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· carpe mañana
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I headed out to Moab this past weekend with my climbing/biking buddy and met up there with another. The nights were cold but the days were sunny and hot. Beatiful weather. Tons of riders, not a single hotel room or camping spot available throughout. Got there on a Friday night and rode hard Saturday and a little less so on Sunday. Porcupine Rim, Slickrock, Poison Spider, Portal and Bartlett Wash later, we hit the road back to Boulder exhausted, exhilarated and planning another outing. I borrowed the black border idea from Deano in the account below.

Porcupine Rim:

The final climb before the long descent down to the Colorado river:


One of the guys was on his new Santa Cruz Heckler and loving the drops:




The rest of us had to make due with substantially smaller balls, skills and bikes:


And me, about to eat dirt really hard, I nailed it on my second attempt, though:


Bombing downhill was over and we were treated to a very technical descent and gorgeous views:






Slickrock:

Classic Slickrock scenery, the traction is unreal, climbing up rock that one would need to walk up on all fours is not a problem, it sure eats through the tire tread, though:





A view from a little scenic detour off the main route:


A look at the Colorado river peeking through the canyon:


One of the last technical problems on the way back up:


Poison Spider:
A mixture of deep sand, sandstone and hardpack:








A scenic detour to the Arch:






And the ubiqitous 4x4s. Dangerous and anoying. Funny watching the faces of the drivers when we passed them on our bikes. We also had a few close calls with MX bikes coming from around tight bends straight at us:



Portal :
Very dangerous bit of trail. A section of it is on an extremely narrow ledge above a 200 foot cliff. Warnings are posted of bikers dying on it. Once the danger of falling off the cliff goes away, a steep and technical downhill section follows.



Me, with the deadly cliff behind. I got so scorched by the sun on the first day, I was forced to ride in my long sleeve the second day. All black and toasty:


The warning which urges to dismount:


The rock that must be the one responible for lives of bikers, nowhere to step off if you lose your balance:


Barltett Wash:
Our last stop before heading out. Nature's playpen, very fun, grippy rock formations, good place to practice jumps, drops, etc. Beatiful scenery:





Practicing the track stand at the peak of the trail, a fast fun downhill followed, back to the car:



Last few jumps before heading out:







And last but not least, a panorama of our campground, lof F, just above the Slickrock trailhead:



I came back completely in love with the 5 Spot. Z1 proved to be an excellent companion, I now have an easy mind about selling the Vanilla. No issues climbing, and the descending prowess is unmatched. I was also quite happy with the Racing Ralph in the rear and Weirwolf in the front 2.25/2.5 respecively. I did feel, however, that I had a bit less grip than Greason who was riding the Heckler, Nevgal/Blue Grove combo, 2.5 front and rear with the Stick-e rubber. I am gonna look into getting a shorter stem, maybe someone wants to trade a 100mm thomson for a 90mm one? Great weekend, great riding and beatiful trails!

_MK
 

· carpe mañana
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
One thing I forgot to mention. If you need to take care of any mechanical problems with your bike, I can't say enough good about the Chili Pepper bike shop. They might not be the cheapest, but they helped out one of my buddies with top notch service and let us use their tools to clean up our bikes and do a bit of tuning while we waited for the service. Great, relaxed guys.

_MK
 

· carpe mañana
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
bigdrunk said:
Is that cliff section Portal Trail? I also dig Chili Pepper. Real laid back shop. Last time I was there, two of the best lookin ladies in Moab were working the coffee stand.
Yep, about half way through, there's that warning. The cliff follows. About 25 feet or so of danger. The rest is about as spooky as the lower prt of the Porcupine Rim. Gotta second the ladies at the Chili Pepper and one lady customer with the best tit job I ever seen. :eek:

_MK
 

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MK, thanks for all the pics, and the pump up; I'm going to moab THIS WEEKEND! Woohoo, leave thursday morning, should be able to get a camping spot still that day, do a quick lap on slickrock, get our fat asses shuttled up to porcupine the next day. I'm looking forward to putting the RFX-7 through a thorough test run, see how fast and big I can go with it. We're gonna try and hit bartlett's on our way out sunday.
Those pics make me antsy!
 

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Nice, MK. That's a full weekend.

What was the damage tally on equipment in Moab? Everytime I go, something gets broken. Last month between me and a buddy, we had a busted chain, tube, taco'ed wheel, stripped seatpost, busted spokes, and one crash that intorduced the front of my bike to the back of his - all on Porc Rim.

Great pics, makes me want to just drop my work, get in the car, and drive west again.
 

· carpe mañana
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys. Damage was primarily in the flesh. I didn't wise up and wear the pads until Portal. My left knee is in awful shape. My tires held up amazingly well, cosidering that these are standard tires in Stan's tubless setup. And the RRs are super light weight. At the same time the Nev/BG combo appeared superior. I did brake my shoe though, on Bartlett Wash, so luckily, I have some bike parts to buy after all ;) Mike, who was riding a Giant AC2 sheared the bearings in one of his pivots in half, bent tons of teeth on his middle chainring, cracked a pulley on his rear derailleur and needed to replace his cables (although that was just wear an tear from past season). Overall, the Spot performed flawlessly even at the times where I missed my lines and went off the drop crooked. Z1 is freakin beatiful, I don't mind the weight of it any more. I'll sure love to see the report on your ride, Renegade, that 7x7 RFX looks sweet.

