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I <3 Moab, 4/18 - 4/19

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by dogwonder, May 4, 2008.

  1. dogwonder

    dogwonder Nitro

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    Told by Jeremy’s bike

    Sorry it has taken me so long to write this, but I’ve been busy hitting the trails this early part of the spring. A couple of weeks ago, Jeremy and his brother Jason took me riding down to Moab. Jeremy and I picked up his brother at the Salt Lake airport on Thursday night and stayed the night at a hotel right around the corner. Well they stayed in the hotel; I was stuck in the back of the truck all night. Where are all the bike’s rights activist groups when you need them? The trip started off with a stumble as one of the bags didn’t make it from Burlington. Contents of this bag included cycling jerseys, shorts, helmet, and casual clothes. Luckily, bike shoes & pedals were secured in the bag that did make it. We’d have to ad-lib the missing clothing and helmet.

    The drive from Salt Lake to Moab wound 250 miles south along I-15 through Provo and then turned east through Provo canyon, and then southeast towards Grand Junction, Colorado. The drive took about 4 hours and included a stop in Price, UT for some horribly burnt coffee and stale pastries.

    We arrived in Moab around 11 am and started to get acclimated to the area. The temperature was 70 degrees, the sun was blazing, and the energy level was high. Jeremy and I hadn’t done much riding yet this season; he was still too busy skiing. So we were all a little nervous and feeling a tad out of shape.

    We decided we would ride Porcupine Rim today, which was fine by me since this trail mostly descended. Jason got his rental bike and Jeremy gave my feet some air and a good chain lube. We also made arrangements with a shuttle operator and were on for the 2:00 pm shuttle ride. Jeremy and his brother started to loosen up to get the juices flowing. I didn’t need a warm-up, just show me some dirt!


     
    #1 -   May 4, 2008

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  2. dogwonder

    dogwonder Nitro

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    On the shuttle ride up, Jason and Jeremy chatted with a group of women who had gathered from all corners of the country for an annual ride. They were familiar with the area and talked us into bypassing the normal drop off point for Porcupine Rim and start from the LPS trailhead. This would add another 500-1000 feet of descent to the ride, just what we needed for our first real ride of the season.

    The trailhead at LPS put us at an elevation of 7000 feet and offered spectacular views of the La Sal’s. I was somewhat envious of the other bikes who were a few years younger and had all the new fancy components. These girl bikes were pretty buff; no streamers or banana seats here! Jeremy and I have made it through quite a bit and I had new tires myself. I wasn’t scared. Should I have been?


    Once we got going on the trail, everything started to come back after a long winter. The trail initially wound through the trees and I felt like I was home in New York. Quickly, this scenic section ended and we picked up the edge of the canyon. This was definitely DFUR territory.
     
    #2 -   May 5, 2008
  3. dogwonder

    dogwonder Nitro

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    It was nice being on a descending trail where you could keep up a good pace with the assistance of gravity. We pushed through the turns and flew through the rock gardens. I rolled over the rocks and roots, bouncing up in the air whenever I could. I was like a kid in a candy store. The rocky terrain continued as we switched from single track to double track and back to single track again. It was jarring at times and I had to remind Jeremy not to grab my handlebars with such a death grip, but I smiled the whole way.


     
    #3 -   May 5, 2008
  4. dogwonder

    dogwonder Nitro

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    All in all, 20 miles of terrain, 3000 feet of descent, 3 hours of riding and some terribly tired riders.

    Our sleeping accommodations consisted of a campground cabin with suspect structural integrity. As Jeremy or Jason walked across the room, you could feel the floor sag beneath us. Not the Ritz by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a place to get some rest.

    The next day we decided to cut our teeth in the other signature trail in Moab, Slickrock. This trail is lollipop in shape where you ride a trail out, complete a rather large loop, and then take the original trail back. After getting all the dust out of my gears and eating a leisurely breakfast, we got back on the trail.

    Slickrock is somewhat unique in that it literally is one large slab of rock. If it weren’t for the “follow the dotted line” trail markers, you’d have no idea where the trail was. This was not a terribly long trail, about 10 miles but the trail was extremely grueling. It seemed as if you were either always climbing or descending, there were very few flat sections to the trail. Over the course of the 10 miles, we climbed (and descended) over 1700 feet. This made for slow riding and it took us over 2.5 hours to complete the loop.

    I was scared I wasn’t going to be able to get good traction on a place called Slickrock, but the terrain was surprisingly grippy. I was able to handle most of the climbs outside a couple of the steeper sections where the lack of any ride time started to show.

    Like porcupine yesterday, the views were incredible with miles and miles of visibility over the desert of the southwest.



