Saturday was blustery and overcast- Sunday the wind died down, but the temps stayed far cooler than the forecast 60s....and, today, Monday the wind has been howling all day and now its raining. Ode to Spring!
Dave and Andrey the Badger took a little mercy on me Sunday and stopped for a good 2 minutes to take in the vista off the top of Zion Curtain...anyone who has done this ride knows this is a painfully false summit with plenty of altitude gain yet to come. Let's just say, you'll be stoked you packed an extra snack.
We linked our Zion loop with a Western Rim/ Trail 2 lap today and hands down encountered more bikes, motos and ATVs than we have ever seen out there before. Good to see folks out and about, but we all agree it is time for the BLM to work on a trail management plan for Rabbit Valley.
Photo/map poached from http://www.gjmountainbiking.com/site.html
They have done a good bit of work labeling trails- but far too little keeping 4 wheelers off the trails that are closed to them and instilling the "Stay the Trail" credo. This afternoon we ended up in an absolute cluster f*ck with an entire family of ATVs "stuck" in the rocks on the Trail 2 singletrack. Dad insisted they, "never saw any markers" - and was pretty darn well busted when Dave pointed out the tracks showing the entire family had motored right past the No ATVs sign to enter the trail.
Why is this a problem? Well, for one thing the desert is fragile and random tracks damage the eco system profoundly. For another thing- single track is a premium commodity and not one we need to be trashing- least of all teaching our children to feel free to trash. The Bernstein Bear Family and their fleet of ATVs received our Raspberry Award today. Of course, I'm sure they'll all be out with shovels and gloves helping restore habitat or build trail the next chance they get...hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
While the above issue is totally obvious to us all, our next idea is certainly more controversial. We would strongly urge the BLM to designate the Western Rim Trail as a moto-free zone. The surge in popularity of this trail has created overuse and, in turn, abuse. It used to be that the motos you encountered out there represented the creme de la creme- uber talented riders who embraced the physical and mental challenges inherent in riding technical single track.
This spring the random tracks of moto gaper wannabes are everywhere- willy nilly ripping up the red dirt desert. Clearly these folks lack the skill to ride this trail, but have been attracted by the allure. Fact of the matter is there is an insane amount of mileage out at Rabbit Valley to challenge the Motos and relatively little suited to mountain bikes.
Given the fragility of the Western Rim and the damage it is enduring we would strongly urge all of our readers to contact the goodfolks at the Grand junction office of the BLM and ask them to consider closing this piece of trail to motos (and, when they do, we will be there with our gloves on to lay down some serious trail maintenance).
Watch the forecast and get out here for some good gettin'!
Grand Junction Criterium Series kicks off March 30th.
Mad Cow Classic April 9-10.