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Here I am at work…after ten days off and what am I doing???? Not Work!!!! I should be fired!!

Here is a recap of our little adventure……

Day 1 Jilm and I left the Sacramento area early in the AM July 2nd. We were headed for the Grand Valley….(fruita / grand junction). Hwy 50 really is the loneliest road in America. 13 hours later we were pulling into Highline state park in Loma CO. After a few beers we were retired for the night…but excited about what tomorrow would bring at the kokopelli trailhead. We had an aggressive ride plan for our 5 days in the Grand Valley and, we were determined.

Day 2 It's supposed to be hot here??? It is obvious that things are already going our way with the cool temps on tap for the next five days. We begin our first ride up Mary's loop at about 8:30am. It's not long before the cameras come out. Incredible views, incredible trails…….then we attempt the staircase down to Horsethiefs Bench. Not Today!! Lets keep from breaking any bones on the first day. Jilm makes an attempt….sort of…I'm not having any of it! Horsetheifs is a wonderful trail….great surface!…Great Views…..great fun!!….then on to Steves loop. Jilm clears a tough section that I walked without reservation. I was nervous on the first day…..did not want to end my vacation early! Jilm is having shifting problems so we are off to Over The Edge in Fruita…..The helpful staff replaces bad rear cog and gets the Enduro ready for this evenings ride up on the Mesa at Turkey Flats. This was a fun aspen forest ride at around 7-8k feet. Even though it was only in the 80's down in the valley…this was a nice cool off and a great drive through Colorado National Monument on the way there. Before I go on any further….. let me say a big thank you to Troy And Anne for their Fruita Fat Tire Guide….we would have been lost without it. Anywayz…..Turkey Flats was pretty fun…and just downright pretty as well.

Day 3 Happy 4th of July! Independence Day! Another beautiful day with temps in the 80's. We have a stout ride planned for today…only we are not aware just how "stout" it will be. Start off climbing Moore Fun from Kokopelli trailhead…This is fun challenging climbing….and we are definitely being challenged…some riding, some pushing, some cursing…but very, very fun! Then moore challenge and moore fun on the way down….We stopped to pose some action pics and my one and only OTB on this trip gets caught on film. Sprained Wrist and Thumb…but absolutely no shame! We take a break before climbing up Macks Ridge and run into a gentleman that informs us that Moore Fun "sucks", climbing up Macks in the direction we are going "sucks", Troy Built (where we are headed) "sucks". We laugh off his ludicrous assertions and begin climbing Macks. This just may be the most fun I have ever had climbing on my bike. Tough and challenging…neither of us could ride it all but it was fun and the views from the top of macks are phenomenal. By this time we feel like we have ridden about 20 miles…when we have actually done less than 10. My legs are starting to bark at me. Down the beginning section of Troys is just crazy fun! And the rest of the trail was obviously built by a MAD genius with a mountain bike. By the time we reach the end of Troys we are done! and smiling. Big chain ring back to the car….Beer! Head into GJ to the Rockslide Brewery for some Big Bear Stout….to celebrate the completion of our "stout loop" and Independence day. The Brewery is on main st. in GJ and we were treated to a very cool "middle" America version of a 4th of July Parade.

Day 4 The Ribbon! Off to the Tabeguache area of GJ. This place is so cool! Surreal landscapes. Start off by climbing up from lower lot. "climb in waves" as stated in the FFT guide book. More yummy climbing and a bad sound coming from my rear hub….after 2 miles of climbing I realize that the hub is just about gone….and we have to turn back. I realize that it's a national holiday…and I know that OTE is closed so we head for the yellow pages and downtown GJ…as far as we can tell every bike shop in the grand valley is closed today and I am out of luck. [email protected]! we are headed out of GJ towards camp…looking to get some grub when Jim says…"that sign says cycles"….yup…and it's open! No Way! Dwayne and Noel are the heroes at Velo Junction in GJ that saved the day. They are two of the nicest folks you would ever want to meet! A bike racing couple with a new bike shop in downtown GJ……Go check em out. More on them later. So we have lunch while Dwayne rebuilds my freewheel hub. I have a pastrami sandwich (huge mistake!) Jilm has a salad. Back at the climb up to the ribbon "waves of climbing" equals pastrami sandwich trying to climb up my esophagus. A struggle ensues between me, the trail, the afternoon heat, and the pastrami sandwich. Eventually I win and a short downhill on Eagles thrills us….a short climb (push) up widowmaker almost kills us. The trail down to the ribbon from the asphalt road is so cool! Fast! Steep! Surreal landscape. Kryptosoil! We were hot and tired as the climb up the ribbon began….I was spurred on by visions of flying down this amazing "ribbon of rock" after we got to the top. Things can get out of hand pretty quick coming down the ribbon and I almost paid serious consequences. At the bottom we did the serious hike a bike up to the right. From here the downhill was absolutely incredible. Some spots alternated between hard packed single track and boulder strewn wash where the trail would just disappear. Loved it! We were hot and tired…back to the Rockslide brewery for a couple stouts…left with a ½ gallon jug of the stuff. Got hammered that night at camp.

Day 5….Field Maintenance Day…..It's decided that we will take the day off from riding. I spend an entire morning taking apart my Loco Moto…cleaning….tuning, caressing my golden girl. Our mission today is to arrange a day 6 shuttle for a sweet high country "adventure downhill" that we have heard about. I can't remember the name…..it either starts with an "I" or a "F". At OTE everybody was busy, same thing at all the rest of the shops except…..Velo Junction! It's settled! Dwayne will be our guide. We are psyched!
I'm so pumped that I am now planning an eve ride at Book Cliffs. Just a short little 5 mile sunset loop…Prime Cut, Joes Ridge and Kessel Run. While Jilm was reading the paper in the parking lot..I was whooping and hollering at the top of my lungs coming down Joes and Kessel Run…..even the climb up Prime Cut was a hoot.

Day 6 Meet Dwayne at the Loma Market and we are off to the "high country" if I could only remember the name of this trail…I would tell you. A dirt access road at 8000ft climbs and rolls for about 3 or 4 miles before the downhill begins. Here are some words that describe this ride……..Exposure! Scary! Steep! Fast! Steep! Beautiful! Steep! YeeHawwwwwwww! Yummy! The smell of hot rotors! Afterwards more Stout!

Day 7 On the road back to California and we are excited to see our friends at the MTBR Downieville Gathering……another 13 hours back to Dville where my brother is waiting with his mountain camp set up at the Base of the Sierra Buttes above Downieville. When we get there….we quickly consume another ½ gallon jug of Stout.

Day 8, 9, 10 Downieville gathering and all the shenanigans that go along with it. Mt Elwell, Big Boulder…and bike sumo! You've seen the pictures already. It was a great way to end the trip. So much fun! Good Friends, Good Trails, Good Beer! Life is Good!

Day 11 side note…..RUSH 30th anniversary concert in Sacramento for the last day of my vacation. They Rocked!

Day 12….back to work f*#k This!

s
 

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Some of Jilm's pics

Great trip. The trails are dynamite. Would love to go back again. Here are some Pics of Steve and myself. By the way, Noel ( Velo Junction - GJ ) is a rider for Vello Bella. Keep on riding Noel ( you too Dwayne ). Some of my pics:
 
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