Monday, November 2, 2009
My family moved to Moab in 1987 from Crested Butte and at that time the town was a very different place. Sure, it was somewhat of a destination, but it was nothing like the world famous mecca for mountain bikers, jeepers, climbers, etc that it is today.
With regard to biking, it's easy to assume that because Moab is famous the trails there happen automatically; when in reality Moab's trail-building revolution has happened only recently. The really old classics, Porcupine Rim (or, zee Porking Pine in German tourist speak) Slickrock (Zee slippery sliding sledge rock trail) Amasa Back and Poison Spider were all built before mountain bikes and for different user groups. We've just been having fun on other people's (jeep, moto) trails without building much of our own.
That's all changed now though. Moab's blossoming local community of riders has banded together over the past 5-8 years to change the face of riding in the desert. Faced with stiff competition from Fruita, not to mention the hundreds of miles of established singletrack found at (insert Colorado mountain town here) Moab has been working hard to step it up. Every time I go home it feels like there is new stuff to ride. First it was Sovereign Trail and the network that has grown out of it. Then Baby Steps, Blue Dot, Magladon, the Bar-M area, Rockstacker, Jackson's. And of course, to top it all off, The Whole Enchilada, which has to be one of the most insane rides ever. (I know not all of these are technically 'new' but they are at least improved and/or legitimized.)
To go along with that the community has been continuing to improve biking in town and on the roads as well. They had a bike path system through town a decade ago along with bike lanes painted on most streets, and soon there will be an expansive bike path system along the roads north of town.
Here's a taste of Moab's new riding frontier.
Just for awesome-ness sake, here's my previous writeup on The Whole Enchilada from www.matbarlow.com
Mark and Josh on Hazard County, with lots of downhill still ahead.
Looking west across the new bridge, which will become the centerpiece of a new trail network
Two maps I put together for Moab Trails Alliance.
I forgot to mention Dead Horse Point. The new Intrepid trail is amazing, and provides some flowy singletrack in one of the most beautiful settings you could hope for. Check out this post on it.