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  1. #1
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    Moab for little shredders

    Headed back to Moab for the first time in over 7 years. I spend two weeks in BC every year and just haven't been motivated to come back since. Last time I was in Moab it was for 5-6 days and I rode twice on some days.

    If I recall the trails:
    Night ride on Pipeline
    TWE twice
    Amasa, Rockstacker, Jacksons, and then right back up and down amasa
    Sovereign for a few hours
    Night ride for a couple hours at Bar trails
    Can't remember the rest

    Since my last trip, I've added a riding partner...my 7yo daughter. She is a fookin shredder, and schools grown men on a daily basis. She is fine with a 20 mile ride and 2000 feet of climbing. probably more, but that's where we have stopped this far. SHe is good to go on any intermediate trail and some black diamonds. Flow trails are no problem, but not likely in Moab. The steeper and chunkier black diamonds are not her favorite. She's on a full suspension specialized camber, but still on the 24" tires. That makes some stuff a bit harder than on a bigger bike.

    We are coming out for five days during a cross country riding trip. The plan is to hit up Arkansas and Durango on the way.

    I'm camping at Warner Lake with the family, so I plan on a couple of solo runs down Whole Enchilada in the mornings. I am not comfortable with her being on porcupine rim due to the exposure that I remember. I honestly think she could ride almost all of it, but I don't want a mistake to be that costly. I recall the Bar trails to be really friendly for a beginner, but she's better than that and I want her to really experience Moab. What else should I be looking at to ride with her?

    I know 7 sounds young, but she's solid. She rides everyday, and is starting to catch small air, and really pumping berms.

    Trails to add for her?

  2. #2
    Formerly of Kent
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    Most of Mag 7 would be fine. Aside from Gold Bar Rim and Portal.


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  3. #3
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    Be sure to let your new rider calibrate to the type of riding in Moab, so start her off easier than you think. It's easier to ramp up difficulty on Day 2, or Day 1 afternoon than repair damage, physical or otherwise, from biting off too much too early.

    Klondike Bluffs has endless loop options and is generally a step up from Bar M trails. Start from the northern trailhead.
    https://www.trailforks.com/trails/dino-flow/
    Klonzo trail network is also more intermediate in nature than Bar M. I would suggest starting with those.
    https://www.trailforks.com/region/klonzo-19500/

    North40 is a fun blue trail in the Brand Trail network and could also be used to gauge how the lil shredder is adapting to conditions.

    After Brand and Klonzo, then level up to Navajo Rocks and Horsethief area trails, which weren't there 7 years ago.
    https://www.trailforks.com/region/horsethief/
    https://www.trailforks.com/region/navajo-rocks/

    If you're worried about exposure, stay away from Bull Run in the upper Mag 7. There is enough exposure that a tumble off the edge could result in a catastrophe.

    Have fun.

  4. #4
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    All the Klondike bluffs stuff (pretty much everything on the east side of the highway heading north out of town) is going to be great for your daughter. No significant danger/exposure, but lots of great trails of various difficulty and a billion ways to combine things so you'll never get bored.

    I don't know if those trail systems count as "really experiencing" Moab - people don't shuttle them, wear fullfaces, or brag about riding them over beers, but they're really fun and have plenty of challenging stuff if you look for it (or flowier stuff if you don't want chunk that day).

    -Walt

  5. #5
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    Thanks a lot, guys. This is great info. I'm not afraid to just hop on trailforks and just ride. It's a little different when it's your baby with you. We are two weeks out, and doing 15 miles a day to prepare. It's close to 100 degrees here with a high humidity. Hopefully, we don't melt. I'll be sure to update with a trip report.

  6. #6
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    Kids are *much* more susceptible to heat and sometimes don't drink enough anyway. The heat in Moab is deceptive because you don't end up being drenched in sweat. It is basically like riding in a convection oven.

    Be very careful. I've seen two kids on Slickrock dangerously dehydrated, disoriented and close to heatstroke. Not good.

    Also sunscreen the hell out of both of you.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the reminder! I let her read all of the replies and now she's busy watching videos. She wanted me to add that she's going to be starting on some easy trails and then moving up. She said the trails look a lot different than here. She had an OTB the day before yesterday after landing way forward in the saddle on a small jump. She took a brake lever to the thigh that punctured the skin. Needed a stich or two, but we waited too long. Healing up already though.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftertom View Post
    She said the trails look a lot different than here.
    A *lot* of visitors say an "easy" trail in Moab is like an intermediate or harder trail back where they're from. It's certainly way tougher on equipment.

    I always recommend visitors of any ability level start out with a day at Bar M aka Brands. There are trails there for all ability levels; most of those who complain "it's too easy" don't ride Deadman's Ridge or Long Branch. After a day sampling trails there, you've (a) got over jet lag / time zone difference /etc ; and (b) have an idea of what a beginner/intermediate/expert trail is in this area.

  9. #9
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    Two weeks out? It will be hot as f@ck there. Be sure to get a VERY early start and be off the trails by noon, at least down in the valley. There's a thread further down this forum with discussions on that.

    As you are staying up at Warner Lake, check out Jimmy Keen trail with the youngster.

    And one more heat warning - when its humid, you know you're sweating. When the RH is sub-5%, its less obvious how much you're sweating due to the quick evaporation. You likely know this, but it will be less obvious to new desert riders.

    Have fun!

  10. #10
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    I am aware of the heat and humidity, but always appreciate concern and comments. I am planning on a couple of hours during the morning and then again in the evenings. We will do some family hiking as well, and screw around during the hottest part of the day. Thanks for the rec on Jimmy Keen. I saw it on Trailforks and was wondering about it. I'm having to fight her on Whole Enchilada. She saw the posts here and overheard a conversation with one of my friends. It's funny, but she stormed off and slammed her door when I told her no way, no chance. Videos don't do the trail justice, and she's convinced that she can handle it. I'll probably take her up to Burro and let her feel the steepness. That should be enough to realize that she doesn't want any part in an all day ride. She would be way too tired by the time she gets to Porcupine. Hopefully, Jimmy Keen will keep her content.

    Thanks for the tips.

  11. #11
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    Another plan to wear her out would be, if you have the car-pickup option, to ride from Warner Lake down Hazard county, then do Jimmy Keen, with a pickup either on Sand Flats, or the pedal back up Jimmy Keen to the paved Sand Flats road. She might be tough, but that option on 24 inch wheels at 8,000 feet should work her, and allow you to say "Porcupine is much more than that". Either way, you're pretty fortunate to have a mini-shredder buddy.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by charcist View Post
    Another plan to wear her out would be, if you have the car-pickup option, to ride from Warner Lake down Hazard county, then do Jimmy Keen, with a pickup either on Sand Flats, or the pedal back up Jimmy Keen to the paved Sand Flats road. She might be tough, but that option on 24 inch wheels at 8,000 feet should work her, and allow you to say "Porcupine is much more than that". Either way, you're pretty fortunate to have a mini-shredder buddy.
    Thanks again for the beta. We are definitely going to ride this suggestion.

    I could have never imagined that the first of my two daughters would be my riding partner already at this point. Seeing her stoke keeps me smiling. I'm bursting with pride when we catch up to another group riding. The looks on their faces are priceless when this little voice says, "Excuse me", and proceeds to gap them. She likes being one of the bros, and I'm dreading the day she realizes riding with Dad isn't cool.

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