, by the way. Picked up the van, hit a few outlets and got lunch, then picked up John at the airport; we were in Moab by 7:30 & retrieved our bikes.

Today's ride was the Sovereign Trail, we got in about 15 miles of riding of which maybe 8were pure singletrack, the rest being mostly (sandy) jeep roads. An awesome day, we were probably out for about 4-5 hours. Pictures won't do it justice, but I took about 50 of them just in case... (Not posting them until I get back, sorry.)

Next up is dinner, not sure where yet but I know it'll be good, and we'll be planning or rides for tomorrow and the rest of the week tonight.