2010 (Fiscal) Fall Moab (in Fruita) Ride Report

11.11.2009 | 10:27 am

Yesterday, I should have had a video to post. Really, I should have. But here’s the problem: I let my helmetcam record, mostly nonstop, for most of two big, beautiful rides. I let it record until the 8Gb card was full.

Which is to say, I recorded around six hours of video.

That’s a lot to sift through.

And then there’s the problem that whenever I start trying to extract chunks of video, I wind up just letting the video play and play, reliving the ride instead of editing it.

All of the above is my list of excuses for why:

  1. I did not post a video yesterday.
  2. I did not post anything at all yesterday.
  3. I still do not have a video to post today.

So, today a description of the weekend. Tomorrow — hopefully — a video.


I love certain traditions, and don’t like to see them change. For example, I go to Leadville every year for the Leadville 100, and I always try to get the same room at the same hotel. And go to the same restaurants. And do the same ride the day before the race. And catch up with the same people.

Fall Moab is like that, too. It’s the Core Team going to Moab sometime around the beginning of November. We ride Slickrock, Gold Bar Rim, Amasa Back, and Porcupine Rim. We spend a lot of time in one place, taking turns working on technical moves.

It’s a great formula. Why would you want to monkey with it?

Well, we started changing the formula when we all fell in love with Gooseberry Mesa (and surrounding trails), near St. George, Utah. To suit our collective craving for this incredible network, we decided that “Fall Moab” was a description of an event that centered around the Core Team getting together to ride in the Fall, not necessarily a description of location.

In other words, Fall Moab could be in St. George.

And if in St. George, why not elsewhere? Like Fruita, Colorado, for example?

And the fact that I have family in Grand Junction (which is next door to Fruita) made Fall Moab in Fruita very attractive. I could drive the girls down to Grand Junction (the boys are too teenagery to want to go), leave them with Kellene (thanks, Kellene!) for the weekend, and — abracadabra — I’ve got a weekend with the guys.


It used to be that we always got hotel rooms for Fall Moab. Then, a few years ago, we tried camping. And it’s been camping ever since. Now, I’ve been accused of not liking camping, but that’s just not true. I love camping. It’s just the trying-to-sleep-on-a-cot-in-a-cold-sleeping-bag part that has been a problem for me in the past.

As I’ve mentioned previously, however, that is no longer a problem. Thanks to the miracle of Ambien. Seriously, that stuff is magical. 5 milligrams and a cold sleeping bag turns into a warm, fluffy bed with lullabies playing softly in the background.

And since sitting around a fire, listening to stories (believe it or not, I primarily listen — I’m not much of a storyteller in person) is likely the most time-tested form of entertainment there is, I think I’m safe in saying that people are hardwired to enjoy it.

Really, the only way it can be better — and more primal — is if you’re eating a lot of meat while you’re sitting around the campfire.

Which brings me to bratwurst.

My Favorite Tradition of All

I love good bratwurst — and by “good bratwurst,” I mean “any bratwurst, properly prepared.” And you know what? I love preparing bratwurst.

I was looking forward to brats — both the preparing and eating — so much, in fact, that I skipped the second ride of the day, instead preferring to go to the store to buy everything I needed to make the brats: bratwurst, a pot and tongs (I forgot to bring my own this time), beer, a couple onions, Gulden’s spicy brown, mayo, and a bottle of worcestershire sauce.

It’s a small shopping list for such an incredible meal.

Then, I love opening and pouring — in rapid succession — 12 cans of beer into a pot. Love the smell of brats boiling in a stew of beer, onion, and worcestershire sauce. Love the way they darken on the grill, gathering the smoky taste and crisp skin.

But of course, I mostly love how a brat tastes, served with Gulden’s spicy brown mustard (and for me, mayo, which I understand is a minor sacrilege) on a slice of Kenny’s homemade bread. Everyone sits around the fire, eating and talking. It’s mellow and perfect.

And with 40 brats made for 15 people, running out is unlikely.

I tell you what: The post-ride brats feast was my favorite part of the trip this time.

Two Bikes, One Crash

I brought two bikes with me this trip — my Waltworks SingleSpeed, and my geared Gary Fisher Superfly. The Superfly was an afterthought. Just a “Well, I’ve got room for the bike, why not bring it?” kind of thing.

I was glad I did, though. Because during the first ride on Saturday (I missed the Friday rides because I didn’t want to head out ’til my kids were out of school) — Gunny’s Loop and Holy Cross — I crashed my Waltworks pretty thoroughly.

