Moab, Utah is widely known as one of the Meccas of mountain biking in the United States, if not the world. With unique rock formations and a wide open landscape, the area is a virtual playground for all things adventure sports. In mid-October, Chasing Epic Mountain Bike Adventures and BKXC teamed up to bring riders from across North America together for four days to sample this epic terrain of technical slickrock and never-ending singletrack.
The trip was run by Chasing Epic, but it was "officially" a way to bring together the fans and followers of BKXC; Brian is known for his amazing POV videos where he travels around the country and the world, capturing the best rides on earth. Open only to his Patreon subscribers, Youtube fans, and Facebook followers, we had riders from all four corners of the country as well as Canada, all to come together and have a kick-ass time in Moab for a four-day weekend. Everything was taken care of for these guys: lodging, meals, guides, bikes, nutrition, and tons of swag: all they had to do was bring their A-game and have fun!
On the first day of our Chasing Epic trip, we headed just north of Moab to the Navajo Rocks trail network; Navajo Rocks is known for its undulating slickrock, fast and flowy singletrack, and wide open views across the vast landscape. Most of the trail isn't overly technical, so it's a perfect way to begin a trip in Moab. You whet your whistle on the technical features, stretch your legs out with a good half-day ride, breathe some of the thin air at 5,000 feet, and ride some pretty killer trail while doing it.
Today's ride with the BKXC crew covered about 10 miles between the Ramblin', Middle Earth, and Rocky Tops sections of trail.
After a night of great dinner, some drinks, and even a bunch of stories, day two saw us head north again, but this time to the Klondike Bluffs and North Klondike trail networks. Combined, these two networks offer almost 50 miles of trail that ranges from smooth, flowy single track to some of the most rowdy stuff you've seen this side of Captain Ahab (we'll get to that later).
With the BKXC crew, we gave them a sampler of Moab riding over the course of 24 miles and almost 3,000 vertical feet. From Dino Flow to Alaska, UFO to Klondike Bluffs, we experienced it all. Some of the guys loved the miles-long slickrock tongue of Klondike Bluffs, while others said their favorite was the rowdy downhill of Alaska and Homer. That's what's great about Moab- you get it all!
In mid-October, you never know what you're going to get with the Whole Enchilada; snow can come early to the La Sal Mountains, cutting the ride short unexpectedly. We lucked out with the BKXC trip, as there was only a light dusting of snow a few days before, and the trail was totally rideable from the drop off at Geysir Pass all the way down to the Colorado River.
For those unfamiliar with the Whole Enchilada, it's one of the best rides in the world for a reason: 30+ miles and over 8,000 feet of descending through a variety of incredible terrain, all done over the course of a full day's ride. Starting at treeline on Burro Pass (11,200 feet), you begin in the pine and aspen forests for steep, rooty and undulating singletrack for the first 5-6 miles. Once you hit the high-country sage of Hazard County, the views open up and you start to realize how big this ride truly is.
The trail gets gradually more technical as you descend LPS, UPS, and Porcupine Rim; it's a perfect progression of trail, all built to keep you on your toes. By the time we finished at Lion Park near town, we had a group of ecstatic riders that were beat up and ready for that post-ride beer.
Just like riding the Whole Enchilada, no real trip to Moab is complete without riding Captain Ahab; one of the most well-built, well-designed trails anywhere in the country. Beginning with a stiff 30-40 minute climb up Cliffhanger and Hymasa, you top out with one of the best views anywhere in Moab. The top section of Ahab is a roller coaster of ups and downs that push your technical limits and crush your interval training like nobody's business; it's definitely not for everyone, but if you can handle the physicality of the ride, then you'll love it.
Once you hit lower Ahab, get ready to fall in love. For about two and a half miles, you'll find out what "technical flow" is all about. During our Chasing Epic trips, we always like to split into much smaller groups for this section- having 2-3 riders follow each guide makes the experience more enjoyable, as you push yourself harder when you're riding behind someone that knows the trail.
We'll let Patrick from Buffalo, NY sum up his experience:
"Thank you so, so much. I'm known to be pretty good with words, but I'm honestly having a hard time finding a way to express just how much I enjoyed myself during this trip. Everything was fantastic, from the condos we stayed in and the food that we ate, all the way up to the choice of trails that you had us ride, the bikes we had to choose from, and the people you chose to guide us all along the way. You and Brian have got something truly amazing going for you here. You're bringing people together to ride some of the best trails in the country, and you're doing it in style. Everything felt very professional and organized, yet still quite relaxed and fun. There honestly isn't anything that I can think of that you need to work on to make things more enjoyable for people, because I was, and still am, THAT satisfied with my experience on the trip."
If you're wondering, "hey, how can I join one of these trips with BKXC", we've got an answer for you. In late April 2018, we're teaming up again to ride Fruita and Grand Junction, Colorado. It promises to be four days of rippin' fun and good times with some friends you never knew you had. All the details can be found here.