Moab virgin questions/help needed
I'll be in Moab for two weeks mid to late July and bringing my bike to sample the trails. I'm in the UK and ride a lot including woodland technical stuff and all Wales & Scotland trail centres but haven't ridden anywhere really rocky. Can you help.
Advice / warnings etc
- Are trails easy to find & navigate?
- Never ridden Moab before so should I just get a map and head out or get my bearings and skill/confidence by booking a day or two touring with one of the many operators eg Rim Tours, Chile Pepper bikes, Moab Cyclery etc. Recommendations / advice / warnings welcome?
- Advice on accommodation also welcome?
I'm capable but looking for social riding not racing or showing off!
Thanks in advance for help.
Mid to late July is a miserable time to be in Moab
We have better experts on Moab around here than me, but I'll chime in.
Most of the major trails are easy to find and navigate. Frankly, there are usually so many people around, you only have to wait a minute or two to find someone to confirm you are going the right way. You will need a vehicle to get to most of them from Moab, however (and you should -- no point in wasting precious time pedaling on roads to get to the trails). Shuttles are available to/from many of the most popular trails or areas as well. Fortunately, you can ride just about any popular trail on Youtube to get a sense of what you are in for.
But I have to caution you about the heat -- July is the hottest month of the year down there. To make matters worse, there is little shade on most of the classic rides, and the heat radiates back from the rocks against you, making it feel like you are in an oven. I do pretty well with heat -- I happily ride the trails here in Northern Utah at 90-100* without problems, but a little shade and vegetation goes a long way. Moab conditions make for very hot riding. You're going to be looking at riding early in the morning and probably wanting to be off the trails by 10 am or so. If at all possible, I'd recommend pushing the trip back a couple months.
'11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
'13 Felt Z4 for the road
Here is how people get into trouble in the desert:
- They come from someplace where the hottest day is 80F
- They have never experienced single digit humidity - ever
- They hear "it isn't that bad" as long as they get done by 10:00AM
- They get up late and ride anyway
- They get lost or their bike breaks or they fall and break their collarbone
- They run out of water
- They forgot their sunscreen
So, don't be that guy, and you'll be OK.
Take twice as much water as you can imagine you would ever need, be done by 10 AM, don't ride alone, wear layers of sunscreen, don't ride over your head. Oh, and be done by 10 AM.
As for the rest of your questions, look at the "Moab Trip Planner" sticky at the top of the Utah forum.
And be done riding by 10 AM.
Mike, do not go to Moab in July. It is a bad idea. Go ride a bike park in Colorado or something. People will tell you about getting off the trail by 10, but having a holiday where the day is over by 9 or 10 am sucks.
Originally Posted by Mike OnOne
Just come up North to Park City (or stay here if you are flying into Salt Lake City). Mid to late July would be a great time to ride in Park City. The trails will be dry, the trees will be green and you'll be at about 8,000ft elevation so the temperatures will be bearable.
Hell, I'm sure if you asked, several people here would be able to hook up to show you around. I'd much rather ride PC any day over Moab.
I'm a mountain bike guide in South West Utah
Come from the UK to ride PC? That might even be a worse idea than going to Moab in July. To each his own, but if you are going to say PC over Moab you best qualify that with what kind of riding (or lack of) you like. Moab may lack dh and flow, but it has fabulous tec and enduro type. And Moab is a world wide destination because of its beauty. Colorado has true dh and flow, PC has neither. Currently, PC is for peddlers, not riders. What a big mistake it would be to come to the US and ride Park City.
Originally Posted by Silentfoe
Please don't cite the IMBA gold star award that has more to do with everything that is not biking than actual biking.
The best way to snag a virgin in Moab is to buy some flowers and a ring.....oh wait, nevermind The advice given thus far has been great; don't ride alone, lot's of water, and forget 10 AM.....be off trails by 9 AM. In St.George in July-August, it can be over 90* for days while never dropping below that temp. even at night. Something that wasn't mentioned is that you'll need to replenish the minerals you sweat out, otherwise you'll cramp up and in extreme situations go into cardiac arrest, so perhaps a sport drink like Powerade,etc. would be good to have on hand as well.
I agree that moab is not the ideal location for summer biking. Plan you Moab trip for March or Sep-Nov. I also agree that park city might be a good option if as mentioned you are not afraid to pedal. There are shuttle options, and resorts with lifts, but most of the riding is the 2 hours of climbing 20 min descending type. Personally I would rather ride in oark city even if is just shuttling the crest, and doing the runs at the resorts then go to Moab and get baked. It is not impossible to ride in 100 degree weather but it will be much more fun to be in the cool air at 8000 feet.
Do some research riding in the La Salles Mountain range, either from the Moab side, or from the Durango Colorado side, if you are going riding in August. You need elevation at that time of year to prevent you from baking... 7 to 8000 feet is a starter... look into the Colorado TRail and stuff around Durango and Crested Butte if you have 2 weeks, and if you want some chunk, go down the road from Crested Butte. Maybe Monarch pass.
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