Nothing to see here folks. Move along.......
OK, turns out there really MAY be some good mountain biking in Vernal, Utah. In spite of some "iffy" weather for the first day, we had a ripping time in a very unexpected corner of Utah.
First off, there really IS a 30 foot high pink dinosaur at the edge of town. And one with cute eyelashes to boot.
Decent camping in the red rocks north of town, conveniently located adjacent to the trailhead for 4 trails. Kinda handy. The scenery is not as mind-blowing as Moab, or even parts of Fruita, but still worked out OK for us. Someone even brought a beer-drinking cock. It was always getting loose.
Have a bit of a conflict about saying ANYTHING about Vernal and riding. The riding is VERY much like Fruita 15+ years ago. No one around, fun, ripping and NARROW trails built FOR bikes. We saw 10 other riders TOTAL (counting parking lots..) in 4 days of riding, and only 3 of those actually on the trails. 6-8 inch wide trails, snaking around the desert, with the odd bits of rocky technical goodness thrown in. Part of me wants to just say "nothing to see here, folks... Move Along". The Local bike community there is still trying to attract riders, and is INCREDIBLY friendly. Troy at Altitude Cycle goes out of his way to orient visitors, help send you to the good rides, and fill you in on the latest goodies. A strange and refreshing change from the Front Range, and most "destination" riding areas. I've never had the local shop owner give me his cell phone number since the shop would be closed the next 2 days, "in case we had any questions". Even had a "monster", semi alpine, downhill shuttle run to send your buds to their death on
I want to see their riding scene thrive there, but am not sure more of the "swarm" of spring/fall visitors will be a good thing in the end, given what seems to happen to places like Fruita. Anyway, all my paranoia aside, had a GREAT 5 days out there, LOVED the trails, and would have NO qualms about a repeat visit.
Worked pretty well as a "spring training camp" for me. I managed to ride myself into complete meltdown in those few days. Fixed my lack of spring riding all at once.
Should have more pics and some seat/bar cam video later, but till then, some comic relief from the trip. Those NARROW trails seem to have a bit of a "soft shoulder" at times.... Enjoy