Thursday, January 14, 2010

Go time.

There is such a tremendous variety of trails in SW Utah that a guy can easily find himself afflicted with analysis paralysis so severe that it becomes difficult to simply exit the lumpy motel room bed. Hundreds of miles of smoothish trails to cater to the just-cover-ground-NOW types, a similar amount of mini-chunk for those that like their flow a little less so, some of the world's best rock crawling on the Gooseberry and Little Creek twins, and even a modicum of shuttleable stuff. I don't know much about this last category--IMO if you wanna ride down you gotta ride up.

Skippy wasn't admitting as much, but before he even opened his eyes on this day he had a plan, and that plan involved only one thing: air. This unassuming family guy/business professional/churchmouse type has a beast living within, always hungry for more and more time spent flying while attached to his bike. I got my first glimpse of it in BC a few months ago, and if anything his chronic has increased exponentially since.

He humored me by bandying about other ideas, but in the end he made the call and the call was to head for the Barrels.

Barrels (properly 'Barrel Cactus trail') can be easily smoothed by a competent rider, but you need to be far better than competent to execute every alternate line along the way. Alternate lines? Gaps, drops, straight hucks, step-ups, hips, and step-downs. Skippy knows this about Barrels. He also knows that I am far from confident in my competence, or lack thereof.

What followed throughout the day was Skippy sending all but one move on Barrels, some of them twice and many thrice. I played the role of eager photog, mostly because if I didn't have a camera in-hand he'd have pushed me off of a house-sized rock.



No soundtrack on this one--all the better to hear the sound of tires on dirt and rock, chainslap, self-abusive commentary and, of course, cackling.

We also rode Zen trail, which for all of its fun and swoopiness and mini-chunk somehow ended up poorly represented in the vid. At sunset we were shown a small chunk of AMA, but (thankfully) the sun fell off a cliff before we were able to do the same. Based on what we did see I think that Barrels might become Skippy's second favorite SW Utah trail. Gah.

An enjoyable day in many ways. But also one that left me craving something... else.

One more day to go...

MC