My summer in Utah…

Hi folks!
I’ve just left Utah, the third state i’ve visited so far on my trip. I am now getting caught up and recover in Eagle, CO for two days. So it’s time to tell you about the highlights I’ve experienced in the awesome state of Utah!
It all began and ended in Moab. A lot of mountain bikers in Germany know this town, especially because of the legendary Captain Ahab trail. So I was very anxious to learn about life in the town, the trails and all the possibilities this area offers!
I visited two shops in town, which carry Ergon products: Poison Spider Bicycles and Chile Pepper Bike Shop. Like in Sedona, these shops have a big focus onto rental bikes for all the tourists. You will also meet cool and passionate bike guys and ladies. It doesn’t matter what you need, these shops have it all. Detailed local knowledge included!
Next to the Chile Pepper Bike Shop I bought some foods and drinks at the local grocery store. I just wanted to go back to the motel, when a pickup truck with five bikes on top stopped directly next to me. Four of five bikes were equipped with Ergon grips and two bikes with Ergon saddles! So six reasons to talk to those ladies and boys.
But it wasn’t just the fact that they ride so many Ergon products, four of these five bikes were Intense bikes. They told me that they are from San Diego, CA and that they got all the stuff from Chainline Bikes. Super funny, because I got my Intense Spider rental bike for my USA trip from Chainline Bikes as well! So I was about 800 miles away from San Diego, but I met five ladies and boys from there and they ride Ergon equipped Intense Bikes from the Chainline Bike Shop as well! Super crazy! We checked our plans for the upcoming day and decided to ride the Captain Ahab trail  together.
New day, new surprises: So I started with the cool San Diego crew to climb up the Captain Ahab trail. Suddenly three other guys called: “Hey you are Schmitti, right? We are the guys from REI Flagstaff!” HAHA! What another big surprise! I met these guys eleven days before, when I stopped at the REI store in Flagstaff, which is about 330 miles away, to show them the Ergon line-up. Unbelievable!
Captain Ahab was a lot of fun, although it’s super chunky. It’s comparable to some sections of the Hiline trail in Sedona. Because we don’t have trails like this in Germany, it was kind of challenging again, but it really teaches you how to ride your bike in such a technical terrain! German trails are super flowy and way faster. For sure there are trails with some technical sections, but not as much as on the Captain Ahab trail.
Because my Fox fork got damaged, I thought that I can’t ride again in Moab for that weekend. But luckily there are these super cool bike shops like Chile Pepper. I got a Transition Patrol bike over there and booked the 10:30 am shuttle for the Porcupine Rim trail. The stretched VW T3 buses of Coyote Shuttle are by far the coolest bike shuttles I’ve ever seen! It took us nearly one hour to reach the 8000 ft high starting point. Nobody told me that I should bring a jacket, so I was very very happy that the trail starts with a little climb. In the shuttle I met Jon, a nice guy from Salt Lake City.
We decided to ride the trail together, because a joy that’s shared is a joy made double. Oh my goodness! After endless miles of downhill shredding, passing so many different landscapes, hundreds of stunning photos and having a perfect day on a mountain bike, the Porcupine Rim trail was by far my most favorite trails in Utah! Sometimes a bit chunky and technical but mostly faster and more flowy. That’s what I’m used to and that’s what I definitely like more!
After that awesome bike trip I decided to visit the Arches National Park in the evening. Because of road work inside the park, I just could spent 1.5 hours inside, but it’s another super stunning national park, so it was worth the hurry visit.
Incredible landscape! I was heavy-hearted to leave Moab, because I missed camping in the Sand Flats Recreation Area and to drive one of these fun looking UTV off-road vehicles. But work is work and I had to drive to Park City.
After a nice drive I arrived in Park City in T-Shirt and shorts and immediately felt that the vegetation is completely different and it’s way cooler compared to Moab. The bike shops in Park City were still in Ski mode, so it was a bit more relaxed.
After one night in Park City, I had the strangest summer day ever! IT SNOWED! Everything was covered with white powder and whiteouts on the highway promised an interesting day. I ended up at “Al’s Sporting Goods” in Logan, a huge shop for every kind of sports.
That was another ground breaking experience for me. They had a huge section with guns, pistols, ammunition, etc. It’s super hard to find a gun store in Germany, but in Utah you just need to go to a shop for sporting goods! You can buy assault rifles, shotguns, pistols and a lot more in a usual sport shop! For some Americans this might be the most normal thing in the world, for Germans it’s just super strange. Especially when you can buy an assault rifle, but you aren’t allowed to carry a bottle of beer without the paper bag on the street…
With these strange impressions, I left Logan for Salt Lake City, which was warmer again. Over there I met Jesse, a super cool sales rep of Quality Bike products (QBP), the biggest distributor in the USA. After some shop visits he introduced me to Southern-style food. This is one of the things I love about traveling and discovering new places! Thanks man, and thanks for the beer on your patio! I really appreciate that!
Salt Lake City should have been my last stop in Utah, but at this point I didn’t know the super crazy plans of Jeremiah Bishop, one of the Team Topeak-Ergon racers… Stay tuned to read what he did with me when I arrived in Colorado!
Keep on pedaling!
Schmitti

 

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