Thursday, September 24, 2015

Cedar City

In Utah, I did a couple short rides on days where full plans were thwarted by rain. One was just a few minutes out of town call the Three Peaks area. The other was right from the hotel call the C-trail. Although short, the trails were primo material on BLM land

At Three-Peaks, I basically rode a perimeter Three Peaks/Big Hole loop counter-clockwise. I avoided the "whale trails" on the southeast side, tech material chocked full of bridges and slickrock stunts. There was rain coming down in all direction and I knew I barely had an hour to ride before getting soaked. When I saw the mountains over the city disappear behind a veil of rain, I knew my time was up. I high-tailed it back to the car. Got a decent ride in with some climbing, tech and flow. Something for everybody at Three Peaks.

Another quick ride I got in late one day was the "C" Trail. Presumably it gets its name because it starts right above the big "C" high up on the mountain you can see from anywhere in Cedar City. Seems all mountain towns have to conspicuously place their initial on a peak. This ride was even more speculative. Had rained a lot earlier in the day. Red clay does not drain quickly, and when wet, becomes utterly unrideable and will glob tires and shoes up the point of rendering you immobilized. The C-trail can be shuttled, but that is not my way. I pedaled 2200ft up a heinously steep dirt road to reach the top. It was wicked windy, cold and spitting rain the whole time. Squalls were visible just a couple miles away. Would I be walking out in a really bad mood past dark?

On the trail with bird's eye view of town, I found the surface almost perfect, like hero dirt back east. It had dried out just enough to not be greasy nor loose. The descent grade was very well engineered, never too steep, plenty of grade reversals and switchbacks to control erosion. It was very fun to bomb down. Even half way down, I still wasn't sure I would beat the rain back, looking down on my hotel the whole time. I was relieved once I made it down to the paved bike path with just a mile back. It could have rained all it wanted at that point.  I really liked that short loop. Pure Hill Junkie material.

Three Peaks. Starting out on Practice Loop trail

No horses!

Can find similar art at Fantasy Island trails in Tucson. Much of the same vibe
riding at Three Peaks. Decomposed granite surface.

On Three Peak trail "technical" section

I took the bridge

Slickrock area, starting to rain, downpour wall minutes away.

The "C" of the C-trail 2200ft up. Spitting rain and cold.

Heading up Cedar Highlands Dr.

From overlook just above the C, overlooking Cedar City

Heading down, tacky red clay and rock

One of many, many switchbacks

Part way down looking south(ish) on C-trail

Part way down looking north(ish) on C-trail

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