For every skinny j there is an equal but opposite....

Want to go for a DAMN Ride? So do we! :whoop:
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davej
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For every skinny j there is an equal but opposite....

Post by davej » Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:48 am

Ill flesh this out at some point but for right now I find myself in moab with my bikes. Still dark for another hour so maybe I can get some quick intel from the moab intelligentsia.

I paid to camp up at the slickrock place last night thinking that area might be a good place to spend a day. I'm alone so maybe a popular area would be good?

I came back into town for supplies and bought a couple of maps.

Any advice how to spend a day here? :thumbup:

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Skinny-J
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Re: For every skinny j there is an equal but opposite....

Post by Skinny-J » Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:53 am

This has to be a good story, can't wait...

If you are camped by Slick Rock, after riding slick rock you have Porcupine Rim (an out and back for motos) as well as Kokopelli in the Sand Flats area. If you are looking for more dual-sport type stuff, check out Onion Creek and then take a ride to the Top of the World.

Here is a write-up I did from our trip in 2011, it was all good stuff (we were on 650's):
Monday- The Kokopelli bike trail runs from Grand Junction, CO to Moab, UT. We rode north from Moab up Rt 128 to where the Kokopelli crosses Rt 128 and picked it up heading south from there. This took us into Yellow Jacket canyon and eventually brought us out at Dewey Bridge. We then took an optional spur off of the Kokopelli called Top of the World. Towards the end, Top of the World is a little work to get up but worth the view once you summit. Returning from Top of the World we had the option to continue on the Kokopelli trail and descend a very nasty hill called Rose Garden Hill. However, we choose to use an alternate route in through Onion Creek to join back up with the Kokopelli. This was a good decision because Onion Creek is a great route, crossing a creek at least a dozen times (before you loose count) and traveling up through a really neat canyon. Once we rejoined the Kokopelli trail, we continued through Thompson canyon and eventually ended up back on Sand Flats Road near our cabin. The mileage for this day was about 140.

Tuesday- The plan was to ride the White Rim Trail going counter-clockwise from Mineral Bottom but when we arrived in Moab we found out that parts of the WRT were closed due to flooding on the Green River. We therefore modified out plans and accessed the WRT via Potash Road and the Shaffer Jeep Trail. We then did an out and back on the WRT and also explored a side canyon down to the Colorado river called Lapthrop canyon. We exited Canyonlands via the incredible Shaffer switch backs which have to be ridden to be believed. While on our way back to Moab we cut off of 313 and a short cut that allowed us to visit Gemini Bridges.

Wednesday- The plan was to ride Chicken Corners and then down Lockhart basin. However, because of a late start due to rain and then a broken engine case on a bike, we only ever made it about half way out to Chicken Corners.

Thursday - Another late start due to rain but Chicken Corners was finally conquered. Then, in the sleet and rain we rode Lockhart basin all the way to the Needles District of Canyonlands. We did not have time to do Elephant Hill since we still faced a (cold) 90 mile return trip to Moab via the highway.

Friday- We rode Kane Creek including the tough hill climbs at the end. We also did the Slick Rock practice loop. Friday was the bees-knees!

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Re: For every skinny j there is an equal but opposite....

Post by Wingfixer » Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:56 am

Kane Creek was probably my favorite trail at the time. It was built for the DRz!

I can't wait to go back!
F*** work.
Ride motorcycles.

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Re: For every skinny j there is an equal but opposite....

