Escape To St. George

It's been cold and altogether too wintry here along The Front. But it has also been cold and wet down south. No escape.

Then this week St. George dried out and so escape plans were made. Alex and Rick had extra motivation: new bikes. 29ers. Alex a Santa Cruz Tallboy and Rick a Specialized Epic.

We escaped Monday evening, stayed in a cheap hotel in St. George and were riding dirt in the morning.

First up: Precipice, Sidewinder,Barrel Roll. We started with vests and arm warmers, but within an hour we'd peeled them off to feel the warm air and sun on our skin. Glorious. The trails were tacky and perfect. Alex and Rick got the feel for their new steeds quickly and we relished the ups, downs, drops, curves, everything.

That's snow in those mountains in the distance.

The new bike boys.

Then we crossed the wash and rode most of the Rim trails: Up Rim Reaper and Rim Rambler then the Rim Runner and Rim Rock loops. Mellower than Barrel Roll but still fun.

We packed up and drove over to Zen. Great trail but I had forgotten how relentlessly technical it is. I did OK but wasn't cleaning the tricky stuff.

Then I took a bad line off a ledge and dropped the front wheel in a crack and endo'ed. As I went over I thought "I can't get injured with Jolene's leg still broken." I broke my fall with my hands (hurt my wrists) then landed hard, on rock, on my left side which partially knocked the wind out of me and gave me sore (probably bruised) ribs.

We finished the rest of the ride without incident and the extra adrenaline allowed me to ride the ledge drop to the right around the bolder when dropping into the ravine (video below from Alex). A little redemption.

Alex almost to the ravine bottom.

Loaded up again and drove to the Cottonwood trail head for the Prospector trail. Jolene has done this trail but not I. It was fun and fast. Good tacky dirt but the sand traps had dried out enough to be deep and loose. A happy lap around Church Rocks and then back to the car to load up and drive back home.

Alex's helmet-cam video of me riding Church Rocks.

A refreshing escape for a day full of dirt.


Watcher said...

Man, that was awesome. When are we going back? And is it just me, or does my front wheel look gigantic in that photo? Oops, I forgot- it is gigantic!

P.S. I still think you should have referred to Rick as "Twentysteiner"...

HBMabry said...

That looks like a good trip. I'm planning something for Mountain Biking in May, and would like to ask you a couple of questions on good locations. I've been out to Moab, but I can't really find good information on other cool riding spots. If you have time or inclination to humor my trip planning, shoot me an email.