Spontaneous St. George

Jolene and I had been going back and forth on going down to St. George. On the drive home after a nice Thanksgiving dinner at my parent's house, we decided to do it. Friday morning we packed up the car and headed south.

After dropping off our two youngest at the in-laws we rode Prospector from the Cottonwood trail head. Such a fast, flowy trail.

Then we rode Church Rocks both directions. Here I am chugging up a bumpy slope.

A little ledge dropping.

Then Prospector back to the car.

The next day we met up with Andy and Rhonda to ride Barrel Roll, Precipice, and the Rim trails on the other side of the gulch.

Jolene had done the Rim trails, but this was her first time on Barrel Roll - she liked it.

It had been a long while since we last rode with Andy and Rhonda, it was good to see them again.

It was well worth the drive to get in some Dixie single-track with sunshine and mid-60s (perfect not-too-hot, not-too-cold temperature).

We have an invite to go back after Christmas, we just may do that.

Mid-Week Moab

Wednesday I went to Moab with Jolene and her friend Susie. This would be Susie's first time riding in Moab. Always fun to take someone to Slickrock for their first time.

Here I go up the first steep ramp.

And Jolene.

As usual, I opted for the half pipe instead of the switchback.

Dropping into the Wooly Gully.

The last two trips I didn't make it up Cogs to Spare. I thought I had it on the first run this time but my tire was wet and sandy from a puddle and spun out right at the crux, rotten luck. I made it on the 3rd try. Here's the crux.

Finishing off Cogs.

We still had some daylight so on the way out of Moab we hit Bartlett Wash. I hadn't done Bartlett. I thought it would be a bigger area, but it was still fun. A slickrock playground. Here's Susie riding back down with the full moon above.

Had burgers at Rays on the way home to give Susie the full Moab trip experience.

Driving up Price Canyon the van slipped out of gear a few times then dropped into "limp home" mode which meant 40 mph the rest of the way home. Just glad the van didn't die.

Saturday I saw a message from Shammy saying the foothill trails were perfect. With the rain I thought they'd be a mess. So with daylight fading I changed and rode into the hills. There was some snow and little mud up high but overall it was good. At a muddy spot coming down Crank the front wheel slid and I fell over, banged up my side and forearm a bit. Finished the ride down Rollercoaster and Bramber. Fun ride.

Helloween 2011

When October rolls around and the air gets cooler and the night comes sooner I look forward to the annual Helloween night ride.

Race/ride genius Rick started it some years ago. This year Rick was slammed with work so I pinged the group to gauge interest. Several people replied so it was on. It had been a few years since we rode Corner Canyon so it was the easy choice.

When I showed up a little before 9 I was glad to see bikes and lights. (You never know how these things will turn out.) People kept coming. We had a quick huddle, picked the best costumes, picked the route (with no small disputation), took a group photo then headed out.

I still shake my head in disbelief that Miles rode all night in that gorilla suit, and on his shiny, 2-week-old Pugsley.

We went up Corner Canyon, west on the BST, up Potato Hill and up Ann's to the top for a regroup. Went down Ghost then up Canyon Hollow and another regroup. The hard men went up Jacobs, the rest of us did the Rush joy ride then Creek View back to the EQ. Dug's video shows the action.

The traditional nightcap is breakfast food, ala Dennys or Village Inn, but Dug tempted us with In-N-Out, good call.

Ryan mentioned he'd brought some big boy big wheels if anyone wanted to take a run. I've been anxious to try them after seeing the crazy Squaw Peak videos so I was instantly in. Ryan took the maiden run down north Suncrest while I followed in his SUV. It looked OK so I did a run.

The big wheel was more stable than I expected. I thought it would be kind of squirrelly with the plastic rear tires and all. It handled 45 mph down the S curve just fine. Maybe I'll give Squaw Peak a run some night (hi dear!).

Rick, it worked better when you had the reigns, put 2012 in your calendar now.