11.29.2011 | 5:00 am

Sometimes, readers, I am amazed at how perceptive you all are. I post a photo, and you notice something peculiar and interesting in the background. I write 800 words about nothing whatsoever, and you notice that I tend to use dangling participles.

Yes, at times I am truly impressed with how astute you are.

This, alas, is not one of those times.

See, a couple of weeks ago I went on a three-day trip out to St. George, Utah to ride with friends. And then I came back and wrote about only two of those days.

“Where,” you should have asked, “is the report for the third day?”

“Why,” you should have continued, “are you not describing the events of the ride or even where you went riding on that final day of Fall Moab?”

Which is too bad, because if you had asked that, I would have been able to be coy and not answer, or perhaps given an offhanded response along the lines of, “Be patient; I’m still thinking about the last ride of the trip. I’ll get to it soon.”

In which case I would have had a completely different opening for today’s post. And frankly, it would probably have been a better one, because I wouldn’t have been attacking you for not tracking the minutia of my life.

Anyway, I’m ready to start talking about this ride now. I think.

A Question of Great Importance

I’d like you to think about your favorite ride for a moment. OK, that may not be easy to do, because you’ve probably got quite a few rides that might qualify as your favorite, depending on your mood or the kind of riding you feel like doing. So let’s think in terms of your three favorite rides. The three rides you would do if you were told that you could do only three rides for the rest of your life.

Since I’m the kind of person who likes “If you had to choose only 3 things” types of questions, I have already given this question some thought, and am prepared to answer that the following three rides are my all-time favorites:

1.    Super Tibble (MTB): Tibble Fork Reservoir to Joy to Alpine Loop Summit to Mud Springs to Tibble and back to the Reservoir

2.    Alpine Loop (Road): Home to Alpine Loop Summit to Cascade Springs, back to Summit, down to Provo Canyon, and then back up to the Summit and home.

3.    Nebo Loop (Road): Start in Provo, go up the Payson side, down the Nephi side, and on the flats back to Provo.

Selecting this short list is a lot easier than you might suspect: these are rides that spring to mind when I think about my best biking memories. They’re my empirical favorites because, given a choice to ride and the time to do them, these are the rides I pick.


So, back to Fall Moab. For the third ride of the trip, Kenny, who in the absence of Dug was the guide for the trip, said we’d be riding a relatively new trail: Guacamole.

“Fine,” I thought. I’m happy to try new trails, though I generally don’t really enjoy them until I’ve ridden them enough to become acquainted. To know how they feel. What to expect. How long the ride is going to go, and where I need to gear myself up for a big effort.


And then something entirely unexpected happened: I loved this ride. More than loved it. I was amazed by it. Petrified wood lay about everywhere, as plentiful as sand. That, along with the rock, bush and valley below was simply beautiful. Similar in some ways to Gooseberry and Little Creek, but with its own personality.

The trail was so brilliantly considered. It was challenging, but not so challenging that it felt brutish. I’d say, in fact, that the tricky, technical sections seemed playful — as if the trail designer liked finding interesting natural features and thinking of ways to make them a part of the trail.


For example, there was a place in the trail where you’re directed to take a sharp left turn, climb to the top of a crescent-shaped fin of rock, ride along that fin, drop down the other side, and then continue along the trail. By following the trail markings here, you progress exactly no distance at all, but you do get the experience of riding your bike on the top of a crescent-shaped fin of rock.


It took me five tries to get to the top of this fin, ride along it, and drop down the other side. I was giddy when I finally got it.

Or for another example, you at one point ride up a hump of sandstone, turn gingerly right and ride off-camber around the circumference of this hump, the whole time with your left shoulder nearly touching the large boulder perched upon this hump of rock.


I got that one my first try. It was a proud moment.

Over and over, for the two or three hours we were out there, it’s just one quick up followed by a quick down. A natural skills park, carved out by erosion for kragillions of years, then cleverly and entertainingly interpreted into a mountain bike trail by trail-building geniuses.

It’s a beautiful, remarkable, entertaining trail. If you mountain bike and you’re anywhere near St. George, UT, you must ride it.


Another Question

So after riding Guacamole just once, I’ve since found myself thinking about it constantly. I’ve got to get out there and ride it again. Soon. This time with a helmet cam running (I actually had planned to ride with a helmet cam the first time I rode this trail, but the camera didn’t work — one of a long line of expensive things broken during this trip).

