Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Redstone goes to Moab

I'm still recovering from this last weekend. Tonight was the Tuesday ride, too. Just a day of rest later. To say I'm tired would be an understatement. Here is why...

Let's start on Wednesday eve. Late on Wed eve. Melis and I were at the bike shop, it was midnight or so, and we were drinking beers and working on bikes. Not to mention that we weren't in a hurry, as we were also waiting on MG from NE. No sooner than we cracked open our 2nd or 3rd beer, we were witness to blinding lights shining thru the front window of the bike shop. It was our good friend Johnny. Johnny Law. He thought he'd investigate since Melis's pickup was parked right outside the door, and the Jeep was parked right next to it with the tailgate up. Turns out he was a new night sargeant and was making the rounds. Since we're suspicious enough characters, I guess, he stopped in to make sure that proper things were happening in proper places. I assured him that was the case and he was on his way. Senor MG rolled up just as JL was on his way out. It was quite the reintroduction of a good friend not seen in too long. It ended up being a late night of packing and getting caught up.

We headed out on Thursday. It was a beautiful day, just the kind you want for a road trip. The drive was quick and uneventful. After a brief stop in Vail for real beer (for Utah) and snackies, I got a call from Tucson D, aka "the wind." It is for good reason that he has been nicked the wind, and it was just our day that the wind was on our side. Tucson D was already in Moab (with a rented motorhome) and had staked us out a mighty fine spot just up Sand Flats road. After much ado, screwing around, faceplanting on the road, and remounting a dirty burped UST tire, we headed down the long road (about 1/4 mile) to Slickrock. I had a taste of it when I was out last Fall and the sample was good enough that I wanted to ride it again. It had been a long time since I was out on Slickrock. Same for all of us.
Tucson D smiles in agreement. Yes, too long indeed. Since it was a mighty fine day and the wind had already ridden in the am, we decided it best to stop for a trail break before we continued on and the wind blew back to camp.

Not long after we stopped for another break. Not too bad, sitting on the edge of the rim, looking at the Portal. Such a beautiful day.
The day was getting late, and we were hankering to get into that real beer that we bought in Vail, so we were off.
Day Two *or* The Rainy Day.
I awoke to the drip drop of rain on the motorhome. Rain sounds funny inside those things. I was certainly in a state when it was bedtime on Thurs, and a quick perusal of the innards of the Jeep revealed that I had forgoten my sleeping bag. Good thing that motorhome had a queen sized bed.
We weren't in a hurry (seemed to be the theme of the weekend), as we were waiting on another trio of riders arriving from Boulder. Despite the rain, spirits were still chipper. The ride loomed upon us. What once started as a "we're not going to ride the same old stuff in Moab" trip, turned into riding the same old stuff in Moab. With the same old smiles, of course. It was around noon before we got off our collective asses to arrange the shuttle for Porcupine Rim. Last time I rode it, I was on the 29" Turner Sultan. I was eager to get out on the Intense 6.6 to see just what a big bike can do. Anyway, I was not smiling after I dropped off the catch cars and we drove up to the Porcupine Rim trailhead. I have ridden Porc as a loop a few times, but this was not the day. Especially given the fact that the skies had opend up and were DUMPING down rain. Discussions of aborting the mission were on board, but thankfully, it had stopped raining by the time we made it to the trailhead. We found a window. We would soon find out that this window was, indeed, a suckerhole. Not knowing this to be a suckerhole (as all suckerholes go) we geared up and rode off. Simply starting on the jeep road would have been too easy. Instead, feeling guilty and all about shuttling, we pedaled 6.+ miles up Sand Flats road.
It was a great way to warm up. Easy road, beautiful scenery. Of course, the road was less easy and the scenery was a little less beautiful as we neared our exit. But that's how climbing goes sometimes. Trees and a corral in Moab? Will wonders never cease?The descent of LPS was simply too much fun to take any pictures. The dirt was perfect, too. No, none of us made or even tried the big drop, but it was sure fun on the death defying steeps after that. It made me feel like I was riding in CO for a breif moment. We stopped to collect at the everyone takes a picture here viewpoint on Porcupine Rim.

Shortly after that it started raingin. Shortly after that, I quit feeling the urge to stop and take photos. What started off as a jumpin' off of rocks good time turned into, "What's the safest, least slick line down thru the rocky ledges." I was wishing the sun would come out just a tad to dry out the rocks. Otherwise, I think that's the fastest I've ever ridden Porcupine Rim. All of the super sandy sections were tacky and faaaaast. The singletrack near Jackass Canyon was particularly interesting in the downpour. Just as we wrapped around the edge of the canyon, the skies lifted and the rain stopped. Just enough to enjoy the last little bit of singletrack with clean glasses that I could actually see thru.

the Wind eyeballs itAnd Keith gets 'r done.

Good job fellas. Looks like we'll have to come back to ride this again dry. Did I mention that I killed my drivetrain on this ride. Really. Killed it.

After cleaning ourselves and our bikes, we were off to Fruita for another 2 days of desert bliss...


MG said...

good story brother. the slickrock was sublime as the sun set on the scene.

we ripped the porc too, especially for a rainy day ride. i couldn't believe how fast you, melis and jason were rolling through that stuff. i had to work hard just to keep y'all in sight.

can't wait to see/read your account of our days in fruita...


Melis said...

Nice account of the ride, good stuff. Matt what is your blog?

Davetoo said...

Rainy action, Jackson. Moab gets something like an inch of rain/year, and somehow I think I'm there for the full inch, every year.

MG said...