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  1. #1
    gdv
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    Whole Enchilada for a Beginner?

    Hi there,

    Going to be in Moab at the end of May with my girlfriend, and while I'm an experienced rider she is somewhat of a beginner and a bit timid on the technical stuff. We are trying to plan some rides and I'm wondering if W.E. is suitable for the beginner-ish? Is it a matter of take your time and walk the rough stuff, or is it too frustrating for a newb?

    Thanks,

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    Quote Originally Posted by gdv View Post
    Hi there,

    Going to be in Moab at the end of May with my girlfriend, and while I'm an experienced rider she is somewhat of a beginner and a bit timid on the technical stuff. We are trying to plan some rides and I'm wondering if W.E. is suitable for the beginner-ish? Is it a matter of take your time and walk the rough stuff, or is it too frustrating for a newb?

    Thanks,
    if you really like your girlfriend, don't give it any serious thought
    breezy shade

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhodge View Post
    if you really like your girlfriend, don't give it any serious thought
    What he/she said. It will take a LONG time if you stop and walk techy sections.

  4. #4
    gdv
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    Ok, maybe this is better question... Given the description above plus the fact that she is quite fit and eager to ride, what trails would be people recommend?

    Thanks,

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdv View Post
    Ok, maybe this is better question... Given the description above plus the fact that she is quite fit and eager to ride, what trails would be people recommend?

    Thanks,
    Brand trails, Klondike Bluff area and the first 1/2 of Mag 7 if things go well.

    TWE is nowhere near beginner territory.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhodge View Post
    if you really like your girlfriend, don't give it any serious thought
    Funny!

  7. #7
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    For the ultimate in break-up weekends, start with TWE and finish with Slickrock. I've observed a lot of drama in that parking lot...
    I only attempt to change the world in the appropriate World-Changing venues and forums.

  8. #8
    JMH
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    Brand Trails and ONLY Brand Trails. If she enjoys herself there then perhaps some Klondike Bluffs are in order. I don't suggest the Brand Trails because they are easier (although there are some fun beginner trails there) but rather because there are many bailouts that allow for shorter rides if things aren't going swimmingly.

    Enjoy! Moab can be great fun even for the Newbs.

    JMH

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    Slick rock trail might work. You can see if she likes the practice loop
    www.24hrBikeShop.com 10% of your purchase price is donated to the trail organization of your choice!

  10. #10
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    You know, on second thought - trial by fire is awesome, worked for me. I made it down that trail with an inch of suspension, a water bottle and onza pedals in 1994. Didn't ride half of it and had a blast. Married the guy I went with and got a job in the bike industry. Maybe we should expect a higher level of sacking up on this forum.
    I only attempt to change the world in the appropriate World-Changing venues and forums.

  11. #11
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    Haha I took a great friend of mine on UPS-down (OP, that is basically half the Whole Enchilada, maybe more) last spring. She is the best skier I know and was pretty fearless on a MTB at the time. I've only seen her cry one time before that. She did great in the cool morning on the single track stuff. As soon as we got to the chundery porc rim and exposed porc singletrack in the heat? Game over. It was the most profound circle of frustration by her, and extreme embarrassment on my part.

    Don't worry, we still love eachother, but man she was pissed at me for that "What were you thinking?!?!"

    Yep, I was that guy.

    Moral of the story?Don't be that guy. Or do, cause we all love a good comedy show to go with our post ride beers in the lot.

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    On a related note, Moab has really stepped it up with their beginner and easy single track options. MOAB brand trails are great. As is the new Lazy/EZ single track option. Ask a shop when you get there, they'll point you in the right direction. From there, step it up to Sovreign system. Then maybe try UPS-down, but be prepared for a long day. I advise highly against doing TWE as a first ride.

    EDIT: Chuky, I do think there needs to be more sacking up round these parts, but I really don't think TWE is quite the right trial by fire for everyone. Awesome that that was your first intro though! Better than a boring rails-to-trails gravel path!

  13. #13
    gdv
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuky View Post
    for the ultimate in break-up weekends, start with twe and finish with slickrock. I've observed a lot of drama in that parking lot...
    lol

  14. #14
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    Bartlett Wash is a good alternative to the large slick rock trail. You can make the ride as long or short as you want, and the views are pretty good once you get on top. She'll walk up and down a couple ledges, but the rest is like riding on a sloped parking lot.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuky View Post
    You know, on second thought - trial by fire is awesome, worked for me. I made it down that trail with an inch of suspension, a water bottle and onza pedals in 1994. Didn't ride half of it and had a blast. Married the guy I went with and got a job in the bike industry. Maybe we should expect a higher level of sacking up on this forum.
    You did Porc Rim then and not the T.W.E. much different ride. The Whole thing is a big day for someone with limited riding experience. I wouldn't suggest it....

    Check out the trails up at Dead Horse Point as well. Also nice mellow slickrock slabs around Monitor and Merrimack to play around on.

  16. #16
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    Go to Fruita instead, much better beginner trails (that are also fun for advanced) there then in Moab IMO. It was my fiance's first season on a bike last year (the only other bike she's ever ridden had little mermaid stickers on it). She loved Rustler Loop, Prime Cut, and Kessel Run and was actually to ride nearly everything on it rather then bailing and walking. Plus the Hot Tomato is way better than any food you'll get in Moab.

