Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Riding the Red Dirt (in pictures)

Last week I spent a long weekend in Moab as part of my 1/2 century birthday celebration. I hadn't been there is probably 15 years or so - just hadn't made it out that way. Never forgot though what an awesome place it is to ride and it lived up to my memories.

I will say that I've mellowed a bit in my years. I have a bit more reservation about dropping off stuff and screwing up my training with a broken bone or bruised body. The trails are now also marked a bit more conservatively. Things I rode last time out there (like descending Portal trail) are marked with warnings of death if you attempt to ride certain sections and mis-cue a turn. I didn't ride Portal this year ;-)

My riding almost ended before it started with some weird muscle spasm in my trapezius muscle, right as we were unloading the car at the trailhead. It started out as this little niggle, but pretty soon I couldn't even raise my arm. So I actually just did a 20mi out and back up the road (climb up / descend down) instead. I had to actually lift my left arm on to the handlebar with my right to get rolling. But once I got going, the riding was helping, not hurting; so I decided to keep going. By the time I got back down to the parking lot, it felt much better and I was able to ride parts of Slick Rock trail before my buddy returned from his loop. For the rest of the weekend it was *there* but not bothering my riding. In fact riding made it feel better. So weird. My body's way of saying, "Oh yeah - btw, you're 50 years old now, so don't do anything stupid"

Other than that - uneventful trip; other than the riding events.

Some pics follow. Hope you enjoy the scenery as much as I did!

Other Moab past-time. Recovery and drinking beer.

Blake perusing the trail food bag. He didn't like the Margarita Shot Bloks.

On my 10mi climb up the road from Slick Rock trailhead. It got chilly up there.

I pretty much wanted to take pictures in every direction, every time I looked up.

Big fun rocks.

My bike - circa 1995-ish
As we came over one ascent, a girl remarked to her boyfriend, "Oh look honey - a *traditional* bike"
I think I maybe saw 5 hard-tails the entire weekend up there. Might be time for a new bike.

Even out on the trails in Moab - there is texting.

Surface of the moon.

Blake-man looks happy.

I spied this rock formation from the trail. It's winking at me - right?

Weather was perfect the whole time. Only rained the night before we left and the rivers were flowing a bit because of it. Early morning ride up SteelBender from the condo before we checked out.