Today we drove out of the winter wonderland that is Summit County, down to the west and into Moab, Utah. We went from fresh snow on the roads into the desert. It was in the fifties, so it wasn’t too hot. We were originally going to go to Arches National Park but we’ve pushed that until tomorrow. Today, we ended up mountain biking around the area.
Moab is awesome, especially since it lies right by Mordor. You’re out there in the middle of a bunch of deserts and canyons, then off to the east you see this imposing snow covered mountain range all by itself. It’s positively intimidating. I could just feel this giant eye peering into my soul.
The first mountain bike trail we went to was the aptly named Slickrock trail. It’s in the picture above. It was recommended by a local sadistic tour guide who casually dismissed our request for a mild beginner’s trail and instead sold us on going to an insanely awesome and deadly stretch of bare rock, speckled with white paint which marked the trail.
I almost died. Lots. And I didn’t even go fast. This was my first time out mountain biking since last summer and definitely my first time on, well, a real freaking mountain. You’ve got this little white dot you keep following, and it intentionally guides you to some breathtaking vistas until you’re distracted enough that you don’t see the V-shaped wedge you’re about to faceplant in, or until you nearly get knocked off the side of a cliff because a huge gust of wind from a surprise canyon lifts you up bodily and pushes you to the side. I was ecstatic.
And I only went a couple miles on what they called the “practice loop.” The bikers out here have the hugest brass balls I’ve ever seen. I had a white knuckle grip on all the crazy downhills and was forced to walk up a bunch of the uphills. I can’t imagine how many broken bones are inflicted per day out here. There is one soft spot the entire time: a huge pile of red sand. The rest of it is a diamond-hard desert rock which is riddled with the bone splinters of less fortunate biker, or so I expect.
After that, I was still a bit shaky when I met up with Jen, so we found the beginner trail we had originally talked about. this one was pretty cool. It was a rather technical course scattered with rocks and cacti.
It was a great trail and Jen kicked ass. We probably should have started out with this. There were great views all around, including random sitings of Mordor around every few bends. There was even a couple riding by us who had their two dogs running alongside them. It seemed like everyone out here had a dog with them. We’ll have to bring Piper out here sometime.
After that, it was time to show off in front of my wife. She encouraged me to do a wicked awesome wheelie, and you can’t back down from something like that.
What’s even better than doing a freaking sweet wheelie in front of your girl is all the sympathy you get after wiping out in a spectacular fashion. I must be irresistible to her now.