Sunday, May 22, 2011

No headless chicken & Fruita riding redeems itself

After a nice leisurely start to Saturday we headed off down the freeway to Fruita to check out the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival - but mainly because it was on the way to more riding & the sun was out.  There was a big car show on part of the main street - a lot of very shiny American classics & hot rods.  Many, many beautiful cars; in amongst all the American muscle there some nice examples of Austin Healeys & Volkswagens.  Some in the family may appreciate this picture, it had two big recliners in the back instead of a bench & also a suped-up 8 Track player.
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Most of the festivities were at the other end of main street, so we checked them out briefly. I was hugely disappointed that I didn't see someone wandering around aimlessly in a large headless-chicken suit. There were, however, some show chickens - very odd seeing chickens dressed up in little costumes! Of course, it wouldn't be a small town around these parts without a statue welded up out of miscellaneous items.
Feeling a bit peckish, we found a park on a map & headed out there to eat our grain. We stumbled across a couple of games of little league baseball so amused ourselves briefly trying to work out what was happening - but being baseball, not much was happening.

North out of Fruita are some riding trails at the end of 18 Road & the base of the Bookcliffs (the longest range running east to west apparently in the USA). A sidenote on the road names around here. The north-south roads out in the country (mostly, you get some in town) are numbered for the number of miles from the Utah border. Hence, 18 Road - things get more interesting with the roads in between the whole miles; you end up with things like 33 1/2 Rd or 15 3/10 Rd - as if you could have a part road. Then the east-west roads are letttered from A up from some base line. So we had to take N 3/10 Rd to get to the trails. I was following a Cayenne with bikes on the top, if I had have been a bit closer I would have seen the Oregon plates & not followed. After a wrong turn & back track we were all bumping up the most corrugated road I've been on - it went for miles & was just awful.

On the upside, the guy in the Cayenne was actually from Boulder, CO & I had a riding buddy to show me around & take photos. I had originally planned to ride up the road from the trail head & come down on progressively harder trails (Kessel Run, Chutes & Ladders, Zippity Do Da). Miles had limited time as he & his girlfriend were off to Moab, so we did Zippity first. After cruising up the road there was a bit of climbig to get west & on to another ridge. It's a great name for this trail as there are plenty of whoop-de-dos to swoop down & then get up the other side. It was a bit of a change riding with someone much fitter than me, but I coped & the trail wasn't too technical. It flowed really well, there were great views & some nasty pinch climbs to keep me on my toes.
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There was some gorgeous ridge riding (copped a gale on this edge) & at places one had to be pretty careful to make a turn & not go flying off.
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We got back to the car to find Valerie had gone off on her own little ride & Diyora (Miles's girlfriend) wasn't back from her ride. So we headed up Kessel Run & found Valerie, but not Diyora. At the top we split & Miles went back to the car & I continued on Chutes & Ladders on the east side of the area. This riding was quite different, a little techy at the start & then it opened up in to big meadows. With the views & all the different shades of green, grey & purple it was beautiful.
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Back at the car, exchanging details & intentions to meet again in Moab (where we're going today!!!) & later in Bend, Oregon we said goodbyes & I headed back up the road to get a few extra miles in. The beginner level Kessel Run is great fun - not much pedalling involved, it swoops & ducks & dives & has a real flow to it. A most excellent way to end the day somewhat tired. For only just over two hours of riding I managed to get some good climbing in & some fantastic trails.

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