bikes general trip reports

Moab 7: Where it rains, we do laundry and I nap

The closest thing we had to a rest day, the morning was spent lurking about in the rain, then doing unexciting things like laundry, having showers and buying some groceries. Followed by a good nap.

Eventually Brendan got sick of all this sitting around and declared he was going on a ride anyway. Somehow I ended up being the one who went along with him, and we set out into the rain at Klondike Bluffs with the goal of riding Baby Steps.

A drowned rat, prior to reaching the mud

Things started off well enough, and if only we’d known which trails are good to ride in the wet they may have ended well too. As it was, we accidentally ended up in a clay-muddy quagmire, with bike tyres that would not turn. Thankfully there weren’t kilometres of that sort of nonsense, and after a few hundred metres we escaped onto rock and made our way back to the car. By which time it had stopped raining anyway. After shaking our fists at the heavens for a while, we sighed and went and cleaned our bikes.

On the plus side, Brendan made a tasty and plentiful carbonara for dinner, and the rain didn’t come back. And Jackie arrived!

Distance biked: 14.6 km
Elevation gain: 242 m

bikes general trip reports

Moab 6: Not Moab at all, but a day trip to Fruita, Colorado

We’d all heard wonderful things about the riding in Fruita, Colorado. Well, Alex and I had heard wonderful things, and Brendan had ridden there, and seemed to think it was a good idea. The idea of going over there and camping for a night or two was proposed, but dubious weather and cool overnight temperatures led to a day trip only – to 18 Road.

Zipping over to Western Zipity

The Moosling running most of the way up Prime Cut

Probaby on Western Zipity

Alex on Zipity Doo Dah

The Moosling stares disdainfully from the Tout Singletrailer – probably on Kessel Run

18 Road, Fruita – lots of swoopy fun single track

The Moosling with Mike the Headless Chicken in Fruita

We rode until our legs nearly fell off, then headed back into town.

All in all, 18 Road felt a lot like a nicely bolted sport-climbing area. Fun, and a great workout, but a little tame. I’d love to go back and explore some of the bigger trails the area has to offer.

Distance biked: 38 km
Elevation gain: 785 m

bikes general trip reports

Moab 5: Dead Horse Point State Park

This was a fairly quiet an uneventful day. The single trail at Dead Horse Point State Park was very, very, very family friendly. At least the views were great, looking out over the Canyonlands.

There were no dead horses while we were there, or cars flying off the precipitous cliffs, although apparently this area was used for the final scene in Thelma & Louise.

We couldn’t convince the Moosling to jump for a photo, but he quite enjoyed the jump photos otherwise

After a wander about, and lunch on top of a rock, Moosling and I dropped the guys off at the trailhead for Magnificent 7 (or at least, part of Magnificent 7). My bike was dropped off for a service in town, we splashed out and had showers AGAIN, and then the Moosling got to play in the park before we headed back to camp.

The wind had picked up, filling our tents, mouths, hair, food and eyes with fine red desert sand. So there was a downside to camping in the desert this time of year. I decided to escape the wind by going for a run in it. Not a very cunning plan, but at least I got to explore the Slickrock trail a little.

Distance biked: 13.1 km
Elevation gain: 124 m

bikes general trip reports

Moab 4: Porcupine Rim (no porcupines present)

The Moosling and I spent a morning around camp – mostly climbing the mountain and going exploring – while Alex and Greban went riding on the Slickrock trail.

Later in the morning our messiah (aka Jeremy) turned up, and Alex & Finn performed shuttle duties, dropping us off at the top of the UPS trail (no higher, thanks to muddy trails) to start Porcupine Rim. Porcupine Rim is one of the ‘must-do’ trails of Moab, and though it largely consists of double track, it certainly has spectacular views. Most people do it as 23km of mostly downhill (although it’s far from easy, effortless downhill), and a few mad folk do it as a 50km loop. I have a suspicion that Alex and I would fall into the latter category were it not for the limiting factors of offspring and riding with more mentally stable companions.

After an initial uphill slog, we started winding our way downhill on pleasant single track through the trees.

The trail kept sneaking up to Porcupine Rim, with outstanding views of Castle Valley, so there were quite a few photo stops.

I was nursing my bike a little, as I’d realised that not only were my front shock seals gone, but my front and rear brake pads were both close to worn through as well. Nonetheless I mostly managed to hang onto Jeremy and Brendan’s tail as we flew downhill, and it was a good crash course (thankfully with no crashing) in remembering how to descend on dirt.

The last section of single trail by the Colorado River gets a little more interesting and exposed, but in a thought-provoking rather than mind-numbingly terrifying sort of way (despite Brendan’s attempts beforehand to ensure I was well and truly worried about falling to my doom on this part of the trail). By the time we descended to river-level and the car, I was just ready for the trail to keep going and going, and was more than a little disappointed that it had ended.

We did treat ourselves with showers in town though (Sand Flats has no running water), and then we even bought dinner instead of cooking back at camp. Luxury.

Distance biked: 27.5 km
Elevation gain: 176 m

bikes general moosling trip reports

Moab 3: Sovereign Trail System and Klondike Bluffs

The day started with rain, and I happily lurked in my tent until I was ordered forth by a toddler overlord who requested ‘tasty food’. I cooked porridge in the rain, and I don’t know if he was terribly impressed. I wasn’t either, as the showers continued until 11am or so. We moved our picnic table under the juniper tree and huddled.

Brendan, who by this stage was known as Greban (and don’t even think of arguing with a two year old on such matters, it’s just not done) suggested we should ride the Garden Mesa trail over in the Sovereign Trail System. In a pattern that was to be repeated many times over the coming days, I said “Oh alright, that sounds like a good idea”, and we set off.

The Sovereign Trail System is full of coppery green, and looks suspiciously like a generic ‘alien landscape’ set from any number of low-budget space movies. After overcoming my initial reservations about this strange green landscape, the trail turned out to be fun, if a little on the sandy side in places. The place was fairly deserted as we climbed up onto the Mesa, rode around a bit, and then dropped down back to our car.

Here Brendan rides towards the camera in a completely un-staged photograph

After returning to camp for what was either a late lunch or an early dinner, who can say, we all set off together and headed to the Klondike Bluffs area.

The excellent campsite at Sand Flats

By the time we started riding it was around 5pm, which ended up giving us really nice light, a good temperature level, and pleasing lack of rain. Now if only we could make it to the summit and back before sunset, we wouldn’t be eaten by wolves. (Spoiler alert – No-one was eaten by wolves)

The riding was pleasant, and easy enough for towing the Tout over, and finished with a wee walk into Arches National Park to reach the summit of the Klondike Bluffs area. The Moosling was impressed with his freedom, and enjoyed galloping to the top of the mountain and declaiming something or other at the pillars.

And so we descended the mighty mountain, and it was lovely and quite enjoyable, and then the Moosling played ‘Help, help, I’m stuck in a cattle grid!’ while we loaded everything back into and onto the car. (Oh, and there were also some alleged dinosaur footprints, which I was unexcited by)

Distances biked: 14.5+14 km
Elevation gain: 320+225 m