Post by Skinny-J » Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:17 am

Here are some more suggestions; I have had this saved in my files for our planned return trip in 2022 (well 2021 if Romania falls through because of Covid). This is from the guys at South Mountain Cycle, very like minded so you should enjoy!
Moab Day 1: Poison Spider Mesa
There's something about waking up in the desert can't put my finger on it, but the air is
somehow crisp like fall back home, yet you know it's going to be hot. Maybe the time change has
something to do with it. I find myself up and outside much earlier. The sun is already pounding
on the tops of the red rocks, but it is cold in the Spanish Valley.
Today we plan to ride with Tim's friends from Colorado, Bill and Gary. Last night at the Moab
Brewery, Bill told us that someone had recommended the Poison Spider and Golden Spike trails
to him. So this morning we meet and head north across the Colorado River on US 191 toward the
Poison Spider Mesa. As we turn left onto SR 279 we pass the old uranium processing site.
Yellowcake anyone? Not anymore, the site is now in the midst of what looks to be a very orderly
remediation. Check out the cleanup's fact sheet sometime (gjem.energy.gov/moab), I find it
fascinating. A few miles of pavement with steep canyon walls on the right and the Colorado River
on the left and we are at the trailhead.
Poison Spider and Golden Spike are Jeep trails rated on recreation maps as difficult and most
difficult. They loop through the Poison Spider Mesa and link up with Gemini Bridge road. On a
dirt bike, most jeep trails are readily negotiable, but this is Moab and there are sections of Golden
Spike that will curl your hair. The last thing I'd want to be in is a Jeep. The trail begins as a
steep dirt road with sandstone outcrops and quickly turns into full blown rock mountains. The
landscape is straight out of an old western movie, with gullies, gulches, washes, cliffs and
canyons. The riding is fun a little trials action mixed with desert gassing and 'paved' hill climbs
thrown in for fun. At some point we get separated and loop around for a while until we get
everyone gathered back up. This is when the real fun starts: we unknowingly wind up on the only
doubleblack diamond trail on the Poison Spider Mesa. The climbs are hairy, the descents are
steep and we begin the task of lifting the bikes over some obstacles in 85degree
dry heat. The effort is worth it. Somewhere at an altitude of about 5,200 feet (Moab is at about 4,000), we stop
at a lookout point and can see the valley below south to Moab and the entrance to Arches
National Park. It's spectacular. Later we stop and hike a few hundred yards to Gemini Bridges:
gigantic rock arches that you can walk across with the canyon floor hundreds of feet down.
The ride back to the highway is a red dirt road that climbs over the cliff adjacent to 191 and
breathtakingly drops down the other side. A few miles of blacktop and we're crossing the
Colorado again and heading into town. As the sun sets in the desert, the chill is back. The cliffs cast long shadows, but the sky is
clear promising another fresh desert morning.

Moab Day 2: La Sal Mountains
Yes, we planned a trip to the desert in June, but the timing was more about when everyone
could get together rather than nailing the ideal weather. Well it turns out that the forecast for
Moab today is 97 degrees. We know we want to ride Slickrock early in the week, but after
yesterday's sweatfest on Golden Spike, the group is open to ideas. When you drive into Moab on
191 from I70 you are treated to a spectacular view of red rock desert in the foreground and
massive snowcapped peaks in the background. Those peaks are the La Sal Mountains and they
are well over 12,000 feet high! We did some research and found that there is a portion of the La
Sal National Forest that is open to multiple uses including offhighway
vehicles. The project has been set up as a study to conserve the land while keeping it open to responsible use. It also
raises money for education in Utah. It's bound to be cooler up there than down here. Heck, from
the pictures, it looks like there are even trees with actual shade. And the trailhead is only 27
miles from our house. The day is already hot as we are leaving. We head south on Spanish Valley Road and hang a
left on La Sal Loop Road. The road begins to climb and within minutes the red landscape turns to
green, the vegetation thickens, and it feels like we are riding straight into Colorado. The
pavement ends when we turn onto Geyser Pass Road. It is wide and steep and there are cattle
grazing on the shoulders. Soon it is narrow and steep and lined with massive pine trees. The
temperature has dropped enough that I am glad that I decided to wear my enduro jacket. Then I
see it, my first glimpse of snow in the gutter! Then more. By the time we reach the 10,500 ft.
Geyser Pass, there are piles of it nearly a foot deep. Riding over the pass is an experience,
especially after leaving the desert 30 minutes ago on a dirt bike. The road opens up a bit as we
navigate the switchbacks on the other side and the views are big a
green valley below that fades to forever and 12,726ft Mount Peale well above the tree line.
We find the trailhead and get to it. The single track trails are unbelievable meandering
like cow trails through high meadows, dropping into rocky canyons, weaving through stands of aspen,
and cutting across cliff edges steep enough to make you want to click your heels three times. The
elevation changes are extreme and the scenery is powerful. Difficulty ranges, but everything is
navigable from the saddle save for a few downed tree detours. Turns out that June is a great
time to come to Moab. It is 64 degrees in the La Sals and had we been here three weeks ago we
wouldn't have been able to ride these trails due to snowpack. As we descend back into the valley I realize that I am continually impressed by this land (both West and East) and am thankful that I can get out and see it. Kudos to the state of Utah for
giving this a shot. Tomorrow we plan to visit a better known multiuse trail. Stay tuned.

