Tuesday at work I get an email from my buddy Luke, one of the graphic designers at the Brewers Association.
“I know it is super late notice, but a good friend & I are ripping Moab Thursday night – Sunday (taking off Friday — home by dinner time Sunday). Love to have you come with as the third if you could swing it. Doing the Whole Enchilada on Sat for sure .. Not sure about the rest of the time. Buddy has a camper we are heading down in.”
I was hooked right then. After making a few arrangements and making some plans via email, we were all set for our first Moab mountain biking trip.
The Players (From L to R):
Myself – AKA CBT/Luke Trautwein – AKA Sasquatch/Mike Mowen – AKA Moe
We picked up a few supplies before heading out of town….
By 7PM Thursday night we were on the road in a Toyota Tacoma with a camper packed with three guys in a small cab, enough beer and firewood for a small village, and the rest of our bike gear. We only made it to the Colorado/Utah border by midnight, so we pulled off and nabbed a few hours rest before tomorrow’s ride on the Whole Enchilada.
We’ll maybe not the WHOLE, but most of it. Apparently, the pass (tops out around 11,000′) doesn’t typically open until June, but we were able to ride about 25 or so miles of it. We showed up at the Chile Pepper Bike Shop at 10:30 and loaded our bikes on the Coyote Shuttle for the hour trip to the top of the trail. I’ve gotta say, they’ve got pretty neat shuttle service with a cool vibe. I’d definitely recommend riding with them and getting any work done at this shop. Luke managed to break a derailleur cable on this trail and they fixed it in five minutes for only a few bucks and then they gave us all the trail and camping beta we could ask for in a weekend.
Anyways, I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking…
This trail lives up to all the hype around it. Its fast, technical, and exposed in parts. I was not disappointed one bit in the 3.5 hours it took us to get down. As we sat at the bar of the Moab brewery, all we could do is smile and say “damn, what a ride”.
Satisfied, we opted out of another ride for the day and set out camp outside of town and played “hit the rock”. And for those of you wondering, it really is that simple. You throw a rock at a set target, which happens to be another rock. But we stepped the game up a notch and hucked rocks off a bluff towards small head-sized rocks 100 feet below us.
We woke up saturday and headed to the Sovereign Trail system. It pretty much had it all. Slickrock, fast downhills, stiff climbs, sand, rocks, you name it. Incredibly scenic and we saw only a handful of people on the trail.
After another solid day of riding, we moved camp further north of town to the Klondike Bluffs riding area. While Luke and Moe decided to chill by camp, I rallied and cranked out a few more miles for a sunset ride before the next day. We really began to feel the milage at this point, so the night was spent relaxing around the fire, kicking back some canned craft beers which are perfect for camping.
Here’s some pics from Sunday’s ride:
Sometimes I forget how nice it is to ride with talented photographers. Luke crushes it behind any lens on the trail or at work. And with a kid on the way, I’m stoked we could all ride together one last time before his fatherhood (which I have no doubt that he’s gunna be great at). Congrats Buddy!
This Trip by the Numbers:
Six packs of beer: 9
Miles ridden: 70 (for me), 60 (LT and Moe)
Crashes between Luke and I: 2
Crashes by Mike: Way more than 2
Average speed of a tacoma with a camper: 60 mph
Bundles of wood for three nights: 6?
Total times we claimed to have “won the game”: 14
Actual times any of us actually hit a rock in the game: 0
And one soon-to-be dad (Luke)