Mtn Biking Fruita
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04/06/07 - 04/08/07
2007 Fruita 04.JPG (164974 bytes)Leaving the 26 degree temps and freezing rain in Castle Rock, it was a nice change to get over the mtns and into the 50 degree temps! Jean, Dwight, and I drove out to Fruita on Friday night to meet up with the rest of the gang. Saturday morning Dwight and I took off onto the ride I've wanted to do for years.... The Edge! First is follows Zippity Doo Dah along the front of the cliffs, then hops on a dirt road climbing around to the back of the cliffs. Not too bad of a climb then long cruising up's and down's on single2007 Fruita 07.JPG (151744 bytes) and double track. After 20-some miles and plenty of crashes, we arrived at the rappel. Dwight lowered himself down halfway while I handed the bikes to him, then he went the rest of the way down and we did the same process over again. How awesome!!! A couple miles of sandy wash then we popped out to the front of the bookcliffs for more up's and down's and through the pasture back to camp for a total of 29.5miles and 3500' of elevation gain. You really can't ask for much more in a single ride!!
2007 Fruita 11.JPG (135694 bytes)Jean and Beth were back from the Loma area complete with a sprained ankle for Beth. Ouch! We hung around camp drinking beers while Nick and Hugo eventually came back from their ride, and Keith arrived from Denver. The plans for a night ride by headlamp quickly faded as the Hot Damn 100 filled our bellies. I was in bed by 8pm for a much needed long night of sleep while the others laughed the night away around the campfire.
Sunday we awoke to some clouds and eventually some drizzles. Trying to avoid the clay-like mud we packed up and headed into town for coffee. The only place open was the BoneYard Brewery so we had2007 Fruita 18.JPG (179729 bytes) some Irish coffee's and beers. Why not, right?! The indecision continued along with the rain and we drove over to Loma. Dwight was the only one willing to do a ride in the rain with me so we headed off on Mary's Loop and Horsethief Bench. Great views all along the way and of course the rain came down harder. Oh well, makes for great stories! The pounds and pounds of clay-like mud that attached itself to our bikes rendering them completely unrideable at times wasn't exactly fun, but at times like these you can only 2007 Fruita 36.JPG (197692 bytes)laugh at yourself. Yet another wonder trip to Fruita with great friends and family, lots of laughs and fantastic mtn biking.


Video of Dwight on a steep downhill

Video of the upper part of the rappel along The Edge

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05/18/06 - 05/21/06
Another wonderful trip to Fruita for some warm weather, camping, and mtn biking. Arriving late Thursday night we found that the Road 18 camp areas now have tables, bathrooms, and designated! It also gets more and more popular each time we're there. We set up tents and had some beers under a bright moon before going to bed to wake up to the beautiful views all around. Love this place!! Friday morning we set up our awesome camp equipped with 2 grills (well, one grill since we forgot one and had to buy another) a giant table, stereo, fire ring, tents, chairs, and a giant Penn State canopy for shade. We headed into town and rented Jean a Rocky Mtn Element 30 then went over to the Loma Exit for some fun loops. Jean and Stinger went off to Rustlers Loop and I linked up Mary's, Horsethief, Steve's, and Moore Fun for a ass-kickin' 17.5mile loop. Mary's was easy and fun, Horsethief started off with some giant steps then cruised along the river with great views and just a few more technical spots. Back up the giant unrideable rock steps and back on Mary's along the canyon rim I went the next few miles to Steve's Cutoff. This was an easy few miles that cruised on singletrack in and out of a few canyons. BEAUTIFUL!!! Back onto Mary's loop and up to a ridge. From here, instead of dropping down to Frontage road I choose the torturous climb up and down Moore Fun. Lots of Fruita 2006-01.JPG (206149 bytes) pushing and a couple extra miles for a good self-induced ass kicking before getting back to the Loma Exit where I was completely exhausted, sweaty, and out of water. We stocked up on wood, ice, and bought another grill before heading back to camp and start the feast. With over 4 cases of beer, Jager Bombs, and enough food to stuff an army, we had our work cut out for us! First round was hotdogs and brats, followed by steaks, mac 'n cheese, and zucchini. Chad and Libby came by for some beers and laughs and we wasted the night away drinking way too much and building a giant fire. Got a brief bit of rain and a great lightning show, thank goodness for the Penn State tent!Fruita 2006-05.JPG (153225 bytes)
Each morning we started with bacon and egg bagel sammy's and cleaned up camp. Saturday we rode right from camp on the fun and twisty Kessler's Run then watched at the TH as Stinger changed a tire in a record 45 minutes only to find that his chain was about to break...all without losing his temper from my heckling. Jean and I continued on the awesome Prime Cut and Joe's Ridge. It was in the 90's once again and we were ready for the shade of camp and cold beers in our belly's. We found Stinger back at camp, he Fruita 2006-13.JPG (46045 bytes) started grilling and drinking while we went into town to resupply ice and firewood. We discovered a new animal on the AssPaca! Looked like a cross between a donkey (jackass) and an alpaca. A couple hours and 9 beers later, Stinger entertained us with chugging Twisted Tea's and drunken obnoxious yelling and screaming. Jean called for 5 minutes of silence which we all enjoyed. Chad, Libby, and Kenny came back for a night of fun and tonight was our attempt to eat all the food and drink all the booze so we had less to take home. Pretty much it was a missions successful! Brats, hotdogs, burgers, corn, and baked beans went nicely with the Pabst's Blue Ribbon and Fosters cans. Denali was having an absolute ball the entire time. When he wasn't hiding from the hot sun, he was rolling in the dirt and running around with the 4 other dogs. Sunday morning was spent in the shade and breaking down camp before the hungover ride home. A quick stop at Starvin' Arvin's got our belly's plenty full before leaving excited to come back next Spring once again.