Moab Day 3: Slickrock and Porcupine Rim
The plan for today is to stick close to Moab and ride in the Sand Flats Recreation Area. Close
is right. We ride into town by going north on Spanish Valley road and hang a right on Mill Creek
Drive and a right on Sand Flats Road. In a minute or two, no more than 3 miles from downtown,
we're at the entrance station. It's two bucks a head for a day pass. And yes, someone is there to
take our money and give us maps. The Sand Flats Recreation Area is jointly controlled by Grand County, UT and the Bureau of
Land Management. Its mission is similar to the La Sal OHV area. From their site: "SFRA’s
mission is to protect the natural features of the area from adverse recreational impacts while
providing access to sustainable and enjoyable recreational opportunities." Awesome. Call your
senators, folks, tell them this is how it's done. Anyway, the place is 9,000 acres of outdoor fun, mechanized or otherwise. Today we're
interested in Slickrock trail and Porcupine Rim. Despite its popularity among mountain bikers
(bicyclists), Slickrock was created in 1969 by a dirt biker (motorcyclist) named Dick Wilson and
the BLM. Today motorcycles are still permitted. If you ride a dirt bike (or a mountain bike for
that matter), I can guarantee that Slickrock Trail is like nothing you've ever seen before. First of
all, the rock is not slick, it affords incredible traction with rubber tires, but it was named back in
the day because the steel shoes of horses would slip on it. The rock is actually called Navajo
Sandstone and it looks like Mars. The planet Mars. Slickrock trail is a 12mile
adult amusement park. The trail is marked with white paint blazes on the rock and it flows up, down, across and
around giant sandstone sculptures bordering two massive canyons and the Spanish Valley.
Riding here can be a little disconcerting at first since the rocks are so steep and the trail often
follows the spine, but once you get the feel for the traction, it's surprisingly satisfying. And those
views. After Slickrock and a short break, we continue west six miles on Sand Flats Road to the
trailhead of Porcupine Rim. Porcupine Rim is a more traditional twotrack
desert trail, but it is by no means routine. It drops in off of the dirt road and follows the canyon's edge with loose and fixed rock of all sizes.
It's 11 miles or so to the turnaround point thelast few miles are so gnarly, it's closed to
anything bigger than a bicycle. Here, the boys and I pick up the pace by calling on our
Pennsylvania rock skills. There are numerous drops that are exciting to execute on the way out,
but turn into challenging step ups on the way back.
We have pbj sammys at the turnaround in the shade of a tiny scrub pine and then pick our
way back to Sand Flats Road, riding at a slightly slower pace. Some dirt road and we are back at
the entrance dirty, sweaty and smiling. We pass by the trailhead for Hell's Revenge, a popular
Jeep trail and vow to bag that before the week's out. And now for something completely different...

