Some of the best Single Speed riding I’ve ever done is located in the famed “18 Road / Bookcliffs” singletrack of Fruita, Colorado. The trail system was designed and meticulously built by mountain bikers, for mountain bikers. No thoughts of hikers or equestrian endeavors entered the minds of these sage trailbuilders back in the 1995. Instead, pure mountain biking singletrack bliss is all that these trails encompass. The whole area is amazing, and I encourage you to pick up the Fruita-Grand Junction Fat Tire Guide Book at Over The Edge Sports for full trail descriptions, maps, etc.
I chose to ride up Prime Cut, which warms you up and gives you a little bit of a climb before heading over to Joe’s Ridge. The views are amazing on Joe’s. You can see the ribbon of singletrack unwind in front of you as you make your way up and down the ridgeline at blazing speeds. The singletrack here is like a luge. It twists and turns, and you can ride your momentum in and out of the corners without getting on your brakes… like a super long pump track. It’s simply amazing. Before you know it, you connect with Kessel Run at it’s midpoint. I chose to ride up the rest of Kessel to it’s top trailhead, so that I could then ride the whole trail back to the parking lot. Well worth the effort and the extra few miles of climbing which offers a fun aerobic workout on the SS. Once you start down, it’s nothing but bliss. It’s like carving “S” turns on a powder day at my home in Mammoth. Banks and berms keep the flow going as you cut back and forth squiggling through grippy dirt. Nothing but smiles. You can see a few turns ahead, and really get your speed up since you know where you’re going and you don’t have to worry about rocks or roots coming out to bite you.
- Gearing: I rode 33:19 on my 29er and it was great.
- Garmin Link to this ride: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/90730043
- Notes: This is only an 8 mile ride. I suggest combining it with Zippity Do Dah and other trails in the network to make it more fulfilling… or else lap it a few times!!
- Remember: Always stay on EXISTING TRAILS to preserve this amazing singletrack!!
- Lodging: We stayed at Balanced Rock Motel for $55 including tax. Clean, locally owned, on Aspen St. right near “Old Town” Fruita. Bike wash, too- blazing wireless internet, fridge in room, other than that, no frills.
- Grubs: Dragon Treasure Chinese Restaurant – reasonable prices, big portions, as authentic as can be in Fruita. Aspen St. Coffee – quick brekky spot, fresh baked muffins, bagels, etc