Each season of racing is very hard. Since we worked so hard have a recharging off-season is a must. Our trip to ride the 18 Road, Lunch Loops and Kokopelli trail systems in Grand Junction was perfect for that goal. The three trail systems have everything you could ask for to relax and enjoy Mountain Biking to its fullest. Zippy-do-da is fast and flowing! Joe’s Ridge for the flowy berms and thrilling jumps! The Holy Cross, Moore Fun, and Horsethief Bench trails were my favorite because they were rocky, technical and Rad!!! Mary’s Loop and Butterknife make you feel your on a spectacular adventure. Our coach knew that recharging for the next year was important and our trip Grand Junction was a great way to do that.
All of the trails in Grand Junction are super fun and recharging. On the first day in Grand Junction we rode at the 18 Road trails. We rode: Prime Cut, PBR, Zipity Do-Da, Joe’s Ridge and Mojoe. Prime Cut was a mellow trail to ride up, it twisted through the juniper trees, up washbeds and climbed up to the base of the Bookcliffs. While riding up it all I could think about was how excited I was for my 2016 Freshmen race year in NorCal High School Cycling League. Joe’s Ridge, Mojoe and PBR trails were really fun, they were full of jumps, rollers and berms. I threw in a couple tricks like: tailwips and bike twists. We rode one jump multiple times because it was so fun. Inside I was screaming with excitement, I was sooo looking forward to racing more!!! Zipity Do-Da trail is on a giant ridge. The trail was like a roller coaster and I was tempted to throw my arms up in the air. At one spot the trail swooped left and went straight down off the ridge. I had so much fun riding it that I couldn’t wait for more!
We rode the Lunch Loop trails on days 3 and 4. The Butterknife Trail was really cool because it followed the cliff line of several canyons! The trail reminded me of some of the Enduro courses that I was really looking forward to riding again. Most of the trail was full of loose rocks and some sections were on slickrock.
When we made it back to the Trailhead, Jake and I wanted to have some more fun. So we rode the Pre-Nup and Holy Cross trails, they are 2 very technical trails. Pre-Nup was full of rocks and obstacles. One part of the trail had two super sharp, technical switchbacks that were unridable (right now) for me and most Bikers. Holy Cross brought back so many memories, learning how to ride the gnar when I was a 10 year old kid. I love these trail systems so much, the next day when we were starting our ride I was about to burst from excitement! The Tabeguache trail was like one of the cross country courses in California. It had some technical sections and zigzagged up the hill. There were lots of good views of the Bookcliffs and the Grand Mesa too.We also rode the Holy Cross, Holey Bucket, Clunker, Miramonte Rim Loop and Left Over Lane Trails which twisted through juniper and pinion trees, boulder fields and paralleled escarpments. Fun, fun, fun!
The Kokopelli trail system is a family favorite because most of the trails parallel the mighty Colorado River. Scenery and trail love abound! I love the Horsethief Bench trail. It’s so unique, it has a mix of technical and fast flowy sections of trail on a bench next to the Colorado River. The trail traversed down a rockslide to get down to the bench. I made it about halfway before it was too challenging. Jake made it all of the way down which is amazing accomplishment. I was thankful for the Enduro race skills I gained last season because I could ride spots that I wasn’t able to before. I am even more excited to race because I can get more of those skills and I can ride all kinds of new things. Once we’d ridden Horsethief Bench we rode out Mary’s Loop trail. Jake and I went to ride the Moore Fun trail to get back while our parents rode Steves Loop and went back the road. It was one steep, technical climb to get to the top of the ridge. The trail was rad and probably the toughest XC trail out there! Once I reached the top I got rewarded with a spectacular view. It was 360° of beauty, the Bookcliffs in the north, The Grand Mesa in the east and the Colorado Monument in the south. The descent off the ridge was fun and technical. Making most of the technical sections really built up my confidence. We rode Lions Loop and Mack’s Ridge trails on the last day. Lions Loop weaved through boulders above the Colorado River. My eyes were about to pop because of the beautiful red sandstone cliffs and the autumn colored leaves on the Cottonwood trees. Mack’s Ridge is another one of the hardest trails I had ever ridden. It was really fun though. Once I reached the top of the ridge I felt like I was a bird flying because the trail was fast and flowy. There was a short hike-a-bike to get off the ridge then it was a sweet descent back to the car.
We had so much fun! All of the trails were very exciting so our trip to Grand Junction was a great way to get recharged. After the trip, I was like a fully charged battery, I was so excited to start racing again! I will be anticipating a great year of racing in 2016. Just remember that a recharging off-season is important, so take a trip to your favorite riding place. You’ll be recharged and ready to race.