Posted by: bikenfool | October 18, 2010

Moab, Utah: Revisited

Getting a grip back on reality…
Traveling is always hard, being away from family and work for any period of time leaves me feeling like I’m slacking in all my responsibilities.  Having just gotten back from a business trip to Salt Lake City Utah, I am struggling to get caught up at home and work.

Business before pleasure…
The trip is an annual pilgrimage  and over the years I have really grown to love the great state of Utah. For business, I usually end up in Salt Lake City which is a fantastic spot to visit. Having been revitalized during the 2002 Olympics, Salt Lake City has a lot to offer from great food, cultural and sporting events to lots of outdoor activities.


The conference is for a key software vendor my company uses. Usually three days of sessions and a few lectures are enough to leave me yearning for the great outdoors and this year was no different. Although the days are long and tend to leave your brain fried, there are always group events happening during the conference.


Aside from the obligatory golf outing, this year’s conference events also included dinner at Tucano Brazilian Grill. If you have never eaten at a Brazilian Grill before it is quite an experience. All kinds of meats are cooked on skewers in special ovens then brought to the table and sliced for you. Food just keeps coming until you pass out or you turn your table marker over. Needless to say we forgot to turn our marker over which resulted in a food comma.


Dinner was followed by private viewing of The Wildest Dream Conquest of Everest in the Salt Lake I-Max Theater.  This was very a cool and seriously motivating movie about the first man to climb Everest. This was my first time in an I-Max Theater and it was incredible. I was tired just watching these guys climb!


Moab or bust…
As the conference drew to a close, my excitement began to build.  My last trip to Moab was epic and I’ve looked forward to coming back ever since. Wanting to make the most of the day, I bid farwell to my colleges during breakfast and made a B-Line from Salt Lake City to Moab. This four hour scenic drive is very straight forward and would have me arriving around noon with plenty of time left to ride.


Entering Moab city limits is always a treat. Awe inspiring Red Rock formations grow out of the ground and provide a few laughs for the locals as you drive by with your mouth wide open.



To make the most out of my trip, I had made arrangements to meet up with Allan Poertner from Solfun Mountain Bike Tours again. Last year, Allan & Team at Solfun did an outstanding job as my tour guide for two days of fun on the Slick Rock Trail. Once again, I set up base camp at the Best Western Greenwell. Modest but clean accommodations right in the heart of Moab and walking distance to just about any type of food you could want.

BW Moab

In preparation for the ride I had packed all the usual gear including clip-less pedals and oh yes the GoPro Camera. Solfun always has great bikes and this year I was set-up with a new Kona Dawg. Falling into the All Mountain Category, the Dawg is a 140mm travel bike with a reliable, almost indestructible suspension platform. Weighing in at about 30lb, the Dawg was beefy enough to handle the punishment of Moab but lite enough that it never felt like a burden to pedal.



Day One…
Allen suggested that we ride Bartlett Wash for the afternoon. Located about 20 minutes outside of town, Bartlett Wash offers some amazing views and Mars like terrain with super smooth bowl like expanses that are a blast to ride no matter what line you take. It reminds me of a Slick Rock Trail but not as hard.

Bartlett Wash


We took a dirt road pretty far in off the highway to a non-descript parking spot. After unloading the bikes, we continued down the dirt road a little further before beginning our ascent up a lengthy series of plateaus. On rock that looked amazingly smooth with lots of off camber areas, we climbed one plateau after an other. As they got steeper we eventually had to hike-a-bike to make it to the next level.



Some of the vistas were absolutely breath taking and so far removed from what I am used to seeing that my mouth seemed to be hanging open a lot. It’s too bad that cameras don’t do these views justice but the images are burned into my retinas as the warmth of the setting sun made everything glow orange.


We rode for about two and half hours across some crazy terrain winding our way around the rim of this spectacular spot. We explored many features including a small canyon that was both challenging and scenic.


The ride back was awesome, flowing down hill across varied terrain and the plateaus that made us hike our bikes on the way out were very rideable on the way back (albeit steep at times). Bartlett is nothing short of  breath taking and that’s not from peddling either. I am pretty sure I could ride there all day and not tire of it. Arriving back at the SAG vehicle at about 6:00pm we kicked back, relaxed and recapped our adventure.

After cleaning up, I met up with Solfun team at Miguel’s Baja Grill for much need sustenance. Located in downtown Moab, Miguel,s offered up great Mexican food and even better margaritas!




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: