The last stop on our road trip home from Longmire: Season 3, took us to a favorite spot – Moab, Utah. I’ve never been to Moab in the heart of Summer. Now, that I have, I definitely won’t do it again. It’s Africa zulu hot. Way too hot for mountain biking to be enjoyable. The temps were 100+ and it cooled down to maybe the high 70’s at night. All we wanted to do during the day was sit in the pool and eat ice cream (not at the same time). I didn’t feel like doing any “epic” riding. I’d originally planned on doing the Magnificent Seven, but in the end, I couldn’t motivate with the heat.
Instead, I just did a shorter ride on the newer Pipe Dream Trail (built in 2011). It was built for locals to do as an “after work” ride, with numerous trail entrances right from town. It consists of 100% Moab style singletrack, carved right into the mountainside. Lots of rocks and ledges make for some techy spots and slithering switchbacks keep your speed at bay. There are only a few spots where you can really open it up before having to touch your brakes and enter a turn (at least for me). But that’s what made the trail fun and challenging. Otherwise, the ride would be too short (4.7 miles one way) and get boring if you did it more than a couple times.
It’s better ridden south to north, and that’s what most people do. But since my motel was near the northern trailhead, I decided to go that way – which was still super fun. I was hoping to do it as an out and back, but I started the ride near sunset to beat the heat (without lights) and wound up jumping on the pipeline trail and eventually the road to get home once it got dark. In the middle of the ride, I caught myself fighting not to dab (maybe subconsciously thinking about the “No-Dab” challenge, see photo below), and at the last minute had to put my foot down. Too bad my foot would not exit my pedal. I toppled over and fell 15′ down a rocky ledge and smacked myself up with my bike tangled and mangled on my body. Then my shoe finally came out of the pedal. After all was said and done, no damage to the bike, and luckily wasn’t injured too badly. But I did get a separated rib. It hasn’t effected me too much riding- but laughing, caughing and sneezing suck. Nothing like a good fall to remind you who’s boss!!
The climbing on this trail is pure Moab. It doesn’t seem like you’re gaining much altitude, but it’s that out of the saddle, stick it to the man, punchy climbs- momentum draining, fast-twitch fiber explosive efforts. Forces you to be a better rider. Luckily, you can use the rocks for traction- bring some gears and squish for this one. It’s cool how it traverses the mountainside, always paralleling the town. It’s well signed, and lots of bailout options. Go ride it, when you don’t have much time, or just want a nice sunset ride to beat the heat.
Some good links for Moab / Pipe Dream Trail: