Thursday, June 23, 2011


Have the week off, so naturally I've been spending it riding my bikes. Made the absolutely breathtaking voyage out to Moab, UT to see what all the hype is about. Camped on THE Colorado River. I emphasize "the" because, while living in Texas I lived on the less famous body of water by that name. The one in Moab is the one that flows through the Grand Canyon. And my was it flowing. At first glance it looks wide and slow, but from further study I saw that it was actually high and fast. There's so much snow melt out here that the waterways are overflowing.

I got into town mid-day, bought a map at a tiny, hip bike shop, set up camp (pic of truck above shows view from tent), and waited until the sun got lower. After I put much needed new brake pads in my bike, I ventured into, then above town to the legendary Slickrock trail system.

It sucked.

Now, mind you, I was riding a fully rigid single speed bike, still with an east coast gearing, but even with those limitations I didn't see the appeal. Cool geology? Totally. Great views. Yep. Fun riding? Eh. Give me some things to hop over, some switchbacks and some shade. You won't find those at these trails. Realizing I wasn't going to enjoy it much more, I cut my ride short. I'm glad to have experienced it first hand. It was neat to see a jeep guide maneuver some tricky sections out there as well. There are plenty of other trails in this area besides the slick rock sections too.

That night I made a pile of tasty tortellinis and washed it all down with a taste of home. Let me tell you, Hop Devil from Victory will blow your mind if you haven't had it for a while. Mmm. I spent dusk in that canyon studying my recently purchased map. There before me I formulated not a trail ride, but an ambitious road ride instead. It's nice driving around with three different bikes on your truck.

Early the next morning I packed up camp, moved my truck down the canyon to a beach lot, and started rolling down the still shaded road. My route was up along the Colorado, then right, towards the La Sal mountain range and up through Castle Valley (valley and Castle Tower in top pics). 6 hours later I sat in the river on a boat ramp, sun burned, de-hydrated, exhausted, happy. One of the best road rides my legs have taken me on.

My opinion of Moab was resurrected.

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