Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Porcupine Rim

What a classic ride.

After I spent the morning helping out at the venue, I decided it was time for some “me” time. I put on a wool jersey, threw my provisions into the truck, and headed to Moab.

There are lots of stock rides I could do. One of them, the Sovereign Trail, I’ve only ridden once before. That was during the ridiculously rainy Rim Ride Moab. There was some temptation to do that ride, but I haven’t ridden good old Porcupine for a couple years. It’s a wonderful ride. So that was it.

I went straight to Lions Park, at the intersection of Utah state highway 128 (the river road) and highway 191. The ride finished onto 128, a few miles upriver. So I parked there and rode through town and up onto the Sand Flats Road. I had to pay $2 to the BLM to get into the Sand Flats Recreation area.

It took me about 90 minutes from the time I parked to the time I hit the Porcupine Rim Trailhead. I encountered three jeepers right away, then two hikers. From that point, I saw nobody for an hour or so.

I rode the jeep road downhill section with a strong sense of mortality. I’m still a bit sore from the crash I took at Phil’s World on Monday, and of course I broke my hand on that road back in 2000. I remember that day like it was yesterday. No need for broken bones today, especially with me all by myself.

The first other human I saw after the hikers was a Euro chick in full-on pro racing togs. She was walking up the jeep road as I was descending. I stopped to ask her if she was alright and she pointed to her bare wrist and said “I lost the jewelry—you see any jewelry?” I shook my head apologetically and rolled on. A minute later I ran into her Euro racerboy companion. He told me “She lose her jewelry.”

I saw a cluster of shuttle riders (an empty shuttle van had passed me as I climbed the Sand Flats Road) just as I approached the beginning of the singletrack. I rolled past them and hit the brief but fun and technical singletrack. It was just as I remembered it; all ride-able, but with several difficult visual problem-solving puzzles. Only after you give up and put a foot down do you see the easy line. It’s the kind of ride that you could get dialed if you rode it every day for a week.

Ah well, it’s beautiful anyway. You descend to the river in a way that looks impossible. So far down, such a steep canyon wall.

I was back at the truck in almost exactly 4 hours. I drove straight back out to the venue to defend my turf. When I got there, I found that I had neighbors on two sides. But my boundaries had not been breached.

No comments: