Wednesday, April 24, 2013
We ate at Miguel's, this fabulous little Mexican restaurant, all but one of the five evenings. Variety is the spice of life, right?
We ate, drank coffee and read at Love Muffin every morning.
The weather did not deter us from riding but it did remind us way too much of March in Duluth.
We got to battle the elements in Colorado on the drive out and back. Vail pass was especially bad. Got to see the aftermath of a Subaru (without snow tires?) trying to make up time on the icy Interstate (one for I 70, zero for Subaru). Also saw a car melting into the Interstate in Nebraska (stopped traffic for bit) and a couple of nasty accidents. We alway are thankful to have made it out and back without any serious trouble.
Our humble abode for the week. It got down to 25 one evening but our summer bags were good enough.
Sara and packed up our old 850 Volvo for a little R&R in Moab, UT by ourselves for the first time in over ten years. We put in over 25 hours of riding in six days and over 42 hours of driving in two days. I know this seriously violates some folk's rules on driving vs riding, but the riding in Moab continues to get better. A mechanic at Rim Cycle, a great shop my brother Brad worked at over ten years ago, said the local volunteers have been going gangbusters building new singletrack. It has gotten to the point were we don't have to ride any jeep trails anymore. In fact, it appears that Moab now has more twisty, turny midwest style singletrack than even Fruita, CO. I assumed IMBA had influence in the new trails but I ran into the IMBA rep for that area and he said they don't even have a chapter in Moab...
We were able to ride a good chunk of the Whole Enchilada (other than the upper La Sal trails since they were under snow). We did ride Sand Flats road to where it ends at the La Sal Mountain Loop Rd and then on to the Kokopelli single track, UPS, LPS, and the return down Porcupine single track to Highway 128. Long day in the saddle but incredible views to be had from the La Sal Mountains. I'd love to be able to do the other couple of higher elevation trails but there is always snow when we head out in April (not as much snow as we have in Duluth right now, but plenty nonetheless).
The other rides worth mentioning are the M.O.A.B. Brand trails, Klondike Bluff trails (yeah, your read that right), Pipe Dream (a stone's throw from downtown Moab) and Sovereign trail. We didn't get to ride the new stuff at Sovereign yet but if it is anything like the other stuff they've been building, it is a must ride.
We did make the mistake of doing over seven hours to complete the loop from our campsite in town of the Magnificent Seven trails, to Gold Bar/Gold Spike, to Poison Spider back to town. Sara thought it would be a good idea since the Epens did it last year. Way too much blacktop for me with such great single track available. It didn't help that Sara had two flats and one of the three tubes I brought had a Schrader valve. Needless to say, I had to ride her bike for the last half of the ride since we didn't have a patch kit and it was getting too late in the day to walk out there. Felt like a real rookie and have to admit that I was a bit nervous once she got the second flat. It didn't help that the Specialized FSR Expert 29er demo bike from the SKI HUT came with a patched sidewall. I had a new tire sitting in the Volvo that I would have gladly put on had I known the sidewall already had a hole in it and the patch would let loose during the ride.
Even though the weather was cold, wet and snowy for over half of the trip, it was the best bike trip to date. Sara rode the Specialized full suspension 29er for the first time and she was riding more stuff than ever by the end of the trip. I still have trouble believing how strong a rider Sara is. She can suffer more than many of the guys I ride with and she's determined to ride in any conditions. Hopefully we'll be able to do a trip like this every year because I forgot how easy it is to train for a week without any other responsibilities.