Saturday, April 14, 2012

Moab Utah

Ahhhh... Utah, such great mountain biking but the liquor laws are enough to make me not want to live there. All the beer is 3.2%, it doesn't even taste like beer. We stocked up on as much as we could in Colorado before crossing the state line. I mis-calculated on what we had and what we needed and we ended up with quite a bit left over. Luckily I had the sense to leave it at room temp and we lucked out on being able to ship it home with a friend who is also hauling our bikes for us.

Just before we left on our trip I heard about a new New Belgium flavor called Shift. I looked in every store we passed while in CO., (where New Belgium is made) but found nothing. Two days after getting back home I found it in my local grocery store, go figure.

While we were there we had a nice SUV rental but unfortunately it came with ski racks and no bike racks. Having to haul the bikes around in the back with the seats folded down was a pain and it really made me appreciate a good hitch rack.

The day we drove over to Utah the wind was fierce. We stopped half-way through the scenic route to snap a few photos and as soon as I stepped out of the car a wind gust about took me down blowing my hat down the road in the process. It took me a long time to catch it and at one point I though it was a lost cause.

Our first stop was Dead Horse Point, we took in some of the awesome views before we hit the trail.

The wind died down a little but it was still a little cold. After that we had beautiful warm sunny days for the remainder of our stay.

Dead Horse Point was a fun trail that had alot to offer, it didn't have a bad views either.

The Slickrock trail, one of the more popular trails you hear about in Moab was a must on our list of trails to ride. It was nothing like any trail I've ever ridden, probably not my favorite trail I rode but definitely fun and I'd do it again in a heart beat. Being that the trail was smooth you would think it would be an easy trail to ride but that's not the case. The granite was like sandpaper which offered alot of grip but was also hell on your skin if you fell.

All you had to follow are painted lines on the granite and some tire wear on the rock. I think I left quite a bit of rubber on the trail. If you rode that trail on a weekly basis I could see having to buy new tires every few months.

Being that the Jeep Safari was the same week, we saw alot of really cool 4x4's. The Slickrock trail crossed the jeep trail 3 different times and at every intersection we stopped to watch the Jeeps climb and descend the rock.

The was no time to rest on Slickrock if you let your guard down you were going down. Towards the end of the ride I got tired and a little sloppy. I wasn't on my "A" game when I hit a climb, some of which were so steep I was practically laying my chest across my handlebars. Anyway I lost momentum, stalled out and before I knew it I was rolling backwards. I tried to unclip but the sand in my pedals was making that difficult. I got one foot out and tried to hop it out but eventually gravity won over and down I went. I lost a little skin on my knee and my seat lost a little hide as well. 

Hot, tired and weary we made it back to the truck and the cooler full of cold beer with big smiles on our faces.

The following morning we went back to the slickrock trail climbed up on one of the hills and watched the sunrise for Easter. It was nice to reflect on the beauty of our surroundings and all that we have to be thankful for.

Our plan was to take the next day off the bike and at hike in Arches National Park.

We saw some cool pictographs left behind by the Indians, it's amazing that the paint is still there after all these years.

The Delicate Arch was one of the coolest things we saw, I would have liked to spent more time hiking around the park and seeing all of the arches not to mention some of the back country but we felt the urge to get a ride in even though we planned to stay off the bike.

We hit the Amasa Back trail, which was mostly double track and jeep roads but still very fun and the top offered some more amazing views.

Our final day there we rented a shuttle to run us up to the La Sal Mountains which were still snow covered. We rode probably 3/4's of the "Whole Enchilada" trail system, 18+ miles of mostly downhill, all technical riding.  

Not only did it offer up some amazing views, the singletrack carved back and forth to the edge of the canyon sometimes just a couple feet from the edge.

The Porcupine Rim section of it was probably one of my favorite trails we rode while in Utah.

A large section in the middle of the ride dumped us out onto double track, fast, technical and gnar.

The last few miles was all singletrack and a perfect ending to a perfect day. I couldn't have asked for a better ride.

I plan to start pouring over the GoPro footage the next few days and hopefully make a few videos. My plan is to make the videos in the sequence in which I rode them. I've sampled some of the footage here and there and was blown away with the quality of the new Hero2.

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