Spring break, Moab Utah

Posted on 8:30 PM by Schottler

This was the 4th annual trip for the Mizzou Cycling team to travel to Moab Utah for spring break. If you haven't ever been out there, it has some of the best mountain biking trails in the country. But I have also discovered that there are some of the nicest roads to ride on. Our trip consisted of 3 cars carrying 9 people, with the Walt's Bike Shop trailer and about 15 bikes.

We took off Friday the 20th of March at about 6:30PM and did the 16 hour drive through the night and morning, arriving in Moab at about noon, with plenty of time to ride. However, the campsite we always stay at was reserved... along with nearly every other one around. So, we ended up going way up near the porcupine rim trailhead to find a good site. We camped Saturday, Sunday, and Monday night. We rented a condo for Tuesday and Wednesday night, so we could relax a little and get a much needed shower, and some good grilling. Thursday night we camped in Fruita, Colorado, in 20 degree's.
As for the riding, it was amazing. Ideally, the best bike to ride out there is a 5 inch all mountain bike with a slack head tube. About 90% of the cyclists in Moab are all mountain riders wearing baggies and camel backs looking forward to the crazy descents. I usually feel a little out of place wearing full Lycra while riding a hard tail, and usually get a lot of looks. However, those looks are usually while I am riding by all of them on the gnarly rocky descents. The GT rode amazingly well, the head tube is so stiff and solid it gives a very predicable ride, and the carbon has enough give and vibration dampening that it was amazingly fast and relatively comfortable.

Once camp was set up on Saturday, Lou, Brent, and I headed out to do Porcupine Rim, the maiden voyage of the GT. From the campsite, it was up and up and up and up, and then a pretty crazy and rocky decent. It is definitely a good way to learn how your bike rides, right on the edge of complete loss of control. On Sunday I decided to do a 5 hour road ride through the LaSal mountains. This ride has an initial climb of about 6,000 feet, followed by a very very fast decent. One section of road has about 10 straight minutes of 40+ mph speeds, which is something we don't always get to experience in Missouri. Besides the 30+ mph winds the entire ride, it was amazing. Monday and Tuesday we did some more good riding, including another porcupine rim ride with everybody. Wednesday was the big riding day for me, 7 hours in the saddle. I rode to the porcupine rim trailhead from our condo, which was in town, which is a LONG way up. I continued on the gravel to the LPS trailhead, which is a lot more climbing, eventually leveling off at the highest possible point, about 20 miles from town, all climbing. From here, I waited in the surprisingly cold snow showers (didn't plan on the cold, wearing full lycra) for the rest of the group to shuttle up. After taking the trail back to town, Lou and I rode the Amasaback trail, which had my favorite technical climbing of the trip, but the descent had a lot of hike-a-bike. Thursday and Friday were getting painful and the lack of sleep and not enough eating were starting to get to me. I lowered the effort and dropped the hours back for the last two days to keep from overdoing it, since it is so early in the season.

Besides the unusual cold weather, and the sand storm, the trip was blast. I recommend everyone go out there and try out the trails, and if you've already ridden it, go do it again. You can't ride in many better places in this world.


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