_MK
 

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Wow!

Truly superb shots there MK!

You've really got me salivating as I'll be on those trails myself at the end of the month!

We'll be driving down from Fruita once or twice - which trails would you rate most highly of those you rode? There's a gang of 6 of us, all trail riders more towards XC than fro, if you know what I mean :) Looking forward to some drops, but anything much over 2 feet will phase some of us.

Glad to hear you got on with that tyre combo - I have a Weirwolf up front at the mo with a 2.24 Motoraptor out back, but might go 2.4 Moto front or all Ralphed up.

Thanks again!
 

· carpe mañana
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yep, that's the one, Stevo :)

Deano, I definatelly liked Porcupine Rim the most. I love just blowing downhill. In this particular ride, I was holding on to my dear life, trying to keep up with the guys I was with. There are lots of lines you can take, though, majority of the trail is very wide, so you can go big or sissy, totally up to the rider. The only difficult area is the final stretch, when you enter the single track, it is super narrow on a relatively narrow shelf and has tons of tall rocks. Then, slickrock is an absolute must, it is unreal, absolutely unbeleivable what you can ride up. Poison Spider is a good mix of stuff, has some very nice technical problems. The deep sand might get annyoing, though, depending on how much time you spent riding in the snow. Portal was way spooky at times and a bit over my skill level at others, but still good. Bartlett Wash I didn't get to enjoy that much, because I broke my shoe and the cleat was pressing into my foot. We were also all drained and kinda ready to go back. It is pretty, though and fun if you want to practice your bike handling in the air. This is all I know about Moab, I am sure others will have ridden more trails. There are tons of them up there. I am a bit bummed, though, because we didn't get to ride the Sovereign trail, where I will have my first ever bike race on the 23rd.

_MK
 

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Thanks!

Thanks for that, I guess we're definitely up for doing Porc Rim, but all your other advice is very useful.

We've not had much snow here this year (or for about a decade down here in the South) but some of our regular trails are pretty sandy.

Good luck in the race! I don't race much, but it can be fun if your attitude is right going into it. If not it can be a whole world of hurt :(
 

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Deano, to second what MK said, you can ride around most anything that you don't want to ride, and you can pick what height of drop you'd like to try. It's a most amazing learning playground. Plus you can take lot's of breaks while descending porcupine. The scary sections at the bottom of porcupine and on the portal are easy dismount and walk. Slickrock trail IS a must!
 

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Slickrock Police

Hey MK, great writeup and photos. Really timely, as I'm leaving with 2 buds Friday AM for a full week in Moab (possible side trip to Fruita). Older Toyota Previa van with 3 Spots, if anyone is looking. Staying at the Desert Garden, which is about as cool as you can get, if you aren't into camping.

Good to here your tire comments. Two days ago, after a lot of deliberating, I mounted up a new set of Blue Grooves with the StickE rubber. I know I torch the rear one, but sh#t, this trip means a lot, so it's worth it.

I've also had great luck with Chili Pepper bike shop over the years, but even better luck with Slickrock Bike (the local Turner dealer). They once pulled a swingarm off a new bike for me, to keep me riding on vacation!

That last Slickrock shot of yours is always a tough move. Sandy lead-in, tired legs, etc.

Speaking of Slickrock, I heard a rumor (about 4th-hand, so who knows) that the BLM is patrolling it now, and telling people they have to follow the paint-marked lines. Any truth? Over many years (my age--don't ask, don't tell) we have developed a lot of personal lines both up and down, so this would really blow. I would appreciate knowing if you saw anything like this on your trip.

Thanks again for the great pix!
 

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Holy moly, MK, those are some incredible shots. Hmm, you didn't happen to be wearing Nike Cairns shoes, were you? I noticed you said you broke your shoes...and I thought I saw someone wearing some in one of the pics. Those things are notorious for breaking at the cleat plate...I got about five rides in on mine before they broke. The still look new too, dammit. Back to Sidis I went, gladly.

I've done Slickrock, but I gotta hit the Porcupine Rim this next road trip.
 

· carpe mañana
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Roostalee said:
Holy moly, MK, those are some incredible shots. Hmm, you didn't happen to be wearing Nike Cairns shoes, were you? I noticed you said you broke your shoes...and I thought I saw someone wearing some in one of the pics. Those things are notorious for breaking at the cleat plate...
Holy sh!t, that's exactly where they broke. I was acutally going to get the same pair as a replacement, because otherwise they were perfect, but I wend with Sidis. Glad I didn't get another pair.

_MK
 

· carpe mañana
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
kosmo said:
...I heard a rumor (about 4th-hand, so who knows) that the BLM is patrolling it now, and telling people they have to follow the paint-marked lines. Any truth? Over many years (my age--don't ask, don't tell) we have developed a lot of personal lines both up and down, so this would really blow. I would appreciate knowing if you saw anything like this on your trip.
Can't say that I saw any Policing, hopefully it is just a rumor.

_MK
 
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