Bike Trip to Arizona, Utah and Colorado

October 2018
The crew! All Cycle-CNY members

Hi Folks. We have had a wet and rainy fall preventing many of us from riding close to home. Late September and into early October seven of us wandered west to enjoy ourselves in locations with less rain.

The majority flew out to Scottsdale Arizona. David and I drove my Dodge van west. We started on Tuesday September 25 finally out of town around noon. Our first night took us to a Kentucky rest area just south of Cincinnati Ohio. And no, David and I had separate beds.

David slept here.

Our next stop was the Blowing Springs RV Park in Bella Vista Arkansas very close to Bentonville AR. There were trails starting right from the campground. David and I rode about two hours before we had to get back on the road. The trails were excellent and we both want to return and spend several days riding.

Let’s ride!

Our next stop was a rest area in New Mexico not far from Amarillo, Texas. The two rest areas we stayed in were awesome. Other than traffic noise from the highway the rest areas were quiet and the bathroom facilities were very clean. David and I averaged about 600 miles of driving per day. Driving time was between ten to twelve hours. If we do this again we plan to have five days of traveling instead of four.

David found us a trail system alongside the Rio Grande River in Albuquerque, New Mexico. There was not much elevation change but the twisty trails were challenging at the speeds were riding. Lots of dead end spurs off the main trail.

Along the Rio Grande

David and I pushed on and arrived in Flagstaff Arizona around 8 pm Friday night. We drove 2,300 miles; no way would I have driven that far by myself in four days.

David and I camped out off of a fire road just outside of town. The stars were amazing. Both of us slept well in the cool air and 7,000 ft of elevation.

Saturday, we rode the Schultz Pass Loop https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/756111/schultz-pass-loop or pretty close to that loop. The climbing was difficult for me but David rode like a lion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJAsUHsmJAo

We were only going to ride two hours but Rahn called and said we should spend the night in Flagstaff instead driving down to Scottsdale. The rest of the crew was going to drive through Flagstaff tomorrow on our way to Cortez Colorado.

David and I took advantage of the extra day in Flagstaff by cleaning up and showering at the YMCA. Both of us highly recommend joining the Y if you ever plan a trip like this. You can go to almost any YMCA along the route for no extra cost.

Sunday morning September 30th we met up with the rest of the crew and caravanned to a trail system called Phil’s World. https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/621788/phils-world

Voted most fun trails on the trip

The trails here were probably the most fun of the entire trip. We did a short ride Sunday afternoon and then came back on Monday and rode them again. Two trails, Ribs and More Ribs we rode twice because they were so much fun. The trails were not that technical but could be ridden at speeds that caused butterflies in my stomach more than once. Only one injury that day.

There will be blood

Sunday night we stayed at Mesa Verde National Park and had dinner together. We had three campsites, one for my van, Rahn’s RV, and an SUV. The meals are all a blur as I ended up doing most of the cooking. I do remember making pancakes, eggs and bacon in the morning. That was a great meal.

Mark is supervising

Monday, we went back to Phil’s world and rode for about four hours. We came back to our camp to find a note from the rangers saying they confiscated a bin of food that was left unattended and that we could pick up the bin later that evening. Meanwhile, we had booked a tour of the cliff dwellings and had to move quickly to make the start time. That was one of the best guided tours I have ever attended.

Upon our return the Ranger delivered the bin of food and asked for the name of the scofflaw responsible for this misdeed. Six of us immediately identified Ernie Bayles as the culprit. When Ernie returned to the campsite he received an $80 ticket.

Sunglasses to protect his identity

Tuesday morning October 2nd we headed west to Moab Utah and stayed outside of town near the Gemini Bridges Trail head. I stayed at camp while the rest of the crew went for a ride. There was a bit of rain and I enjoyed being warm and dry inside my van.

Wednesday, we rode Slick Rock Trail in Moab. The weather was perfect and the sky an unbelievable blue. Everyone rode very well. I had one fall because I didn’t lower my seat on a descent and had to bail. I saw Bill W ride up a hill near the end of the day that was so steep that I had difficulty walking. Ernie, Bill W, and Rahn were strong the entire time. I bonked at the end and David was suffering crank issues. As far as the most epic day of the trip, this was it.

Truly Epic

Thursday morning October 4th, Rahn woke us up and said start packing because the rain will be here in 40 minutes. Everyone hopped to packing as we watched lightning and rainbows draw closer and closer. We left just as the rain started and headed west towards Hurricane Utah to camp at Little Creek Mesa.

Upon arrival we set up camp and did a short ride. Friday, we spent the entire day riding Little Creek Mesa. Bill E was a bit hesitant riding near the edge of the mesa since the drop in was several hundreds of feet below. And unfortunately we lost David W. Well we didn’t actually lose him. We left him behind because he broke his rear cassette powering up a climb. When the cassette broke he lost the ability to pedal and could not unclip. Luckily, there was a cactus plant to catch his fall. David use Trail Forks to navigate back to camp and arrived at camp less than a half hour after us.

Webster MD
That tickles!!

Saturday October 6th, we drove into Hurricane to pick up a rental bike for David. He acquired an Ibis RipMo, an awesome bike. The bike shop suggested we ride Prospector and the Boy Scout trails since they would have the least amount of mud. Those trails were awesome in their own way, with more loose rocks and gravel than Little Creek Mesa. The sky was gray and rain threatened all day. We finished up and were heading back to camp just as the rain arrived. Another great day of riding in the books.

David’s RipMo
Riding the red rock

Sunday morning October 7th we woke up to significantly colder weather. The decision was made to ride Little Creek Mesa again after breakfast and then head back to Scottsdale. We dressed for cold weather but it didn’t take long to warm up and enjoy the ride.

Don’t fall
I’m cold Mark!

On the way home we stopped at a place where there were some strange rock formations. Pretty weird.

 

Pretty weird

Monday morning was the last ride of the trip as a group. We rode at Brown’s Ranch Trail system near Rahn’s house. We had an awesome time despite several new members joining David in the Cactus Club. Ernie became a honorary member after Bill E threw cactus off his hand and it landed on Ernie’s leg.

 
Thanks Bill E

Hope you all enjoyed reading this. We had a fantastic time and hope we are all healthy enough to do another trip in 2019. Enjoy the end of 2018 and let’s see if the rain will stop long enough to have some dry trails before ski season.

Happy Trails