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03/31/05 - 04/03/05
2005Fruita 01.JPG (135527 bytes)Jean and I had the itch to do some mtn biking and sure can't beat a trip out to Fruita! We found a great camping spot (in the middle of the night) up off Road 18 north of Fruita. After sleeping in and cooking an awesome car-camping-like breakfast we headed out to ride Prime Cut and Joe's Ridge. It was a beautiful day with temps in the 70's and bright blue skies. This was Jean's first time on her mtn bike in several years and was working out the kinks over rocks, roots, and tight turns. Joe's Ridge was a blast just like I2005Fruita 08.JPG (241904 bytes) remembered it with steep drops, great views, and steep downhills. Back at camp we relaxed in the sun and a bit later I headed out to ride Zippety Doo Daa. In the guide book this trail is described as "Steep downhills, excellent singletrack, and some very technical sections add up to make this one of the best expert rides in the area." What crazy fun this trail was! The miles on dirt roads was easily forgotten 2005Fruita 10.JPG (203836 bytes) once I saw the "Double Diamond, Expert Only" trail sign! WooHoo! The dropoffs were HUGE, the downhills were STEEP and I chickened out and had to hop off at one point. Wow, what an intense and fun trail!
That night we met up with Chad, Libby, and Gregg for some beers and laughs in Grand Junction. We built a camp fire once back before hopping in the cold tent. I should've brought a warmer sleeping bag!
Saturday morning Chad and Libby drove out and set up camp to hang out for the day and play with the dogs. I hopped on the bike and headed out to ride Frontside. Gotta love the trail description for this one too, "Rocky sections and extreme, steep hills with dropoffs that can and will inflict damage to you and your bike if you2005Fruita 12.JPG (159310 bytes) fall."  The trail headed north towards the book cliffs, then west and north again along singletrack and in/out of several washes. Eventually it hooked up with a road and led behind the book cliffs then steadily climbed all the way to the top of the cliffs! The sweat and sore legs were rewarded with spectacular views all over Colorado, Utah, and all the trails below. The downhill back was real sweet and I was able to hammer up parts of Zippety Doo Daa that I wasn't able to the day before. 18miles down and instead of just riding 2005Fruita 18.JPG (186881 bytes) the road back to camp, I hooked up with Joe's Ridge for some more fun back to camp! What a great ride all around!!!!
Lots of grilling, laughs, and beers going around the fire that night. Poor little Denali keep getting violated by Chad and Libby's Jack Russel Terrier that wanted nothing more then to have constant sex with Denali's leg. To complete the perfect Colorado all-weather weekend, Jean and I took off from Fruita early on Sunday morning and hit Breckenridge for some fantastic spring skiing! Gotta love Colorado......

