Flying into Salt Lake City on a Tuesday night – arriving late – finding my way to the Hertz counter (that is another story in and of it self– meeting strangers at the bar in the Atlanta airport – offering me coupons to save me about $50)
So I get my Mercury Capris Sedan – please note for a future reference in this story – head down the road to drive 4 ½ hours to Sue and Roger’s home in Moab. Dark, only 18 wheelers on the road – riding about 75-85 , most of the way there. Driving through Helper – just 30 min outside of Moab was amazing even though it was dark out – you could tell you were in red rock canyon. One point I was so tired I had to pull off I-70 to sleep in the car. I arrived about 4 AM (6 AM – EST) and Sue greeted me at the door and showed me the house briefly and I found my room to be quite inviting and then off to dreamland.
In the morning I see Roger, say hello and we get to chat about his work drilling for natural gas. He is beginning a round of shifts where he is on nights for 7 12 hour days. This new job he is fortunate to be able to come home and sleep rather than be away from home the entire time. They show me their new toys – 2 Yamaha WR250 motocross bikes, and share stories of their rides on all the trails right here in town. A new toy for Sue!
Slick Rock Practice Loop
Sue brings me to her buddies at Rim Cyclery – one block below Main Street. Justin and the boys gear me up with a Specialized Epic – recommended by my bike shop owner friend Fred. The bike has a rear suspension system that only engages when you need it – sweet ride – more to come. Love the green color too! : )
We take the ride up past Lion’s Back and Hell’s Revenge where the Jeeps and other 4 wheel vehicles and motor bikes start their tours. It was amazing to see the vehicles riding up this rock where you could see one wrong move and they were off the ledge.
This is a 2 hour ride to practice riding on Slick Rock. It is a playland out here – roller coaster – so hard to explain – sand and rock, in the dessert – truly amazing scenery of the LaSalle mountains and Arches National Park…. 4000 feet in elevation – very dry and VERY HOT.
We started out – up – new bike, new pedals, new shoes for me – just a little breaking in is needed – – a couple times crashing in the rock, but on the uphills – I was trying to be real careful on the descents, not wanting to see yourself going off into the canyons…. I loosen the pedals using Sue’s tools, seems to be a little better. Today was photo shoot day – we brought my D50 and got some great shots! Mountain shots, rock shots, action shots – and model shots too! We had so much fun climbing and riding. I liken it to a roller coaster ride – absorbing the downhill (trying not to grip for dear life) and then up up up – if you don’t make it you have to push it the rest of the way. Some of the steeps were so steep – hiking it was a test of balance and strength alone.
We went out to the Desert Bistro – – a wonderful dinner overlooking the canyon where the Colorado River flows – – the warm nights of the desert – but nothing compared to the heat of the day…..
Go to bed early thinking about the big ride in the morning.
Day 2 – The BIG ride
Waking up – my body still on Eastern time – head out for my morning run – 500 West up to Kane Creek boulevard – a run that goes by the park where they have set up a course where the “kids” can practice trial skills with their mountain bikes. I pass the farm where the flower pot sculpture wildlife preserve and heads down this canyon and follows the Colorado River. The views are amazing! The red rock cliffs along Moab Rim Trail, Sue says is a one hour power hike to the top. This is a popular spot for jeeps and 4wheelers and motor bikes too. Soggy Bottom campground straight ahead. I turn and go back to McGill getting in my hour of exercise for the morning…
Sue is up – moving a little slow – but ready for our ride on Slick Rock. Roger’s famous words once I expressed an interest to do the ride …. “Be prepared to get your ASS kicked!”. Always loving a challenge and although knowing it has been more than 4 years on a serious mountain bike ride – I was truly looking forward to the day! We load up the DaKine water bladders for the backpacks – knowing we will need plenty of water. Food, bananas, and energy bars packed along with my famous pumpkin bread too. Off to the playland! Sue and I were laughing the whole 6 hours – constantly pushing each othe.r
Acquired nicknames: Fancy Nance & Slick Rock Sue
– “YOU are my hero”- Me to Sue & Sue to me
” Look at her – she rocks! – she’s my hero” – same as above
“Fancy SUV ladies” – Random MTN bike shop dude riding around in Slick Rock parking lot
” Got Slick Rock” – Rog
“Be prepared to get your ass kicked!” – Rog
“It kicked us and we kick it – TWICE” = the Slick Rock Chicks
“Friggin’ Shrimp Rock!” – Sue
“That’s no shrimp – that’s a short fat ____” = chicks
Shrimp Rock salute – –
“— rock” – So incredibly steep you have to sit so far back on the seat that you squeeze the seat post.
“Blood ROCK” – Got me! – Nance
“Damn Sand!” – Pedal, pedal, pedal!- chicks
“Always remember to pee downhill on Slick Rock!”- Slick Sue
Porn Stars – pink taco (what?) – video and camera talk
“We’re —– good – we rock”- chicks on second loop because we needed it…
“I’m going to ride this last hill if it —— KILLS me!” – Nance
“Old, fat & out of shape? I don’t think so…” – chicks
“We kick ass – 41 and getting stronger- chicks
5 hours 20 minutes – 20 miles total – not including the parking lot victory lap.
Random Notes –
“Nancy you missed the view” –I was ½ way down the hill, just to turn around and climb back up!
Look – Negro Bill Canyon – Nancy looks and crashes!
Doesn’t this look familiar – ya sure it does ! We rode this 2 hours ago!
A group of 5 random “paraphernalia” mountain bikers (including one very large woman) – stand in the intersection that we were dumbfounded that we missed! They were all smiles and obviously were clued in from the cyclists before us that we were on our second loop by mistake. I ask “did you paint that just now?” In big white writing it shows the way to the trailhead. “It still looks wet to me!”.
My hands were so sore from gripping the handlebars from fear on the downhill sections that I had to hold the sides at the end. Quite the EPIC adventure! Photos tell the story – we were truly on a high and ready to celebrate! Time to drink! Ride hard – play hard – –
Laughing hysterically – headed down the street to return the bike.
Smiling the WHOLE way – attitude is everything
OW! OW! OW! – Arms rash, left lower leg rash, chain ring tattoo –
The famous Slick Rock Rash:
Showing off the rash at the restaurant to the foreign visitors – I’d show you the rash —— but that would probably not be right. Bit b the sand, the rock and the tree – not to mention a little sunburn too! OW!
Loving the warm air, the tough ride and knowing the day that we had – I haven’t lost it!
“Slick Rock Sue” & me – “Fancy Nance”