    At the end of the ride, we were all whopped pretty good. I had dirt and dust where dirt and dust shouldn’t be and was in desperate need for a good hose down. Jeremy wasn’t faring much better.

    We had kicked around the idea of riding again in the afternoon, maybe a bit of a flatter trail. We all agreed that riding was no longer really an option as muscles were completely spent. So we grabbed some lunch and made one last pit stop before we started the trip back north.
     
    #4 -   May 5, 2008
  5. dogwonder

    dogwonder Nitro

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    The pit stop consisted of a brief tour of Arches National park, which sits no more than 2 miles north of Moab. Hiking and exploring was out of the question, and we’d have to take the Cliffs Notes version of the tour so we weren’t driving into the night. I was exhausted and passed out in the bed of the truck but Jeremy and Jason did manage to see some of the more prominent figures in the park including Turret arch, North / South Window, Balanced Rock, Park Avenue, and Delicate Arch. Not much more to say, will let the pictures do the talking.
    Park Avenue

    Balanced Rock

    North / South Window

    Turret Arch

    North Window

    Some formation that looked like an elephant

    Delicate Arch

    That concluded the trip to Moab. Needless to say, I heart this place and can’t wait to get back there again. Thanks for enjoying the trip report!

    - Jeremy’s bike
     
    #5 -   May 5, 2008
  6. dogwonder

    dogwonder Nitro

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    Pssst. Jeremy’s skis here. The bike thinks that’s where the weekend ended, but it didn’t really. You see, when Jeremy and Jason got back on Saturday, there weren’t any plans for Sunday. So what could be a better complement to a weekend of riding in the desert than hit the other end of the spectrum and go skiing?

    The weather wasn’t very cooperative; it was overcast most of the day. This was a bit of problem for a ski area that had seen a ton of sun the past couple of days. The soft snow that had developed during the warm sunny days was absolutely bullet-proof this day. It certainly reminded me of the days back on the east coast. The ice made me chatter and dulled whatever edge I had left. I tried to bite into the slopes and rip some turns, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t impossible. We weren’t on the mountain for very long as tired legs and tough conditions chased us to an early après.
     
    #6 -   May 5, 2008
  7. laura

    laura DH_Laura

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    Jesus I am jealous. Looks like a fabuous time all around. Thanks for sharing.
     
    #7 -   May 5, 2008
  8. matt2991

    matt2991 penishead

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    I am going to Moab this summer. What would you say is the ideal bike for out there if i am going to be riding XC/AM. Mostly AM/small FR stuff.

    Thanks

    And what was the name of the group/shop you shuttled with?
     
    #8 -   May 5, 2008
  9. Nick

    Nick My name is Nick

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    behind you, don't wait up.
    looks like a great time!

    btw: I know a couple of those girls who shared your shuttle.
     
    #9 -   May 5, 2008
  10. dogwonder

    dogwonder Nitro

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    Porcupine Rim would be good with an All Mountain, lite Freeride set-up. I'm on a Yeti 575, something like a SC Nomad would probably be ideal.

    Just outside the Poison Spider bike shop is a shuttle service, they pick up in the parking lot. $10 per person to get to the PR trailhead, $15 for LPS. No need for an advance reservation, just get there a little early especially if you are on a weekend.

    For Slickrock, I'd suggest a good AM bike since there is a fair amount of climbing and descending, maybe a tendency to XC. I was on my Yeti and it worked fine; it was more just a lack of proper conditioning on my part.
     
  11. dogwonder

    dogwonder Nitro

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    No shat, small world. They could certainly ride their a$$es off. I'm glad we got talked into LPS. Although I'd actually like to see someone ride the notch. I don't see how it is at all possible.
     
  12. hooples3

    hooples3 Fuggetaboutit!

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    awesome pics.. looks like one heck of a time!!
     
  13. bitingback

    bitingback Turbo Monkey

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    those are amazing photos. that one shot riding the ridge looks INSANE!!!
     
  14. Mike B.

    Mike B. Turbo Monkey

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    I watched 3 locals fly down the notch a couple years back. I imagine it's degraded a bit since though. At the time, we started on UPS but I understand that's not possible any longer. As our group was trying to find the way the locals came flying by (we were warned they were on the way) and we watched them cruise on through.
     
  15. dogwonder

    dogwonder Nitro

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    I guess that's where my skills stop. I could crusie the notch but would end up flying into the trees.
     
  16. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    Great report, DW!
     
  17. stevew

    stevew unique white person

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    A perfectly good thread ruined with skiing.
     
  18. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    DPSFNR!!