Thursday, March 30, 2006

A reason for hope

My last post lamented the miserable slop of spring. The ice, mud and slush combo doesn't really last all that long, but it sure seems to when you're waiting it out. It makes a person's mind wander, because all you have is memories of past rides and dreams of future ones.

I spend a lot of time remembering past rides anyway, but especially when I'm stranded by weather, injury, or anything else that keeps me off a bike. So last night I browsed through my iPhoto library and savored a few shots from last year's trip to Fruita. Why not post one to help fill the blog in these dull days?

This one was taken by my brother Matt as me and another rider climbed down the waterfall on The Edge Loop after lowering all three of our bikes. The dude in the yellow vest was doing the ride solo and partnered up with us a couple of miles before the waterfall so we could all work together to get past it. Good thing he did; I don't know he would have lowered his $6,000 Moots rig and then climbed down alone. As it was, we put my brother at the bottom, Moots Guy halfway down, and me at the top to tie knots and start lowering the bikes one at a time.

The Edge Loop is IMBA's original "Epic Ride" and a Fruita classic. It's a 35-mile loop ride around the Bookcliffs mountains with huge scenery, world-class singletrack, long climbs, wicked descents and no escape routes. Once you start, you either finish the loop or backtrack the way you came. The crux is the waterfall, where locals have left a couple of fixed ropes. When you finish this sucker, you've earned a big plate of pasta and a beer at the Fruita Brew Co.

After exploring Fruita's trail network for several days, we did the Loop on a Thursday and then drove to Moab and rode Porcupine Rim the next afternoon.

Two classic rides in two days.

That's the stuff summer is made of.

And it's worth the wait.

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