Anyone ride with Rim Tours or Escape Adventures?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Anyone ride with Rim Tours or Escape Adventures?

    I am looking at getting in at least one really nice bike vacation this year. I am a fan of guided bike tours- I have been on several intermediate level tours with my wife guided by Rim Tours and had a great time. I am looking to do a more advanced ride and have been drooling over two "dream rides." The first is Gooseberry Mesa and the other is the Maah Dah Hey. Rim Tours has a tour for the Gooseberry/ St. George area that includes the JEM Trail and a day in Little Creek; I would also ride a bit in St. George (Green Valley, Church Rocks and Stucki Spring probably). The Maah Dah Hey tour is run by Escape Adventures and runs the 100 mile Maah Dah Hey.

    Anyone out there have any experiences they would be willing to share regarding either the tour companies or these specific trips they run to help with my decision? I need to pull the trigger on one within the next week or so to save 15% on the trip...
    I guarantee I will never, ever be accused of bringing sexy back...

  2. #2
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    Did the Escape Maah Daah Hey with Escape in 2004

    Our trip was pretty much rained out as the clay mud is virtually unrideable, but the wet fall weather was unusual.

    The guides were great and so was the food. I was on a geared bike, but what I saw of the MDH, it looks like a great singlespeed trail. There are a lot of moderate ups and downs with gobs of perfect, buffed singletrack.

    The MDH is remote, and if you don't like to camp on your own, it would be a good trip to pay for. You'd have to drive to road crossings, then do the trail as a series of out and backs if you didn't buy a shuttle of some kind.

    I live in St. George and the riding here is fantastic. If you wanted, you could stay in hotels and do all the rides you mentioned on your own. No harm in doing the rides with a guide service, but it is less necessary here. Also, Gooseberry in particular isn't a very singlespeed-friendly ride, unless you have mad skills.
    {Principal Skinner} Hmm. Whoever did this is in very deep trouble.
    {Martin} And a sloppy speller too. The preferred spelling of 'wiener' is w - i - e - n - e - r, although 'e - i' is an acceptable ethnic variant.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the feedback!

    Thanks for the feedback. I am planning to bring my SS on whichever trip I end up going on, and based on some feedback I received from here I thought that Gooseberry was definetly SS'able. I do NOT have mad skills, but I do like technical cross country riding. What aspect of Gooseberry puts it beyond the range of normal humans riding SS? I run a 32:19 to cover most of the rides here in NJ but I realize it's apples and oranges. Thanks for the feedback, being a local to St. George I trust your judgement. If you have any other tips- I'm all ears.
    I guarantee I will never, ever be accused of bringing sexy back...

  4. #4
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    Sorry for so much gear talk on the SS forum...

    Gooseberry has a lot of sharp edged hits and short, steep technical climbs. A rider ends up wheelieing (?sp.) over a lot of things at a relatively slow speed and a lower gear helps me with that.

    Most of the ride, I'll be in 32 x 23 or 26, but I drop to 32 x 34 or 22 x 26 for the climbs. I balance better if I spin a decent cadence. I don't imagine I'm going faster than 2-3 mph on some of the more technical moves and the combination of standing at such a slow cadence with sharp changes in direction would have me walking a lot of what I can ride on my dually. The ride ends up being a bunch of very short (1-30 pedalstrokes, say) high intensity intervals interspersed with nice pedaling sections.

    I started riding Gooseberry on a brutally harsh Cannondale hardtail, and switching to a Turner RFX resulted in a definite increase both in the fun factor and in my success on the techy stuff. I do frequently ride my singlespeed on all the other local rides you mentioned. You can singlespeed Gooseberry, but for me it takes some of the fun out of it. Other folk's mileage may vary.
    {Principal Skinner} Hmm. Whoever did this is in very deep trouble.
    {Martin} And a sloppy speller too. The preferred spelling of 'wiener' is w - i - e - n - e - r, although 'e - i' is an acceptable ethnic variant.

  5. #5
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    Followup question regarding escape advent

    Sorry to bud you about Escape, but what did you do if the trip was a rain bust- ride anyway? Pick certain non-clay muddy trails to ride on the network? Just curious. I called Escape today and spoke to a guide who gave me the macho-I-ride-anything-anytime-speech (blah, blah, blah)

    I realize the ride will be on unless there is severe weather issues but it sounds like the clay mud on MDH qualifies, and for the $$$$$ they want I would like to know there is a backup plan and we don't just sit in our tents...
    I guarantee I will never, ever be accused of bringing sexy back...

  6. #6
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    The crew worked really hard to keep us happy. One of our guides was the daughter of the owner of Dakota Cycles. They had local connections and were able to get us a hunter's cabin for the first night at their expense so we didn't have to camp in the rain.

    The guides asked us what we wanted to do each day, and we ended doing a side trip through the Teddy Roosevelt NP and taking a hike along the trail the first day. The next 2 days we rode some scenic dirt roads that paralleled the MDH, then dropped into short stretches of the trail to get a feel for the conditions. The guides were willing to do whatever we wanted in terms of riding, but the mud was unpleasant enough none of us wanted to ride for too long in it. The badlands are beautiful in the fall, though.

    I actually bailed the third night as I had business to take care of on the way home and I wasn't enjoying the mud (I can get plenty of that close to home). I emailed another person who finished the trail and he said that everything dried up as soon as I left and the last 2 days were perfect riding. I felt like Jonah in the Bible getting thrown into the sea to appease the rain gods. Whatever did the trick, I missed the best 2 days.

    I'd say that Escape did everything they could to make the ride a good experience. There isn't much else to ride in the area when the trail is muddy, but I don't think that a week long soaking rain happens very much in ND in the fall. If you're really concerned you could ask if they have a policy to refund or reschedule for unrideable conditions. I'd use Escape again for other trips, but when I return to the MDH trail, I'll probably camp and do the trail as a series of out and backs. If you want to have a guide for the trip, I think Escape may be the only ones doing it (they use Dakota Cyclery's permit, so others won't have the authorization).
    {Principal Skinner} Hmm. Whoever did this is in very deep trouble.
    {Martin} And a sloppy speller too. The preferred spelling of 'wiener' is w - i - e - n - e - r, although 'e - i' is an acceptable ethnic variant.

  7. #7
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    I saw your pictures! You weren't kiddin'

    that was some of the meanest mud I have ever seen! Sorry I guess I missed your previous post during a previous search but thanks for taking the time here and giving me your thoughts. It is not fair to expect EA to cover the possibility of rain but I may look into travel insurance- I have never done that on a previous trip but it might be worthwhile in the long run here considering they want nearly $1,000 for a solo rider on the tour!

    But hey thanks for the time Bob (if that is your real name ) if I decide on Goose/ St. George (alot cheaper even with a tour) I'll drop you a line maybe we could get some rides in.

    Thanks!
    I guarantee I will never, ever be accused of bringing sexy back...

  8. #8
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    Bob it is

    Yeah. Let me know when you come out.
    {Principal Skinner} Hmm. Whoever did this is in very deep trouble.
    {Martin} And a sloppy speller too. The preferred spelling of 'wiener' is w - i - e - n - e - r, although 'e - i' is an acceptable ethnic variant.

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