Moab Day 4: Sovereign Trail
Singletrack is hard to find in Moab. This place is big. And so are most of the vehicles that
people use to enjoy the terrain. Consequently, most of the trails, with the exception of Slickrock,
are at least twotrack (wide enough for an ATV). Here is where motorcycles have an advantage.
If you consider the impact on the land, motorcycles have a similar "footprint" to mountain bikes
and horses. Yes, some will agree and disagree, but based solely on what I saw on the Sovereign
Trail today, the singletrack portions of the trail are barely visible sometimes even when you're
riding them. We gearup and head north out of town on route 191. 20 miles seems like a long slog on the
pavement, but good lord, it's better than loadingup all of the bikes on a truck to get there. A
short dirt road stint and we're at the trailhead. Like most of the land out here, Sovereign is
multiuse. A nonprofit from Moab, Ridewithrespect.org, manages the system and, similar to La
Sal OHV, reduces impact by designating which portions can be used by which vehicles. The
singletrack is fantastic, fabulous, superlative, and superlative. Don't get me wrong, it's not easy,
but the smooth sections flow and the rocky uphills give you a real sense of accomplishment if you
clean them. There are even long sections of Slickrock for your tractive pleasure.
But the things that stand out about Sovereign are the goatpath switchback ascents and
descents. These sections hug the terrain and sometimes require the rider to dismount to
navigate the 180. And steep! At one point we are no more than 500 feet from our destination
as the crow flies, yet it takes half a mile to get there. It's easy to imagine a cowboy, low in the
saddle, picking his way down at sunset on his surefooted horse.
There are sections that we don't get to ride today, mainly due to the midday heat. So, unlike
the cowboy would have been able to do, we actually ride into town and have ice cream in our
gear. Talk turns to our next trip, we'll surely have to ride the rest of that singletrack. And there
are so many canyons that we haven't seen. And Hell's Revenge still beckons. Maybe next time
we won't come in June.

Moab Day 5: Steelbender
Since some of us have to leave Moab today and all of the bikes have to go, we are looking for
a ride that is easy and close. Yeah, we choose Steelbender. Close? Yes. Easy? Not so much.
The Spanish Valley runs roughly North South with Arches National Park and Moab at the top,
giant red rock cliffs to the west, and gentler mesas to the east. We've always wondered if there
are trails on the east mesas, other than the Sand Flats area to the north. A little world wide
interweb time last night yielded one option: Steelbender trail also
known as Flat Pass. You can enter Steelbender from the south near Ken's Lake (reservoir for Moab) or north near the golf
course. We went south. This route allows you to ride the lower spur of Steelbender which is
tough and exciting. Then, if you don't get lost (like we did), you can ride three quarters of the
main loop and shoot out of beautiful Flat Pass near milliondollar homes.
I'm not sure who named this trail, but I can imagine after four or five hours out there in a
jeep or on an ATV, you would have some bent steel. And aluminum. And cracked plastic. It's
rocky, dusty, and steep yet incredibly enjoyable. There are wet creek crossings, dry riverbeds,
some slickrock and rock walls so high and craggy you wonder how anyone makes it to the top.
So here's the thing about riding in the desert. This morning during prep, we all let down our
guard. Since we are only going for a partial day, not far from home base, we don't take as much
water, food, and spare parts. Some of us forget sunscreen. The next thing you know, we're
kinda lost, low on water and we get a flat front tire. No big deal, we've got a spare tube. Then
we get another flat front tire. Guess what? No more front tubes. Patch kit? Yes, but it doesn't
hold. So now we've got one guy riding in with a flat front. And this stuff is brutal. We make it
safely and still have a blast, but lesson learned.

davej
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Posts: 199
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Re: For every skinny j there is an equal but opposite....

Post by davej » Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:29 pm

Just finished slick rock. I rexi le.

Thanks for all the intel amigo s!

Bork
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Re: For every skinny j there is an equal but opposite....

