Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Moab for Bicycles: Mountain Bike, Road Cycling, BMX

Moab has been known for three decades now for mountain biking. The petrified sand dunes have become a challenge of balance and technique, plying knobby tires to various degrees of slickrock angles and pitches. The Moab mountain bike trails have evolved from old uranium mining accesses turned 4-wheel drive route. More recently, single track trails are being approved by land administrators and built by volunteers, in many cases. The City of Moab, has, this whole year, been developing new bike lanes and bridges, paved segments in the Mill Creek Pathway and a dirt trail aloft in the valley’s west cliff wall. The collaboration between government and private industry has produced the Intrepid Trail System at Dead Horse Point State Park and more. Mountain biking breeds alliances.

On the scene, came the Moab Skinny Tire Festival. The Festival organizers have changed the name to Skinny Tire Events as they have developed a mid-summer moonlight ride and a fall Moab Century Tour too. Moab sees more road cyclists visiting. The Italian style Gran Fondo bike event dons the May event calendar in Moab. It is believed that the October 2010 dedication of the Moab Canyon paved pathway will further enhance Moab's attraction to this group of athletes.

The Department of Energy has offered to build a trail from Courthouse Wash, along the Colorado River, to hook into Hwy 279, a.k.a., the Potash Road. Meetings to decide the maintenance of this new trail and how to integrate a Hwy 191 underpass in the Courthouse Wash flood zone kick off thoughtful consideration among the Grand County Council, Trail Mix, Moab Trails Alliance, the Department of Transportation and other interested public. If paved it would serve more road cyclists, wheel chair access and another segment for parents with stroller or kids on roller skates and scooters.

Moab City had 41 volunteers turn up in November to lend strength to clearing rocks for a single track above the western utility corridor. This Pipe Dream Trail will get signs this winter. This trail extends from the Hidden Valley trailhead to an area behind Moab’s Mountain View subdivision near Aspen Avenue. Mid-access is located at Jackson Street, or the west side of Hwy 191 straight forward from 4th East. It will be shared with pedestrians too.

Only last year, May 2009, Dead Horse Point State Park celebrated the opening of two new loops for hiking and biking. Intrepid Potash, headquartered in Denver, has five production facilities, one notably in Moab, Utah. The solar salt drying ponds can be seen from the rim of Dead Horse Point State Park. A relationship between a government and private organization formed to complete the Big Chief and Great Pyramid Loops, parts of the Intrepid Trail System. During the summer, Dead Horse Point State Park collaborated with the Moab Area Travel Council to provide free park admission in a campaign managed through Salt Lake City movie theaters. And this even precluded the release of "127 Hours".

Less influence for BMX biking exists in Moab. However, the city has set aside land off of 500 West in Moab for the BMX bicyclist. The bumps and ramps have seen BMX aerial stunts and tricks of bikers of different ages. There is a skate park on 400 North 100 West, that at times, also sees BMX trick bikes. Adjacent to the Old Spanish Trail Arena is a bit of land developed for BMX use, however, the property on 500 West became so much more convenient to youth access.

To put together a bike event in Moab Utah, the Moab Travel Council offers free consultations for permits, event services and logistics. Contact 435-259-1340, to speak with the Facility and Event Promoter of Moab.

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