bikes general trip reports

Moab 10: Slickrock, the return

Early in the morning it hovered around 0°C. The Moosling and I drove everyone and their bikes up to the top of UPS, where it was a nice warm and snowy -4°C, and dropped them off to ride down Porcupine Rim. I was not terribly sorry to be missing out as I hopped back into a warm car and drove to a playground in town, where I failed to nap a little while the Moosling had a great time (the playground in Moab with all the musical instruments is wonderful).

The nice snowy trails they were riding on Porcupine Rim

Once they were on the lower parts of the trail it seems it warmed up enough for them to mess around taking photos of themselves riding off a rock

The Moosling and I drove around to meet them at the bottom of the trail, and then returned everyone back to camp.

Sadly, Jackie’s bike hire was now finished, and she disappeared back into the welcoming arms of the rock climbing brethren (and sistren). But somehow Brendan was convinced to act as sole Greban for a couple of hours so Alex and I could go out and ride the Slickrock trail together – and so we did.

It hadn’t changed much in the few days since I last rode it. The weather was a little more pleasant, and we were travelling a lot more quickly. And we included the practice loop on the way back as well. And Alex was there to persistently ride up every single maddeningly steep uphill, but eye off the downhills dubiously and find less steep ways to get down. But overall, jolly nice and what ho, etcetera.

On returning to camp, the Moosling had not burnt down Greban, or vice versa… but it was officially our LAST NIGHT IN MOAB.

Distance biked: 17.7 km
Elevation gain: 349 m

bikes general trip reports

Moab 8: Slickrock!

After a morning spent in an RV, waiting for the rain to clear (we didn’t just break into an RV, it belonged to friends who turned up for a night, honestly) we decided to head out and ride the Slickrock trail. But not before experiencing the strange taste sensation of garlic pancakes. Not only were they garlic-flavoured pancakes, but they were unintentionally garlic-flavoured pancakes, with no known source for the garlic. The pot didn’t taste of garlic, the raw pancake powder didn’t taste of garlic, the milk didn’t taste of garlic, the butter used in the pan wasn’t garlic butter. And yet we were faced with pancake after pancake with a strong garlic flavour.

Turning our thoughts away from garlic pancakes, we wandered a couple of hundred metres down the road to ride the famous Slickrock trail.

Firstly, let me clear up something. “Slickrock” is not terribly slick, it’s actually sandstone, and quite grippy. The slickrock on the Slickrock trail is Navajo Sandstone.The entire trail just follows white painted dashes on the rock, and apart from a few dives into brief pits of sand, is basically all riding on rock. The trail was originally developed in 1969 for motorcycles, so you’re not supposed to glare at them too much when they come revving past you. We didn’t run into many though, and they were all very friendly anyway. There’s another trail for 4x4s which criss-crosses through the same area, so you’re liable to see Jeeps posing silhouetted on the top of rock hummocks as well. That about covers it I think.

Without further ado, here are the photos (photos of me courtesy of Greban). They’re all fairly self-explanatory and involve people riding bikes on rock, so please mentally caption them yourselves…

Distance biked: 16.9 km
Elevation gain: 348 m

Note: The garlic pancake mystery was later solved when it was revealed that there was an extra ingredient added to the batter – an oil which was garlic infused. So the RV wasn’t psychotropic, and the pancakes really were garlic-flavoured. I don’t recommend it to anyone.