Earlier this Spring, Sam and I packed up the car with camping gear and our brand new Redpoint bikes and started driving west. We drove 26 hours straight – whew - and stopped in Albuquerque for lunch and to find a place to ride. We decided on the Otero Trail loop in Tijeras. Felt a little weird after going through our traveling vortex! We were just in Virginia, and now were riding hard packed, cactus lined, New Mexico trail on our new bikes! Pretty awesome.
We drove a bit more and camped at the remote Ojo Redondo campground in the Cibola National Forest.
We made it to Sedona the next day, met up with my Uncle Matt who drove down from Durango, and immediately rode Hiline trail. Big moves right out the gate!! Welcome to red rock riding.
Rode the Hangover trail the next morning, and hit the Adobe Jack trail system in the afternoon. Sedona has a very impressive bicycle infrastructure, bike lanes are everywhere and there is easy access to all levels of trail within town.
Matt had to go back to work on our third Sedona day, so Sam and I were on our own to explore “the hogs”, a large group of trails named to describe the javelinas that are abundant in the area. We saw some!! They are equally cute as they are vicious. After the piggy trails, we did a killer loop from where we were staying up to and around the private airport in Sedona. This loop was fantastic, with a downhill that doesn’t get as much traffic as others, giving us a close to home, backcountry feel with overgrowth and ungroomed tech.
Our last day in Sedona, we said goodbye to our AirBnB and found a nice camp spot outside of town, then rode from there to Pyramid Rock and back. I ran out of water and had only eaten candy for breakfast, thus ensued a glorious desert bonk and a sunset revival at the campsite. So good!
We packed up the next morning and headed north with some friends from Over the Edge bike shop in Sedona. An hour of driving north took us from big red rock exposure in Sedona to ponderosa-lined hero dirt at 9000’ in Flagstaff. This ride might’ve been our favorite. The lack of pictures is because we were in our dreamworld and having too much fun to remember to whip our phones out.
Day 8 of vacation meant a visit to the Grand Canyon and some time to rest our legs.
From there, we drove to Moab and camped outside of town that night. The next day Sam and I had the best date we’ve ever paid for; $25 each to be dropped off by The Whole Enchilada Shuttle Company as far up the mountain as we could go, snow depending. We started at LPS Trail, and descended 3300’ in 19 miles. Yes!!
Afterwards, we drove to meet some friends in Grand Junction, Colorado and were able to fit in an evening ride before we set up camp.
Our final day of ride-cation, we rode the Ribbon Trail in Grand Junction. The ride began with a massive rock slab descent to an awesome amount of tough singletrack.
We started back East once we wrapped up from riding and saying goodbye to our Colorado friends. One hotel stay and 25 hours of driving later, we were back home and starting the climb up laundry mountain.
There’s nothing like a crusher mountain bike road trip to refresh the spirit and leave you glowing. I hope the Summer brings you some great opportunities to hit up some new-to-you mountain bike destinations.
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I love spending time on a bike in beautiful places with my friends. I enjoy challenging myself with technical mountain biking and some racing, but the main reason I ride is to adventure in the mountains surrounding my hometown in the Shenandoah Valley. I look for trails with some history, either because they were CCC projects, or are old logging access roads since made into singletrack trails. Getting to pretty overlooks only accessible by bike or foot is always satisfying, and sharing those moments with all levels of riders and friends is very special.