A few months back, the boys from Angry Catfish in Minneapolis invited Kyle from Golden Saddle Cyclery in Los Angeles to meet them in Utah for five days of riding mountain bikes in St. George – aka St. Geezy – and Hurricane – aka Herahkun. The only problem is, Kyle doesn’t have a car and he didn’t quite feel like pedaling all the way to Utah from Los Angeles on his singlespeed mountain bike. That’s where I came into the picture. I’ve got a car, with a bike rack and enough room to carry all our shit for a week. Now Kyle had a ride, I got to ride in Utah and everyone would get some sweet-ish photos out of the whole shindig.
The only way to plan for a trip like this is to not plan. We drove straight to St. George and had no idea where to stay. When I’m on the road like this, I like to find the closest BLM or public land, drive my 4×4 up to a high point and lay claim to that parcel for the extent of my visit. Luckily, Kyle had a friend who knew the area and he sent us towards Moe’s Valley, a parcel of private, yet open to the public land, popular for bouldering, hiking and adjacent to one of Southern Utah’s best MTB rides, the Zen trail. We rolled into what would become our campsite by accident and decided it would do just fine. A few minutes later and we were set up for sleeping and a few drinks around the campfire.
We had a day to ride in the area before the boys from Minneapolis would arrive, so we planned on pre-riding the trail. While I was having coffee that morning, a local named Dan reached out on social media, asking if he could show us around. Turns out, Dan only had 30 minutes to ride, but we were stoked that he made the trek in from town to point us in the right direction. Dan also set us up with meeting a framebuilder in the area as well. More on that tomorrow. Once Dan departed us, Kyle and I navigated the extremely well marked Zen trail, with aide from the MTB Project app.
Zen exceeded our expectations. With so many bonus lines and scenic vistas, you can really spend a lot of time on this barely 6-mile loop. We returned to camp – which, I might add, when you park at the top of a very steep hill, it hurts going back up! – and waited to welcome our friends after their 24-hour journey. The night crept on while the sunrise came too quick. Our plan was to wake up, cook breakfast, ride the Zen trail in the morning and finish the day in the Santa Clara River Preserve Trails. With each ride, the views got better and better!
We’ll share more in the next few days…