Thursday, November 10, 2011

Moab Bike Trip: I Love My Bike!

Day 9: Baby Steps Loop at Klondike Bluffs

So far Matt has been keeping everyone up to date about our trip... I figured it was about time to throw in my own two cents. Sorry if I repeat anything...

I came into this trip a little apprehensive. I am not exactly the world's best mountain biker. It would be fairly safe to say that at times a mouse would be less timid. Alas, I really enjoy the combination of mountains and biking - so I try hard. And tend to prefer easy trails... I'd read a couple of things about Moab and although it seemed to pale in comparison to BC's drops and four alarm fire descents (none of which I ride), it still sounded extremely technical.

Our trip down went fairly smoothly and I fell in love with the Salt Lake City area. Fat Cyclist really chose right when he moved to Alpine! We were hoping to drive the American Fork Canyon on our way through but thanks to the early snow storm the road was closed and we were left contemplating whether or not we were going to make it over the Wasatch mountains as we climbed higher and higher out of Salt Lake.

Fast forward to our first ride. We decided to start at the Moab Brand Trails because they were listed in the guide book as the "family" area in Moab. We met up with a nice guy, Richard, at the trailhead. He was out alone and asked if we wanted to ride together. Talk about pressure! He said he wasn't fast... Ya he was fast, and very skilled, and would have outridden me any day of the week (after our two'ish hour ride he went back out to ride it the other way round!). But I did make it, and only walked about half of "Rockin' A" and a quarter of "Circle O". Further more, I LOVED it, and couldn't wait to get back out for more!

The next day, on the Klondike Bluffs trails, I made the biggest gains in my mountain biking yet. I finally learned to ride lifts and to ride off ledges landing on my back wheel. These two things may seem small, but they open up a HUGE amount of technical terrain. Once I figured it out, I was suddenly seeking out harder lines, riding tons more and actually enjoying the ledges on the down hill! And the harder I ride, the more and more I love, love, love my new bike!

That brings up to Day 9. We decided to go back to the Klondike Bluffs area because there are several trails and we had had so much fun the first time. We thought it would be a good test of how much our skills had improved since the first day. This time we followed the same uphill single track, but skipped out on the hike to the Bluffs and the descent down the Klondike Trail and instead continued down the "Baby Steps" trail.

Moab Day 9

I am definitely less fearful and rode much more, including the scary section under the big boulder. Last time I walked the whole section, while this time I only touched down once!

At first, the new section of trail wasn't that great - it followed a rough, gnarly Jeep trail up to the top of the hill, and then dropped straight back down the other side. Even Matt walked some of the downhill. We then traversed up the valley before turning back onto single track.

I don't know why, but for some reason, I'm very tired this trip. I feel like I've come off sitting on the couch for two months. My legs never hurt but my lungs just don't get going. I'm finally over my quad injury, but now my lungs don't seem to want to cooperate.

Anyways, starting into the single track again, I was cold, tired and feeling pretty miserable about life. Finally, we stopped to take a break in a sheltered area. Several handfuls of gummy bears later, I feeling much better. Funny how such little things can change your whole outlook. We quickly reached the top of the final climb and turned down a section of absolutely fantastic mellow, ledgy downhill. We got to the bottom with huge grins and a plot to come back and ride it again.

Moab Day 9

Oh, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE my bike!

Moab Day 9

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