I’m back, and my legs hurt. Also, Outerbike critique.

The Slickrock Trail

Oh god my legs. I just rode the Slickrock trail, possibly the most famous MTB trail in the world.

Most of the trail is on, no surprise, slickrock. For those who don’t know, slickrock is so named because horseshoes have little traction on it. It’s basically like fine sandpaper. Rubber tires have amazing traction on it. You can do really steep climbs without losing traction.

Hard to tell how steep it is, but it’s steep.

…And that’s why my legs hurt. There are a lot of steep climbs on this trails. The worst is apparently a 16% grade, and there are several more close to that. At least for me that’s “in the granny gear pedaling hard trying to keep your weight forward feeling your legs burn up” territory.

Most of the riding I’ve been doing isn’t that steep, and has more technical features that prevent going that fast or direct. Not this. In a lot of places it’s a smooth, if steep “see climb — do climb” sort of thing. I haven’t felt my legs burn like I did today in awhile. I’m thinking I might take tomorrow off from riding to give my legs a day to recover from all my recent riding (I haven’t taken a day off in… I’m not sure. Since the day I drove over from STG). Unsurprisingly, I find the odd day off generally improves my riding enjoyment on the following days…

Another characteristic of the trail is the amazing views.

Slickrock Slickrock Slickrock :)
View of Moab from the Slickrock Trail
Note the Colorado River under the cliff on the left
Beautiful views, lots of lickrock, and steep grade. The Slickrock Trail.

I forgot how great this trail is. I rode it the first time I came to Moab for MTBing way back in… 2014, but not the last time I was here, because I didn’t remember it too fondly compared to the other options. I’m happy I went back today. I think it didn’t stand out before because I wasn’t as good a rider as I am, and being able to power up the climbs instead of dismounting dramatically increases the enjoyment factor.

Halfway through, before I was too tired to smile.

Now I’m back at the library. You know how earlier I wrote about how I kept thinking about how I want to go ride my bike? Not an issue anymore.

In other news, apparently there’s a bike convention thing “Outerbike” here this weekend. I looked up the prices and it’s ridicules. Reading about it, it looks to be mostly a bike demo event with shuttles to a couple of the trail systems. It’s about $212 for the full ticket (including bike demos), $170 for a ticket that doesn’t include the demos, but includes the shuttles, or $75 to just get in but not demo bikes or get a shuttles (I think they still include food).

I don’t get why people would pay that. Normal shuttles alone cost $15–25 depending on where you’re going and you’re not going to use more than 1 a day, maybe two. The bike demo events I’ve been to in the past (put on by solo companies) have been free (because they want you to buy a bike! It’s a marketing event!). I guess it might be a half decent deal if you’re coming for the whole time and are using it in place of a bike rental? It does not seem appealing otherwise.