All posts by jmpreston

A mountain biker who loves to ride the trails with sandstone (slick rock) and granite rocks. My favorite trails are around Moab, UT, Lake Tahoe, Downieville, CA, and near the west entrance to Zion National Park and Bryce National Park. Mostly I ride the Santa Cruz Mountains.

In Fruita, CO Recovering…

I attended the Hurricane MTB Festival, very nice and bigger every year, and shot the wonderful Zen Trail to add to my remake of the video for that area.  I’m ready for post-production on that remake.

Before that I “biked” the easier of the Cowboy Trails near Las Vegas. I like rock gardens but wow, no break with these!  I had to hike the bike to save my ass and back and my 127mm Fox Float rear shock with an Aircan is pretty plush.

After Hurricane I drove to Moab but it was starting to rain so I drove south a couple of hours to bike Phil’s World near Cortez, CO.  About a mile and a half up a gentle flowy trail through junipers I realized I had the flu and headed back to the TH, booked a motel room for a few days, and felt miserable.  So terrible to be laid low in MTB heaven.

In Fruita now and recovering slowly.  Starting to ride again.  I have several trails to shoot here to finish production for this video then over to Moab to finish up the shooting over there.

I have a new GoPro Hero 5 Session camera and it is getting good results with the chest mount.

Upcoming Great MTB Festivals!

We’re having a very wet winter in northern California so I’m not getting much riding in. Actually, since I returned from a month in Moab and Fruita at the end of last October I’ve done only two rides. So getting restless!

Here are some great bike festivals in the American Southwest red rock country.  These will help you get back on the bike soon.

On the trails near Moab fall Outerbike.

March 3rd – 5th is the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival in the beautiful red rock country of Arizona.  We used to ride Sedona but moved up to Moab 14 years ago and haven’t been back.  There were mostly Jeep trails then but I know they have much more single track now.  Lodging in Sedona is expensive with only one place as low as $100 a night and it has only a few rooms.  They offer event camping at a walk-in campground for $150 for two nights per person and that includes breakfast.  Otherwise head up Oak Creek Canyon to the Forest Service camps.  There doesn’t seem to be public showers available near Sedona except at one Forest Service campground far up Oak Creek Canyon so go for a swim in Oak Creek.  A few days here eats into my travel budget too much so I don’t attend this one.  It is hard to spend six weeks to two months on MTB road trips when places like Sedona eat a bunch of money fast.

March 24th – 26th is the Hurricane Mountain Bike Festival near Zion National Park, Utah. It has been growing lately and getting to the size of the Fruita Fat Tire Festival. Fantastic place to test a bike on famous trails like Gooseberry Mesa and Guacamole!  It is only 2 1/2 hours north of Las Vegas off I-15.  Amazing scenery!  Over The Edge Sports in Hurricane sponsors this event and they have a couple of showers available at the shop.  Usually plenty of both primitive and RV park camping in the area, or get a motel room.  Nearby St. George rooms are cheaper than Hurricane.

The following weekend, March 31st to April 2nd, is the spring Outerbike MTB demo event in Moab, Utah. It is about a third smaller than their fall event.  Moab has a huge selection of world class trails, great scenery, usually plenty of camping available during their MTB events, and the town has many places to shower if you want to do this event cheap.

I may be at both Hurricane and Outerbike but I’m launching a business soon and may not have the time for a spring road trip.  Well, I could work on my software while traveling…

The lively and really fun Fruita Fat Tire Festival is from April 27th to 30th.  There is some slick rock riding in the area but not as much as Hurricane and Moab.  The terrain is scenic and varied, with wonderful flow trails at 18 Road, mesa type riding with plenty of rocks to challenge you on the Kokopelli Trails, and scary trails like Holy Cross and Eagles Wing along with intermediate trails across the Colorado River from Grand Junction at the Lunch Loops.  There are two breweries in town along with the famous Hot Tomato pizzeria.  Nearby are a couple of state parks with camping and showers, an RV park with cabins, and a BLM campground at 18 Road. Lodging in Fruita and Grand Junction is cheaper than most of the other areas.

