This past weekend Jordan, Rachel, Grete, Emrys, Emiel, and I headed out to Fruita for one last summer hurrah before ski season (yes I know Wolf Creek was open). Fortunately, Emiel and Emrys wisely left work early and snagged the last camp spot at 18 road.
The rest of us were not so wise and left Boulder around 6:30. Counting our 30 minute dinner pit stop it took us 5.5 hours, we rolled in to this lovely site, and deceptively clear skies:
By morning a lovely 45 degree rain was falling, no one was feeling too motivated or warm, especially Grete who had made the unfortunate decision to sleep under the stars. Somehow she was not awoken by the liquid hypothermia falling on her, fortunately Emiel woke up and was nice enough to wake her up. We eventually got rolling and by noon we were riding the Kokopelli trail network down at the Loma exit. At this point the rain had slowly to a slight drizzle, which soon ended. We rode Mary's to the Horsethief Bench Loop.
Horsethief bench is awesome: its a combination of fast, flowly, smooth singletrack and technical sandstone ledges, blocks, drops, and rolls. It has some challenging sections that I didn't clear, but maybe could with a couple more tries, and some moves I doubt I'll ever make. Given more time I would definitely do a couple laps here.
We then continued along Mary's to Steve's Loop via Steve's cutoff. Steve's is similar to most of the Fruita riding we did: rolling and awesome. It was less technical than Horsethief, but had some mindboggling sections next to enormous cliffs. You would never fall of them, but they still gave me some butterflys. Nothing like riding five feet from a 400 foot cliff with the Colorado river below you! Another loop I wouldn't miss. Unfortunately, Steve's loop was when our bikes began to fail. My chain was the first casualty, to be followed later on in the day by Grete and Emiel's bikes.
After Steve's we started up Troy Built with the plan of riding it to Mack Ridge. I was having a great time racing Emiel up the climb when my cell phone informed me that Grete's derailleur had exploded behind us. Fortunately it was only her derailleur hanger, but of course no spare! We burned a fair amount of time failing to turn her bike into a single speed. At this point we realized that our plans were derailed and that we needed to head back and hopefully find Grete a new hanger in Fruita ASAP.
After hearing rave reviews those of us with functioning bikes headed for Moore Fun on the way back. I do not like this trail. Its just not possible to ride bikes up 3 foot rock blocks and around opposing 90 degree turns. Its one of those trails that just destroys bikes: one second your disc brake rotor is smashing into a rock, the next second its your crankset loosing a couple teeth, then its your stanchion tube grinding through a large boulder. Its one of those trails I would have probably enjoyed much more a few years ago when I was all about destroying my bike. Remembering that we were after all trying to get Grete to Fruita before the bike shops close, I gave up on this silliness after about 20 minutes and turned around to ride the frontage road back. Apparently the rest of Moore Fun was similiar, we were back at the bike shop in Fruita before the rest of the crew had even made it back to the car (minus one of Emiel's pedals). I would highly recommend Mary's, Steve's, and Horsethief; Moore Fun only if you are REALLY good and enjoy bike destruction.
|The race van makes things blurry|
Photo: Emrys Hall
|Night at 18 Road w/ the race van|
Photo: Emrys Hall
|Horsethief Bench Loop, Horsethief Canyon, Colorado River|
|Rachel finishes up the Horsethief Bench Loop|
|Emiel, no doubt discussing how awesome my bike is|
|Rachel cruises along Mary's towards Steve's|
|Grete on Steve's Loop|
|The straw that broke the camels back|
The second day we woke up at 18 Road, where we would spend the day riding, to clear skies and perfect temps.
|French Toast and our campsite at 18 Road|
|Emiel legs are a bit tired - Top of Zippity Do Dah|
|Emiel pumps the rolls of Joes Ridge|
|Jordan braves the steeps of Zippity Do Dah|
|Grete at the top of Joes Ridge|
|Emiel and Emrys nearing the bottom of Joes Ridge|
|Jordan and Rachel heading up Western Zippity to Zippity Do Dah|
|Serengeti or Fruita? - Western Zippity|
|Jordan rounds an exciting corner on Zippity Do Dah|
|Emiel and more awesomeness - Zippity Do Dah|
|Zippity Do Dah|
|The Crew + Monster Bike|
If you haven't ridden in Fruita, ride it! 18 road isn't technical or tiring, but its fun, fast, and exhilarating. The Kokopelli area is a great combination of precipitous views, fast singletrack, and technical sandstone. I'd love to spend more time riding the rest of the trails at both areas.