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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    MD suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,832

    White Rim Trail mountain biking tour

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    Last week I did a 4-day mountain biking tour on the White Rim Trail in Utahís Canyonlands National Park. It was fabulous. Before the bike ride, a friend and I spent three days touring Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and Dead Horse Point State Park. Lots of hiking, and lots of fun.

    We started the ride Thursday morning in Moab, Utah, with 10 guests, two guides, and two friends of one of the guides. Most of us rented bikes (full-suspension Santa Cruz Superlight) and camping gear. We drove to Canyonlands, and about 11am we started down Schafer Trail. What fun!

    The trail was fairly rough in spots, with lots of rocks and sand, but was wide enough for trucks so the cliff on the side of the trail wasnít too scary. We camped at the Airport, Murphy's Hogback, and Potato Bottom campgrounds, and averaged about 22 miles/day. There were a couple of steep climbs, some very long, that most of us had to walk our bikes up. A very fit father and son on the trip were able to do most of the climbs.

    We generally got on the road between 8 and 9 am, and got to the next camp around 4, with plenty of stops for photos, breaks, and lunch along the way. The food was fantasticóa sandwich/chip/cookie/salad spread for lunch, and a full breakfast and dinner cooked on the spot at the campsite. They accommodated my vegan diet very well (with the exception of dessert, which I didnít need anyway.) The truck which followed us was well stocked with drinks, snacks, etc.

    The bike was amazing. I had never ridden a full suspension mountain bike, and wow, what a difference from my hardtail. It just glided over all the rocks and ruts and drop-offs, and handled like a dream on the steep downhills. I want one now.

    I am not a camper. I didnít sleep the entire trip, because a thin little Thermarest pad is just not the same as my Sleep Number bed. But I still managed to ride until the last mile and a half climb out of the canyon. I dropped my chain on a small hill leading up to the big climb, and just decided to bag it. I was toast. The two alpha guys, the guide and a friend, and one woman in our party managed to ride the entire hill, but most walked up. This is the Mineral Bottom section of the trail that washed out last year and was recently rebuilt.

    The truck had to turn around and drive all the way back out, because the trail is covered with water due to the snowmelt coming from up north. The water was waist deep, so the bikes took a very sandy and steep alternate route across the wash and back to the trail. We waited a bit for our bags on the truck to arrive back at the shop and enjoyed a welcome shower in the meantime.

    Here are a few of the hundreds of pictures I took on the trip. Someday I'll get the rest of them loaded onto a website.

    One of many arches we saw in Arches National Park.
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    A view of the first descent, Schafer trail from above.
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    Sunset at our second night's camp, Murphy's Hogback.
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    Me on my bike.
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    The last climb--one rider and four walkers.
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    2007 Rivendell Glorius/Trico gel with cutout (not made any more apparently)
    2005 Specialized Sequoia Comp/Specialized Dolce
    2006 Kona Cinder Cone/another Trico gel
    1986? Bridgestone mixte/Brooks B72
    1991 Bridgestone 300 Xtracycle/Terry Gelissimo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    What a cool trip! DH and I were just in Zion NP in April and loved, loved, loved it. We'd love to go back and see the other parks in the area. Maybe if I get some experiene MTBing soon (I'm taking my first clinic next weekend), I'll be able to do a trip like yours.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,738
    Divingbiker, that looks and sounds amazing! If you don't mind me asking, what tour company did you travel with?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    MD suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,832
    Quote Originally Posted by Becky View Post
    If you don't mind me asking, what tour company did you travel with?
    Rim Tours. They were great every step of the way.
    2007 Rivendell Glorius/Trico gel with cutout (not made any more apparently)
    2005 Specialized Sequoia Comp/Specialized Dolce
    2006 Kona Cinder Cone/another Trico gel
    1986? Bridgestone mixte/Brooks B72
    1991 Bridgestone 300 Xtracycle/Terry Gelissimo

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    654
    From the pics and description, it looks/sounds like a wonderful time. I'm so glad you had the opportunity to do this.
    Specialized Ruby/Selle Italia Flow
    1991 Specialized Sirrus, steel frame
    Dahon Eco C7
    Surly Long Haul Trucker/Terry Fly RS
    Trident TWIG Recumbent


 

 

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