I love Fall Moab — a weekend each Autumn (after all the tourists go home) where the Core Team heads out to Moab and ride our collective brain out. It’s a hallowed annual tradition. For example, I’ve written reports on 2012, more 2012, 2010, more 2010, 2008 and 2006).
But for the past few years, as far as I’m concerned there’s been a problem with Fall Moab. And that’s the “Moab” part.
See, in the past few years, Moab’s kind of lost its charm for me. Slickrock, Amasa Back, Goldbar, Porcupine. Yeah, yeah, yeah. All very nice trails. None of which were exactly scratching my singletrack itch (Dug explains the problem in his post, here, so I’m not going to go into it too deeply).
And the hotel’s have become ridiculously expensive.
And other places have amazing desert singletrack.
And in general, we had a case of Moab-induced ennui.
I know. Complain, complain, complain.
My point is, we’ve been going elsewhere for Fall Moab. Like Saint George. Or Fruita. And since we’re not particularly strict about terminology — do you really need to go to Moab to have your trip be called “Fall Moab?” We assert you do not! — this has more or less solved he problem
But for Fall Moab (Fiscal year) 2013 (Fiscal), we decided to head back to Moab. Just because, well, it had been a while.
I have to say, though, I didn’t have high hopes.
I was so wrong.
See This for Yourself
While we’ve been away discovering St. George, someone else must have come to Moab, ridden the popular trails, looked around at the endless slickrock and desert, and then said, “I think we can do better.”
And then that person (OK, it’s possible that more than one person was involved) got to work and created — at a minimum — three new completely genius trail networks, which we sampled on the three days we were there:
- Klondike Bluffs: OK, Klondike Bluffs has been around for a long time. But it used to be a pretty blah network. Now it’s been extended, re-imagined, and otherwise awesome-ized. We rode EKG, Baby Steps, Mega Steps, and probably other stuff too. The point is, it’s now got well more than a full-day’s worth of extraordinary high-desert trail and singletrack, and I would have called it pretty much unmatchable if the following day we hadn’t gone and ridden…
- The Magnificent 7: This was, without question, the finest, most exciting, extraordinarily fun desert singletrack I have ever ridden.
- Moab Brand Trails: We only got an hour of riding in this network, but that is actually part of the attraction. Right off the highway, you can string together loop after loop of fun mountain biking, for whatever duration and difficulty you like. I want to go back and see more.
Really, though, you kinda need to see what the riding was like for yourself (note that this video contains footage from Klondike Bluffs and The Magnificent 7, but not from the Moab Brand Trails; my camera battery had died, and I knew I had plenty of fantastic footage already).
I recommend, by the way, watching this in HD and expanding it out to fill your screen to get the full effect:
And don’t even think about asking for an apology for using the Big Audio Dynamite soundtrack. That may be the best song I’ve ever selected for a video, and you know it.
Fall Moab has been re-booted (see Dug’s post for an explanation of the usage of “reboot” here, as well as for other great photos from the trip) The only sad thing is that I have not been rebooted. Which is to say, I am as clumsy as ever. Here I am, bleeding:
I wish I could say that this came from the nearly-flawless-but-ultimately-doomed attempt on an especially tricky and technical and difficult move. And not that I just fell over onto a sharp rock while unsuccessfully trying to get my cleat out of my pedal.
But you know what? It wouldn’t be Moab if there weren’ blood.
And I did, after all, clean this one:
There are already talks about where we should ride for next year’s Fall Moab. St. George seems to be the current favorite.
But my vote is we go back to Moab.