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  1. #1
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    My Day in Moab--Five Spot Content Inside

    Last week I met up with friends to ride the White Rim trail in Canyonlands National Park. I figured if I was going to drive that far I'd have to hit at least one good ride in Moab. Since it was my first visit El Chingon suggested I use Coyote Shuttle to take me to ride Kokopelli down to Porcupine Rim. I had a blast.

    At $15 for the shuttle Coyote was great, but a bit comical. At one point on the drive up the mountain we all had to get out of the stretch VW Vanagon because it couldn't make it up a particularly steep stretch of road. After a short walk up to a flat spot in the road we piled in again and proceeded (sloooowly) to Kokopelli without further incident. No one whined or complained. With the exception of myself all the other shuttlers were friends from Whistler who do mountain bike vacations together every year. As a group the Canadians were about evenly split between men and women and possessed a fair range of skills, mostly on the upper end as one might expect. They were a great group of people; totally unpretentious and grounded in fun filled camaraderie. The group's photographer even managed to get a couple of me (below).

    I know some people ride these trails on HT's and even fully rigids, but at nearly 30 miles long I can say only that the 5 Spot felt like the perfect tool for the job. Though I was tired, I wasn't beat up at all. The upper doubletrack section is an absolute blast. You basically fly through rocks and ledges as fast as you dare. While the lower singletrack section is similar, you tend to encounter the ledges at really acute angles, sometimes almost parallel to your tires and the exposure (think cliffs) can be intimidating at times. I used all but 3-4mm of my travel on the DHX-A and left about an inch on the Pike.

    I did walk one section of Kokopelli. It was a rock staircased section coated in sand that had a sharp right hand bend at the bottom with a near vertical 2-3 foot drop onto steep, steep trail. The staircase was OK, but if you blew the turn you either tumbled down a cliff or smacked into one of two pine trees on the side of the trail. No thanks. I also walked a few short sections on the Porc singletrack right near the end where the trail crosses a wash in a small canyon. To me it had broken arm or concussion written all over it. The really technical stuff, IMO, comes in the last mile or so of the singletrack. Otherwise, its mostly moderate, but you are constantly engaged. Unless you stop and dismount, you're pretty much either pedaling, shifting, braking, or moving your body around the whole time. This was only the only time I've ever got a blister on a finger from mountainbiking. I run my brakes moto so the combination of shifting the rear Sram X-9 and using the front brake put a nice blister on the inside of my thumb. Thankfully that was my only injury.

    I hope you like the pics, but you're not going to enjoy them nearly as much as I enjoyed the ride.
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  2. #2
    Silence and Thunder...
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    very cool...thanks for posting!! I can't wait to see that area for myself in a few weeks....finally!
    ...every day sends future to past...

  3. #3
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    Nice - I've never ridden the entire Porcupine ST sections and the "classic" rim trail as one ride - sounds sweet. No report on the White Rim? It's one of my favorite camping get aways, even if the riding is fairly tame. It's just such a spectacular place to be turning the cranks.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  4. #4
    MK_
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    Nice. Good choice. I love the single track part of Porc, I love the lower part, too. In my humble opinion, however, I think that porc is a BIG bike trail, especially if you want to get going fast on middle section and not be beat up to hell by it.

    _MK
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  5. #5
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    Sounds like some rationalization and reverse justification for the new horse in the stable MK - Not that there's anything wrong with that.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  6. #6
    MK_
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutthroat
    Sounds like some rationalization and reverse justification for the new horse in the stable MK - Not that there's anything wrong with that.
    I'm thinking even more travel. I was on a Spot last time, my buddy on a Pack and even he wanted a bigger bike. Also, the HL/TNT linkage is the worst for that trail due to the rear wheel getting hung up on all those jagged rocks. Maybe something with rearward path would lend itself better with shorter travel, I don' t know. Next time I do porc I'll try to bring my SGS

    _MK
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    "No man goes before his time -- unless the boss leaves early."
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  7. #7
    FM
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    I've done the porc rim shuttle with coyote two years in a row- this year we did kokopelli/UPS/LPS/porc... same last yeat except koko and UPS had snow, so we started above LPS.

    last year I took my RFX with Z150 and IRC kujo DH tires. It was awesome on the rough stuff and optional hucks, but the flat sandy sections sucked. It really had me thinking that although porc is technical, it's also pretty flat.

    So this year I took my motolite, which was built up with an rp3, Z1, and tubeless hutchinson 2.35 tires. I did use my x823 rear rim, 70m stem, and DH bars. The bike did everything just great! It wasn't as confidence inspiring as the RFX, but I still had plenty of legs left to tackle the techy bits on the lower stretch. The one huge bummer was that I got like 3 flats.

    So all in all, I think a 5" bike is great for porc rim, enough cush but not too much weight. Take the wheels & short stem off the big bike though- DH/FR tires, DH tubes, and meaty rims! That way you can plow the technical sections without worrying about flats or endos.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK_
    I'm thinking even more travel. I was on a Spot last time, my buddy on a Pack and even he wanted a bigger bike. Also, the HL/TNT linkage is the worst for that trail due to the rear wheel getting hung up on all those jagged rocks. Maybe something with rearward path would lend itself better with shorter travel, I don' t know. Next time I do porc I'll try to bring my SGS

    _MK
    Or, for $7000 you can have the ultimate Moab trailbike.

