It had been quite a while since I was last on Anderson Truck Trail. Last week I got back out on it while my long time riding partner in grime, Steve. It has rained a few days earlier which made for some really nice dirt out there. Here some video from the bits we rode.
Also worth noting that I have re-encoded the 2009 video I did out here. This video is hosted on Vimeo as the music has issues on YouTube.
The Navajo Lake Loop is an extremely picturesque trail around the lake that has a wonderful mix of aspens, pines, open meadows as well as a bit of old lava flows. I did about 3/4ths of the loop on before heading out on the Navajo Peak section of the Virgin River Rim Trail. Here is my Trailforks Ridelog for that day. Please note this loop includes an out and back to Cascade Falls as well as a longer firer road loop back to where I was camped. I did not include the Cascade Falls trail stuff in this video as it really did not “fit”. One thing is for certain, this was a very pretty outing out of the bike.
Here is some footage from the Blowhard trail near Brian Head Utah. This rounds out the big three shuttle run out of Brian Head resort area in Utah. The Blowhard Trail starts at 10,660 feet just south of Cedar Breaks National Monument and drops 3,700 feet over the course 7.7 miles and ends on Hwy 14 near Cedar City. The upper portion is the steepest and most technical with grades upwards of 22% in spots. It is much steeper than it looks in the video. Things mellow a bit in the middle section and below with even some short bits of climbing. Those short sections aside, throughout this trails is speed is easily gained and much more difficult to restrain. This is a fantastic trail and this will not be my time riding this trail.
One more video knocked off the remaster to-do list. The Portal Trail in Moab will most likely reset your scale for exposure and how the risk vs reward variables are computed in your head. The steeper than it looks moniker certainly applies here. I did some software stabilization but it still in the old-school shaky cam category. Here are some more thoughts on this trail as well as some pictures from that day. You can find stuff from the entire 2008 road trip here.
The second song used this video, Mad Life, by Dishwalla had some special meaning for me from that day. This video was shot in May of 2008 and back in the March, I had an OTB crash on the Goat Camp Trail that left me with about 40 stitches in my lip and mouth that really did a number on my mental game for riding technical trails. During the first three days of this trip I was starting to get the mojo back and the during the descent of the Portal trail the “I’m Back” switch was flipped on as that song started playing in my head. These lyrics in particular.
I’m still churning my way through the summer vacation footage. This latest installment is from the Bunker Creek trail.
The Bunker Creek trail is one of the three big descents out of Brian Head Utah, Starting from Brian Head Peak you will do 11.6 miles of single track that will take you from 11,075 feet down to 8,490 feet. A wildfire in 2017 devastated this area and much of the trail, but by 2018 it was rebuilt and in 2019 the single track was extended at the bottom.
Here is the route I did that includes rolling down into Panguitch Lake to hit up some tasty grub at the Burger Barn. This is also the typical shuttle pickup spot if you use one of the Brian Head shuttle service such as George’s Ski and Bike.
The Virgin River Rim Trail is a 32 mile long trail along the edge of the plateau above the Virgin River watershed. This video is from the eastern 10 miles of the trail between Strawberry Point and the Cascade Falls Trailhead. This is also known as the Pink Cliffs section.
This is a amazingly beautiful section of trail that was tough in many spots. It is definitely an XC trail but the the elevation, undulating grade mostly in the 9,000 feet range and trail thread all conspire to tax lungs and legs.
For me it is worth the price of admission for the experience, but if your value of “reward” is mostly based on fun, you may come to a different conclusion.
My Ridelog from this day on Trailforks Note that the last 3.1 miles on this route are not the trail but a couple of dirt roads that we used to get back to our campsite. The trails is the first 10 miles.
Thunder Mountain is considered a marquee/classic/bucket list type trail in many publications. I have to say it lives up to hype. This video is from Day 15 of the Summer MTB vacation which was our second crack at this trail. We got rained out for this ride on Day 13. We managed to catch a good weather window and for the most part we were rewarded some near hero dirt. But be warned, even if you “shuttle” it you will be spending plenty of time cranking the pedals. It is well worth every bit of grunting you have to do.
Well it has been nearly five months in the works but I have a new steed in the stables
Before that I spent a long time mulling over (ok more like nuking out) all the details. 27.5, 29, mullet, trail, enduro etc…
I settled in on an Enduro style rig and my top three contenders were the Ibis Mojo HD5, the Santa Cruz Bronson V4 and the Ibis Ripmo V2.
With my current rig being a Bronson V1, I was jazzed on paper with the V4. Once I got my hands on a Bronson V4 just did not feel right to me. The weight distribution just felt off.
The Ripmo on the other felt balanced and relatively light in comparison. After a test ride I was in. I spent week thinking about which factory kit or a custom spec build up. I ended up going with the mostly AXS/XX1 kit with some swap outs. The primary swap outs were the wheels and brakes. I went with Hope e4 brakes and tech 3 levers because I love them and did not feel the need to venture from them. The wheels were a custom build using Onyx hubs to We Are The One Union rims.
I have had the bike out for a handful of rides to date and those have all involved getting the bike dialed in and getting acclimated to the bigger wheels and longer wheelbase. The geometry change has been less of an issue on the climbs than I expected. Coming in at a fart under 31lbs, this bikes feels really good under foot when you have to your Billy Goat on.
Pointing the bike downhill is pretty confidence inspiring which was the weak area of my Bronson V1. With that bike I did not feel like I had much room for error when the stuff got techno-ugly. Not the case with the Ripmo at all. Nearly point and shoot in comparison. I have not yet completed the “mind meld” with “Big Mo” but this bike is already a hoot when pointed down.
If you are going to go all the way to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to camp and ride the Rainbow Rim trail, it is well worth it to add a segment or two of the Arizona Trail that runs through the area into the mix. This is from an 18 mile snippet of the trail south of Jacob Lake. We did this on Day 11 of August MTB Vacation.
Getting out to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to ride the Rainbow Rim trail is not an easy feat. For just about everyone it will be a camping trip. This is from my August MTB vacation were we camped on Locust Point for a handful of days and enjoyed the views and the riding on this trails as well a bit of the Arizona Trail. The video really does not do the experience justice. You need to get there to enjoy it for yourself.
I had to put the videos on hold while I went down the rabbit hole of squaring away data storage and backup system. I came back from the August trip with just about a terabyte of video and photos which put my overall storage at near capacity. I now have a more robust system that should scale a lot better in the future.