^^^ Man E you did'nt hear the wind... the rain and hail were going sideways. It was easily blowing 40 - 50 mph up at ~ 10,500 ft. and it was gettting worse. We could have made it to the top but we would have been soaking wet and freezing cold for the ride down. I did'nt have any dry clothes to change into. The smart move was to descend and that's what we did. I usually error on the side of caution, it has kept me alive throughout twenty years of somewhat hazardous activities in the mountains. Matt on the other hand is fearless.
Where to start? Matt is sort of like the devil in his ability to talk you into riding crazy hard stuff and almost make it sound like a good idea. Then he makes it look relatively easy all the while your in hell trying to just keep him in sight... and that's just going up the hills, going down he's even faster! Riding with him is always an experience to remember. :madmax:
The trip was awesome despite the stormy weather. The weather was only really a concern at the top of the big mountain on the first day at around 10,000' elevation. Once we got out of the trees the wind was just ripping and there was thunder in the distance. The weather seemed to be getting worse rather than better. The ride down was alot of fun until Matt killed his deraileur, so we stopped for the repair, which we did in the rain. Matt turned his bike into a single speed and still managed to ride as fast as before the rest of the way down to the truck... It was all good with the exception of the very top. I'll admit it looks pretty calm in the video, but that's because we were sheltered under a big tree and we were in between huge gusts during the filming of that section.
Fortunately the rain was clearing up by the time we got back to our camp. The storm had already been there, my tent was upside down. We were able to clean and repair the bikes, get some decent food, drink a few beers and crash out in relative comfort. Matt was successfully able to signal the International Space Station utilizing only campfire smoke, not an easy feat so that's something he should be proud of.
The next day's ride was another awesome ride. The trail conditions on this day were perfect; traction was superb, the trail had great flow, and it was dry all day. The only mishap was me going over the logs. As I just now realized by watching the great video is that as I went to power over the logs the rear tire spun out on the damp wood; no traction = no forward movement = stall out. Mud packed cleats don't release so well. No big deal, that's what happens sometimes, especially when someone has a camera out. There were some areas where fallen trees had been cut with just enough clearnace to ride through but the edges of the logs looked very sharp. Other areas logs would be lying down like giant "pungi sticks" waiting for you to lose the trail and turn yourself into a shish-ka-bob... you've definately got to be aware of sharp stuff there just like here in the desert, only there the "pokie things" can do more severe damage I think.
Overall it was a great trip! A big thanks to Matt for showing me the "ropes" in Utah, the man is a wealth of mtn. biking information, a great videodocumentry film maker, and a fantastic rider. I can't wait for Flagstaff :thumbsup: