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  1. #1
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    Thanks Utah forum!

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for all of the posters here on the Utah forum! Walt, Jmp and all of the others!

    I'm from the south bay area, CA and made plans for Utah mtb'ing kind of late due to my first stop which was Tahoe last Sunday. I knew a lot of the trails with higher elevation were going to be closed due to the snow, so I pushed my vaca to mid June...

    I did not start a new thread b/c most of the questions that I had were asked already and answered for the most part.

    I'm mostly an XC type rider, but have done a few of the gnarly trails around the Santa Cruz area. (It helps to have at least some technical skills to bail yourself out if needed!) I turned 55 the first week of June, so not a youngster, 5'10", ~166 lbs). Been cycling much more since 2012 or so, both road and mtb. I'm on a Santa Cruz blur Ltc w/a fox 160 on front.

    Rode Deer valley on Tue which was fun, ended up being 49 miles, 14.9k. (I can get used to park riding..)
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    Thanks Utah forum!-deervalleylift.jpg

    Wed rode from the Ramblin lot up 313 to Horsethief CG. Dropped Chisholm - Big Lonely - Big Mesa - Ramblin. My GPS logged 21.9 miles/1,600. Fun ride, but I would only suggest it to someone with pretty good fitness as there are quite a few punchy climbs and they start taking their toll when it is 85*+. Ended my ride around 10am or so and it was in the upper 80*.

    About ~1 mile from the Horsethief CG:
    Thanks Utah forum!-chisholm_moab.jpg

    This morning was Dead Horse Point loop which was 'easy' by general mtb standards, but still challenging the faster you go. Looking ahead as much as possible is a mtb fundamental, but really helps out on these trails as I found that you really do not know which way it will be turning after rolling over a small mound or hill.

    Tomorrow will be Mag 7, bailing out on Gemini instead of going down Portal.

    As others mentioned, starting early in the summer in Moab is key. (That means getting in your car and driving to the trail head before the sun rises...)
    Adding a bit of salt to your camelbak's water may help.
    Even back in the bay area, I typically down a full bottle of water before riding. (pre-hydration, it's a must in Moab in the summer) On a 'typical' day, a full bottle will last me about 45' to 1hr on the bike.
    Instead of bringing the full bottle of sunscreen, I put some in a contact lens container. This is good for 2x applications for your face.
    Riding with a long sleeve cycling jersey helps protect your arms from the sun. You can also put food or misc items in the jersey pockets. (Use a light color, not Black!)
    Small elbow and knee pads are cheap insurance.
    (IMO, a 29er will save you from getting your front tire caught on DH steps w/small gaps) I'm still on a old school 26er...
    I used a small polyester cloth and hung it on the back of my helmet and tucked under my jersey to keep the sun off the back of my neck. (Not cotton)
    I use a pump weed sprayer filled with water to wash off all of the salty sweat after my ride. I feel sooo much better after washing off.

    Heading to St. George on Sat to roll around those hills for a few days.

    Hope to be back in Utah in the spring or fall again.

    Thanks Utah forum!-deadhorse_pano.jpg
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    Thanks Utah forum!-deadhorse.jpg
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    Thanks Utah forum!-deadhorse_tree.jpg
    "Don't ride faster than your guardian angel can fly"

  2. #2
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    Great trip....and post. I actually LOVE the Dead Horse State Park ride. It might not qualify for the standard "epic" moniker but the fun factor is high. I ride it every time I'm in Moab. If you haven't ridden in the St George area before, get ready because Gooseberry Mesa doubles or maybe triples down on those punchy climbs you mentioned.
    Last edited by k2rider1964; 06-24-2017 at 07:08 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Good you found all the info helpful! Thanks for your post / feedback.

    What you'll find different riding The Goose for the first time, I assume the South Rim Trail and Hidden Canyon, is that there is a surprise behind every juniper. You will be busy. Totally different experience!

    Going out Gemini Bridges Road at the bottom of Great Escape isn't fun. That's why I drive down GB Road to Arth's Corner and park there, it is the bottom of Bull Run and Getaway, then climb Getaway and drop Bull Run. You'll probably be on the trails before you read this so have a good ride!

    G-Form is all the armor you'll need in Moab if you keep the speed down and low jumps.

    Santa Cruz is nice, ride it frequently, but Moab has vastly more to offer!

    We rode Yeti 29ers in that red rock gnar at the Fruita Fat Tire Festival a few years ago and were stunned by how much better they perform over 26ers. We've rode Moab every year for at least a decade on old X/C bikes, mine was hard tail. Ended up buying two $7K Yetis and ride 10x more than we used to.

