Friday, December 3, 2010

Late season Southwest mountain bike trip

Both Eric and I had a few days of vacation and wanted to get out of town.  Eric just bought his first mountain bike, so I thought this would be a good chance to learn him how to ride it.  We decided we would head towards Hurricane UT as the forecast looked OK and Fixie Dave lives there.  You can't beat having someone you know to recommend trails to ride.
We stopped and rode Fruita on the way out

Little Mesa slickrock

Saturday nights dinner at Dave's

Saturday we rode Little Mesa.  I think there were 9 riders including Dave, Eric, and Craig Bierly.  It was really interesting talking to Craig as he is retired and drives all over the country to bike.  He is on a non stop adventure!  The trails were slickrock, but when we were out, we also rode on snow which made the rock slicker, ha ha.  It seemed like a really fun place to ride and I hope someday I can go back and ride all the trail has to offer.  Snow kept us from riding the outer loop.  Afterwards, we headed back to Dave's place where we made dinner and talked bikes all night.  Sunday we awoke to snow.  We packed up the E and headed off to find dry dirt in Vegas.
Cottownwood Loop trailhead
Vegas in the background

Confused mountain bikes
Practicing bikepacking
Wait...that is indoors

The view from the 29th floor at Circus Circus, and yes, we stayed on the top floor

Off to Vegas..... to mountain bike?  Yes, that was actually the plan.  Vegas was about 2 hours from Hurricane UT, and with warmer temps forecasted, it seemed like the place to go.  I kind of did some research before departing Denver to see what trails sounded like fun.  The Cottonwood loop sounded decent.  It is an area consisting of lots of random trails that go all over the place and a few big loops.  The trails are located on two sides of the highway which was an easy way to divide the trails into two days worth of riding.  The first day consisted of a fair bit of climbing.  After about 6 miles and 700ish feet of climbing, one of the locals asked us if we had had enough climbing.  We both laughed and thought little does he know.  After a couple hours of heading in about the same direction we were wondering if the trail ever looped back to the car.  We were surrounded by clouds that looked like they might bring rain from two different sides.  The trail dropped us below a ridge that both Eric and I recognized.  The road and trail up to the top was rideable, but the grades were 25% to 30%.  Saturdays ride ended with about 3 hours and 3,000 ft of climbing.

We figured since we were in Vegas, we might as well try to find a place to stay on the strip.  Circus Circus was the hotel of choice.  Exploring Vegas had to be done since this was my first time there.  Eric and I walked through many of the casinos and crazy buildings.  No, I did not gamble at all.  The only vice was drinking a few beers.  

Monday it was back to the Cottonwood trails to explore more.  The other side of the highway did not have much climbing, but the trails were a little bit more technical.  A couple hours on the bike and it was back to Hurricane to stay with Dave.  

It was good to have a long weekend.  It seemed like Eric enjoyed riding mountain bikes quite a bit.  Both Eric and I greatly appreciated Dave showing us around and letting us stay in Hurricane.

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