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Yardstick 05-02-2013 09:14 AM

Thrills, Spills and Chills in Moab, UT
Moab is one of those places we all want to go because it is so unique and picturesque in the riding world. I have been invited a few times in the past and only made it once before. Work/life/school gets in the way of meshing schedules for a trip and they get postponed over and over. For our little group of Slowred, Refokus, 4play and myself, it all finally came together in April 2013! :clap

Having been there once before I had tracks to hit the high points, like Top of the World and Onion Creek, Chicken Corners and Kane Creek, and of course, the White Rim Trail. Slowred and I were anxious to try the infamous 5 Miles of Hell trail, even though it isn't technically in Moab. Though with what happened on day 2 of riding, Slowred had his 5 Miles of Hell (and then some).

I didn't find out until we got there that Bucket Boy was in town and willing to show us around. He has lived in the area and even been a tour guide there, so I quickly deferred to him and followed along.

Riders and bikes:
Slowred - KTM 350 XCF-W
Refokus - KTM 450 EXC
4play - KTM 600 XC
Yardstick - KTM 530 EXC
Bucket Boy - KTM 250 EXC

I hitched a ride in the Slowred-mobile. My bike decided to take a nap in his driveway before loading it. It was sitting on the kickstand, on hard ground, nice and stable and then a few minutes later it was over on its right side. We hoped it wasn't a sign of things to come.

A view of the San Francisco Peaks as we approached Flagstaff, AZ.

Entering Utah on my little shortcut that avoids the twists, turns, hills and slow motorists in Monument Valley. :evil

The end of April is a very buggy time of year to cross Arizona and Utah.

Slowred and I met up with Refokus and 4play in Flagstaff for a bite to eat, then did different gas stops on the way to Moab and finally arrived at the condo at the same time! One of these things is not like the other! One of these things could dig holes in solid rock! :lol3

Yardstick 05-02-2013 09:19 AM

The morning of our first day of riding in Moab, I think we all got this shot from the condo.

Getting ready to roll.

A couple of bikes needed a top-off before hitting the trails.

Slowred waiting for the group.

Since it was such a cool morning, Bucket Boy suggested we stay in the low-lands and do some riding on the Slickrock trail first-thing.

Yardstick 05-02-2013 09:31 AM

We weren't the only ones on bikes out for a Sunday ride.


Refokus. I'm not sure why I couldn't hold the camera level here. :lol3

We hit a few mild obstacles and got a small taste of slickrock on the mostly sandy trail on the way in. And then we got to the first big slickrock downhill.

It looked slick and greasy and got in Refokus's head.

It didn't help that from the top you couldn't really see the edge you would have to drop off at the bottom.

Yardstick 05-02-2013 09:41 AM

A few turns later we were on the Slickrock trail. Just follow the white lines! There is a high penalty for getting off some of them.

Or follow Bucket Boy, who seems to know every inch of this place.

He showed us one of the famous 4x4 obstacles just off the Slickrock trail. It didn't look so bad for a bike, but the years of grease and oil from various crawlers would probably increase the difficulty level.

4play rides the spine around a pot hole on the way to an overlook area.

Arches National Park in the distance.

Collecting riders on the way to the overlook.

Yardstick 05-02-2013 09:47 AM

More white line riding on sandstone.

4play chases Refokus on the rollercoaster.

At the overlook we were apparently right next to Updraft Arch (according to my GPS).

Yardstick 05-02-2013 09:57 AM

Taking in the sights.

Looking Northeast into Arches National Park area.

And West toward Moab.

And then we got back to following the white line.

Refokus wheelie!

Yardstick 05-02-2013 10:02 AM

Bucket Boy went for the Kreiga/Klim catalog shot of Refokus.

And then got the group shot at Shrimp Rock.

Slickrock trail with the La Sal Mountains in the distance.

Refokus leads the way!

Yardstick 05-02-2013 10:05 AM

Bucket Boy and 4play at the top of the hill.

Followed by Slowred.

Some of the hills on the slickrock trail were steep enough that my hips touched my handlebars! :eek1 The bike WILL do it! :lol3

Refokus on his way up.

And a pedal biker on the way down.

Yardstick 05-02-2013 10:11 AM

This looks like you go straight over to where the guys are in the distance.

But you really have to hug the severely off-camber left in the foreground and then take a right.

Go up the hill a bit.

Then cut hard left!

Then you're at the top.

The monster TeraFlex on 4play's bike had no trouble.

Those are some gigantic knobs. Check out that shadow! :eek1

Yardstick 05-02-2013 10:20 AM

Refokus lost his goggles somewhere along the Slickrock trail. We went back and hunted around a little but never did find them. They are probably somewhere near that first downhill. :doh

On our way out of the area we saw this highly modified, 4-linked 4-Runner.

Bucket Boy just shy of a full-on nose wheelie.

As it warmed up down low we made our way up to Hideout Canyon.

Yardstick 05-02-2013 10:28 AM

At a scenic pullout in Hideout Canyon.

Bucket Boy entertained everyone with his snow riding abilities and by riding the world's shortest singletrack.

He disappeared into the bushes.

And came out about 20 feet to our right.

Yardstick 05-02-2013 10:34 AM

At another scenic overlook.

Bucket Boy knew this one had dinosaur tracks!

I think he said they were from a Sauropod.

More tracks nearby.

Tracking the reptile!

Compared to Slowred's size 12s.

Yardstick 05-02-2013 10:39 AM

At an overhanging rock lookout along the road...

Slowred wanted to test that "Red Bull gives you wings" theory. :lol3

He was talked out of it and we rode on.

At the west end of the Rose Garden Hill part of the trail.

You drop down into the valley below and then climb the hill in the distance.

Yardstick 05-02-2013 10:41 AM

It is not a friendly hill. :evil

It wouldn't be so bad if it were all dirt/sand.

Or if it were all rock.

It's the combination and the little ledges that make it tricky.

Slowred, Bucket Boy and I made it to the top of Rose Garden Hill and then rode over to the Top of the World!

Where we almost lost Bucket Boy over the edge! :eek1

Yardstick 05-02-2013 10:47 AM

He almost looks genuinely concerned in the last one. This is the first one I took where he is pre-guffaw.

There is not much out there to stand on.

You can see a little piece of what he was on in this picture.

4play and Refokus took the bailout at Rose Garden Hill and headed out on the Onion Creek trail way down below.

Bucket Boy making everybody nervous again.

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