Thursday, March 15, 2007

Guest Blogger.

The following is from a OG Homeboy of mine, Cory "put a rock in your jersey" Gross. We go way back. Including working at a shop in da hood.


The story you’re going to read is about a time when Charly rode outside (in Utah). About 9 years ago to the day, in Moab. It was spring 1998, Charly was fresh out of UW Lacrosse on spring break, and I was one year into my first job out of college as an applications engineer. I was going to be working in Colorado and Utah for a week. Afterwards, Charly was going to fly out and meet me at the Denver Airport for a week of riding in Moab, and then a marathon drive back to MN for work/school on the following Monday. After “sales” visits at the Coors Brewery and Alta Ski Resort, my work was done, and I returned to Denver to pick Charly up and proceed to the land of slickrock(s).

Once there, we decided that we weren’t going to spend any extra money. Soon after booking a hotel room for one person, Charly was caught by the owner of the hotel sneaking into the fire exit to avoid coming through the front lobby. Pay for a camping spot - no way! We only camped at the "free" spots near the river. We didn’t exactly splurge for the best maps either.

Our first ride was at the Slick Rock Trail - halfway through it started to rain, snow and hail. We slid back to the hotel soaking and freezing. Not a great start to our epic riding week. We decided to ride the Poison Spider Mesa Trail to redeem ourselves. Pop Tarts, Granola Bars, Water and spare tires were loaded into our Camelbaks and we set off. Somewhere along the trail we decided that a 3-4 hour ride just wasn’t going to cut it. No, we needed to ride “epic.”

The map showed a nice little skinny spotted line that was advertised as the Gold Bar Rim Trail, which looped out towards the rim of the high cliffs that you view on the hwy heading south into Moab. At this point we had a good supply of water, food and humor. Charly was talking smack at a healthy rate, and was doing his best to channel any number of members from the group NWA.

Kerins (sp?), or three stacked rocks, were scattered every ¼ mile to let us know which way to go. Things were great, we owned this trial. We were hucking sick 1 foot drops, and walking the real drop-offs. Then, the Kerins stopped appearing. The terrain got rough. It all looked the same. We looped back and found a familiar spot but couldn’t figure out which way was out. Out of nowhere, a local guy rode right past us on a four wheeler, didn’t stop, just kept going. We followed his direction for 5 minutes and were completely lost again. The “trail” we were on was getting way too hard to ride. This repeated for the better part of an hour. We started doing the math. Sunset vs time to get off this so-called trail, - it didn’t seem good. We ate all of our pop tarts, drank nearly all of our water, and started to get just a little worried, and tired too. Now, many of you know Charly as a smack-talker who could make Terrell Owens self-conscious, and as a smart-ass who might bring a whoopee cushion to a funeral parlor, but he was pretty quiet at this point. We were getting owned by the Gold Bar Rim Trail, and we didn’t have that much to say about it.

It was after 5pm, and we were still following this trail, reflecting on our decision to follow a skinny dotted line on a cheap map. Then, we saw the sign warning riders of the deadly Portal Trail. We finally arrived at a spot we could locate on the map! We decided our luck was not running anywhere near the level needed for the portal loop, and we headed out on the remaining part of the Poison Spider Trail. Our legs were fried, our minds were mush, and we slogged through the last part of trail and rolled into town to our hobo campsite just as the sun had set and the moon was coming out. Epic.

After that, we ate Mexican food, and stayed on the well marked trails the rest of the trip. The picture below is Charly on a ride we did later in the week. Shortly after this picture, he relieved himself on the top of a high cliff, just as a strong wind picked up from the canyon below - it created a disgusting natural phenomenon that I hope to never experience again. Good times.


Yes, that jersey is real...real sweet! I still have it by the way.

For the record, the next day we were at a bike shop when we overhead an employee exclaim that the rider should not ride on the Gold Bar Rim trail. "People die out there", was her exact qoute. In the hood you learn how to survive.

Now go to work smiling with Cory's writings in your head.

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