RR: The end? of self-abuse

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by Raptor, Jun 4, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    Those of you who've pulled your heads out of your asses long ago will find my trail report largely
    redundant.

    Though I live in SLC, just 4 hours from Moab, I don't get down there often enough at all. Because of
    unforgivable abuse by the tech sector (70-hour weeks during Summer, followed by "Saionara, sucker"
    last December), yesterday and today was the first time in two years. This was also the first
    significant mtb ride of the season for me.

    Arrived late yesterday afternoon and set forth on the Slickrock Trail. Temp was 90-ish, and I hit
    the weather window bullseye. Last week Moab was in the low 100's. Departure time 5:38PM. I kept
    watch on the sun, noting the BLM's warning to the general cycling population to allow 4-5 hours to
    do the 12.7 miles. I swear I remember doing it in 2-3 hours many years ago, and I'm currently in
    good shape...

    It's happened: I am now officially old. If a section looked gnarly, or even gnar, I dismounted. Did
    that at least 50 times.

    The Practice Loop took me about 25 minutes, so I proceded in the "easier" clockwise direction around
    the main loop. Return time: 7:45PM, plenty of daylight left. Most of the ride, I hovered around my
    lactic threshold, though there was a 20-minute walk when I ate an ancient energy bar to stifle the
    early feelings of hyponatremia I was getting from my tummy (water sloshing around in there). The bar
    looked like a dog turd, was hard as a rock and tasted like gravel. Apparently the shelf life of that
    particular brand is somewhat less than 8 years. But it rejuvenated me.

    I didn't see another rider until very near the trailhead. Ah, reminded me of my younger days when,
    in 1985-6, I'd really feel like the only rider on Slickrock. Any time I want to avoid the rush hour
    syndrome nowadays, I can just flirt with sundown when more cautious types wait for the morning.
    (That said, people were heading out on bikes as I drove away. I wonder what they were planning - a
    blitzkrieg like mine, or just the Practice Loop, or a long cold night on the desert?)

    End of appetizer, now the main course.

    I AM a loser, because I've lived here nearly 20 years and never did Porcupine Rim until today.
    That's what the self-abuse subject is about
    - I denied myself this pleasure for this long. How COULD I?

    Being a roadie, and the weather being tolerably not-hot, I chose to bite off the whole 30 mile loop
    from downtown Moab. Gawd, I love climbing. Either that or I'm an incurable masochist. I'm not sure
    which, but regardless, I do a lot of climbing. It's paid off in that I now have at least two gears
    on climbs, meaning I'm not automatically red-lined on hills. Feels good.

    Armed with a full 100oz Camelback and large frame bottle, I slogged my way up Sand Flats Road to the
    Porcupine trailhead (approx. 9 miles from town, 1900? feet up), sipping water every time my throat
    got dry, about every two minutes. Reached trailhead where there were four cars parked, talked to the
    friendly neighborhood BLM ranger there to re-stock the maps in the registration thingy. She told me
    I'd done 2/3rds of the climing, which reassured me about my water supply. The Camelback was still
    heavy, bottle untapped.

    Porcupine is an 11.2-mile jeep road followed by a couple miles of singletrack. You start way up Sand
    Flats Road beyond the Slickrock trailhead, and wind up on the banks of the Colorado River.

    The main climb from the trailhead to the Rim itself is about as easy as they get, which means,
    "fairly hard riding." Not *extremely* technical, with only a couple spots per mile where old farts
    like me feel a need to push or lift. Welcome to 7900 feet; didn't feel particularly alpine.

    That first in-your-face overlook into Castle Valley... "OH YEAH! That's what we're talking about!"
    Literally, my thoughts voiced themselves to no one, my having seen no other humans since the
    trailhead. Any small doubts about the worthiness of what I was doing were instantly erased. I
    estimate about 2000' feet total vertical, with at least 300 of it straight down. I'm not comfortable
    enough with heights to have been able to verify the cliff height. (I could probably check my
    footage, but I'm feeling lazy. There are probably people here who know them by heart. Hint.:)

    A little more gentle climbing later, I heard voices and joined a "snowball" of other bikers. I was
    the seventh member of this group, which consisted of a bunch of single and pairs of riders who just
    sort of clumped together. Geographies represented: Montreal, NYC, Aspen, Albuquerqe (that, I looked
    up), and SLC with yours truly. A little later, a Real Old Fart from Whistler showed up. We all hope
    we look that good at 64 - he kicked most of our asses on the technical stuff. With any luck, I've
    got some new e-pen pals.

    The trail peaks out within a mile or two of that first dramatic overlook, then is a gradual downhill
    all the way to the River (water state: good). Technicalities abound, with ample opportunites to hurt
    or humiliate oneself. However, there is plenty of mach 2 smoothiness, with a dash of sand-skiing
    here and there. Regretfully, the awe-inspiring overlooks are relatively few, and the scenery reverts
    to merely picturesque high desert for most of the trail, and the usual lovely looks down into the CO
    River canyon at the end.

