Life on the Edge

Posted by on Oct 27, 2011 in Bike Shops, Daily Blog, Our Favorites | 2 comments

My wife recently released me for a 3 day weekend, allowing me the opportunity to take a trip north to the mountain biker promised land of Fruita and a 4 to 5 hour ride on the Edge Loop. Fall was rapidly giving way to winter. I tossed an invite to the usual scoundrels but was able only to wrangle up one cohort for the expedition. The launch time was delayed because I wanted to catch my daughters last soccer game. When the game wrapped up I caught up with my riding partner at the house. We loaded the bikes and hit the road north. We got into the camp at around 9:00pm. I popped the top on the pickup and we set up camp.

It was Saturday night and the camp ground was raging so it took me a while to get to sleep. Sunday morning a constant flow of riders made way to the crapper from the camp ground. Despite the scene, on the trail that day we saw a mere 4 riders. I did notice that the crowd included a lot of families. The Bookcliffs in Fruita offer tons of loops of all lengths right out of the campground. The trails offer great riding for kids. Fun for the whole family. Maybe next time . . .

But on this trip . . . for years I had heard about a ride that included a rappel. I had been waiting to do the ride for  a while so I convinced my fellow rider to take a trip on the Edge Loop. The loop is nearly 30 miles. The ride starts with some excellent single track on the Front Side, T’s into a forest access road that climbs for nearly 3200 feet through some stellar views, and drops back to the valley floor down a steep pipeline trail. You come across the “rappel” when the trail careens through a wash. It is not so much as a rappel as a two stage lower down a 30 foot water fall, not particularly tricky. The trail ends on a hard pack single track. All in all the trail was decent enough, with phenomenal views, but it lacks the consistent fun factor I have had on other rides.

That night we traveled into town for a burger, minor repairs, and trail advice. We stopped in at Over the Edge Sports, a shop I highly recommend. The mechanics took 10 minutes to get my buddies bike up and running and they took the time to walk us through a map of trails, offering excellent advice on rides for the next day. That night the coyotes howled so close to the truck it felt as if they were right at the door.

On the advice of the guys at Over the Edge we rode the Kokopelli trails the next day. We rode Mary’s with some side jaunts into Horse Thief, Steve’s, and Wranglers. Check out this video put together by the folks at Over the Edge Sports of some of the riding there is to be done in Fruita including the mad descent into Horse Thief.
The rides were fast, with some ledges, and incredible views of the Colorado River. At points you rode barely a foot from the drop offs. The slightest misstep could launch into the abyss. Super Fun!

All told, we rode nearly 50 miles in two days, and at the end of the trip I got two of the biggest hugs from my kids that a dad could ask for.


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