Post by Bork » Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:23 pm

Skinny-J wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:17 am
Here are some more suggestions; I have had this saved in my files for our planned return trip in 2022 (well 2021 if Romania falls through because of Covid). This is from the guys at South Mountain Cycle, very like minded so you should enjoy!
Moab Day 1: Poison Spider Mesa
There's something about waking up in the desert can't put my finger on it, but the air is
somehow crisp like fall back home, yet you know it's going to be hot. Maybe the time change has
something to do with it. I find myself up and outside much earlier. The sun is already pounding
on the tops of the red rocks, but it is cold in the Spanish Valley.
Today we plan to ride with Tim's friends from Colorado, Bill and Gary. Last night at the Moab
Brewery, Bill told us that someone had recommended the Poison Spider and Golden Spike trails
to him. So this morning we meet and head north across the Colorado River on US 191 toward the
Poison Spider Mesa. As we turn left onto SR 279 we pass the old uranium processing site.
Yellowcake anyone? Not anymore, the site is now in the midst of what looks to be a very orderly
remediation. Check out the cleanup's fact sheet sometime (gjem.energy.gov/moab), I find it
fascinating. A few miles of pavement with steep canyon walls on the right and the Colorado River
on the left and we are at the trailhead.
Poison Spider and Golden Spike are Jeep trails rated on recreation maps as difficult and most
difficult. They loop through the Poison Spider Mesa and link up with Gemini Bridge road. On a
dirt bike, most jeep trails are readily negotiable, but this is Moab and there are sections of Golden
Spike that will curl your hair. The last thing I'd want to be in is a Jeep. The trail begins as a
steep dirt road with sandstone outcrops and quickly turns into full blown rock mountains. The
landscape is straight out of an old western movie, with gullies, gulches, washes, cliffs and
canyons. The riding is fun a little trials action mixed with desert gassing and 'paved' hill climbs
thrown in for fun. At some point we get separated and loop around for a while until we get
everyone gathered back up. This is when the real fun starts: we unknowingly wind up on the only
doubleblack diamond trail on the Poison Spider Mesa. The climbs are hairy, the descents are
steep and we begin the task of lifting the bikes over some obstacles in 85degree
dry heat. The effort is worth it. Somewhere at an altitude of about 5,200 feet (Moab is at about 4,000), we stop
at a lookout point and can see the valley below south to Moab and the entrance to Arches
National Park. It's spectacular. Later we stop and hike a few hundred yards to Gemini Bridges:
gigantic rock arches that you can walk across with the canyon floor hundreds of feet down.
The ride back to the highway is a red dirt road that climbs over the cliff adjacent to 191 and
breathtakingly drops down the other side. A few miles of blacktop and we're crossing the
Colorado again and heading into town. As the sun sets in the desert, the chill is back. The cliffs cast long shadows, but the sky is
clear promising another fresh desert morning.

Moab Day 2: La Sal Mountains
Yes, we planned a trip to the desert in June, but the timing was more about when everyone
could get together rather than nailing the ideal weather. Well it turns out that the forecast for
Moab today is 97 degrees. We know we want to ride Slickrock early in the week, but after
yesterday's sweatfest on Golden Spike, the group is open to ideas. When you drive into Moab on
191 from I70 you are treated to a spectacular view of red rock desert in the foreground and
massive snowcapped peaks in the background. Those peaks are the La Sal Mountains and they
are well over 12,000 feet high! We did some research and found that there is a portion of the La
Sal National Forest that is open to multiple uses including offhighway
vehicles. The project has been set up as a study to conserve the land while keeping it open to responsible use. It also
raises money for education in Utah. It's bound to be cooler up there than down here. Heck, from
the pictures, it looks like there are even trees with actual shade. And the trailhead is only 27
miles from our house. The day is already hot as we are leaving. We head south on Spanish Valley Road and hang a
left on La Sal Loop Road. The road begins to climb and within minutes the red landscape turns to
green, the vegetation thickens, and it feels like we are riding straight into Colorado. The
pavement ends when we turn onto Geyser Pass Road. It is wide and steep and there are cattle
grazing on the shoulders. Soon it is narrow and steep and lined with massive pine trees. The
temperature has dropped enough that I am glad that I decided to wear my enduro jacket. Then I
see it, my first glimpse of snow in the gutter! Then more. By the time we reach the 10,500 ft.
Geyser Pass, there are piles of it nearly a foot deep. Riding over the pass is an experience,
especially after leaving the desert 30 minutes ago on a dirt bike. The road opens up a bit as we
navigate the switchbacks on the other side and the views are big a
green valley below that fades to forever and 12,726ft Mount Peale well above the tree line.
We find the trailhead and get to it. The single track trails are unbelievable meandering
like cow trails through high meadows, dropping into rocky canyons, weaving through stands of aspen,
and cutting across cliff edges steep enough to make you want to click your heels three times. The
elevation changes are extreme and the scenery is powerful. Difficulty ranges, but everything is
navigable from the saddle save for a few downed tree detours. Turns out that June is a great
time to come to Moab. It is 64 degrees in the La Sals and had we been here three weeks ago we
wouldn't have been able to ride these trails due to snowpack. As we descend back into the valley I realize that I am continually impressed by this land (both West and East) and am thankful that I can get out and see it. Kudos to the state of Utah for
giving this a shot. Tomorrow we plan to visit a better known multiuse trail. Stay tuned.