Because I have a question. It’s a question that I can’t answer yet; one ride is not enough — nowhere near enough — to make this kind of judgement.

But still, I can’t help but wonder: Is Guacamole destined to break into my top 3 favorite all-time rides?


  1. Comment by Dave | 11.29.2011 | 6:17 am

    I keep my rides to myself because I don’t want a bunch of idiots ruining my experience.

    Warmest Regards…

  2. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 11.29.2011 | 7:29 am

    With a name like “Guacamole” how could you not love it?

  3. Comment by davidh-marin, ca | 11.29.2011 | 7:30 am

    kragillions Is this a word the twins brought home from school?

    And favorite rides only in Utah?? Levi and Freaking Andy may put you in a double headlock next time you’re around. But I understand the allure of the local hill.

  4. Comment by Paul Guyot | 11.29.2011 | 8:13 am

    I thought this post was gonna be about food…..

  5. Comment by MattC | 11.29.2011 | 8:55 am

    Who doesn’t like guacamole (besides my wife I mean)?? MMMMMM! Sounds like a full-on ‘Team Fatty Invitational’ ride to me. Set the date and count me IN! (and bring some Guacamole with you, AND your PBR brats too btw). FattyFest 2012! Could be the start of something HUGE!

  6. Comment by KM | 11.29.2011 | 9:34 am

    I’d have a difficult time riding a trail that constantly reminded me of such a tasty appetizer. However riding the trail sounds as tasty as the food.

  7. Comment by John | 11.29.2011 | 10:10 am


    Got my personalized book yesterday in the mail and have been loving it! Kept the wife up late with my giggling.

    I started reading your blog mid 2010, so most of the stories are new to me.

    I am interested to hear how your two broken kneecaps are serving you after all this riding ;>)

  8. Comment by KanyonKris | 11.29.2011 | 10:55 am

    I’ve done Guacamole 3 times. For me, Gooseberry just edges it. YMMV.

  9. Comment by Steve | 11.29.2011 | 11:05 am

    Sorry being on a diet, I couldn’t concentrate on the story at all after reading guacamole. I’m heading out to buy tortilla chips and avocados right now.

  10. Comment by Kiki | 11.29.2011 | 11:29 am

    Heading to St George next week to ride. Thanks for the tip!

  11. Comment by RodNeeds2Ride | 11.29.2011 | 12:03 pm

    Holy schnikes Fatty, your top 3 rides are HUGE. I’m not sure if the non-locals realize this or not, but the Nebo ride by itself takes well over 3 hours to DRIVE in a decent car that corners well!

    My mind = Blown.

  12. Comment by RodNeeds2Ride | 11.29.2011 | 12:04 pm

    …and I didn’t even mention the elevation gains involved – holy crazap!

  13. Comment by Dan S | 11.29.2011 | 12:22 pm

    The Guac Rocks!

  14. Comment by davidh-marin, ca | 11.29.2011 | 12:28 pm

    @MattC- 2012 Count me in!! Also I think WE could bring the Avocados and parts, and Fatty could entertain us in a hands on teaching Demo. Brats, Guac, Beer, Riding with Fatty…… and PIE. Doesn’t get better than that. Some one set it up we’ll make it there.

  15. Comment by Whit | 11.29.2011 | 12:49 pm

    V disappointed this post was not about the delicious green stuff. Shame on you, Fatty. Shame.

    Now ordering Mexican food …

  16. Comment by MattC | 11.29.2011 | 1:28 pm

    @Whit…I agree…peeking at the title I thought this post was going to be about an amazing new Guac recipe…and then to find out it talked about a bike ride that I’ve never done… well…that’s a tough one for the Ol’ tapeworm to take. I only have Fatty’s word for it how awesome the trail is…but I KNOW how awesome Guac is.

    Just got back from Hawaii this weekend (was there for 10 days over T-day) and they have Butter Avocados by the truckload (LARGE and round…literally the size of a softball, w/ the normal size seed in the middle)…WAY TASTY too! You can get a lot of Guac from one of those!

    Rats…now I’m hungry, & not an avocodo in sight. Heavy sigh.