    Kidding, of course. Then again, it does fit "like a fine Italian suit."

    Patrick

  9. #9
    sushi lover
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    nice pics!

  10. #10
    Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
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    awsome stuff csd! man im gettin pumped for moab in oct. you commin back out?
    No, I'm NOT back!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCinSC
    Or, for $7000 you can have the ultimate Moab trailbike.

    Kidding, of course. Then again, it does fit "like a fine Italian suit."

    Patrick
    Let's not get hung up on Lee and Dreamride again, but this piece is pretty funny:

    NBS* ~ No Bull Sh1t Suspension Technology
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Mutant's parallel beam four bar linkage is the most efficient pedaling platform we have ever offered, crushing other designs with bullsh1t patents and marketing-oriented alphabet soup labels. The massive swingarm is an engineering marvel, allowing for adjustment of wheelbase and adding a lovely beefed up CNC yoke that greatly increases rigidity and strength where breakages occur regularly in cheaper extrusions. Pivots are smartly engineered to kill flex with quad bearings and steel sleeve inserts. The adjustable rocker arm is as short as can be for long travel use, designed and fabricated to be stiff laterally and vertically. All of these features combined with our revolutionary all mountain geometry add up to create a rear end that pedals through obstacles into fast turns, holds a line on exits, and accelerates out with shocking efficiency.

  12. #12
    rr
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    Great pics Clyde, I too got to do Koko/UPS/LPS for the first time a few weeks ago, I was on my 6" Foes and the added suspension was very nice! That section up top you describe is very tempting, I bailed on it too but I would like to try it next time but wear some armor and maybe have a person between the 2 trees to catch you if you stuff your front wheel

  13. #13
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    Great pix, and sounds like a fun group of people on your trip.

    Ain't that Jesse from Coyote a character?! He hates the RoadRunner guy so much, that he once passed him on the way up Sand Flats Road with my wife and I in his (older?) Porsche-engined VW van. What a hoot!

    Ask him sometime about his roof rack system, and he'll start ranting about once coming out of his house at night or early morning to find one of the competing shuttle guys on his roof measuring his rack system!

    It just adds to the experience, and we never call anybody else when we need a shuttle!
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cactuscorn
    awsome stuff csd! man im gettin pumped for moab in oct. you commin back out?
    Thanks cc. I hope to come back out. My wife had to take 3 vacation days so I could do the White Rim so if I come back to Moab it'll prolly be just for a weekend. Has a range of dates been decided for a Turner invasion?


  15. #15
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    Here ya go.

    Quote Originally Posted by cutthroat
    Nice - I've never ridden the entire Porcupine ST sections and the "classic" rim trail as one ride - sounds sweet. No report on the White Rim? It's one of my favorite camping get aways, even if the riding is fairly tame. It's just such a spectacular place to be turning the cranks.
    Well cutthroat since you asked I’ll give a brief report with some pics.

    Its funny you mention the White Rim as tame. In a sense I agree because it really is an XC ride. However, I bottomed the ‘Spot several times trying to milk every trail feature and ledge. For comparison, I never bottomed on Kokopelli/Porc. On the White Rim there are several hills with rocky/rutted descents that can be taken at speed, such as the decent down Shafer (pictured below) and the backside of Murphy Hogback. The climb up Murphy Hogback is pretty stout, too.

    I traveled with 13 people, most of whom had done this trail before. I was a first timer. Eleven of us rode and 2 people drove support vehicles. By no stretch of the imagination were we roughing it, aside from the unseasonably hot temperatures. One rider was a chef who planned and stocked in advance for every meal. He brought a 3 burner propane stove, 2 huge dry boxes, and 3 titanic coolers with steak, turkey, hard and soft cheeses, hummus, pita bread, spinach and mixed greens, etc. We had several kinds of beer, wine, and cocktails every night. It’s nice to travel with a gourmand.

    We rode for 4 days and camped 3 nights with a night each at Gooseberry, Candlestick, and Taylor. The 5 mile ride in to Taylor was pure drudgery through deep sand up a mild grade. That is one aspect of the trip I could stand to never repeat. Once there, however, the site was perhaps the best one for the unrivaled vistas. In fact, none of the campsites were bad, some were just more beautiful than others. I brought a small tent, but it ended up staying on the truck. I slept in the open under 3 nearly full-moon nights.

    What stuck me most about the experience were the muted colors and the plethora of rock textures. The whole trail is like viewing a slice of geologic time. While I never crashed I had several near misses from looking at everything except the trail in front of me. The experience was enriched further because we had a biologist among us who specializes in reptilians and a hydrologist to explain the things like desert varnish and various types rock in Canyonlands National Park.

    Here’s some pics. They pretty much speak for themselves. (The image of the bighorn sheep sucks because I pulled it off my video camera).
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    Last edited by Clyde S Dale; 05-18-2006 at 10:38 PM.


  16. #16
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    Here are a couple more I took. These climbs are very loose and steep.
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    Last edited by Clyde S Dale; 05-18-2006 at 10:51 PM.


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