Fruita Mud Fest


Mr. Ho Jangles
May 9, 2003
About 6 years ago we started a ride that was jokingly called 'Man Day' and somehow it stuck. It's always been a ride of epic proportions that we aim for at least 50 miles of single track. We gathered again this year for the 5th Man Day ride. (we skipped a year accidentally) The original plan was to go to Crested Butte and do a huge ride in the Taylor Park area. The forecast for the area was cold and wet and where cold enough.....snow. :rant: So, we made a last minute change of plans and headed for Fruita because of the 60 degrees and sun forecast. One of the guys found an area off of the Grand Mesa that would give us close to 50 miles of riding and a minimum of 4000 feet of elevation gain and loss.

We got going Saturday morning and probably should have gotten a clue when we pulled into a parking area filled with horse trailers.

We headed off up the first climb and ended up pushing our bikes far too early in the ride. The horse traffic through the area had turned the trail into lots of little dirt clods so it was like trying to ride up a hill of ball bearings. :rant:

Soon after we got introduced to the main trail condition for the day.....MUD. :rant:

We got to a section of trail that got enough sun & wind exposure that it was relatively dry. That was really nice and we got some awesome views of where we were headed and the top of the Grand.

There was still lots of hike-a-bike in between those pictures, but I got tired of taking pictures of those sections. At one point we stopped and had a conversation about turning back or going on. In the spirit of Man Day epics and the time already invested we headed on. The area was beautiful and the riding would have been really fun if the trails were not so wet.

After that pic we finally got to the trail that would head back to the car. It was 7+ miles of *mostly* downhill. It was really fun, technical riding with a mud problem. Then, once we got closer to the parking the horse traffic picked back up so it was a 3-5 foot wide trail of 4 inch deep horse tracks. :banghead: It would have been some super amazing downhill if....... I never thought Epic would be used to describe a 14 mile day, but it does. We finished that day a a couple bucks at the carwash followed at F&Gs with a pitcher of Margaritas toasting "Here's to glue." :cheers:

Sunday we headed up to do Flight of Icarus. It's a ride that we thought we would never get to do because of it's constant fluctuations of "it's open" "it's closed" "it's hunting season" "who knows" "it's open......but" So, we just made up our minds to do it. We got up there and started riding the approach in to be greeted by more MUD. :rant:

Can you spot the derailleur in that picture?

We persevered through the mud and made it down an absolutely amazing trail. I was super stoked to be able to check that trail of the to do list. Soooo good!!!!

It was an awesome weekend despite all of the set backs!! Now to do a full bike overhaul to get the mud out.