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Perfect time of the year once again to be mtn biking around Fruita! Peggy and I did the drive out in one shot Thursday night and got to Chad and Libby's just before midnight. I had been fighting off a stomach virus and my body wasn't quite ready for a w/end of lots of food and beer, but oh well. Friday Chad biked with us and we met Gregg at the TH near the Kokopelli trail. We decided to do something real easy and did the short, but fun, Rustlers Loop. Relaxing in the sun drinking beers afterwards was the next order of business!
Saturday it was time for a bit of a harder ride. We headed to the Mack exit and chose to combine two loops together...Lions and Troy Built. From the Mack TH we rode down Hawkeye Rd to Lion's Loop, it was a steep hill to start then dropped down on the Colo River side to some great views. The trail followed the bluffs on single track and some tricky moves, really fun riding though. Instead of following the Lions Loop back to the TH, we took the cutoff for Troy Built. This was a bit tougher, but more fabulous views and single track riding. Denali was getting pretty pooped from the warm sun and quickly learned how to drink out of a CamelBak! After about 4hrs and close to 20miles we were back at the truck and ready for more beers! On the way back from riding we stopped at the new Breckenridge Brewery. The PSU football game was on so we indulged in several beers and Chad and Libby found uschad.jpg (66674 bytes) there while riding their bikes past on the way to the movie store! That night we had to make our customary stop in at the RockSlide Brewery for food and plenty of beers. Back at the house we stayed up way too late drinking whiskey, playing games and laughing a bunch. 
Instead of more biking Sunday we followed Chad and Libby to the east side of Glenwood Springs and hiked to Hanging Lake. It was just under 2 miles but a straight up trail. It was well worth it though, the lake and surrounding waterfalls looked like something straight out of Hawaii!

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Instead of heading out to Moab again we decided to try out the mtn biking trails around Grand Junction and Fruita this time. Since Chad and Libby just moved there over the summer it was a good excuse to see them and a place to stay instead of camping for once. It was nice too, cause the drive was a couple hours shorter. Basically we would wake up late, go biking all day, come back to Chad/Libby's eat a lot of food and drink a lot of beer till the wee hours, including stops at the RockSlide Microbrewery and a couple other local watering-holes!
The first day we stayed close to Grand Junction and planned to ride "The Gunny Loop" trail near the entrance of the Colorado Monument. There are a few other trails starting here and right from the start there were some technical
grand junction02.jpg (143530 bytes) spots and drop-offs with not many flat areas. Wasn't long till we made a turn too early and started down the "Andy's Loop" trail instead. We weren't worried about it knowing that they all connected somehow. The scenery was quite similar to Moab with huge sandstone cliffs and bluffs everywhere. grand junction03.jpg (138944 bytes)Lots of up's and down's and pushing the bikes too. We went in and out of several runoff areas and places that looked like they were swept by plenty of flash floods. We got a little worried when the trail kept heading farther and farther from the start but eventually got on a long slanting tongue ofgrand junction05.jpg (109228 bytes) sandstone that sounded like what was described for "The Ribbon" trail. We found the trailhead and followed the road back towards civilization, taking some cutoffs on trails that lead us back to the car. A great long ass-kicking ride with a huge variety of terrain and trails.

The second day of riding we headed north of Fruita towards the Book Cliffs figuring we would ride some trails where grand junction06.jpg (128447 bytes)we could stay on the bikes longer. We first chose "Chutes and Ladders" trail. It worked its way gently uphill towards the Book Cliffs, then up and down along the cliffs before a good screaming downhill into the pastures and fields. It was a much more rider friendly trail. We even saw a couple tandem mountain bikes on the trail, looked pretty dangerous. Back at the truck we still had tons of time so after relaxing we took the sameJoe's Ridge trail towards the cliffs then headed west to the "Prime Cut/Joe's Cutoff" trail. This trail was AWESOME! It climbed up some hills then the trail was right along the middle of a knife-edge ridge almost all the way back to the parking lot.

grand junction07.jpg (52564 bytes)Our last day of riding before going home we headed north of GJ to the "Roller Coaster" area. There are trails heading in every direction and lots of motorcycles in this area. Instead of following certain trails we just worked our way towards the cliffs going on whichever trail that looked enticing. A pretty easy couple hours of riding before the trek home. Chad came along so we had piled all 3 bikes on my spare-tire rack (which is meant for a hatchback and only 2 bikes). On the way back I looked in the rear-view mirror to see the bikes hop a couple times then disappear! The rack broke and spilled our bikes in the road doing about 40mph. Peggy's bike got a flat, Chad's got a bent rim, and mine got trashed. Bent rim, broken derailer, handlebars and seat torn beyond recognition, broken pedal, and scratched up real bad. Luckily the new RockShox Psylo XC only got a couple scratches on them. This really sucked, but luckily it happened at the end of the trip instead of the beginning. Besides, a great excuse to buy................