Location =  Moab UT  
Distance =  31.36
Time =  4:57:23
Ave. Speed =  6.3
Max. Speed =  24.0
Monthly Dist. =    43.18
Yearly Dist. =  765.79

The One -- The Only -- The Spectacular ----- Porcupine Rim!!!!!

This ride is still amazing to me. No matter how many times I have ridden it, I am always impressed. It does seem to get more and more difficult each year, and I realize that in 20 or 30 years I'll have to quit riding it, but in the meantime I plan to keep on giving it a go. All the young pups with their long travel bikes can go right on by. I'm just going to take my time and enjoy!

The ride to the trailhead was about six miles of climbing up the road with gnats swarming around me. Once you start down the trail they go away but they sure are a nuisance while they last. I started the climb toward the rim and gave it some good effort trying to clear some of the harder spots. I felt a little better than yesterday, but I still suck. I made it out to the rim where I took a break and ate a PowerBar. At least 25 or so guys passed me while I was enjoying the view, so I had good timing. I don't have any pictures this year because I forgot my camera, but you can always check out last year's pictures, or the year before, or the year before that....

I continued down the trail enjoying the day. It was mostly overcast and acting like it wanted to rain, but it never did. The clouds helped to keep the temperatures down into the 80s which was a good thing. I played sissy most of the way down to the highway, never taking any real chances and walking all of the hard spots. Maybe if I had spent more hours on my bike this year I would be a little more daring, but I just wasn't in the mood for any hard collisions with rocks.

Down near the bottom the trail there is a confusing spot where the the trail disappears in a jumble of rocks and then it makes its way across a gulley. Rangers tried to make the trail more clear by drilling a hole in a rock and installing a sign, but some people just can't be guided. When I got down to the gulley I saw a guy on the other side holding his bike and trying not to fall off of a little cliff. He looked at me and said that I was on the wrong side, which I pointed out to him as not being correct. I did tell him that I would watch him try to get out of the situation, and if he fell I would offer assistance. Luckily, he managed to extricate himself from his predicament and we both both rode down to the highway.

I rode back to town and tried to go under the highway but the underpass was closed due to construction. I rode over to the Poison Spider Bike Shop to fill up on water, and then I made the slow grind back up to the campgrounds. I had to stop and rest at one point due to near total exhaustion, but I got back on the bike and finished the ride back to the campsite. I scarfed down some food and then I drove back to the Poison Spider for a well-deserved shower. Wonderful!

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