Specifically, on a very tight section of singletrack with a rock wall on one side and exposure on the right, I hit my left handlebar grip on a rock that was jutting out. This of course wrenched my wheel left and I hit the cliff wall. Then, following the “equal and opposite reaction” principle, I bounced and fell right.

I landed on a ledge to the right of the trail, while my bike continued on down to the next ledge, about five or six feet below. I banged myself up about as much as you’d expect: scrapes and bruises, but nothing serious.

My bike, on the other hand, needed some work. The front wheel was seriously out of true (not a horrible problem since I’m using disc brakes), and the saddle is destroyed. Also, the splines on the rear hub hesitated for about 3/4 a turn of the cranks before catching.

If I’d brought only one bike, it would have meant hours of work — work that I don’t know how to do, frankly. As is, however, it meant that I rode tentatively for the rest of the ride (for whatever reason, after I crash, I am simply unable to get back into the spirit of aggressive riding for the rest of the ride), and then swapped bikes.

A delicious luxury.

The Trail

Another way this edition of Fall Moab differed from previous iterations is the way we rode. Which is to say, these trails were new to most of us, and so we didn’t feel so much of a need to try to find unusual or oddball “moves” to make them fun. The first time you ride a trail, it’s nice to just experience its flow.

And the trails we rode had excellent flow. High desert singletrack, with rocks and ledges to make the course interesting and challenging.

Which brings up a crucial mountain biker’s dilemma: which is objectively the best surface for mountain biking: high desert singletrack, or forested mountain singletrack?

I have a sense that the answer is, “Whichever you happen to be on right that moment.”

What a weekend. I declare 2010 (Fiscal) Fall Moab (in Fruita) a success.

PS: Everyone in the group agreed: my brother-in-law Rocky (Kellene’s husband) was the ultimate tour guide, selecting cream-of-the-cream-of-the crop rides for us on this trip. Thanks, Rocky!

PPS: If you’re with Team Fatty for Movember, why don’t you email me a photo of how your mo is going? I think I’ll start posting a “mo of the day” with each post.


  1. Comment by RICK | 11.11.2009 | 10:46 am

    first comment. woot! wait, this isn’t bike snob nyc?

  2. Comment by Mike | 11.11.2009 | 10:49 am

    good report. makes me want to plan another trip. My core team and I road 25 hours of frog hollow. First time riding in that area, great trails. The flow on the jem trail singletrack was epic. Gooseberry, Barrel Roll. . .

  3. Comment by Brandon | 11.11.2009 | 10:49 am

    Definately a fun time. Glad I made the trip down to ride.

  4. Comment by geraldatwork | 11.11.2009 | 11:02 am

    Sounds like you had a great weekend. Worth waiting for the update.

  5. Comment by Dan O | 11.11.2009 | 11:10 am

    Gulden’s Mustard on a Brat is spectacular! I also hope you got to ride the Moore Fun trail while you were there, it’s known for destroying saddles! Ask some of my friends who had to buy new one’s after crashing on it! I gingerly walked the part after seeing them crash.

    Life is good


  6. Comment by MOCougFan | 11.11.2009 | 11:12 am

    Your brats are very tasty.

    Rocky is a very nice guy. Rode with him at the Triathalon.

    Whoever made that jump off that cliff has to be dead right now. Really anxious to see the video.

  7. Comment by Philly Jen | 11.11.2009 | 11:18 am

    Rick, it’s not BSNYC territory until at least one comment has been removed by its author, and until we receive a triumphant “Ant1st!”

    (Oh, and not until Lance starts tweeting that Fatty needs to train some more.)

  8. Comment by Philly Jen | 11.11.2009 | 11:19 am

    (Like this: https://twitter.com/lancearmstrong/status/5291749372)

  9. Comment by Mikeonhisbike | 11.11.2009 | 11:32 am

    You really need to do a post on the proper preparation of Brats. I need those skills.

  10. Comment by Heidi | 11.11.2009 | 11:35 am

    Sounds GREAT! And how cool is it that you can comfortably leave your two teenagery boys home for a weekend?

  11. Comment by Grizzly Adam | 11.11.2009 | 11:41 am

    I think Mo pics of the day are really going to creep everyone out.

    I’m just sayin’.

