Manda, web developer, and Rita, Bicycles Yoga and You chief yogi, took off at 10am Thursday to drive to Moab, UT from Albuquerque, NM via Shiprock, NM. Who would have ever though that we would drive by snow storms and rain showers in early October? Despite the bad weather, we arrived in Moab around 6pm. First, we checked in with Sean, our Outerbike representative. He said, “The weather has taken us for a loop but we will meet in the morning”. Captain Sean gave us directions to the expo located at The Bar M Ranch trailhead. “You can’t miss it. You will see all the tents”.
After oooo-ing and awww-ing the beautiful rock structures of the Arches National Park entryway, we pulled off the road into the venue parking lot. A cute little bike village… People are still setting up, must have been held back by the wind and rain. Snow on the distant mountains and the moisture in the air alluded to the fact that camping would be cold, cold and cold. Manda suggested the youth hostel, the Lazy Lizard, back on the other side of town. “Good call co-pilot”. We wandered into an over warm room, the smell of several meals being prepared in the kitchen off to the side, the voices of many travelers, we knew this was the best choice. “2 beds in the women’s dorm all 3 nights please”. At $9.00 a night, warm showers, a messy kitchen, creaky twin beds, good company and a story to tell, this was a steal!
Up at 7am, got dressed, and groggily scurried down the stairs to the kitchen, hot tea, breakfast to go, waited for a bathroom to open up….. 8:15am: We needed to be there at 8:30! Go Jetta go! Arrived to moisture-covered ground. No yoga this morning. Outerbike staff found us an Easy-Up and table. We decided to do yoga over here behind the Trek Women trailer. Sean set us up with 3 weekend passes, and Emily at registration took care of us. The line-up for entry steadily grew. People were eager to get THE bike they want, Niner, Santa Cruz, Ibis, Kona, Ellsworth, the list of bike candy goes on.
We are all set up, got awesome bikes, LETS RIDE..
2012, Rocky Mountain full carbon, 29′er hard tail, Vertex was the first and only steed of choice for day one! What a beautiful bike. It handled well on the slick rock, single track, fire roads, and tight turns. A hard tail was where it is at. Yoga at 4:30 was lovely, we had a small group of women join us. The weather was chilly but we soon warmed up moving through our ananas. We were blessed to watch the mountain in front of us break snow clouds as it reared its white capped peak. Right after yoga we packed up and headed back to the hostel for some thawing out. Later we attended the downhill thriller movie sponsored by Continental.
Day two it was raining lightly and cold, we couldn’t inspire anyone to do yoga under the tent this morning. We’ll just have our yoga session later when the sun comes out. The morning dewy weather mimicked some of the best cross conditions with tacky clay soil, I took out the Ellsworth full carbon, SRAM Rival-equipped Roots. The fast tricky cross bike that just sailed over anything that stood in my way. However, the SRAM shifting was a bit challenging to manage the cross over shifting on the right hand. It just didn’t make sense to me. After spinning around the trails on the Roots. I returned and took out the best ride of my life on an Orbea Occam trail bike. Nothing could have topped this ride, nothing, smooth, smooth, smooth. It handled just like a full suspension XC bike. I felt confidant, strong and overwhelmed with the ability to drive this bike like I had wings- Over slick rock, technical turns, climbs, and down steep narrow descents of Deadman trail . The Occam was a totally amazing (and sexy) design. The Europeans just know how to do it.
Our 4:30 yoga session offered another breath-taking view of the red rock walls. A brisk temperature, our group of ladies after 2 days of riding came out for the good feeling of stretching out their hamstrings, glutes, and hip flexors.
The last day brought us a nice morning yoga session under the tent. We were able to convince these sore legged, tight hipped fellas to come in and join us for some morning stretching after 3 long days of tearing it up on the trails. We had to leave by noon so this would be our only session today. We quickly secured our steeds for the morning ride. I wanted to experience another 29er on the technical trail we rode the day before in comparison as to how they ride. I chose a bigger name the Specialized Jett.
We started out on the easy loop then advanced to the more challenging Deadman’s and finally over to a newly paved trail adding more climbing and technical work. Two hours later we finished up on the bike path and headed over to the OB parking lot. Mission accomplished! Outerbike is a MUST for any bike snobs. You get to ride the newest and the best of the coming season’s steeds. Take a bike out for a ‘first date’ on the Bar M trails, or go for a longer ride– included in the Outerbike price are a shuttle ride and guides, if you want to spend more time on that special bike.. For one price you get fed an awesome whole lunch for three days, a schwag bag, water, sports drink and coffee and tea all day, In addition you get Cliff bars and Blocks, the sponsor gifts go on. There are also two evening events and of course Yoga! See you next year!