Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mountain biking in Moab

It's hard to believe I haven't posted here yet about our trip to Moab, Utah. Ian and I went there as part of a Blue Monkey Adventure excursion. I've posted a story and photos there and on Facebook and I Twittered during the trip, but alas I failed to actually mention something on my blog that deals with cycling. Let's make amends.

Tom and Ian at Uranium Arch near Moab.

We went hiking in Arches National Park, found dinosaur tracks and native petroglyphs, and did some bouldering and rock scrambling. One of the highlights of the trip was the half day "intermediate" ride we did called the Blue Buffalo. Our guide was from Rim Tours and he did a great job. He gave us lots of pointers on navigating over the unfamiliar terrain. Riding in Moab is nothing like riding in Michigan. We climbed from the valley floor to the canyon rim over boulder strewn dirt, sand and slickrock. The views from on top were incredible.

The view from the canyon rim. We rode up to this point.

After some snacks we started our descent. As hard as the ride up was physically, coming down was that hard mentally. We had to pay close attention every second. Those rocks and boulders that were easy to avoid going up now came upon us very quickly as we were going down. It was an exhilarating ride down the mountain. When the ride was finished so were we. I can't imagine how tough an "advanced" ride must be. Ian and I had lunch and then went back to the Red Cliffs Lodge and watched basketball (Final Four) for the rest of the evening. We didn't even have the energy to go to dinner. Thank goodness for jerky and granola bars.

Ian and our guide heading out across the slickrock.

Thanks to Bill our guide for all the help and the really cool Cannondale bikes we got to ride. I have something new on my wish list now.

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