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NY to Moab, Red Rock and the Grand Canyon - little bikes

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I know this doesn't quite qualify as "big bike", but I thought I'd share a ride report for those folks who are also riding smaller bikes - and some of this ride could easily be done on big bikes.  Plus, it's a plug for the Crawdad Offroad Events folks for putting on an amazing ride.

I just got back from a 1 1/2 week trip out west to do a little riding in Moab before heading out to Primm/Goodsprings to ride the desert outside Vegas/Red Rocks and the Grand Canyon (a ride put on by Crawdad Offroad Events).  This is the second year I've made the trip - last year was a spur-of-the-moment thing - a buddy emailed me on a Thursday and said "hey, I'm heading out to ride the Grand Canyon on Monday, want to go?", and I went .  This year was a little less last-minute, but was essentially the same schedule:

 

Head out on Sunday From NY - drive all day Sunday, grab a hotel somewhere in Iowa, wake up early Monday, drive to Moab

Ride Moab Tuesday and Wednesday (100+ miles each day)

Drive down to Primm/jean Thursday

Ride Desert/Red Rocks Friday (100+ miles), load up after, drive to Mesquite and grab a hotel 

Saturday ride out to Bar 10 (100 miles) and stay at ranch in the Grand Canyon

Sunday ride in GC out to Toroweap (100+ miles), stay at ranch

Monday ride back out to Mesquite (100+ miles), load up, start driving home and grab hotel around Glenwood Springs Co

Tuesday drive to western Indiana area

Wednesday drive back to NY

 

The first comment I hear from most people is "OMG that's a lot of driving, you're crazy".  It really isn't bad (as long as you don't look at it on a map) - it's two long days of driving and you're in-country. You could push and drive straight through, but I prefer to get some reasonable sleep each nite as it ends up being the same amount of time for travel and sleep if you bonzai out and then spend a day sleeping - it just depends on how you want to break it up.

 

Tuesday:

This year I had an extra day in the schedule, so we decided on two days in the Moab area (last year I left a day later and only had one) - so we did the first day in Moab proper riding Soverign Trail and Kane Creek.  With a stop for lunch, this took up most of the day Tuesday.

Sovereign has a good mix of slick rock and sandy rock trails with some challenging sections.  It's a fun trail and gives you a good sense of what Moab is all about. 

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Kane Creek is just a fun ride, starting with a super rocky 2-track section that then drops down and dances back and forth across a river/wash.  In the last few miles, there's a split in the trail where you can either go up and over a rock quarry or down along the riverside.  Last year I went over the top, so this year we dropped down to the river.  

 

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Wednesday:

On Tuesday nite we stayed in Green River, and Wednesday morning we headed down to White Wash Sand Dune Recreation Area (thanks to http://www.dirtbikeutah.net/ for the tracks and recommendations on the order of trails to follow).  We did a 50 mile loop which took most of the day to complete.  

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I was absolutely blown away by WWSDRA - it offers a bit of everything - slick rock, sand, rocks and desert trails, whoops, tubes, easy parts, challenging parts, scary ledges where you could easily fall to your death, you name it. 

 

Wednesday nite we loaded up and drove to Richfield - to reduce some of the drive on Thursday.  

 

Thursday we slept in a bit and took our time getting down to Primm - while down there, we crossed into California to take a peek at the Ivanpah Solar Facility

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Friday:

Friday morning was our first day riding with the Crawdad Offroad Events (CORE) crew, who provided a GPS track of 100+ miles of singletrack riding out in the desert outside of Goodsprings.  A mix of rocky trail, sand and washouts, it's a rip-snortin' good time of fast riding and deflecting off of everything.  The ride winds it's way out to Red Rock, then over to Bonnie Springs for lunch (they make a great burger), then back out on singletrack to Goodsprings to load up and head out to Mesquite that night.

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Saturday:

On Saturday morning there's a brief rider's meeting where you drop off a bag with the CORE crew (who brings them out to Bar 10 via truck), prep the bikes and head out to Bar 10.  It's mostly 2-track rocky roads with some washouts, with a few steep rocky downhill sections of switchbacks to bring you down into the valley. It's quite beautiful.

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After you arrive at Bar 10, you top off your tanks and then head down a 9 mile rocky descent to an overlook about 1500 ft over the Colorado river.  The views are absolutely incredible, the road is GNARLY as &%$#@!, and it's HOT.  But amazing.  It'd be a bit of a challenge to get a big bike down there - certainly doable, but it would be a challenge.

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Back at Bar 10, they provide a few types of lodging - you can stay inside in a room with 4 bunk beds (there are 5 or 6 rooms of 4 bunks each), outside in covered wagons, or on the deck on a cot with sleeping bags, etc.  Bar 10 provides breakfast and dinner while at the ranch, and provide sandwiches and snacks to take during the Sunday ride out to Toroweap.

 

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Sunday:

Sunday there are a few options out to Toroweap (all around 100 miles each) - an "easy way" of dirt roads and two track, an "intermediate way" with some slightly harder trails, or the "hard way", which runs up an 8 mile never-ending rockbed up and over Mt Logan. I took the hardway both trips, and it's all about enduring the bashing to your hands LOL. I have no photos of the trail because stopping is not recommended.  Once you get to the top, it turns into a winding 2-track trail through the woods and it's absolutely beautiful up there.  

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From there the trail runs out towards Toroweap, with a small section of singletrack cutting through the scrub before rejoining the road just before the Toroweap ranger station.  That road then weaves its way out to the overlook, where you stop for lunch and to take in the views.  Unlike a typical tourist-heavy Grand Canyon ecperience, at Toroweap there are no gates, fences, or obstructions of any kind - you can sit out on the rocks, with your feet hanging over the edge, munching on a delicious sandwich and take in the views about 3500ft above the river.  It's incredible.

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Monday:

On Monday you load your bags back into the truck, top off your tanks and head back out to Mesquite.  There are two routes to choose from - back out on the 2-track roads you came in on, or an alternate route that runs out across open land, over rocky hills, down into washes, etc.  It's my favorite part of the ride, because you're really just "out there riding".  It's a faster-paced day with lots of wide open 2-track until you hit the last section, which heads over the Piute Wilderness Area over the mountain through some really rocky sections before a series of long very rocky downhill switchbacks to the floor.

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I ran into an interesting predicament this time around - I'm still not sure how it happened, but one handlebar clamp bolt snapped in the tree as were crossing the rockiest section on the way out.  I didn't fall or shock the bars in any spectacular fashion, and I didn't even realize it had happened until we stopped to let a friend add some air to a leaking tube.  I pulled everything apart, saw the bolt was snapped and the other bolt was bent a bit.  I gingerly put it all back together, left one side unfastened (I didn't have a spare bolt of that size, and it was good and frozen in the clamp and well snug in the tree), wire-tied the bars on the broken side to the tree and wrapped it in a large strip of velcro.  I then did the rest of the ride, down the switchbacks, holding on to the bars with my fingertips only and steadying myself with my knees against the seat.  Yea, not fun LOL.

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I can't say enough good stuff about Chris/The CORE crew - they put on an amazing event that you should really do at least once.  He's a true rider who "gets it", and puts a ton of love and effort into making the experience memorable.  He puts on a few other events on the left coast, and if you are even remotely close to that side of the country (or not, if you don't mind the drive), it's worth doing one or more of them.  http://www.crawdadoffroadevents.com/

 

 

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Nice!  Something else to add to my gear box, bailing wire.  
 
 


LOL yep - we actually had safety wire with us - but I like the strips of Velcro more. It’s strong and you are able to fasten things and adjust them a lot easier than wire.
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