Monday, November 05, 2007

Ah Fruita.....

So after 3+ years of living within 4 hours (make that 4.5!) of one of the premier mountain bike destinations in the country, I finally got a chance to get my tires dirty there. In a last minute "are you sure you want to do this" decision, I loaded up Friday after a long work week and John "The Punisher" Perry and I motored towards the Western Slope.

The weather promised to be outstanding all weekend, and that promise was upheld. We couldn't have asked for any better weather. We lucked out and instead of having to camp at a remote state park, we got to sleep in a newly built custom home courtesy of some friend's very gracious parents who recently moved to the Western Slope. Oh and they fed us a ridiculous amount of food too...

So on to the riding, which is why you go there...
Saturday our group of 9 loaded up and headed to the Kokopelli parking lot to sample some Fruita classics. We started with Horsethief Bench, which has a ridiculous entrance to it. Some rode about 1/2 way down, which was impressive, while most walked. No one cleaned it while we were there, but there are some who can ride it top to bottom.

Justin is the king of rolling ridiculously steep things

Once down the entrance to Horsethief Bench, we did that loop then walked back up to the top where we would start Mary's Loop. Mary's is fast and fun and took us over to Steve's Loop where we continued on to Handcuffs. At this point it was decision time.

Blue skies, great trails and good views.

This picture in now way shows how disgustingly tough this drop was. I walked it.

Our group had splintered into 5 and we opted to hit the "Most Difficult" Moore Fun trail. I've heard about Moore Fun, but it was much tougher than I expected. A long, rocky climb that was often unrideable for most of us was frustrating at times, but got better when you could actually string together a couple of rocky moves and make it up something you didn't expect to make.

Once we reached the top, the fun began as the technical down was a lot of fun, in a frightening "don't go over the bars" type of way. I was starting to get in tune with Betty the Yeti again, and my riding improved all day. At first the little wheels and suspension really had me spooked as I'm so used to riding the 29er rigid these days but I got progressively better as the trip went along.

Not a single pic from Moore Fun, and not really very many pics from the entire trip. The trails are just too much fun to be stopping and snapping that often.

So Day 1 was in the books. My fitness felt remarkably good considering I've really only been back on the bike the last couple of weeks, and my technical riding skills were slowly coming back. I think there is hope that I can salvage this tattered relationship with Betty the Yeti after all.

We ended up putting in a bit over 17 miles, about 2,000 feet of climbing and 2:20 of ride time. What you don't see in those numbers were that we were out for almost 6 hours that day, meaning lots of stopping for regroups/lunches/flats/mechanical problems/etc.

GPS Batteries died, so only the Polar HR graph this time and no pretty Google Earth from above shot...

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