the slickrock trail

The small town of Moab, UT is considered by many to be the Mecca of the mountain biking world. There are several famous trails in the area, the most famous of which is probably the Slickrock Trail. The trail has been on my bucket list for some time now, and thanks to this last minute road trip I’ve finally gotten a chance to ride it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABecause people travel from all over the world to ride this trail, there are a few bike shops in town that have nice mountain bikes available for rental. We rented a couple of nice full suspension 29ers from a shop called Chile Pepper Bike shop. I can wholeheartedly recommend this place, the employees were incredibly helpful, helping us load the bikes into Ray’s car, and even supplying us with cardboard so we didn’t scratch up the interior of his car.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am on the Slickrock trail.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARay is on the Slickrock trail.

Since I’ve wanted to ride this trail for a long time, and since the trail’s pretty famous, I decided to finally buy a GoPro helmet camera. The camera was only able to record the first hour of a four hour bike ride, unfortunately it ran out of batteries before the coolest part of the ride. But still you can get an idea of what the trail is like.

The video’s kind of boring if you watch it straight through, since I just kept the camera rolling, there’s not a whole lot of action. You can fast forward to the following sections to get a feeling for what the trail is like.

13:00 – The Abyss. This was the first scary section for me. A tight switchback onto angled rock. I guess it doesn’t look all that scary on camera, but it was pretty scary to me.
22:15 – The Almost Faceplant. I almost ate it here on a small rock garden. Ray would later eat it right here on our way back. (I wish I had gotten that on camera…)
26:00 – Legs Gave Out. There are a ton of short steep climbs on the trail. This one pwned me. Later in the day I would be able to clear most of these (though I guess I have no video proof.)
41:30 – Traffic Jam. Ray stopped suddenly here and I jumped off the bike. There’s probably nothing more embarrassing than a first person view of a crash.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter a long ride, we still had smiles on our faces. We had brought over a gallon of liquid each, but we both ran out by the end. It was seriously hot (we were getting pretty close to heat exhaustion), and the riding was exhausting in some parts (and we were cramping all over from electrolyte loss), but it was still an amazing experience.

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