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Photo Credits to Spencer

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Day 1

Phil, Michelle, Spencer, Billy, and I have been mountain biking together around the Bay Area for a few years now. In fact, Phil and Billy moved in and we basically built a bike shop in one of the rooms of our house – imaging 8 bike hanging from the walls, two bike stands, 4 bike pumps, and a bunch of rims on the floor. Excited to mountain bike in another state, we all booked tickets on the same plan and headed to Moab, UT for a long weekend. We arrived at SLC pretty late, rented a car, and drove to a house we rented, arriving late at night.

The next morning, we picked up our reserved bikes at the Chili Pepper Bike Shop outside downtown Moab. Spencer and Michelle rented elbow and knee pads – I wore old Volley ball knee pads. The shop was conveniently right next to a pizza shop for quick calorie replenishment immediately after rides. The first day we rode slick rock, which you can bike to from downtown Moab. Slick rock is about 10 miles of trail over large flat rocks (our tires almost never touched dirt). A white line is painted on the rock to mark the way. There is little shade and it was 95F outside. We all became a little dehydrated and I became a little light headed late in the ride, but the riding was very unique and enjoyable. The evening we bought Gatorade in bulk and we all drank 2-3. That evening we went out to eat at an Italian restaurant and walked around downtown Moab.

Day 2

Today we took a shuttle up a winding mountain rode to the top of the Whole Enchilada, which is a very famous ride. The shuttle was made up of two old VW vans cut and welded together to make a stretch VW van and it left the parking lot at 8:30am so we were riding by 9:15am. The Whole Enchilada includes Burro Pass, Hazard County, Kokopelli Leg, UPS, LPS, and Porcupine Rim is well over 20 miles long plus the ride through town at the end. It starts with a short uphill through an aspen forest with the occasional tricky rock and quickly becomes downhill through brambles. The middle section of the trial is a fire road, but Phil and Billy and I extended it with a cross-country single track loop. I did fall on the loop and scarred my chin very slightly and had to fix my handle bars, but it was very minor. The single track eventually winds its way onto Porcupine Rim with extraordinary views of the valley and buttes below – lots of reds and purples.

The last portion of the trail is the most difficult. It is sustained downhill with some very steep sections and several 2-4 foot drops. Some of the drops occur at sharp turns and required most of us to dismount. During the ride, Phil had about 4 flats in the same tire that required replacement or patching. This is how I learned you can put a 27.5’ tube in either a 26’ or a 29’ tire. Phil’s riding is pretty advanced compared to the rest of us. By the end of the day, I had depleted my 3L water supply and was dehydrated and very fatigued. The ride though town on flat pavement to the bike shop was particularly type II fun. Billy was worried the bike shop my close by the time we finished out the day.

Dinner was at a burger place in town. I got free soda as the DD, but had to spend most of the meal time on the phone.

Day 3

Day 3 we did a loop behind the bike shop which had some fun features including a rock tunnel. Again, brutal heat and lots of little ups and downs made the shorter ride a bit tough, but certainly still fun. At the end of the day, we returned our bikes and ate at a Mexican food truck Billy was excited about.

Day 4

On the final morning in Moab, we packed up and went to Arches National park to see the sights and take pictures. Then, it was back to the airport. I remember we stopped for smoothies and I had to work in the car a bit.