Getting ready to head out on the Ribbon Trail
We spent the day in Grand Junction
, which is just east of Fruita
. The first ride was The Ribbon Trail, which is a mostly downhill ride that starts at over 7000 ft. and ends at about 5000 ft. Unfortunately I wasn't able to make this ride due to bike problems, but the reports from those that did make it were very positive. After all of yesterday's climbing it was nice to have a lot of sustained downhills.
I met up with the crew at about 1:00 after they finished the ribbon trail. We met at the Tabaguache trailhead, which is the starting and ending point for numerous singletrack options. The real draw here is the Holy Cross Trail, one of the best designed technical trails I've ever encountered.
There are numerous technical features that involve rock armoring, drops, overhanging ledges, tight switchbacks, and smooth and swoopy straightaways. To reach Holy Cross, we had to hit a very steep and technical climb right out of the parking lot - ouch! It's really cool, though, to get to the top of a climb like that and look way down at where you started and say, "Wow, cool, we just climbed all that!" I think you have to be a hiker or mountain biker to really appreciate that last comment. Holy Cross has some truly unique aspects, and every rider seemed to leave that trail a slightly more proficient rider then when they started.
After busting a lung or two around Tabaguache, we took a quick stop at the hotel to get more food and water, then went back over to Fruita to do a trail called Moore Fun.
Huckers paradise at Tabaguache
This trail is a real lungbuster, with 850 ft. of climbing right from the get-go. Plus the climbing was neither smooth nor easy. Technical challenges abounded amongst some very steep pitches, but for the most part the trail is entirely rideable - this is a testament to a well designed mountain bike trail. We reached the top of Moore Fun feeling like we had nothing left in the tank, and were rewarded greatly for our efforts, as the views from the top of the ridge we just climbed were extraordinary. The low-hanging sun gave the scene a dramatically peacful feeling, however that feeling didn't last very long.
The descent from the top of Moore Fun was steep, tight, technical, and exposed. The adranaline was definately flowing as we descended on frighteningly tight switchbacks perched precariously on the edge of the cliff. I never felt like I would fall off, but seeing the edge so near the trail provided quite a bit of extra excitement.
Unfortunately, I had some trouble with my GPS today so I don't have any real stats to log. But here are my estimates based on some reports from the gang.
Distance: 19 miles
Vertical: 2000 ft.
Tomorrow we head over to the other side of the valley - the Bookcliffs. The riding over there is legendary, and this will be the first time any of us will have been there. Needless to say, we're drooling with anticipation.