Thursday, December 1, 2011

The mountain biking here kicks my butt.

So we spent two nights in Flagstaff, and decided to spend the day in between mountain biking in Sedona.  I am also happy to report that we did all of those productive things we had planned... Did laundry, went to the bank, mailed stuff, etc.

The thing about the mountain biking here is that it's kind of a whole different animal... And the mountain bikers must be as well.  We used an awesome guidebook that Liz & Andy lent us to pick out a trail.  We picked an intermediate ride about 9 miles long.  It was mostly uphill for the first part and downhill on the way back (which is the best way to go, as far as I'm concerned).  The author even wrote some snarky little bit about all of the uphills being doable with your butt on your saddle and not a hair on your head displaced.

Turns out that was a big fat lie.  I mean, I'm no spectacular biker, but an intermediate ride where we're from would ordinarily be no problem.  I had to walk multiple sections, as did Ben, which can really tell you how hard the trail was.  This biking was also very different from Moab... There was slickrock, but it was different - less sticky somehow.  Also, the whole trail was really loose with sand and dirt and lots of rocks.

At a point about a mile from the turn around point, we decided to hop up onto the jeep road next to the trail, ride it the rest of the way up, then just complete the ride doing the downhill portion back to the car all on trail.  The downhill was super fun... Lots of ledges and steps and loose rocks that are a blast to ride down and nearly impossible to go up.  But, I had another lesson learned: the brakes are not your friend.

I LOVE my brakes... I mean, sometimes it can be a problem.  Truly though, on the terrain we rode yesterday I wish I had kept all fingers on the grips.  Donovan may scoff at my suggestion to not have my brake fingers ready, but I am convinced that it would have been safer to go down the trail at a higher speed, because as soon as the "brake" thought even crossed my mind, whoops, there goes my bike out from under me and away a number of feet.  All those darn loose rocks!  I mean, I have some pretty good rock rash and some holes in my shorts to prove it.

Overall though, despite once again getting my butt kicked, I would consider it another successful day.  It's really cool to see what types of trails the country has to offer... Just driving from one state to another can dramatically change the terrain, let alone the altitude, weather conditions, etc.  Glad I made it through another one!

Also, please enjoy this picture of Ben doing a sneaky little downhill spot on the red slickrock:


  1. before I even got through the first paragraph I already knew which trail you guys had picked. The book is not clear at all but I think the intended route for that ride is just to climb the jeep trail up and then bomb down the single track because as you clearly found out there aint no ridin' up some of that stuff. glad you guys got to experience some sedona riding, it was some of my favorite for sure!

  2. That's exactly what we were thinking... Just didn't make sense otherwise. The downhill was lots of fun! I think tomorrow we might try to do a ride around Zion... We'll let you know how it goes!