In early January, Ed and Mark clued me into their grand plan: ride for a week at the mouth of Zion National Park in Hurricane, Utah and on Gooseberry Mesa - guided by Western Spirit. I hemmed and hawed, wondering if I could ride for a week effectively after riding snowmobile trails and spin bikes for the winter months. The lure of a good solid western desert ride lurked under self-denial until I finally pushed the button. Guides? Group riding with a dozen others? Was I going to be a slave driving middle management sahib? Yabetcha!
We ended up with a private tour- just the three of us, two guides and a trainee accompanied by Western Spirit's trailer full of food, beyaa, and goodwill ... shaken, not stirred - delivering a five day flowfest behind solid guides Josh and Simon on ripper novel slickrock- red and white with petrified wood eroding from the red layer and Anasazi ruins, petroglyphs and spirits seeing us whiz by. (BTW- they hand pumped a tire back onto a Stan's rim- a exhausting feat worth a tall one, with the evidence here:
Sony's new HD Action Cam ran for three hours at a time ( no battery issues like a more popular version and a big ol' button for turning off and on at will - highly recommended versus a HH ). An 8G card was plenty for 9 hours in maximum resolution and shake control on. I could go on... but I'll let the video speak for itself. Hopefully youtube will still show the incredible resolution.
Everyone should ride there one day... ultra-grippy sandstone and dirt singletrack through 15' alligator juniper forest with the aroma of sage and juniper as the suns rises, sets, and soothes, while rolling rolling rolling...cliff edge urging your MTB soul to fly...
Every once in a while amazing things happen. Sometimes we are there and maybe even lucky enough to be the source. Think of that moment when you had to make the big judgement call - left-across-shift weight- power on- tuck under and surge. and you saved your as* navigating some ridiculous narrow line across ridges of rip you to shreds ultra steep...and the guy behind you was genuinely appreciative as witness. Then multiply that by a factor of 10: