Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Most Fun in January, on a bike

For MLK day weekend, a bunch of mates from the Revolution/Peak Fasteners team conglomerated in Saint George, Utah for some sun and singletrack.  Drew and I shared a one bedroom condo near the Green Valley trails with Stephanie and Sally, two rad mtb chicks who are relatively new to the team.

Good Times in Green Valley

Saturday morning the four of us met up with Bonnie and Jonas for a long ride on the Green Valley trails.   This would be my second ride on Scotty.  Scotty is my new 2-year old bike baby.  He is an aluminum Scott Scale 29er with mid-range components and front suspension.  I have not ridden a hardtail on dirt since about 1999.  Would I like him or would he hurt me. I would soon find out.

Our first test was Bear Claw Poppy trail, a giddy trail about as close to a pump track as you can get in Utah.

Drew on Bear Claw Poppy trail

Bear Claw Poppy - much more fun than it looks.

Scotty felt to me like a BMX bike!  I was launching off little whop-de-dos like never before and laughing out loud all the time.  The trail was a hoot on my new hardtail.  I liked him.

Next up were Stucki Springs and the Rim trails.We rode and rode and rode, stopping long minutes to talk to at least 25 other northern Utah racers that were doing the same thing we were: giggling and smiling in the 60-degree sunshine.

Bonnie and Jonas headed back after Rim, but the four of us pressed on to Barrel Roll and Sidewinder.  It was at the point where Sidewinder reconnects with Barrel Roll that Stephanie and Sally headed back to the condo the long way via Santa Clara.

And then there were two.  I was tired now and my back hurt from the hardtail riding, but it felt so good to actually be on dirt and the afternoon was so pretty, that I sucked it up and kept turning the cranks over.

Barrel Roll trail

Near the end of the Barrel Roll loop, Andy, Steve, Mark, and Ken caught us, and thank goodness they did because there is no way Drew and I would have found our way back to Green Valley through the redneck shooting range, deeply incised wash, and what seemed like five miles of double track.

Back at the condo we were all delirious with fatigue and happiness.

Dinner that night was at the highly recommended Bella Maria pizzeria.   The pizza was indeed delicious, but a note to those of you that enjoy the occasional adult beverage, this is not the place.

The Magic Miles on Goulds-Jem-Hurricane Rim

Sunday we indulged in banana pancakes and bacon at Bear Paw cafe before heading out to Hurricane to ride the big loop.  I took Sam, the full suspension bike to give my body a break from the hardtail.  This time we didn't see many people, but we had an awesome time ticking off the miles and racing down the flowiness of Jem trail.

Dinner was waiting for us back at the condo in the form of turkey chili we had thrown into the crock pot that morning.  Beers and a hot tub session were followed by a rousing game of charades. Yes, charades.  Sally is the biggest game pusher I know, but it was a huge amount of fun trying to guess Drew's sign language for Viagra and Stephanie's impersonation of bacon. 

A Zen moment
Monday before the long drive back, Sally, Drew, and I took a lap on the Zen Trail.

None of us had ridden this trail before, and we were pleasantly surprised at the amount of riding we could do on this technical trail.

 Sally having a zen moment at Zen Point

Overlooking Bear Claw Poppy trail

Panorama from Zen Point

And here is a 10-second video of Sally and me riding around a cool rock, just for fun.

I think that weekend was the most fun I have had on a bike in January, ever.  Great trails, perfect weather, fun friends, hot new bike.  Just what January should be!

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