Monday, November 15, 2010

Moab--the Mountain Biking Mecca Part One

Ok, ok.  I get it now.  For all these years I kept thinking, "Moab can't have better biking than Grand Junction!  We rock!"  But after finally, finally getting to ride there this past weekend, I can honestly tell you that Moab has one thing we never will:  miles and miles of slickrock.

Unlike the name implies, slickrock is super grippy.  So much so that you can bike down it with no fear of a tire slipping.  See?

This picture was taken on the Circle O trail, which is part of the Moab Brand Trails right off of Hwy 191 by the "Chuckwagon" Bar M entertainment area.   Starting on the Bar M trail (which is really a dirt road for the most part) you head counterclockwise out to the Bar B trail.  The Bar B is more technical than the description claims.  It's quite rocky in places, with lots of possible tire traps!  Be careful!  From the Bar B you join back with the Bar M briefly, and then down to the Rockin' A on your right.

The Rockin A is all slickrock.  So super cool to ride!  You follow the concrete stain and stick to it.  Don't veer off because you'll end up running over cryptobiotic soil!  It's alive and you will kill it if you get off the trail.  The stain is there for a reason.

The Rockin A had some techincal moments, but was a lot of fun.  Just up and over and around rocky sections, down a few ledges, up some steep stuff.  Finally you run into the Circle O, which adds 3 more miles of slickrock riding.  In all this time we saw 1 other person out on the trails.  Crazy!

At the end of the Circle O you once again join the Bar M and head down some fun whoop-de-whoos.  A few miles of pedaling take you back to your car and (hopefully) the beer that awaits you.

The Brand Trails offer something for everyone--the Circle O would be fine for someone as an introduction to slickrock.  They wouldn't be able to ride it all, but they could get a feel for it in a relatively safe environment.  The Bar M is great for beginners, and the Rockin' A and Bar B offer something for the intermediate/expert.  There is even another one called the Killer B that is EXPERTS ONLY!  We didn't venture to it!