Moab Day 3: Slickrock and Porcupine Rim
The plan for today is to stick close to Moab and ride in the Sand Flats Recreation Area. Close
is right. We ride into town by going north on Spanish Valley road and hang a right on Mill Creek
Drive and a right on Sand Flats Road. In a minute or two, no more than 3 miles from downtown,
we're at the entrance station. It's two bucks a head for a day pass. And yes, someone is there to
take our money and give us maps. The Sand Flats Recreation Area is jointly controlled by Grand County, UT and the Bureau of
Land Management. Its mission is similar to the La Sal OHV area. From their site: "SFRA’s
mission is to protect the natural features of the area from adverse recreational impacts while
providing access to sustainable and enjoyable recreational opportunities." Awesome. Call your
senators, folks, tell them this is how it's done. Anyway, the place is 9,000 acres of outdoor fun, mechanized or otherwise. Today we're
interested in Slickrock trail and Porcupine Rim. Despite its popularity among mountain bikers
(bicyclists), Slickrock was created in 1969 by a dirt biker (motorcyclist) named Dick Wilson and
the BLM. Today motorcycles are still permitted. If you ride a dirt bike (or a mountain bike for
that matter), I can guarantee that Slickrock Trail is like nothing you've ever seen before. First of
all, the rock is not slick, it affords incredible traction with rubber tires, but it was named back in
the day because the steel shoes of horses would slip on it. The rock is actually called Navajo
Sandstone and it looks like Mars. The planet Mars. Slickrock trail is a 12mile
adult amusement park. The trail is marked with white paint blazes on the rock and it flows up, down, across and
around giant sandstone sculptures bordering two massive canyons and the Spanish Valley.
Riding here can be a little disconcerting at first since the rocks are so steep and the trail often
follows the spine, but once you get the feel for the traction, it's surprisingly satisfying. And those
views. After Slickrock and a short break, we continue west six miles on Sand Flats Road to the
trailhead of Porcupine Rim. Porcupine Rim is a more traditional twotrack
desert trail, but it is by no means routine. It drops in off of the dirt road and follows the canyon's edge with loose and fixed rock of all sizes.
It's 11 miles or so to the turnaround point thelast few miles are so gnarly, it's closed to
anything bigger than a bicycle. Here, the boys and I pick up the pace by calling on our
Pennsylvania rock skills. There are numerous drops that are exciting to execute on the way out,
but turn into challenging step ups on the way back.
We have pbj sammys at the turnaround in the shade of a tiny scrub pine and then pick our
way back to Sand Flats Road, riding at a slightly slower pace. Some dirt road and we are back at
the entrance dirty, sweaty and smiling. We pass by the trailhead for Hell's Revenge, a popular
Jeep trail and vow to bag that before the week's out. And now for something completely different...

