Pics from my recent road-trip to Utah, here: http://ericlorenzo.smugmug.com/gallery/8112015_4hkT6 Not all bike related, but it was a major part of the trip, so I'm going to inflict a report on you guys. This was the second spring in a row we've done such a trip west, though this year we went a bit further away and for a longer period. We left Boston the evening of Friday, May 1. We drove pretty much 2 days straight from there, taking turns at the wheel and sleeping a few hours in the car at rest stops each night. We've been traveling this way on road trips at least twice a year for the past few years, and at this point we've pretty much got the long-distance drive down to a science. Iowa had sprouted a lot of these since last year: Midday sunday found us in Fruita, in western Colorado. We spent a few days in the Fruita/Grand Junction area on last year's trip, and it's definitely a place worth spending some time in. But this year we just pulled off the highway, drove 1/2 mile to the trailhead, spent a couple hours riding, and then loaded back up and continued our drive to Hurricane, UT, near Zion National Park. The next several days were spent in the Zion area where we did some... Biking: Day-hiking: Car-camping: And canyoneering: There's a ton of good riding in that area, with a lot of variety (i.e. both slickrock tech-fests like Gooseberry Mesa, and fast flowy desert singletrack). And the variety of other stuff to do is pretty great, too. The one down note on this part of the trip was that we didn't get to hike the Zion Narrows, probably the park's best-known and most unique trail, due to a heavy flow of water from snowmelt. From Zion we drove to the opposite corner of the state, to visit a friend and climbing partner of ours who relocated to Park City about this time last year and quickly discovered mountain biking: PC was in the midst the transition from ski season to bike season. The lowest bike trails were dry and rideable, and the highest slopes were still skiable. Lots of fun riding here, and we got in some bouldering as well. Probably the highlight ride of this part of the trip was the Glenwild loop, which fits the west-coast-trail stereotype of "Long switchbacky grind up the mountain side, blistering switchbacky descent back down, and you're done" almost perfectly. We'd planned to go from PC to Boulder for the last part of our trip, but I heard Moab calling, so we rerouted to spend a couple of days there. On our trip to Moab last year I'd skipped the Slickrock trail, and I wanted to remedy that situation: The Moab stop turned out to be a bit of a mistake. The main problem is that by this time of year it's just too hot for us, for much of the day. And it turns out that I prefer slickrock in more measured doses -- mix it in with some tree-lined singletrack, as you find on Gooseberry Mesa, and it's great. But the 100% slickrock of the so-named trail (and the relentless sun) got old for me pretty quick. We rode the practice loop, realized we weren't having much fun (and were too low on water to safely attempt the full route) and packed up. But not before I had an OTB incident that left my rear shifting squirrelly. So we made plans to leave the next morning, leaving me the afternoon free to do something silly. On last year's trip to Moab I met up with ADV'er fifthcircle and a friend of his, and we shuttled to the top of the Porcupine Rim trail and rode back down. During that ride we occasionally passed folks who were climbing the trail, riding it as an out-and-back. I thought it was a little nutty, and joked with the riders I saw doing it that they were going the wrong way. But I've gotten a little nutty and have learned to enjoy the sense of achievement I get at the top of a tough climb, and I was feeling a good bit fitter than last year, so I decided to attempt to ride Porc as an out-and-back. I figured I'd load up with extra water and plenty of food, and ride up until either I reached the top or my supply of water or daylight had fallen below a certain level. This would have been more reasonable if I hadn't started the ride at 1pm when the heat was near its peak, or had eaten more that day prior to the ride. After about 30 minutes I was already bargaining with myself: "Ok, gotta at least make it 2 miles in". Every 15 minutes or so I had to stop and sit in the shadow of a boulder or a tree to cool down for a bit. As I got higher I got more airflow and the heat became less brutal, so I ended up making it about 5.5 miles in before I turned around and headed back: The descent wasn't nearly as much fun as last years', when I shuttled up and wasn't already suffering mentally and physically from a grueling climb. This time I pretty much felt like crap by the time I got to the bottom. I figured the headache was from dehydration, but water, electrolytes, and painkillers did nothing for me. I didn't really improve until my girlfriend dragged me out of the motel that night to keep her company at dinner, though I was feeling too nauseous to eat anything myself. I poured a Coke down my throat and almost instantly felt much better. Apparently I just needed sugar. So we fled Moab and headed for Boulder, stopping again in Fruita on the way. First we re-visited the trails at the Loma exit that we'd ridden during the drive out. During this ride my rear shifting grew a lot more annoying, frequently ghost shifting. I knew from the way it was acting that I'd almost certainly bent the derailleur hanger -- the same thing had happened last year, and this year I'd brought along a spare hanger just in case. But I didn't want to use the spare hanger if the old one was salvageable, so we drove into town, dropped the bike off at a shop, and ate a pizza and wandered around a bit. A hour later the mechanic had gotten back from his own lunch and realigned the hanger without breaking it, and my shifting was once again nice and crisp. We did another ride in the afternoon -- just a quick loop at the 18 road trails, up Prime Cut and down Kessel Run: If the last swoopy mile of the ride down Kessel Run doesn't put a huge grin on your face, your inner child is dead. Then we loaded up the bikes and drove over the Rocky Mountains to Boulder. We spent a couple of days in Boulder, but they were pretty quiet and relaxing. I was ready for a break from pedaling, so we didn't do any biking in this area. We saw a movie one night, tried some bouldering at a local crag. We visited Rocky Mountain National Park briefly, but many of the trails were still snowed over, and the altitude started bothering me, so we didn't do much there. On our last day, we went to Eldorado Canyon, to hike a bit and watch rock climbers: Then we played a round of mini-golf and visited the climbing gym and did a bit of indoor bouldering. Finally we stopped by the Velodrome that a couple of the Boulder folks on this thread have written about. It was a thursday night and the schedule on their website said they'd have racing, so we wanted to go and spectate for a little while. For some reason it was closed. Disappointed, we got in the car and started driving east. The next day we saw these again: And the day after that we were home, and the tree branches that had been bare when we left were lush and green with leaves. We're already planning next year's trip.