Monday, May 11, 2009

Moab re-gains it's Mojo

Moab, the so called "mecca" of mountain biking lost that title a long time ago in my opinion. Fruita came on the scene in the 90's with way more trails most of which were singletrack and more interesting. Even St. George had passed Moab in my book again due to more singletrack and just as importantly better winter weather. After this weekend I'm happy to report Moab is back!

Drucy invited us, Triple H and Vremington (minus "ington" who was busy riding in circles) to hang with them for the weekend. Drucy are famous for being well informed tour guides of the Moab area so we were excited to go. Friday we met up at the Sovereign trailhead to explore some of the newly laid trail and newly improved old trail. Sovereign has always been one of our absolute favorite trails and it is now even better. The addition of the Salt Wash singletrack plus all the connectors allows you to form a nearly endless series of loops and really adds a lot to the old out and back trail. After nearly 20 miles and a full afternoon of shredding 1-track our low beer light was on so we packed it in and headed to the Moab Brewery where Drucy have the magic key fob that allows you to walk out the door with $6 growlers.

Saturday we decided to explore the newly legal Upper Porcupine Singletrack (UPS). If any of us had even the slightest clue as to the treat we were in for we wouldn't have been able to sleep Friday night. We parked our trucks at the Porcupine rim trailhead and spun out the mellow climb up Sand Flats road to the Kokopelli trail. Pedaled a mile up the Kokopelli to the junction with UPS and the real fun began. Just after the start of the trail Triple H fell victim to an endo on a particularly sketchy slickrock drop and had to head back to the car. She was OK but just a little too rattled to go on. We continued on for what might have been the best ride of our lives. The trail was indescribably amazing. Tight singletrack, amazing views and technical moves that pushed our limits just enough at every turn. The highlight was the long descent down the slickrock cliff face. I was on point and had just finished a bit of fast flowy singletrack through some pines when I was spit out at a high rate of speed on a steep slickrock cliff face. The trail markers are pointing me straight towards the edge and I'm moving way too fast to stop. Just before the edge the trail takes a hard left and I am dropped into a small sand trap and then back down another Slickrock face. Another drop into sand, a short up onto another slickrock ridge with a 6' gully on the left and some scrub trees to the right. Halfway down the steep ridge is a moderate left turn that drops you down to the dirt and back onto normal trail. After hero riding everything else the speed I carried into this section finally got the best of me and into the trees I went. Couple scrapes, no biggie. As I'm climbing out of the tree Drew and Alison ride by and I hear Rhonda behind me yelling "where am I going!" right before her and Lucy pop over the little up and ride by me. It was at this point that the best trail ever discussion began and it was a unanimous decision that we were on it. Much, much more of the same all the way down to the Porcupine rim and two days later I'm still sure it was the best trail I've ever ridden.....Period. Lucy, Alison and Rhonda were all amazing on this ride. They were fearless and were shredding trail like no girls I have ever seen. Drew and I kept trying to get ahead so we could stop and take pictures but every time we stopped there they were right behind us. They were blasting up and over steep slickrock boulders, rolling 3-4' drops and cleaning tech moves that would have made me cry just a few years ago. It was truly an honor to have ridden with them that day.

On the way out of town we hit Klondike Bluffs, Baby Steps and then Rays Tavern to cap off the best Moab trip ever.


KanyonKris said...

Cool report. I gotta get down to Moab and check out UPS. I've done the rerouted Sovereign and like it. We thought about Salt Wash, but some other riders said there was a lot of sand.

Did you like Baby Steps? I thought it was OK, but kinda lame. Some of the lines they chose got a little silly. I had more fun coming back down the standard Klondike Bluffs trail.

Andy H. said...

We rode Klondike uphill to the overlook and picked up Baby Steps at the upper turnoff so we didn't do the Baby Steps climb. I thought the downhill part of Baby Steps was pretty fun with some nice flow.

Lucy said...

I agree, that was possibly the best trail ever. At least top three for me. I can't speak for Alison and Rhonda, but I was doing moves on that trail that I didn't think possible. Must have been Moab Mojo! Great fun! Thanks for joining us!