In early May of 2018, 14 riders and 3 non-riders ventured to Moab, Utah for the club’s annual out-of-town adventure. While previous trips have always provided some wonderful rides and scenery, this year’s choice was probably the most spectacular so far. The stunning rock formations and canyons of Arches and Canyonlands National Park areas, and the towering La Sal Mountains provided a backdrop for some indelible memories.
The majority of the group arrived mid-day Friday for a 30 mile out-and-back ride to Dead Horse Point, high above Moab and overlooking the Colorado River canyon. For those who may remember, the final scene from the movie Thelma and Louise was shot on the rim road, below Dead Horse Point.
Saturday had riders chose between a relatively flat ride along the Colorado River or an attack on the southwest approach to the Big Nasty, a pass up at the edge of the La Sal Mountains. While the river riders ad-libbed a bit to avoid some of the weekend traffic, they enjoyed a comfortable cruise just outside of Moab. Meanwhile, several hearty souls attacked the Big Nasty. Originally planned as a long loop ride, our scouting team had noted road construction on the North side of the pass that made through cycling impossible. This ride instead became a 55 mile out and back ride with over 5000 feet of climbing. All attempts on the summit were successful, although we were terribly disappointed that our hidden water refill supply at the top had been stolen. Many thanks to the good Samaritans that helped us out.
Sunday was the Arches ride which proved to be the most stunning of the weekend. As previously advised, an early start helped us avoid the traffic and congestion at the park entrance. The rewards for 37 miles and 3600 feet of climbing were spectacular red rock formations and numerous natural arches and columns. An extra bonus, most of the road had just been repaved. Special applause to Deb Finger for receiving and holding onto the “Idiot” bell based on her inability to arrive at the start with shoes.
Our post-ride time in Moab included happy hours on the grounds of the Sunflower Hill B&B, and several great dinners organized by Audrey Will. For those who may follow in our footsteps, the Desert Bistro is a must while in Moab.
After a vote of the masses, our final Monday river cruise ride was replaced on the ride program by a leisurely bike path ride from the Rehl’s home in Carbondale, part way back to Denver. Those who hadn’t departed early enjoyed an outdoor lunch in Basalt, before retracing our way back to Carbondale and the long drive home to the Front Range.