On wednesday, I had it all planned out, I was going to ride the Soveriegn Trail in Moab as it would be perfect for my planned workout, that all changed. Grabbing some air for my tires that had softened dramatically since my last ride, Sean at the Chile Pepper gave me the 4-1-1 on a new single track called 'Baby Steps'. It is a new loop off the Klondike Bluffs loop that actually has single track!
Sean gave me a verbal lay of the trail, then had one of his employees go over w/ me one more time before sending me out on this beautiful spring day. Arriving at the trail head, i ran into Alison Dunlap who was taking out a group, we caught up a little, wished each other a great ride, and started the wheels turning.
It was a short while of sand, double track and some slick rock before I hit the first section of single track. This trail is still fresh, narrow single track, I talking ten inches wide, max. Wrapping the contours of the landscape, this red ribbon, was snappy, tight and fun. Eventually the first section spilled me out onto a slab of slick rock, along wich, as instructed, I followed the perimeter unitl I picked up the next section. Once again, primo riding and it even wrapped under a psychodelic mushroom rock formation. I kept seeing little geckos shooting across the trail like little green bullets as I interupted their sun bathing in the warm spring daylight.
Again, the red strpie came to a close on another slab, or was it the same? I did not really care because of the fun, but I was pretty sure I was heading the right direction as I was told earlier. Sure enough, I came upon the Klondike Bluffs trail, and then hit my first steep climb of the ride. At the top, I opted for an out and back view point that was also prime-time single track, worth the effort, from there, it was a sweet techie downhill, that was fairly long, alowwing one to get into the groove, fing flow down the hillside.
Riiding along the valley floor, the exploding green for the ripening vegitation engulfed my sight, and it made me feel very vital, alive. It was great just zipping along the valley floor like a tiny blip on a vast radar of green grass, towering red rock walls and a ever expanding bue sky.
A quick left and it was back up and over the ridge line for the second time. Mainly double track, I rolled on, short ascents and descents accented this section as I rode along the ridgeline. Then in a saddle, it was a hard right, turning me to look straight up the last major climb, before grabbing some sweet lines back down. My legs pounded out a strong tempo, propelling to the top.
Then after catching my breath, there it was, the last section back to where I started. It was a long, twisting, turning and at time, white knuckle fast descent, but worth every effort to get there. The red ribbon ofter intersected w/ slabs of slickrock, and had some great features along the way. Fully in the flow, I pumped the trasitions, manualed the woops, and floated over obstacles, it was zen like.
Before I knew it, I was on the road back to my car. I was in postride extascy. Glad about the choices made to take a chance on a new ride, it is definitely worthy. It is not on a map yet, so you will have to bring and open ear, and open mind. It is easy to floow, and a sweet ride. And the name? Baby Steps because it is the first mountain biker built trail in Moab...