Saturday, August 30, 2014

Location =  Moab, Utah  
Distance =  16.85
Time =  3:10:31
Ave. Speed =  5.3
Max. Speed =  24.7
Monthly Dist. =    91.35
Yearly Dist. =  876.71

Robert and I drove down to Moab and met up with his brother, Joe, who drove in from Arizona. On the way in we had a little accident with the brand new bike rack that I just bought for this trip. I had to purchase a new rear wheel and we ended up renting a bike for Robert. That turned out to be a bit of a blessing in disguise. The rental bike was a brand-new, never-before-rented, Trek Remedy, size 650b. Nice! Robert probably had more fun on the rental bike than he would have had on his own bike.

Neither of the brothers had ever been to Moab before and the moment of truth was upon us. We left from our campsite and rode down to Slickrock Trail and began our ride on the practice loop. There were a couple of young guys and a gal out there, and she was really struggling. They decided not to go out on the main trail, which was surely a good decision. Robert and Joe didn't panic so we went out on the trail in the counter-clockwise direction.

There weren't very many people out riding. Labor Day weekend is not prime time for Moab. I think that most people believe that it is too hot, and that does tend to be true. We lucked out on this ride. The forecast was for 97 degrees, but it stayed overcast and it never got close to being that hotthat hot. Also, there was a nice steady breeze to help keep us cool. We couldn't have asked for better conditions.

Everyone struggled a little bit at first, and then gradually we all started to improve and get stronger and stronger. Robert and Joe could climb about 75% of the stuff that was out there. That left only the steepest of the climbs that they had to walk. I would usually rest and wait for them to catch up, but sometimes I would ride in circles. We took our time, had lots of breaks, and stopped to check out the viewpoints. Here's a picture of me that was taken at one of the viewpoints. It's a spectacular place.

On one of our breaks we sat down near some rocks that had a couple of large rat's nests. The nests were built out of chunks of cactus and pieces of cactus spines. I put my right hand down and some cactus spines went thru my glove and into my hand. I got most of them out but a couple took a day or so to finally quit bothering me.

At one point during the ride Joe said that "these hills never end." I assured that they would eventually end, but it became a joke of the trip that Moab never ends. We did eventually finish the loop and I wanted to ride the practice loop in reverse on the way back to the trailhead. I convince convince either of the other two guys to join me so we met up back at the campsite.

As usual, Slickrock Trail is a most excellent ride.


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