August 18 – 20 will be the first Outerbike festival in Crested Butte, Colorado.  Lots of trails there but I’m not yet familiar with the area.  Very high elevation riding with long climbs, although Outerbike will have shuttles.  I know even summer lodging in the ski resort area is expensive but cheaper accommodations down the mountain are available.  Lots of Forest Service land in the area so probably campgrounds and primitive camping is available.

Mountain biking season in the Northern Hemisphere is almost here so tune-up your bike, get in shape, and we’ll be on the trails soon!

 

 

 

Fox Factory 34 2017 Fork! Wow Upgrade!

I’ve rode a Rockshox Revelation RCT3 140mm fork for the past two and a half years since my Yeti was new.  Nice, but I’ve been over the handlebars or crashed more than a few times on what I consider small rocks, maybe 6 – 10 inches high.   After two nasty crashes recently, one that had me limping around Fruita, CO for a few days and unable to ride,  I had enough.

Testing the fork on Moab ledges. North 40 Trail.
Testing the fork on Moab ledges. North 40 Trail.

Fox redesigned their 34 line in 2016 and I was noticing the smoother and more controlled rides over gnar at the Outerbike and Hurricane mountain bike festivals.  After the Fruita incident on the Holy Cross Trail, which I blogged about recently, I was headed to the fall 2016 Outerbike in Moab.

Continue reading Fox Factory 34 2017 Fork! Wow Upgrade!

Hanging out in Moab!

I’m riding the trails here for another week and then home to Silicon Valley for the winter.  I don’t have much left to shoot for my next Moab Mountain Biking Trail Analysis videos for this area.

The upper Whole Enchilada is open but very cold and muddy when not frozen.  Not sure I want to ride it now.

Trying out my new Fox Factory Float 34 2017 fork.  So far it is amazing!!!  Blog post to come but so far it is far safer and more plush at low speeds than the Rockshox Pike or Revelation.  My Revelation will be on eBay next week!

Overlooking Arches NP and Salt Valley from Alaska Trail.
On the Alaska Trail, Klondike Bluffs, Moab Ut. Arches on the left and Salt Valley far below.

 

 

Biking the Bartlett Wash Slick Rock Moab!

I added a short video of biking this amazing slick rock area north of Moab!  Much more beautiful slick rock than usual, and mostly very smooth.  It is like powder skiing 🙂  A real bonus is that the climb to the top is easy and scenic.  Perfect beginner / intermediate terrain with some scary stuff for advanced riders.

 

 

Yeti SB5+ 2016 demoed near Moab, Utah.

Trying out the 5+ on the Moab Brand Trails, my favorite testing grounds. I didn't ride Deadman's but with fresh legs would love to. Maybe March 2017 Outerbike.
Trying out the 5+ on the Moab Brand Trails, my favorite testing grounds. I didn’t ride Deadman’s but with fresh legs would love to. Maybe March 2017 Outerbike.
I’m impressed! This is probably the first plus tire bike I’ve rode. The wheel and tire diameter is only 1/2″ less than my 29er but the roll-over with the 150mm fork and plus tire is amazing! 
 
It isn’t just tire size that counts. Unlike most plus bikes the 5+ is designed for a plus tire.  Yeti has made small design changes to fit the bike purpose.

Continue reading Yeti SB5+ 2016 demoed near Moab, Utah.

Heading to Fruita, Moab, and Hurricane / St. George

I’m going for three weeks at the end of September and including Outerbike in Moab.  I’ll miss Rampage this year.  I’ll add some more bike evaluations and collect additional material for my trail analysis videos.

I need to shoot a bit more video in the Fruita / Grand Junction area such as an intermediate trail in the Lunch Loops, Horsethief Bench and that amazing drop-in hike a bike, a re-shoot of Dippity, and probably one of the trails farther out Mary’s such as Troy Built or Steves, or both.  So this winter I should have enough for a Trail Analysis video for that area.

Continue reading Heading to Fruita, Moab, and Hurricane / St. George