I am hyped! Here, in Moab our electric mountain bikes have found their true destiny and we are in a cyclist's paradise. Already the approach to Moab was a great ride. We were flying downhill, while we passed the most amazing landscapes formed by colourful sandstone rock. For most parts of the road, we just let our bikes roll at about 40 kph/ 25 mph.
Rolling happily, I suddenly see that my Yamaha display shows 4,000 kilometres cycled - that is almost 2,500 miles and literally a milestone! In fact, it is already more miles than we ever planned to ride on the tour and the plus is due to detours we had to take in the Sierra Nevada because of too much snow. Additionally, we took our time to extensively cruise in the most beautiful places like Bryce Canyon, or on the Burr Trail, that prove truly perfect for pedelecs.
Once we arrive in Moab aka the mountain bikers' paradise, we set up camp immediately as from noon the heat gets too brutal to ride. Large trees give shade and fresh green grass invites to lay down and take a nap. In the afternoon, we check out Poison Spider, the most famous MTB shop and rental place in town, which has made a name for itself in the whole of the USA. We got the chance to meet the owner, Scott Neuton, who agrees to take us on a ride over the Slick Rock Trail the next morning. It is open to mountain bikes and motocross riders alike and thus one of the few trails our speed pedelecs can go on legally. We can hardly contain our excitement!
Scott awaits us at 6:30am at the trailhead’s parking lot and off we go. We also learn from one of his employees, Rolf, where Slick Rock got its name from: In earlier times, meaning when the west was even wilder, horse riders passed this area with their wagons rolling on wheels lined with metal and drawn by mares with iron horse shoes so that the coaches slipped on the sandy rock. Settlers thus called it Slick Rock as a means to warn their fellow travellers to better stay away from this place. Today, as our mountain bikes have rubber tires, Slick Rock could actually be re-named in Grip Rock - thanks for that one, Rolf!
Biking the Slick Rock Trail twice yesterday got me so excited that I could not wait to ride it again this morning. I got out of bed at 5:30 and was joined by the rest of the team. Riding the loop in the early morning hours means we are back before the heat hits us.
Plus, cycling this ten-mile trail on our Haibike AllMTN RC Fullys was the greatest fun. With a little bit of practice we managed to ride up even the steepest sections. And there are a lot of them. At first sight you would not think you can even do this on a bike.
On one of those incredibly steep uphills Michael slips and hurts his ankle. It swells badly and he is has a hard time walking. Brave as he is, he walks his bike back to the trailhead. He’s been riding his hardtail MTB that he uses for touring, which is a lot harder to ride on slick rock, literally.
Andy and I finish the loop and get back from the track completely hyped.
The vastness and the differing rock colours of the trail do not seize to amaze us. Plus, we can see the first peaks of the Rocky Mountains in the background. We will be headed there next.
Learn more about the Slick Rock Trail and our Sand to Snow Pedelec Adventure in moving images.