Monday, May 6, 2013

Twist & Shout/Butterknife Loop

Back in New Hampshire, I thought I'd catch up on a couple rides I missed posting while in CO/UT. Dave and I spent the first two nights in Grand Junction, CO and had just enough time in the evening we arrived to squeeze in a quick "shake-down" ride.

Now shake-down rides are supposed to make sure your bike is in full working order after unpacking it from the shipping box. It should not make you tired or work too hard. But the short loop I picked out was a bit of a beat-down ride. Bikes worked fine, bodies took more of a beating than anticipated on the first ride of a 10 day trip.

I picked out a loop near the famed Lunch Loops, which local riders supposedly hit on their lunch breaks. The terrain can be uber technical. A trail called Butterknife was more recently constructed and claimed to be less technical than some of the others. We drove up Little Park Rd, as trail access is only from the top on this side. We'd descend Twist & Shout, pick up Butterknife, then climb all the way back up on Billings Canyon Jeep Rd. 13 miles, how hard could that be?

Twist & Shout started out innocuous enough. We then merged into Butterknife. We had to pick up our game a bit to ride this trail. Considerable work went into it, armoring the descents, transitions and other off-camber ledgy bits. Butterknife proved to be just a small foretaste of many hours of riding coming up.

Dave set a pretty high pace climbing back up to the trail head. We had big rides planned in the Fruita area over the next two days, and I didn't want to start the trip in a recovery deficit. We thought about riding the trail call Ribbon on the other side of Little Park Rd but called it a day. Didn't want to risk running out of daylight or injury on first day. Here are four pics from Butterknife and the Shake down ride on Strava.

With the crappy internet service at our next hotel in Moab, I was not able to upload a few video bits I captured from our Edge Loop ride in Fruita. Here is a short clip from the initial portion of the Zippety Do Da trail. Note this is from my Panasonic Lumix LX3 camera, a high-end point and shoot camera. I mounted it on my helmet and disabled the optical image stabilization (not meant for this kind of motion). It shoots a pretty wide angle, but not a fish-eye lens like GoPro uses, which grossly distorts how steep things look. If it looks steep with a non-distorting lens, it is actually steep. Check it out in full HD on Vimeo. The LX3 does ok for a point and shoot.

Dave led. He was worried he'd go too fast and ride out of view, but instead, he went too slow and stayed too close. Need to choreograph these things better next time. Video should always be no-holds-barred IMO, increases the odds of capturing a boo-boo;)

zippety from D. Jansen on Vimeo.

I hope to post one more ride I did solo on Tuesday last week on the Sovereign and new Klonzo trails along with some observations about the vitality of mountain biking and proliferation of technical trail building going on around the country right now.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

OMG! The f-bomb actually came out of my mouth watching some of that video. I think at the top of that trail, making the turns, I would have pooped my pants.