The Whole-Whole Enchilada

Biking the Whole Enchilada, from Moab to the summit and back, without a shuttle.

Before winter comes, we snuck out to the Utah desert to enjoy a little more dry dirt and grippy slickrock.

The first day and a half were filled with taking turns watching the kids and watching beautiful sunsets.

Sunrise from the camper  

Sunrise from the camper  

I was able to sneak out for laps on Slickrock and Captain Ahab, both classic Moab trails. I've ridden Slickrock since the late 90's and it's like time has stood still. The rocks, the markings, the views have literally never changed.

Slickrock, he first time (this year)  

Slickrock, he first time (this year)  

Captain Ahab on the other hand is a newer trail, entirely new to me, and made of rock and sand that will morph over time. If you like a little biking with your adventure, I highly recommend it.

Capt Ahab off the backside  

Capt Ahab off the backside  

The third day, for the Whole Enchilada, I woke up at 4:30am and put on bike shorts and a light jacket, and headed out the door of the camper aimed at Geyser Pass. 

Heading north, headphones and headwind

Heading north, headphones and headwind

There's two ways to get to Geyser Pass from Moab, either through Spanish Valley or up Sand Flats Road. Even though we were camped up in Sand Flats Rd, I road down to into town to load a handful of podcasts before heading uphill. The ride goes slightly uphill through Spanish Valley and onto La Sal Loop Road. Three podcasts, one sunrise, and 4,000 feet vertical later you turn onto Geyser Pass Road. This leaves 8 miles to Geyser Pass, almost two hours left. This is about 2,500 feet up and more turns than I can remember. The shuttle carrying my wife and friends passed about 4 miles from the end, I was about 30 minutes behind my goal. 

I reached Geyser Pass about 5 hours after leaving Sand Flats Cluster F, 32 miles and 6,500 feet up. I told the group to go ahead, which was a sad reality when I got to the trailhead and they were gone. I carried on to Burro Pass, although my legs were burned and I felt pretty sluggish uphill towards the 8,500 vertical day.

Burro Pass, jello legs after 6 hours of climbing!  

Burro Pass, jello legs after 6 hours of climbing!  

The rest of the day was a rocking ride, as always, down back to Moab. If you haven't ridden this set of trails, it's for bucket list. Seven different trails pieced together into one continuous downhill plunge towards the Colorado River. Beautiful and fantastic.

The classic vista from UPS trail

The classic vista from UPS trail

The trail rolls through pine, aspen, scrub oak, and sage brush before it hits the rock and cactus. Along the way, the trail winds and dives over more rocks than my bike has seen so far this year. I relearned that 28 psi isn't enough for the WE, the tires really needs 30+ to get punished by the sandstone and withstand it. The two flats helped me remember. I also forgot how amazing the views are along the way.

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This ride should be on everyone's list, shuttle or not.

Eric giving the thumbs on the way to beer in Moab!  

Eric giving the thumbs on the way to beer in Moab!