    The singletrack at the end is *quite* technical for most of its length. There are sections where
    concentration is required to avoid vertigo and BASE jumping sans chute.

    We rode as a group, waiting for the gal from Aspen, who was on her third mtb ride, to catch up
    periodically. The New Yorker, an amateur mtb racer, got two flats and turfed it pretty good once.
    Everyone else handled the technical stuff with various levels of skill or discretion, to wit: A
    one-third mile section of singletrack about 500' above the Colorado had riders dropping like flies.
    First, the guy in front of me endo'd on a trivial bit, receiving a significant contusion. Then, I
    tried to straddle-walk my bike through an ugly narrow drop-off, and stumbled a front wheelie with
    the saddle kicking me between the shoulder blades for at least 15 feet. No serious injuries, or
    maybe all my equipment is numb from under-use. Finally, the better-looking half of the Montreal
    contigent, a lovely smile wearing shin-guards, went endo on another not-too-rough spot. We was
    dropping like flies there, must've been "smelling the barn" syndrome.

    My 5-year-old Proflex, with all original hardware including chain, performed as well as can be
    expected, with only a few chain skips and one chain-off. I'm gonna miss that bike when I replace
    it someday.

    By the end of the ride, I had regained most of my atrophied mtb mojo. I consumed the last drops of
    water on my ride back into town - proper rationing. I may be a pathetic excuse for a mtb enthusiast,
    but I do know how to pace myself.

    Most of you will say, "Duh!" when I note here that Porcupine is now on my crowded list of rides to
    do frequently.

    It took about six hours elapsed time, with plenty of waiting for the slower riders in there. If
    you're a novice-y rider with the guts to go for anything Moabish, do try to fit Porcupine Rim into
    your schedule. Listen to the locals for their advice on how to equip yourself for the conditions,
    and you'll probably be okay, a little beat up, sun-baked and RICHLY rewarded.

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall "I'm not proud. We really haven't done everything we
    could to protect our customers. Our products just aren't engineered for security." --Microsoft VP in
    charge of Windows OS Development, Brian Valentine.
     
    Tags:


  2. Raptor says:

    >Those of you who've pulled your heads out of your asses long ago will find my trail report largely
    >redundant.

    <MAJOR snip>

    > a little beat up, sun-baked and RICHLY rewarded.

    You know, Lynn, even though the RR was great, the location inspiring, etc., etc., THAT WAS CRUEL!!
    Here I sit in RI, grey skies, temps in the 50's _again_, and I have to read about warmth, perfect
    trails, nice company, and so on.

    Thanks ;-)

    Steve
     
  3. "Raptor" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > It's happened: I am now officially old. If a section looked gnarly, or even gnar, I dismounted.
    > Did that at least 50 times.

    If you have not ridden much this year, I think that Slickrock can be very intimidating.

    > "easier" clockwise direction around the main loop. Return time: 7:45PM,

    But it still sounds like a respectable time.

    > Armed with a full 100oz Camelback and large frame bottle, I slogged my way up Sand Flats Road to
    > the Porcupine trailhead (approx. 9 miles from town, 1900? feet up), sipping water every time my
    > throat got dry, about every two minutes. Reached trailhead where there were four cars parked,
    > talked to the friendly neighborhood BLM ranger there to re-stock the maps in the registration
    > thingy. She told me I'd done 2/3rds of the climing, which reassured me about my water supply. The
    > Camelback was still heavy, bottle untapped.

    Nice climb, always a joy. Don't forget to snap a shot of the most scenic dump in the world.

    > That first in-your-face overlook into Castle Valley... "OH YEAH!

    Most folks just can't picture that view, it is great. Remember the Jeep add where they were playing
    frisbee between these natural stone pillars ...

    > Albuquerqe (that, I looked up), and SLC with yours truly. A little

    .. and you still spelled it all, but it was close enought that I assume typo.

    > The singletrack at the end is *quite* technical for most of its length. There are sections where
    > concentration is required to avoid vertigo and BASE jumping sans chute.

    There are several spots were a long drop would be in order if you misplaced that front wheel, though
    you would have to do that by several feet.

    > --
    > --
    > Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall

    Nice RR.

    --
    Craig Brossman, Durango Colorado (remove .nospam. if replying)
     
  4. Paladin

    Paladin Guest

    Raptor <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Those of you who've pulled your heads out of your asses long ago will find my trail report largely
    > redundant.
    >
    > Though I live in SLC, just 4 hours from Moab, I don't get down there often enough at all. Because
    > of unforgivable abuse by the tech sector (70-hour weeks during Summer, followed by "Saionara,
    > sucker" last December), yesterday and today was the first time in two years. This was also the
    > first significant mtb ride of the season for me.

