3/16/16

Utah Mountain Biking wrap...

My Spring Break has ended, but not before I got my fill of riding last week in southern Utah.

I closed out my week with some excellent mesa riding - especially at Little Creek Mesa. It turned out to be my favorite trail ride of the week. Don't get me wrong, the rest were great as well. However, this one just had the right mix of everything unique for me for lack of a better description. Many of the singletrack parts connecting the slickrock reminded me of riding in the chunky rocks of the Black Hills, the views off of the mesa were spectacular, the slickrock and navigation of it was enjoyable, the technical challenges kept me on my toes, the amount of climbing (1100 feet) gave me a good workout, and since it is a bit more off the beaten path - solitude is a given. Or at least it was the day I rode.

The forecast was for 81 degrees, so climbing into the car after having fueled up for the day at iHop, I noticed the heat and looked forward to heading over to Little Creek Mesa. The higher elevation guaranteed about 8-9 degrees cooler temperatures than it was in St. George which sounded good after the previous day's long ride in the sun.

The turn off for Little Creek Mesa from Highway 59 is very close to the Gooseberry Mesa turn, except you go south of the highway on a gravel road. Again, directions from the Utah Mountain Biking website were perfect and I rolled into the parking lot which is just the slickrock itself...

Untitled

One of my favorite purchases was a cloth map that I picked up at Over the Edge Sports in Hurricane. It's a map printed on a handy stuff it in the pocket, use it to clean your glasses, wipe your face, etc. format which I thought was pretty cool.

Untitled

Untitled

I used it quite a bit all week long for the trails over in the Hurricane area.

I had downloaded the gpx files to my iPhone and used the GPS App to make sure I followed the loops in the route having read that the piles of rocks (cairns) were not always easy to follow. I actually enjoyed navigating and playing on the slickrock. I was having so much fun, I didn't stop for my first snack break until I had already been riding for 2 hours.

There was a tour group with a guide and a few other people, but for the most part I was riding solo and enjoying that things were so quiet for a Friday afternoon...

Untitled

The rain collects in the craters of the slickrock and the one pictured above, had it been a warmer day, may have been a good place to cool off.

Here is the tour group I traded places with every now and then as I would stop to take a picture and they would pass me, and vice versa...

Untitled

My first Clif Bar break after riding for 2 hours...

Untitled

Just gorgeous scenery which this following photo dump represents...

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Even though my legs were pretty cooked from all the week's riding, I tossed the bike in the car and headed from Little Mesa back towards Hurricane and did two more hours of riding at Hurricane Cliffs to round out my week of riding. I ran out of daylight even though I got an early start and was having so much fun. I turned the bike in on Saturday and caught my flight home after stopping in at Rapid Cycling, and briefly visiting the race HQ in downtown Santa Clara where the True Grit Epic was being held on Saturday.

The area is beautiful and the month of March is an excellent time to visit because it is not too hot and not too cold which makes for perfect riding. I will be back to enjoy the area again at some point.

No comments: