April 25, Vernal, Utah - LaPoint "Corkscrew" & "McCoy Flats"

This will probably be our last day of riding, as a big weather system is moving east.  Drove to the Lapoint trail head about 12 miles west of town on Hwy 21 between mile markers 28 & 29 to ride the Corkscrew trail.  The cows had been here recently, and the first mile was definitely bumpy.  Heading up valley the  the cows have made multiple paths and braids.  We were slightly confused to what braid was the actual trail.  Near the top, route was slightly confusing.  We had done this ride the last time we were in Vernal and had an idea of where to go, but could be confusing for a first time ride.  The downhill was pretty good off the top, but lacked flow and not enough people are riding this loop to pack the trail down.   10.75 miles. Overall, did not care for the ride.  Maybe we are getting spoiled?

Francine on Corkscrew
We needed more trail to take away the bad taste corkscrew left in our month. After hitting happy hour at Taco Bell to refuel, we headed  to McCoy Flats trail head.  This is the trail system that Troy from Vernal's Altitude Cycle promotes and helped develop.   In contrast to corkscrew, which has no trail signage, the BLM has put in a fenced parking lot with covered picnic area and a pit toilet.  The trails are all extremely well signed and there is little chance of getting lost.  There are several loops emanating from the parking lot, so you can easily do anywhere from five to sixty miles.  We rode out Got Milk to Retail Sale to Slippery When Wet.  Then took Corral Trail to the car.   8.25 miles.  This system is real fun, smooth, and swoopy.  Definitely has a technical side as well, and the trail can be fairly rocky/pebbly.  Favorite ride at Vernal is definitely the Red Fleet trail system with it's butter smooth red dirt.  Overall, we were stoked we did another ride and got to end our trip on a high note.  Total miles for the day 19.

Francine on Retail Sale

Kevin near the end of Slippery When Wet
Tomorrow, we will probably drive home in one day.  14 hour drive to wet Snoqualmie Pass.  Another awesome bike trip.

April 24, 2014 - Vernal Utah, Red Fleet

Francine on Jazz trail

Francine near end of  Jazz trail

Kevin on JBoy

Kevin on JBoy

Francine on bottom of JBoy - We were on top of those rocks

Left our very nice house in Grand Junction and headed north to Vernal, Utah.  We rode here in 2010, and wanted to revisit.  The trails are still real skinny here, as they don't have the riders like Fruita/Moab/Salt Lake.

Checked out Altitude Cycle for latest trail info, then checked in to a hotel for two nights.  Drove the ten miles from town to the Red Fleet area.  Started the ride on Jazz Chromoly, to Handsome Cabin Boy, to JBoy.  Rode JBoy on both sides of the paved Dinotrax road.  Joined back up with Handsome Cabin Boy to climb back to the car.  Ride was basically above 5700 feet, and our tired legs were needing more oxygen.  It was sure nice to ride on smooth, flowy, narrow single-track.  8.5 miles.  This is a great trail system.  Don't miss these trails if you come to Vernal.  We had parked at the pullout .6 miles up the road.  It looks like they have an official hiking trail further out the road, where you could park and finish with a downhill, versus our uphill grind to the car.  Generally it is a clockwise loop and loads of fun, wherevever you park.

April 23, Palisade Rim Trail

Kevin on Upper Loop

This new trail has been on our list.  The initial climb up to the rim and the upper loop were completed in the Spring of 2013.  We were really worried about riding today, as it was quite windy today for a rim trail.

The trail climbs steeply for 800 feet in the first mile.  Went right around the lower loop.  Checked out the petroglyphs off the trail.  Then hit the connector trail to the upper loop and went left.  We climbed on new, narrow, bench-cut singletrack.  Luckily the trail along the rim/cliffs was nothing to worry about, as far as cliff exposure.  We were quite worked by the technical nature of the trail system.  The description rates it as difficult, even by Grand Junction standards, and they are correct, until more use causes the natural widening of the trail.   9.4 tough miles.

Stopped in the local bike shop, Rapid City Cycles, after the ride, and got the skinny on future development.   The owner of the bike shop says the upper loop is already wider than it was a year ago.  Sounds like the next trail will continue to climb even higher, with hopes of reaching 10,000 feet.

Francine with Petroglyphs near Lower Loop trail

Francine on super-narrow singletrack, climbing on the Upper Loop

April 22, Grand Junction - Lunch Loops area

Francine on Leftover Lane

Francine cruising on smooth Holey-Bucket trail

Don & Val left for Seattle this morning, sometime around 4 am?  They were so quiet, we didn't hear them leave.
Today was supposed to be 82 degrees, with a severe windstorm arriving around 1pm, accompanied by  45-50 mph winds, lasting until 11pm.  Since our early risers had departed, we got started about 10:30am.  The wind was starting to pick up.  I think it was blowing around 20 mph when we started, but we seemed to be fairly protected during our ride.

Climbed Curt's Lane to Leftover Lane where we went left on the Miramonte Rim Trail.  Headed down and left on the end of the Holy Cross trail to Holey Bucket.  Retraced our steps yesterday on Holey Bucket to Clunker.  Continued on Clunker until it hit Holy Cross.  Went right and climbed up on the rim.  Went left on Coyote Ridge to Raven Ridge to High Noon to Pet-E-Ekes.  Here we split up.
The wind was really beginning to blow, so Francine opted for a trail she knew, Pet-E-Ekes, while Kevin wanted to try a trail new to us, Eagle's Tail, for his final descent.  When we hooked back up, we added on a final loop on Kid's Meal.  10.4 miles.

April 21, Grand Junction - Lunch Loops

Kevin on Gunny Loop

Today was supposed to be our warmest day at 78 degrees, so we told Don and Val (early risers & starters) that we would get up early to start our ride.   We like to sleep in.  So instead of starting at the crack of 11, we started around 8am.

We  rode out the Tabeguache Trail to Pet-E-Kes to Holy Cross up PreNup to Little Park road.  Climbed the Gunnector to the top of the Gunny Loop.  Here the trail got smoother and less rocky as we headed on the fun downhill.  Near the end of the Gunny Loop, we went left on Holey Bucket, right on the bottom of Holy Cross.  Went left onto Ali-Alley to Curt's Lane to Leftover Lane to Yes N DeeDee to "Hop, skip, and a Jump" back to the car.

These trails are a little more technical than the Kokepelli trails, and definitely more-so than the smooth 18 Road trails,  and we skipped the double diamond trails. Great day.  13.5 miles.

Francine climbing on Pete-E-Kes

Val on Pete-E-Kes climb



Don near the end of Gunny Loop

Kevin taking a different descent than the rest of the gang on Bentonite Hill

Bentonite Hill dropping into oblivion

April 20, Grand Junction - Local Redlands Trails

Don swooping thru the trees on the local Redlands trails

We woke up to rain on Saturday, 19th.  So, it ended being a day off.  Renee and Bill left in the morning to head back to Broomfield (Denver).  Don and Val did a hike in the monument.  After we saw Bill/Renee off, we decided to head to Grand Junction to watch the Road Criterium Bike race in town.

Sunday, 20th was move day.  We were leaving our house in Fruita, for a change in location to a house in Grand Junction.  We will be there for 4 more nights.  Luckily, we were able to check right-in to our next house.  Went for an 8.33 mile ride on the locals trails in the Redlands neighborhood adjacent to the more popular Lunch Loops trail system.  We weren't sure what to expect, but we found narrow, packed singletrack that seemed to be made by the local bikers.  Had a great ride, and barely scratched the surface of that area.  Loved riding from the house.



Don, Val & Francine

April 18, Kokopelli Loops

The gang rode Mary's, Horesethief, Steve's loop and finished on Wrangler for a 17 mile ride.  I had forgotten how gorgeous this trail is.  Classic Fruita ride.

Francine on Horsethief Loop trail



Colorado River

Renee on Steve's Loop


April 17, Zion Curtain

 Bill and Renee showed up from Denver, so we had the whole crew to do one of best trails in the Rabbit Valley area.  With about 2,000 feet of climbing for the day, we were rewarded with a sweet downhill.  Solid 20 miles.  Lot's of fun.


Kevin and Don




April 16, Rd 18 Area

Short 9 mile ride at the Road 18,   Out Zip off, up Western Zippity to Front side and down on Joe's Ridge.

Don Hecker


Val on Joe's Ridge

April 15, Western Rim Trail, Colorado

Don and Val Hecker made it to Fruita last night, and we headed to the Western Rim trail for our first ride together.  Thanks to the recent rains the trail/quadtrail/roads were probably the best shape we have seen them.  Pounded out 19.5 miles in four hours.  Excellent ride.

Val Hecker on Western Rim Trail


Kevin & Francine

April 14, Fruita - Kokopelli Lion's Trail to Troy Built

We needed to keep a couple trails off Bill & Renee's agenda, as Bill is slightly afraid of heights, and there were a couple of sections on this trail that spooked him.  We also wanted to do an easier route so we didn't fry our legs before Don/Val and Bill/Renee arrived with fresh legs.  We have normally done this route at the end of our trip with super tired legs, so it was real a real treat with fresher legs.  After the hard rain from yesterday, the trails were in primo shape.  The amount of hard-pan trail was awesome.  We are here a couple of weeks earlier in April, and the cows were out in the beginning section, as opposed to the end of the ride.  9.34 miles.