    <snip the goods>
    >
    > It took about six hours elapsed time, with plenty of waiting for the slower riders in there. If
    > you're a novice-y rider with the guts to go for anything Moabish, do try to fit Porcupine Rim into
    > your schedule. Listen to the locals for their advice on how to equip yourself for the conditions,
    > and you'll probably be okay, a little beat up, sun-baked and RICHLY rewarded.
    >
    Great RR. I've been told several times that I'm an idiot for not doing Porc Rim when down there.
    It's 1st on the list for next trip. Musta been cool to hook up with the group, too.

    Paladin
     
  5. Bb

    Bb Guest

    On 5 Jun 2003 08:24:52 -0700, Paladin wrote:

    > Great RR. I've been told several times that I'm an idiot for not doing Porc Rim when down there.
    > It's 1st on the list for next trip. Musta been cool to hook up with the group, too.

    Yeah, but Amasa Back is a lot of fun - hard to imagine doing much better than that!

    --
    -BB- To reply to me, drop the attitude (from my e-mail address, at least)
     
  6. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    Craig Brossman wrote:
    > "Raptor" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    >>It's happened: I am now officially old. If a section looked gnarly, or even gnar, I dismounted.
    >>Did that at least 50 times.
    >
    >
    > If you have not ridden much this year, I think that Slickrock can be very intimidating.
    >
    >
    >>"easier" clockwise direction around the main loop. Return time: 7:45PM,
    >
    >
    > But it still sounds like a respectable time.

    What's the informal record for Slickrock? I think I could have cut 15 minutes off, making for 1:50,
    under cooler conditions and a bit more on-the-bike time.

    I've got 500 miles under my butt this season, but that's all road, plus many hours of indoor cycling
    class. Conditioning was not the issue that bike handling was.

    >>Armed with a full 100oz Camelback and large frame bottle, I slogged my way up Sand Flats Road to
    >>the Porcupine trailhead (approx. 9 miles from town, 1900? feet up), sipping water every time my
    >>throat got dry, about every two minutes. Reached trailhead where there were four cars parked,
    >>talked to the friendly neighborhood BLM ranger there to re-stock the maps in the registration
    >>thingy. She told me I'd done 2/3rds of the climing, which reassured me about my water supply. The
    >>Camelback was still heavy, bottle untapped.
    >
    >
    > Nice climb, always a joy. Don't forget to snap a shot of the most scenic dump in the world.

    That's what enticed me to Moab in the first place, when I first move to Zion. A local news story
    profiled that dump. I owe them.

    >>That first in-your-face overlook into Castle Valley... "OH YEAH!
    >
    >
    > Most folks just can't picture that view, it is great. Remember the Jeep add where they were
    > playing frisbee between these natural stone pillars ...

    Yep. Even the specks of civilization visible far below were scenic in their "Terminator 2" sorta
    way. I don't think even I could huck a frisbee that far. Maybe with perfect winds (yeah, right).

    >>Albuquerqe (that, I looked up), and SLC with yours truly. A little
    >
    >
    > .. and you still spelled it all, but it was close enought that I assume typo.

    Albuquerque.

    >>The singletrack at the end is *quite* technical for most of its length. There are sections where
    >>concentration is required to avoid vertigo and BASE jumping sans chute.
    >
    >
    > There are several spots were a long drop would be in order if you misplaced that front wheel,
    > though you would have to do that by several feet.

    My focus on keeping wheels in the track is probably where I got the idea there was a vast gulf to my
    immediate right. At that point in the ride, stopping for a view is hard due to your well-done skin,
    low water, and thoughts of tall slices of lemon meringue pie.

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall "I'm not proud. We really haven't done everything we
    could to protect our customers. Our products just aren't engineered for security." --Microsoft VP in
    charge of Windows OS Development, Brian Valentine.
     
  7. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    BB wrote:
    > On 5 Jun 2003 08:24:52 -0700, Paladin wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Great RR. I've been told several times that I'm an idiot for not doing Porc Rim when down there.
    >>It's 1st on the list for next trip. Musta been cool to hook up with the group, too.
    >
    >
    > Yeah, but Amasa Back is a lot of fun - hard to imagine doing much better than that!
    >

    Amasa is on my list of "been there, done that." Several times, alas also years ago. More variety on
    Porcupine, more insane drops and steps on Amasa Back. Great for the kids that heal quickly, just
    more hoisting for old farts. Oh, and a water crossing. The exposure is more extreme and there's
    more of it. I think the views from Porcupine are more interesting, though that could be faulty
    memory talking.

