Saturday, June 30, 2007
Solo Ride on Porcupine Rim
So I had this long drive back to CO from CA through the desert and without the modern convenience of air conditioning. The brilliant way to make this all worth it is to stop in Moab for 48 hours to break up the drive. Then hike up Negro Bill Canyon and ride Porcupine rim!
Riding porcupine solo is an experience. Man vs desert, bike vs wild technical desert trail. Riding it solo in the summer adds a bit of dehydrated scorching death in the desert element. Fortunately I found a shuttle company running and there was a group of 2 that would be (way) behind me in case I needed someone to report where my body lay. I left the stock tanks (main trailhead) at 6.45am and the sun already felt way too hot. The 4 mile climb to the view (over castle valley) was as grueling as usual, and already I could feel the oppressive summer heat. But the 11 miles of downhill made up for that. Absolutely awesome. Riding solo lets one get into a certain technical rhythm. I flew down the trail, cleaning sections I had not cleaned before and hitting all the hucks without pause. I even managed some of the tough section on the last 3 miles of single track. Of course, I still had to hike the bike around the insane technical stuff at the creek crossing. After that I blasted down the trail until, with 1/2 mile remaining, mechanical disaster struck. Yet even with the mech problem, I made it back to the road (highway 128) in 2 hours 30 minutes. Not bad. As for the mechanical problem... see the above post.
Next trip we have to do the higher drop!
(Photo: the "death on the right" singletrack at the end of the ride skirts the very top edge of this mesa wall, rising about the Colorado River. The trail turns away from the river after that, to the insane creek crossing, then drops riders out on the road in the river valley.)