I'm a bit behind on the blog, as we just got in to Idaho this evening, having left Moab this morning. So in order to catchup on some of the riding I've been doing the time machine is going to take us back to Durango...
Great riding in Durango, the image above is on Telegraph Trail which is part of a series of trails just a few minutes from the town center. If you've only got a couple of hours and want something convenient, this little area is fun. There are areas on both sides of town that let you put something together, I found myself laughing out loud on a couple of occasions, railing around a corner all by myself. Good times. All the trails are really well marked as there are maps at every junction on the 'Trail 2000' system.
The riding around Durango is a mixed bag, as you can see above (Anasazi Descent and a nameless trail I dropped in to) on a single ride you will bump in to tight foliage on top of steep singletrack, followed by buffed-out wide open meadows with not a rock in sight, then within 5mins you will be in a jagged downward pitch full of big granite obstacles. Totally fun riding.
While in Durango I wanted to do a big day effort so I made an attempt to do the Lower and Upper Hermosa trail then slide over to the Colorado Trail in a really big loop. I didn't manage to complete the loop due to inclement weather and slow slogging mud riding, though I did get 5hrs of saddle time in going up to the Upper Hermosa and back down to the trailhead at the Lower Hermosa.
The start of the rain and mud fest that slowed me down.
This motorbike along Hermosa had seen better days. And taking a break at a tree log-bridge creek crossing.
From Durango we continued on to Fruita. Funky little town with a great pizza place called The Hot Tomato (which may be closed by now based on the landlord raising the rent to double). The riding around Fruita was fantastic, the Kokopelli Trail should be on everybody's list.
This image is part of the 18hrs of Fruita course, which was situated right at our campsite 'Highline State Park', a great place for the kids (and adults). Doreen and I both did laps on the race course which was in great shape, a loop took approx 30mins if you were hitting it at a quick pace. A couple of laps just before bedtime was a good way to end the day, that's for sure.
Of course the epic-style riding was done out on the Kokopelli. Again a real mixed bag of terrain, incredible views everywhere you looked. I didn't know if I should be riding or taking photos most of the time. Unfortunately all I carry on a ride is my iPhone so the image quality doesn't do anything justice. Here's some images from Kokopelli.
If you look real close in this image you can see the trail system I was on an hour earlier and then beyond that is the Colorado River. Like I said, incredible views, everywhere.
This next couple are crazy funny. I came tearing around a corner and slammed on the brakes when I saw this little lizard sitting on a rock. Lizard, no big deal right, except this guy was the weirdest colors so I wanted to take a photo. I took the first image from quite a distance not wanting to scare it, but the little character wasn't giving up any ground and he let me get closer and closer until I was about one foot away. I couldn't believe this lizard, gutsy.
I swear we would still be standing there staring at each other if I didn't have more riding to do. He just didn't have a care in the world. Check out the black arrow in the first image.
From Fruita we went on to Moab, as Doreen had never ridden there before. I hit Moab about 8yrs ago and even then I thought it was over-hyped. I figured this time around I'd do a few things I hadn't the last time so for my first ride I went out and did the 24hrs of Moab course - it sucked. Seriously, terrible course. I would rather not ride my bike than have to ride that course. Trying to find something positive to say about it, all I can come up with is... some nice views.
The following day I went out to Slickrock Main Trail for a couple of hours. If you have the juice to go up the steeps the tires will stick to the rock like velcro and let you go up some crazy elevation grades. Just point your bike up a wall and ride up it is kind of fun for a while but it bored me after a couple of hours. Looking at the wattage after the ride was entertaining, several 1300+ watt spikes from pounding up the really steep sections. I had incentive to make all the climbs (that's right honey, every single one, first timed) as Doreen said it wasn't possible to climb them all and if I did she would buy dinner (which isn't much of a bet since we had to eat dinner anyway and I ended up using my wallet to pay for dinner, huh?).
The next day I was a bit down on Moab, I think it's the over-hyped marketing pitch as a mountain biking mecca that gets tiresome, I don't think the trails really deliver world-class. I changed my mind about the riding though after hitting the Sovereign Trail system for 3hrs on our last day in Moab.
Seriously excellent riding. Lots of singletrack, rock work, steeps, switchbacks, ledges, slickrock and the views were epic. I didn't see a single person out there the whole time. Of course that might have been because I was in the middle of nowhere, and I started riding at noon and the temps were 100 degrees and throw in the reflective heat off the white sand and rock and that might have kept most people off the trail.
I pushed myself off trail a bit to go exploring and bumped into the boundary of Arches National Park, as you can see in the image it was quite a lot of slickrock to ride on, it made me feel pretty small being out in the middle of all that rock.
Sovereign Trail and Salt Wash Trail made the time in Moab a worthwhile riding stopover. I would go back to Moab just to spend some more hours in the Sovereign system.
The next couple of days are going to be spent driving primarily, we plan on being in Vancouver on the 25th. BC Bike Race registration is on the 27th and beginning on the 28th I get to see how my legs are feeling at race pace. Bring it! ;-)
Jun 23, 2009