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**Features

Mountain Biking USA



MOUNTAIN BIKING USA.

PART ONE. THE MOAB CHRONICLES



A friend of mine gets back from Nepal and gloats about
what a fantastic time he’s had out there. Partway
through the conversation he mentions that he met
some Americans and they raved about Moab, Utah as
a bit of a MTB mecca. The seeds of intent were sown.
After a bit of internet surfing, I had information on
motels, restaurants, cycle routes and the climate for
May.


Two months later we arrived at Denver following a ten
hour flight from Heathrow (via Chicago). Having picked
up the bikes from baggage reclaim we went to the Avis
desk to sort out the hire car. There the receptionist
there tells us that for the money we had already paid
we could have a 4WD sports utility. Sounds like fun.
We drove away from Denver airport in a Isuzu
Trooper, all 3.5 litres of it.


Following a long drive through spectacular scenery,
snow and an overnight stop in Glenwood Springs we
arrived in Moab Utah. Having made a previous
booking at the Redstone Inn we were itching to get out
and ride. First stop, up to the famous Slick Rock Bike
Trail.


The trail consists of rugged sandstone outcrops and is
extremely demanding both physically and technically.
The trial, marked by dotted lines is approx 15 miles
long and can take upwards of two hours to complete.
The riding was intense taking in steep sided slopes
narrow ledges and sandy flats.


Back to the motel and to the Moab Diner for something
to eat. Moab is graced with the usual fast food joints,
Pizza Hut, McD, however the Diner provided the best
value with a selection of local dishes.


The next morning a breakfast of pancakes and maple
syrup set us up for the Porcupine Rim Trail. The ride
started off at 6000ft with a gentle rocky climb to 7000ft
with spectacular views over Castle Valley. Then
followed 10 miles of singletrack descent starting along
jeep trails running into extreme singletrack alongside
500ft drops into canyons below. All
the way down you’re taking a pounding from the rock
strewn tracks, but what a buzz.


The following day it was up to the Top of the World,
starting with a 3100ft climb. Two and half hours later
we were at the top sitting upon a rocky outcrop over a
drop of 2000ft. After a well earned break it was
downhill, seven miles in 35 minutes. Described as
Gonzo this ride is a must for the supreme downhill it
offers.


Waking up to a cloudy sky the next morning we spent
the day driving around the Arches National Park. More
offroad but of the 4WD kind. Egged on by my
travelling partner we spent an afternoon driving up and
down more rock strewn tracks in the comfort of the van
(and air conditioning). Didn’t manage
to use the cruise control though.


Having resisted the temptation of the handful of bike
shops, we succumbed and spent a few hours perusing
the likes of Posion Spider, Rim Cyclery and Chili
Pepper the following morning. In the afternoon it was
back onto the bikes and along the Moab Rim trail, not
in the guidebook, this takes in a near impossible climb
of over 1000ft in less than a mile. A real lung buster.
At the top we gazed over the town before proceeding
around the rim into Hidden Canyon and a steep hike down back to Moab.



Another showerery day saw the 4WD getting a run
around the Canyonlands National Park. The following
two days we rode the Kane Creek Trail and Poison
Spider Mesa Trail which took in more sandstone
escarpments intermingled with rock strewn tracks.
After this we had totally had enough of the pounding
that the terrain had offered. Coupled with the sandy
flats which are impossible to ride we were rapidly
loosing interest. A change of venue was required.
After a quick scan through some guide books and a
look on the map the following day saw us set off for
Durango, Colorado.


The riding in Moab has to be experienced to be
believed, it is totally extreme. The map guides that
are available provide invaluable trail information and
guidance. If you go there be prepared for a rough ride.

Share

**Features

Mountain Biking USA



MOUNTAIN BIKING USA.

PART ONE. THE MOAB CHRONICLES



A friend of mine gets back from Nepal and gloats about
what a fantastic time he’s had out there. Partway
through the conversation he mentions that he met
some Americans and they raved about Moab, Utah as
a bit of a MTB mecca. The seeds of intent were sown.
After a bit of internet surfing, I had information on
motels, restaurants, cycle routes and the climate for
May.


Two months later we arrived at Denver following a ten
hour flight from Heathrow (via Chicago). Having picked
up the bikes from baggage reclaim we went to the Avis
desk to sort out the hire car. There the receptionist
there tells us that for the money we had already paid
we could have a 4WD sports utility. Sounds like fun.
We drove away from Denver airport in a Isuzu
Trooper, all 3.5 litres of it.


Following a long drive through spectacular scenery,
snow and an overnight stop in Glenwood Springs we
arrived in Moab Utah. Having made a previous
booking at the Redstone Inn we were itching to get out
and ride. First stop, up to the famous Slick Rock Bike
Trail.


The trail consists of rugged sandstone outcrops and is
extremely demanding both physically and technically.
The trial, marked by dotted lines is approx 15 miles
long and can take upwards of two hours to complete.
The riding was intense taking in steep sided slopes
narrow ledges and sandy flats.


Back to the motel and to the Moab Diner for something
to eat. Moab is graced with the usual fast food joints,
Pizza Hut, McD, however the Diner provided the best
value with a selection of local dishes.


The next morning a breakfast of pancakes and maple
syrup set us up for the Porcupine Rim Trail. The ride
started off at 6000ft with a gentle rocky climb to 7000ft
with spectacular views over Castle Valley. Then
followed 10 miles of singletrack descent starting along
jeep trails running into extreme singletrack alongside
500ft drops into canyons below. All
the way down you’re taking a pounding from the rock
strewn tracks, but what a buzz.


The following day it was up to the Top of the World,
starting with a 3100ft climb. Two and half hours later
we were at the top sitting upon a rocky outcrop over a
drop of 2000ft. After a well earned break it was
downhill, seven miles in 35 minutes. Described as
Gonzo this ride is a must for the supreme downhill it
offers.


Waking up to a cloudy sky the next morning we spent
the day driving around the Arches National Park. More
offroad but of the 4WD kind. Egged on by my
travelling partner we spent an afternoon driving up and
down more rock strewn tracks in the comfort of the van
(and air conditioning). Didn’t manage
to use the cruise control though.


Having resisted the temptation of the handful of bike
shops, we succumbed and spent a few hours perusing
the likes of Posion Spider, Rim Cyclery and Chili
Pepper the following morning. In the afternoon it was
back onto the bikes and along the Moab Rim trail, not
in the guidebook, this takes in a near impossible climb
of over 1000ft in less than a mile. A real lung buster.
At the top we gazed over the town before proceeding
around the rim into Hidden Canyon and a steep hike down back to Moab.



Another showerery day saw the 4WD getting a run
around the Canyonlands National Park. The following
two days we rode the Kane Creek Trail and Poison
Spider Mesa Trail which took in more sandstone
escarpments intermingled with rock strewn tracks.
After this we had totally had enough of the pounding
that the terrain had offered. Coupled with the sandy
flats which are impossible to ride we were rapidly
loosing interest. A change of venue was required.
After a quick scan through some guide books and a
look on the map the following day saw us set off for
Durango, Colorado.


The riding in Moab has to be experienced to be
believed, it is totally extreme. The map guides that
are available provide invaluable trail information and
guidance. If you go there be prepared for a rough ride.

Share

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