    Seriously, for beginners Fruita > Moab

    Also, TWE is a fall ride, although if it is ever available in spring, this would be the year due to the low snow pack. Keep in mind that late May in Moab is going to be HOT. Especially this year with the warm weather hitting so quickly. I would avoid mid day riding. It took us about 5 hours to finish TWE, so you don't want to do that one in hot weather, seriously.
    All I know is that I don't know nothin'... and that's fine.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuky View Post
    You know, on second thought - trial by fire is awesome, worked for me. I made it down that trail with an inch of suspension, a water bottle and onza pedals in 1994. Didn't ride half of it and had a blast. Married the guy I went with and got a job in the bike industry. Maybe we should expect a higher level of sacking up on this forum.
    But you are not a regular chick. And I mean that in the most positive way possible.

    Took my honey there before we got hitched, she cried. She also had a red sandstone tattoo on her leg for 2+ years. I told her she should wash the wound before she sprayed on the Brave Soldier.
    Next week will be 18 years for us so she got over it eventually.

  18. #18
    JMH
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    Quote Originally Posted by steadyflow View Post
    You did Porc Rim then and not the T.W.E. much different ride. The Whole thing is a big day for someone with limited riding experience. I wouldn't suggest it....
    Oh, she knows. Her TWE is faster than most guys ride it. But yeah, you're right. Back then it was all about climbing to the rim from the Classic (Retro?) Entrance by Juniper and then trying not to break a bike or arm on the way down.

    JMH

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by steadyflow View Post
    You did Porc Rim then and not the T.W.E. much different ride. The Whole thing is a big day for someone with limited riding experience. I wouldn't suggest it....

    Check out the trails up at Dead Horse Point as well. Also nice mellow slickrock slabs around Monitor and Merrimack to play around on.

    Oh internet technicalities. How fun you are. You are correct - it was the old Porc and I rode it as a loop from town, back before I knew what a shuttle service was. It was meant more as an illustration than anything else. I am quite familiar with the actual TWE.

    Anyway, I should have used the sarcasm symbol. My point was more that while TWE isn't easy, many people have gotten down and had a great time. Same goes for most of the Moab trails - the fun-to-death ratio is actually pretty good, even on Portal... We spend so much energy e-worrying on this board, particularly when it comes to the dreaded girlfriend question. Guys who don't know if their girlfriend can handle a few scabs and adversity might want to reconsider Moab as a couple's destination. On the other hand, your SO might be tougher than you expect.
    I only attempt to change the world in the appropriate World-Changing venues and forums.

  20. #20
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    Personally, I think things are getting a little boring round these parts and I think musings about this "trial by fire" might just liven things up a bit. So given that, I think you should take her down TWE followed by a lap down portal. If she's still talking to you, hit up rockstacker and Jackson's. Please include pictures and any audio clips. I will be preparing my popcorn awaiting your report. Does she have good insurance?

    On a serious note, the suggestion of Fruita is a good one. The Brand trails are also beginner friendly. As everyone else said, if you like her skip TWE, if she's just a passing fancy then have at it!

  21. #21
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    Not my girlfriend, but a good friend otherwise. Today she did her first trip down whatever part of TWE is open currently.


  22. #22
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    I'm pretty sure she (^^^) could kick my a$$.

  23. #23
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    We camped at the bottom of porc last week and had to administer first aid to a woman whose husband drug her down the trail. My buddy and I took around 3 hours w breaks/ photos/ talking/ lunch- they were on the same trail for almost EIGHT. Beginner= don't even think about it. It was almost 80 on this particular day at the bottom (which isn't that hot for Moab) were out of water, and the lady looked like ET in the white tent when I first saw her. Gave her Gatorade, wet shirts for her neck, got her to shade and she improved rapidly- but it was scary...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuky View Post
    My point was more that while TWE isn't easy, many people have gotten down and had a great time. Same goes for most of the Moab trails - the fun-to-death ratio is actually pretty good, even on Portal... We spend so much energy e-worrying on this board, particularly when it comes to the dreaded girlfriend question. Guys who don't know if their girlfriend can handle a few scabs and adversity might want to reconsider Moab as a couple's destination. On the other hand, your SO might be tougher than you expect.
    I agree with this. "No" is the easy, one-size fits all answer, but it many not actually be the accurate answer for a given party. I've taken beginners who've had a ton of fun. The great thing about this trail is that it exposes you to most of what desert riding has to offer, in one ride.

    How beginner? What's the level of enthusiasm? Dragging a reluctant partner along is a recipe for trouble. But a promising beginner, who has a genuine enthusiasm for it will have fun, and set a benchmark for the next time down. It's not all sick-gnar, and you can walk what you don't want to ride.

    I'd add: don't do it on a Saturday - the frustration of always having people riding up and wanting to pass is something you want to avoid. And don't forget to think about your willingness to be patient and wait.
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    I agree with this. "No" is the easy, one-size fits all answer, but it many not actually be the accurate answer for a given party. I've taken beginners who've had a ton of fun. The great thing about this trail is that it exposes you to most of what desert riding has to offer, in one ride.

    How beginner? What's the level of enthusiasm? Dragging a reluctant partner along is a recipe for trouble. But a promising beginner, who has a genuine enthusiasm for it will have fun, and set a benchmark for the next time down. It's not all sick-gnar, and you can walk what you don't want to ride.

    I'd add: don't do it on a Saturday - the frustration of always having people riding up and wanting to pass is something you want to avoid. And don't forget to think about your willingness to be patient and wait.
    You make a good point- but "timid on the technical stuff" as stated by the OP does not sound like a beginner that I would take. I think riders can start at an intermediate skill level based on natural talent or other two wheel time, but experience (or time on a bike) is different from skill level in my opinion. I still think a true beginner (skill-wise) would be better off on other trails in Moab.

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