    Last time I was on Amasa, there were two motorheads beating their pickups up on the slickrock. Not
    something I'm interested in, but they were very skilled backcountry drivers who made it all the way
    to the top. It's willys-inducing enough on a mountain bike, I can't really imagine sitting in a
    jacked-up pickup and looking straight down 600 feet.

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall "I'm not proud. We really haven't done everything we
    could to protect our customers. Our products just aren't engineered for security." --Microsoft VP in
    charge of Windows OS Development, Brian Valentine.
     
  8. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    Paladin wrote:
    > Raptor <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    >>Those of you who've pulled your heads out of your asses long ago will find my trail report largely
    >>redundant.
    >>
    >>Though I live in SLC, just 4 hours from Moab, I don't get down there often enough at all. Because
    >>of unforgivable abuse by the tech sector (70-hour weeks during Summer, followed by "Saionara,
    >>sucker" last December), yesterday and today was the first time in two years. This was also the
    >>first significant mtb ride of the season for me.
    >
    >
    > <snip the goods>
    >
    >>It took about six hours elapsed time, with plenty of waiting for the slower riders in there. If
    >>you're a novice-y rider with the guts to go for anything Moabish, do try to fit Porcupine Rim into
    >>your schedule. Listen to the locals for their advice on how to equip yourself for the conditions,
    >>and you'll probably be okay, a little beat up, sun-baked and RICHLY rewarded.
    >>
    >
    > Great RR. I've been told several times that I'm an idiot for not doing Porc Rim when down there.
    > It's 1st on the list for next trip. Musta been cool to hook up with the group, too.
    >
    > Paladin

    I ended up doing it because Johnny at Eddie McStiffs told me it was next on my list after Slickrock
    and Amasa Back. Next time I'm there I might skip Slickrock altogether, and do Porcupine and another
    trail I've never tried.

    Superman Sr. from Whistler told us he'd done trail segments higher than the Porcupine trailhead that
    morning. Maybe that's where I'll go next. I think he called them "UPS" and "LPS".

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall "I'm not proud. We really haven't done everything we
    could to protect our customers. Our products just aren't engineered for security." --Microsoft VP in
    charge of Windows OS Development, Brian Valentine.
     
  9. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    Stephen Baker wrote:
    > Raptor says:
    >
    >
    >>Those of you who've pulled your heads out of your asses long ago will find my trail report largely
    >>redundant.
    >
    >
    > <MAJOR snip>
    >
    >>a little beat up, sun-baked and RICHLY rewarded.
    >
    >
    > You know, Lynn, even though the RR was great, the location inspiring, etc., etc., THAT WAS CRUEL!!
    > Here I sit in RI, grey skies, temps in the 50's _again_, and I have to read about warmth, perfect
    > trails, nice company, and so on.
    >
    > Thanks ;-)
    >
    > Steve

    Now you know how those of us in the West felt back in Feb, March and April. We had a slow-starting
    Spring while you guys had all the nice weather.

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall "I'm not proud. We really haven't done everything we
    could to protect our customers. Our products just aren't engineered for security." --Microsoft VP in
    charge of Windows OS Development, Brian Valentine.
     
  10. Gabrielle

    Gabrielle Guest

    On Wed, 04 Jun 2003 21:14:50 -0700, Raptor wrote:

    <snip great RR>

    Glad you had a good time! I love that area.

    gabrielle
     
  11. Paladin

    Paladin Guest

    Raptor <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > BB wrote:
    > > On 5 Jun 2003 08:24:52 -0700, Paladin wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > >>Great RR. I've been told several times that I'm an idiot for not doing Porc Rim when down there.
    > >>It's 1st on the list for next trip. Musta been cool to hook up with the group, too.
    > >
    > >
    > > Yeah, but Amasa Back is a lot of fun - hard to imagine doing much better than that!
    > >
    >
    > Amasa is on my list of "been there, done that." Several times, alas also years ago. More variety
    > on Porcupine, more insane drops and steps on Amasa Back. Great for the kids that heal quickly,
    > just more hoisting for old farts. Oh, and a water crossing. The exposure is more extreme and
    > there's more of it. I think the views from Porcupine are more interesting, though that could be
    > faulty memory talking.
    >
    > Last time I was on Amasa, there were two motorheads beating their pickups up on the slickrock. Not
    > something I'm interested in, but they were very skilled backcountry drivers who made it all the
    > way to the top. It's willys-inducing enough on a mountain bike, I can't really imagine sitting in
    > a jacked-up pickup and looking straight down 600 feet.
    >
    > --

    Ya got that right. When I rode Amasaback in 2000, there was this tabacky chewin old boy in a jeep,
    up near the top, who called us over "you boys might wanta watch this next manooover." So we watched
    him climb a 5' wall in his CJ-5. Dangdest thing I ever did see. Thought he was gonna flip for sue
    when he got her balanced up on one back wheel

    Paladin
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...