  17. Comment by Mike Ski | 11.29.2011 | 4:06 pm

    Guac sounds like a great ride! Now, can you explain why you were up so early when you made this post? Just trying to live up to your expectations of a perceptive reader!

  18. Comment by Sam | 11.29.2011 | 5:02 pm

    Hey, I just noticed that it is one of the first posts in a long long long long time where no commodities are plugged, or money asked, or things sold.

    Refreshing. Very.

  19. Comment by davidh-marin, ca | 11.29.2011 | 7:08 pm

    Should we be concerned about this particular post. The dark brooding nature of the pics are in stark contrast to the normal ’slap happy’ style that is Fatty. Take a look a this: what do you think?


    Seems like a ’sunset’ shot to me. Is Paul Guyot ready?

  20. Comment by Bob B | 11.29.2011 | 8:09 pm

    After careful consideration, Guacamole is now in my list of top 3 rides:

    1. Goldbar Variations (37)

    2. Guacamole (34)

    3. Tibble (31)

    This is a purely mathematical evaluation. I’m basing this list on the “twitterpation factor” in which 3x+7=y, where x is the twitterpation factor and y is the sum total.

  21. Comment by katie | 11.29.2011 | 9:42 pm

    Fatty, beginning stalker status as I try to reach you about a possible error when I was purchasing your book for an important Christmas gift. Perhaps its in one of the shipments to come but I’m a nervous wife with all my eggs in this book basket. Can you check your e-mail and send me a one liner response, please! Thankyou, Thankyou, Thankyou!

  22. Comment by Dan O | 11.30.2011 | 12:29 am

    I thought the post was gonna be about food – Mexican food. I’m now crushed…

    I’ve only ridden in Utah once, back in ‘93. Gotta ride there again.

  23. Comment by Mark in Ottawa | 11.30.2011 | 7:26 am

    I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve found any rides yet that I can adequately say I love. There are routes that I do over and over again because of convenience or proximity to my house. There are rides that I do because others in a small group enjoy them a lot. And then there are very time-specific rides that I enjoy…mostly when cars are banned from the the nearby provincial park.

    But what really struck me is that there isn’t one of them that I’d say that I could commit to for the rest of my life if I had to choose…I’d choose none-of-the-above. I’m convinced, especially after seeing your rides, that there’s so much more (and better) routes out there! I don’t think I’ve ever had to climb for 2 hours straight to get to the top of anything. I’ve never spent more than 13 minutes descending anything. I usually have to jockey with cars to claim my space, and I very rarely zone out because I’m usually fighting a cross wind.

    One of the reasons I love riding though is that there is always the possibility of a new, and near perfect, ride on the near horizon. It’s the near infinite possibilities that lights a fire in my belly…not the rides done a thousand times.

    Thanks for posting – that looks like a killer trail.

    Mark (in Ottawa, Canada)

  24. Comment by AK Chick | 11.30.2011 | 11:46 am

    OH MATTC! A Fatty Invitational would totally rock! Fatty, you need to organize an event for Team Fatty where we could come down and do an epic ride and raise funds for a cause or two or three! That would be SO fun as long as it’s not in the middle of the hottest part of the year, i.e., no 90+ degree temps to melt the Alaska girl. :) Please, please, please? What can we do to make it happen? I would totally be willing to help as much as I could long distance.

    Also, the butter avocados in Hawaii are AMAZING. Delicious. Even my hubby who dislikes avocados and quacamole loved the quac we made with those. And apple bananas – there isn’t a better banana out there! Wish I could get them here! Last place we stayed on Kauai, we had access to their tangelo, regular avocado, banana, and starfruit trees. YUM!

  25. Comment by Stephen G | 11.30.2011 | 10:41 pm

    “Stop that. Stop it right now. I don’t like that game. It’s senseless and pointless.”
    Comic Gold!

  26. Comment by Dan | 11.30.2011 | 10:48 pm

    Hey Fatty, just wanted to let you know that I just got your book – hurray! Unfortunately, it got pretty beat up in the mail. This is not a big deal for me, because I got it for myself, but it definitely didn’t arrive in giftable condition, which could be an issue for some. Not sure how many people are having similar results, but if it’s widespread maybe toss a piece of cardboard into the envelope to provide some structure?


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