The desert mancations appear to fragmented into separate cliques heading off to the southwest instead of the renowned communal bacchanalia of 2011, where 30 some manly types descended on Gooseberry Mesa for fire jumping, wrestling and other bonding activities.
This year an anemic two Bitterrooters supplemented by three other Montanans, one Salt Lake City expatriate, and a token Colorado Front Ranger gathered at Rabbit Valley to sample the Fruita and Grand Junction trails. The Buhlburban doing the hauling of all the bikes and bodies.
Slayer keeping us awake for the last few hours between SLC and our playground for the next week.
Surviving the sub freezing temperatures of the first night, and a morning where sleeping bags were more welcome that shivering in lycra our first day's destination was 18 Road.
Despite, or perhaps due to our early afternooon starts, laps on the buffed bermed trails alternated with PBR pitstops. Eventually all the downhill trails were sampled.
The day culminating with old style cooking over an open flame.
The next morning brought slightly warmer temps and a visit to the Kokopelli trails along the Colorado River. Sadly Tim was waylaid by a gastric bug and guarded the vehicle. While prepping our bikes in the packed parking lot, a few differences between us and the Front Range Crowd became apparent, primarily in our sartorial choices. Lycera and matching team kits being more popular than our baggies and mismatched shirts.
Sitting around the fire drinking gin, eating spurned woman spiced pasta and watching the evening's thunderstorm roll off into the distance I had my slang education; learning about power bottoms, Eiffel towers, and Brooklyn Bridges.
The third day and finally some warmth. Despite several mild hangovers we eventaully rallied for late startingadventure day, taking on the original IMBA Epic - the Edge Loop. 30 miles and over 4000 vertical.
The last in Colorado brought us to Grand Junction and the Lunch Loops and the chance for some gravity shuttles. We found of the best trails of the trip here; great combinations of flow and technical rock. The Ribbon Trail and Holy Cross being definite rides to repeat. The day brought the only mechanical failures of the trip; a broken derailleur hanger and a constant series of flats on a single "tubeless" tire.
Overnighting in SLC a last day of riding was had in Pocatello. I hear the trails were a blast. Unfortunately, my front tire decided to a take a layover in SLC and play with a pair of pugs instead of coming home with the rest of the bike.