Monday, November 7, 2011

Moab Bike Trip: Everything I Know is Wrong

Day 5: Bar M Trails
Day 6: Klondike Bluffs Area

The title pretty much sums up the last two days riding.

Moab Day  6

That, and:


Moab Day 6


- "Use a low gear to climb". Wrong. In Moab, especially on the slickrock, mid to high gears are best. The slickrock is so sticky you don't have to apply even pressure, and high gears make getting up ledges easier.
- "Stay seated when climbing". Wrong. Same as above, stand up and drive a big gear.
- "The best biking is fast, swoopy singletrack". Not entirely correct. We spent 3 or 4 hours out today on every surface type imaginable and totaled about 20 km. And it was amazing.
- "Mountain biking is hard work. You have to earn your descents." Totally wrong. 3 or 4 hours today. Not a single minute where I felt like I was working. Pure fun the whole way.
- "Riding a bike through deep sand is really tough". Actually, that one is still true. We are discovering that the Moab sand is legendary.

Moab Day 6

Wednesday - we woke up to snow on the hills this morning.  In the desert.  I hope this is not a trend. Wednesday morning was spent orienting ourselves to Moab, setting up our camp, and all that boring stuff.  We were able to get out in the afternoon for our first real Moab ride.  And it lived up to it's name.  The "Bar M" area trails are a set of trails that increase in difficulty (the "M" trail being easiest, and the "B" trail being named "Killer B"). We had planned on riding them in M-O-A-B order, but ended up meeting another solo rider who had just arrived in town and wanted some people to ride with.  He had been here a few times before, so led the way.  His route of choice turned out to be skipping Killer B entirely, and riding the rest of the trails backward.  Starting with the third hardest sounds stupid, but wasn't too bad in the end. Instead of getting slowly more and more intimidated, we were intimidated right off the start.  After walking a few sections, suddenly the trail keeps getting easier and easier.  After about two hours, we were both cooked.  I think we will try and head back to these trails as one of our last rides, to see if we've made any improvements over our time here.

Moab Day 6

Thursday was a ride and hike combined.  Both were amazing. About four hours total, although only a little over 20 kilometers on the bikes.  I think it will take some time getting used to that - I am so used to looking at the odometer, comparing that to how tired I am, and using that as a judge of how my fitness is doing.  Doing that on a mountain bike in Moab is depressing.  So I'll have to switch to an hour count.

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