Sunday, June 20, 2010
Today I drove three hours west from Moab to a town called Torrey. I say town but it's barely a hamlet by UK standards - besides a handful of motels, restaurants and a road junction, it's a pretty sleepy little place.
The big draw for the area though is the Capitol Reef National Park, just east out of town. There doesn't seem to be that much biking in the area and I'm yet to find any specific bike trails, so this afternoon I just went out hiking, up to this rock bridge - the Hickman natural bridge as its known. I'm totally running out of superlatives to describe the sights I've seen in Utah, and there really isn't much to say about this arch, other than it's totally stunning.
I'm headng out for dinner now, with the prospect of snake on the menu. Might skip that one...
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Today I rode with Rob from Rim Tours in Moab on the Porcupine Rim trail. Getting up at 6.30 to get a shuttle up to 9000 feet was painful after last night's adventure on Slickrock, but the minute we started climbing into the mountains I new it was going to be worth it.
The trail started off fast and fun and got gradually more technical towards the bottom. This shot is from the final section of singletrack and it was ridiculously good fun. All in all, I think it took us about four hours with photos, and really, only about 20minutes of that was climbing. Amazing. And yet I'm still totally exhausted. Go figure. That's what bike holidays are all about.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Slickrock Trail wasn't much fun, and it was my fault. I decided I wanted to ride in the evening to get some good evening light, paying little attention to how long the trail was or how long it might take me. So I set of at 7pm, and immediately started shooting photos becasue as predicted the landscape was amazing and the light was firing too. Problem with this tactic is that it eats into the dwindling light, which is cool if all you're doing is shooting photos, but when you have to get the ride done too? Well, it was stressful. After an hour of so of photos, and only about three miles covered, I realised I needed to get my arse (or "ass") in gear and promptly started pushing the pace and ignoring the (spectacular) views. The Slickrock Trail is hard work though, with very little flow due to the lack of a distinct trail to follow and proliferation of dead turns on the descents, and crazy-steep climbs. I think if I'd ridden Slickrock first thing today instead of Klondikes I'd have a better opinion of it, but right now, all I can remember is the panic of trying to get back before it got dark.
As I'm able to write this, I obviously made it, but only just. I got back to the car at 9 on the dot, by 9.10 it was too dark to ride, and by 9.20 it was dark. The light dies pretty quick this far south, even in June.
Anyway, bedtime now, tomorrow I'm riding the Amassa Back Trail - and I've got company! Gonna be so nice to have someone to ride with, going solo on rides you don't know is just miserable and scary. Not that I'm a wimp or anything.
So, I've arrived in Moab. I'm here by myself, so all I've really got to do is ride my bike, take photos and mess about on the internet at the hotel. It's so hot here that afternoons are too hot to ride so I'm limited to riding first thing in the morning and again in the evening. This morning I rode Klondike Bluffs trail and then followed that into the more technical, and more exposed Baby Steps trail. Baby Steps was so much fun - I bet that if you know it, it is super fast. For me though, I was pretty slow. A lot of the singletrack is over big white rocks, with painted arrows to follow, which is great, but obviously becomes harder to follow the faster you go.
I shot a whole bunch of photos, of me, by me. I might do a post about it at some point as it's working out easier than I expected.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Anyone with an interest in MTB photography will have seen photos by the likes of Sterling Lorence of amazing Aspen Forests in places like Utah and Colorado. It's not till you get into the Aspens that you realise how photogenic it is - it grows really tight creating a great sense of depth. This is a shot of Mike Cotty from yesterday at the Canyons Resort near Park City.
Today I'm driving down to Moab, I'm guessing it's going to be a fair bit different to this.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
We're in downtown Park City. Nice place, beautiful evening, originally uploaded by Andy Waterman.
The one bad thing is the altitude: it's killing me. Check out the stats from Sunday's ride - horrific.