Moab Day 4: Sovereign Trail
Singletrack is hard to find in Moab. This place is big. And so are most of the vehicles that
people use to enjoy the terrain. Consequently, most of the trails, with the exception of Slickrock,
are at least twotrack (wide enough for an ATV). Here is where motorcycles have an advantage.
If you consider the impact on the land, motorcycles have a similar "footprint" to mountain bikes
and horses. Yes, some will agree and disagree, but based solely on what I saw on the Sovereign
Trail today, the singletrack portions of the trail are barely visible sometimes even when you're
riding them. We gearup and head north out of town on route 191. 20 miles seems like a long slog on the
pavement, but good lord, it's better than loadingup all of the bikes on a truck to get there. A
short dirt road stint and we're at the trailhead. Like most of the land out here, Sovereign is
multiuse. A nonprofit from Moab, Ridewithrespect.org, manages the system and, similar to La
Sal OHV, reduces impact by designating which portions can be used by which vehicles. The
singletrack is fantastic, fabulous, superlative, and superlative. Don't get me wrong, it's not easy,
but the smooth sections flow and the rocky uphills give you a real sense of accomplishment if you
clean them. There are even long sections of Slickrock for your tractive pleasure.
But the things that stand out about Sovereign are the goatpath switchback ascents and
descents. These sections hug the terrain and sometimes require the rider to dismount to
navigate the 180. And steep! At one point we are no more than 500 feet from our destination
as the crow flies, yet it takes half a mile to get there. It's easy to imagine a cowboy, low in the
saddle, picking his way down at sunset on his surefooted horse.
There are sections that we don't get to ride today, mainly due to the midday heat. So, unlike
the cowboy would have been able to do, we actually ride into town and have ice cream in our
gear. Talk turns to our next trip, we'll surely have to ride the rest of that singletrack. And there
are so many canyons that we haven't seen. And Hell's Revenge still beckons. Maybe next time
we won't come in June.

Moab Day 5: Steelbender
Since some of us have to leave Moab today and all of the bikes have to go, we are looking for
a ride that is easy and close. Yeah, we choose Steelbender. Close? Yes. Easy? Not so much.
The Spanish Valley runs roughly North South with Arches National Park and Moab at the top,
giant red rock cliffs to the west, and gentler mesas to the east. We've always wondered if there
are trails on the east mesas, other than the Sand Flats area to the north. A little world wide
interweb time last night yielded one option: Steelbender trail also
known as Flat Pass. You can enter Steelbender from the south near Ken's Lake (reservoir for Moab) or north near the golf
course. We went south. This route allows you to ride the lower spur of Steelbender which is
tough and exciting. Then, if you don't get lost (like we did), you can ride three quarters of the
main loop and shoot out of beautiful Flat Pass near milliondollar homes.
I'm not sure who named this trail, but I can imagine after four or five hours out there in a
jeep or on an ATV, you would have some bent steel. And aluminum. And cracked plastic. It's
rocky, dusty, and steep yet incredibly enjoyable. There are wet creek crossings, dry riverbeds,
some slickrock and rock walls so high and craggy you wonder how anyone makes it to the top.
So here's the thing about riding in the desert. This morning during prep, we all let down our
guard. Since we are only going for a partial day, not far from home base, we don't take as much
water, food, and spare parts. Some of us forget sunscreen. The next thing you know, we're
kinda lost, low on water and we get a flat front tire. No big deal, we've got a spare tube. Then
we get another flat front tire. Guess what? No more front tubes. Patch kit? Yes, but it doesn't
hold. So now we've got one guy riding in with a flat front. And this stuff is brutal. We make it
safely and still have a blast, but lesson learned.
Dang ! Sounds like Dana Brown son of Bruce Brown(Endless Summer, On any Sunday, Dust to Glory etc..) movie maker should have documented this! I'll probably never make it there but would be interested watching it on the screen! :lurker: SJ Thanks for sharing!
1997 XR600r plated, 1994 XR600r plated, 1972 SL350, 1971 SL100, 1983XL600r

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