  12. Comment by TiminCa | 11.11.2009 | 12:16 pm


  13. Comment by jacked | 11.11.2009 | 12:43 pm

    Looking forward to the video.
    Looking forward to my new kit arriving, I would have loved to have had it for iceman last weekend. Last years jersey worked fine, but was not quite as slimming as I had hoped.
    Registered for Movember and will send photos this weekend as we begin sculpting…. I have never liked a mo on me before, doubt this will change, but as we all know Cancer Sucks and so I can suck it up for a month.


  14. Comment by RICK | 11.11.2009 | 12:44 pm

    yeah but I like fatty better. snob is fine but I can only read about fixie hipsters so often.

  15. Comment by TiminCa | 11.11.2009 | 12:53 pm

    After your saddle was destroyed I bet you wish you had some DZNUTS and a pair of luxurious Assos shorts huh?…or did you?…you did!

  16. Comment by Corey | 11.11.2009 | 1:08 pm

    What?! No sauerkraut?

  17. Comment by Aaron | 11.11.2009 | 1:16 pm

    I can’t believe some of the stuff Rocky was riding. That dude has some serious skills.

    Sorry to hear you had to resort to your ‘B’ bike on this trip, being that it’s such a low-end bike and all.

  18. Comment by TomInCO | 11.11.2009 | 1:45 pm

    Did you crash on Gunny’s or Holly Cross? It’s been a while since I’ve ridden HC, but I do recall some tight rocky sections. But then, half the trails at Tabeguache (pronounced, ah, Lunch Loops) have some of that. Next time you are there ride the ribbon. Awesome views of the grand valley and surrounding area, and a slick rock table the size of a couple of football fields. They are predicting snow in my neck of the woods, so it may be off to Fruita/GJ for the 3rd weekend in a row :-):-):-)

  19. Comment by schmei | 11.11.2009 | 1:47 pm

    Wait – mayo on a brat is sacrilege? I thought it was an integral part of the sacrament.

    We must be in two different sects.

  20. Comment by buckythedonkey | 11.11.2009 | 2:57 pm

    OK. Enough. This time you stepped all the way over the line. The 3 pairs of free Sidis was bad enough but this time, not satisfied with having a Superfly as your spare bike, you go and rub it in with “the Superfly was an afterthought”.


  21. Comment by ant1 | 11.11.2009 | 3:06 pm

    Philly Jen, this one’s for you:

  22. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 11.11.2009 | 3:28 pm

    Sounds like a truly wonderful weekend!

  23. Comment by Aaron | 11.11.2009 | 3:44 pm

    Actually, I think I mispoke (mistyped?) when I said you geared SS is your ‘B’ bike, being that you have a Single-Fly in the stable. That means you were really slumming it with your C or even D bike.

  24. Comment by Heather | 11.11.2009 | 4:37 pm

    All this talk about brats is making me hungry. YUMMY!! And I had no idea that mayo was sacrilige…didn’t know you could eat them without mayo and Gulden’s spicy brown mustard. But I live on the east coast…maybe it’s done differently out west…but I’m not giving up my mayo. Sounds like a great ride! Looking forward to the video…

  25. Comment by Philly Jen | 11.11.2009 | 6:10 pm

    Yay, Ant1!

    (BTW, it sounds very swanky to say ‘Ant1st!’ in Latin: Prima formica!)

  26. Comment by waffles & steel | 11.11.2009 | 11:16 pm

    No kraut with those brats?

  27. Comment by Tim | 11.11.2009 | 11:59 pm

    “Prima formica”
    Is that like fancy stuff to put in your kitchen?
    Not sure about the US, in Australia you put formica on bench tops.

  28. Comment by Andrew | 11.12.2009 | 7:12 am

    @Aaron C or D bike indeed. If he keeps crashing, he’ll soon be riding his Z bike—a recumbent.

  29. Comment by damon | 11.12.2009 | 9:18 am

    Yeah, mayo on brats IS sacrilege. But only if you’re German. Had some brats and eggs for a snack just the other night. Man, now I want to go home early today and get the grill going!

  30. Comment by Gordon | 11.12.2009 | 7:13 pm

    Be careful of those Ambien. A cop here in Boise said that he took some and woke up after he hit a couple of mailboxes and a few cars.. He said he didn’t remember anything after settling down for the night until he woke up with his truck wrapped around him.

  31. Comment by Philthy in Oz | 11.17.2009 | 5:28 pm

    That’s only 66 gear inches you have on. A pretty low gear – no wonder you are spinning out. I’d try a 16 tooth cog on the back and bump it up to 71 inches. With your massive quads that shouldn’t be a problem ;-)


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