Sunday, April 28, 2013

Will all of the post titles just say "More Moab Riding"?

Itching to get back on the trails the next day, I somehow decided on Garden Mesa in the Sovereign Trail system (just further north of town than the MOAB Brand trails) to be my more difficult ride of the day. As I remember, & it seemed a bit odd, I generally decided what I wanted to ride (especially when the weather turned less-favourable later in the stay) and then would see if anyone would ride with me. Generally, someone was keen for a ride (funnily enough) and I was satisfied overall that I was getting to ride enough of what I wanted - considering the expense of the two-week trip. When the variable spring weather rolled in, it was a little harder to get motivated - but I just kept reminding myself that I've ridden in a lot worse in England. A bit selfish of me perhaps (single & childless & used to travelling alone will do that), but I hadn't travelled halfway across the world to not ride decent trail!

That rambling over, Megan joined me for the Garden Mesa loop on the top side of the Sovereign Trail System.  We climbed up what I remember being reasonable technical (there was one big obstacle that promised over-the-bars action & great peril if we forgot it was there on the way back down) towards the top of the strangely coppery green mesa we had seen north of the previous day's ride.  The climb up was not nearly as bad as both of us were expecting, which is always nice.

Still in trousers.

The striking green is not so apparent here, but in parts it looked like someone had taken to spraying the trail with that spray-on grass seed that is used on the side recent cuttings for freeways.

On top of the mesa, we found it undulating until we got to the northerly most part of the loop (where we quickly found we did not want to be on the Fallen Peace Officers trail) and headed down a long, sandy in parts, gentle flowing descent in a wash.  There were two such sections on top of the mesa and they were most enjoyable.  We were still finding reasonably technical slow parts that needed careful negotiation/a bit of walking, but they were fine & there was always the vast spaces to look out over.

Before long we were descending off the mesa.

I had to pose like this just to show Chip I haven't forgotten everything.

Family ride for the day was a late afternoon ride up to Klondike Bluffs, well almost - the last little part is in Arches National Park, so we had to lock our bikes up & walk a little to get the views. The ride started off as a brief sandfest along jeep track before turning up the hills and getting more rocky. Before long we were just riding on huge slabs of rock - great for traction; it was a gentle climb that promised to be fun while descending.

It was not long until we had safely stowed our bikes - but being so late in the day, there was no one around to take them. On the climb up we saw a lot of people on ATVs coming down - the size of the people prompted much cause & effect debate. Finn with his new found freedom from the Tout clambered up & over everything up to the viewpoint.

The bluffs and extensive views were indeed impressive, as was the serenity (I think he just liked the word).  Various portraits were attempted in the light of the setting sun.  One of the four people involved managed to ruin each of them, so I'll just post the one where I look like a tool.

Back on the bikes, it wasn't long until I was enjoying hauling down the big smooth rocks.  Not many pictures here - suffice to say, it was fun.

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