    You will get spoiled riding south Utah :-)

    I'm riding Bend next week but back to Moab in Sept.
    MTB blog for US West trails: http://jimprestonmtb.com. Trail analysis videos, bike and component reviews, other stuff.

  4. #4
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    I actually ended up riding with 2 other guys that were both younger and pretty skilled on Yeti's, at the bail out point to Gemini Bridges, I followed them to Portal as I felt pretty good and still had water. I'll just say that that route is pretty tough, especially going up the steeper slickrock jeep roads. (Not to mention that it is towards the end of the ride and it is progressively getting warmer)

    Moab has more in terms of trail variety and number of trails than Santa Cruz for sure, but SC has tons of trees and shade.

    IMO, a 5"+ travel bike is good for this area if your planning to do the intermediate trails or above. I'd like to demo one of those new long travel 29'ers and I think they would be perfect for this type of riding. (Easier to roll over stuff and can take larger hits/drops)
    Thanks Utah forum!-mag7_arch.jpg
    "Don't ride faster than your guardian angel can fly"

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    If you haven't ridden in the St George area before, get ready because Gooseberry Mesa doubles or maybe triples down on this punchy climbs you mentioned.
    I seen on the weather report that it is on the 'hotter' side as far as weather in St George so I'll be starting early for sure. I'll need to conserve energy for the Mesa as going 90% or full gas up those climbs takes their toll, especially when they are 15%+
    "Don't ride faster than your guardian angel can fly"

  6. #6
    Yeti SB95c
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    Congrats on riding the Portal Trail! Amazing adventure. Some riders do that at night.

    You can demo the Yeti 4.5c and 5.5c at Santa Theresa County Park in south San Jose. Trailhead Cyclery in SJ has them and they are excellent Moab bikes. Trailhead also has Specialized, Ibis, and Transition demos.

    Rocky Ridge and Styles Ranch trails are were we practice before our Moab trips. The rocks are different but good gnar.

    Trailhead has their Dirt Demo Days around the first of Nov there and for $40 a day you can ride them all. The Yeti, Ibis, and Specialized demo trucks are there. Food and $40 shop credit included. The best MTB demo event I know of in CA.

    By far the best for demoing bikes will be Outerbike in Moab around the first of October! Price includes shuttling to the top of Mag 7 and out to Amasa Back plus lunches and beer. It doesn't get any better. Lots of equipment vendors.

    If you decide you like riding the Zion area then Over The Edge Sports in Hurricane has a demo bike festival in March. The fall Outerbike in Moab rules them all however.

    Enjoy The Goose! If you have time also ride Guacamole and Wire Mesa. JEM trails are flowy and fun but you get a lot of that in SC.

    Meanwhile, tomorrow I head for Oakridge and Bend for a week. Nice to have rivers and lakes around.
    MTB blog for US West trails: http://jimprestonmtb.com. Trail analysis videos, bike and component reviews, other stuff.

  7. #7
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    The smoke above Gooseberry is horrible right now. Hope you don't get the black lung.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  8. #8
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    Awesome! Enjoy, and come back soon!

    FYI, I'm not the moderator of this forum (if that's why you were thanking me) - I only moderate the framebuilding forum. I'm just a random nobody here.

    -Walt

  9. #9
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    Also, if you're still near Goosberry, my place is always open for a cold one after a ride, to any member of this forum. Send me a PM and I'll kick you my address.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    The smoke above Gooseberry is horrible right now. Hope you don't get the black lung.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    I drove down from Moab this morning and noticed the wild fires burning and smoke filled skies in the distance. Hope the forest service is working on it...? Or do they let them burn themselves out in Utah?

    I'll be on Goose tomorrow morning probably around sunrise, probably do the Hurricane Rim loop on Monday. May see you out there...
    "Don't ride faster than your guardian angel can fly"

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    Awesome! Enjoy, and come back soon!

    FYI, I'm not the moderator of this forum (if that's why you were thanking me) - I only moderate the framebuilding forum. I'm just a random nobody here.

    -Walt
    Just a random nobody...lol. Still have a lot of helpful advice for newbs to the surrounding Utah area!
    "Don't ride faster than your guardian angel can fly"

  12. #12
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    It's the biggest fire in the Nation right now. Approaching 40,000 acres near Brian Head ski resort. I could do Goose tomorrow if you're looking for company. Name the time.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bail_Monkey View Post
    Just a random nobody...lol. Still have a lot of helpful advice for newbs to the surrounding Utah area!
    I'm actually a total jerk IRL, but I keep hoping for out-of-state beer deliveries from visitors if I post enough.



    -Walt

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