Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Part 1--Two Wheeled Adventure

What do most people who ride bikes come to Moab to do? That's right, they come to Mountain Bike. We are no different except one thing--none of us have really done much mountain biking. Oh sure, I've done a fair amount of off-road touring, and Karen and Cindy have done lots of gravel rides. I think Gail has done a little bit, but none of us even own a mountain bike. That's certainly no problem in Moab! There are several bike shops that will gladly rent you a mountain bike. We chose Moab Cyclery (most prices being pretty similar, it was the most convenient). We had reserved our bikes on Monday for today and tomorrow. We had looked at the multitude of trails and decided to start with the easy ones in the trail area called Moab Brand Trails. The Bar M Trail was supposed to be easy enough that even kid trailers could be pulled on it. Seemed like a good place to start! We rode the 7 miles out to the trails on the paved path. Although the guy at the bike shop recommended the saddle height he set up for us, we all felt they were too low. We gave it a good try, but all of us ended up raising our saddles. Whew! That made the legs hurt less! The Bar M trail is 8 miles long. We got on it just off the bike path. The website said to just follow the signs. So we did...
...until we missed a turn. There are a lot of trails that go off Bar M. A good amount of them are NOT easy. We discovered that when we accidentally started down Bar B and another one that I think was called Killer B. After going down a not terrible, but certainly harder descent than we'd been doing, we realized we had missed a turn. We went back up. Below is a photo of Karen going down a hill. Notice how the road continues straight, then notice how it also does a sharp, almost u-turn to the left. The left was where we were supposed to go.
Anyway, we made it back to Bar M, and marveled at how much easier it was! It was really quite fun. There were bits of slickrock, parts of rocky stuff, and a fair amount of dirt. The one thing Bar M wasn't, was singletrack (hence the reason one could bring a kid trailer, although I wouldn't). Here's some more photos.
We came out to where we could see the highway. We had heard there was a restaurant called the Bar M--the trail's namesake, but we weren't exactly sure where it was. We could see some buildings a short ways north. We decided to go check it out because we were all hungry by then. Well, it wasn't the Bar M. It was basically a convenience store and campground. However, conveniently, they had food, so we bought sandwiches and ate them outside at a picnic table. We returned to the last bit of the Bar M trail. It came into a big parking lot that was right next guessed it...the Bar M restaurant. Oh well...maybe next time. At the end of the parking lot was a trail that went to our next step in mountain biking...the Rusty Spur trail. Now we were advancing to easy singletrack. Although it was pretty easy, it was fun.
After our first taste of singletrack was completed, we moved on to another singletrack trail that was billed as easy to moderate. It was called the Lazy EZ trail. This trail was a wee bit trickier. We had to learn how to not catch the pedals on the rocks (one trick was to notice the scrape marks on the rocks, then make sure not to have the pedal down in that spot). This was also longer than the Rusty Spur. While it pushed us out of our comfort zones (either that, or we were just getting tired), it was still a blast.
They'll be comin' round the mountain when they come
Woo Hoo Cindy!
Go Karen go!
Nice work through the rocks, Gail!
We managed to complete the Lazy EZ with everyone in one piece. The ride back to town was fun as it was mostly all downhill. We all agreed that we felt pretty challenged today, but it was still loads of fun. Tomorrow, we'll go out again. Maybe after another day on the trails, we can call ourselves Mountain Bikers?

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