Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Bicycle Tour of Moab with the Scouts

We recently returned from a 4 day 3 night bicycle tour of Moab with the Varsity Scouts. No scouts were lost, killed or (permanently) injured during the entire trip. We did have some injuries, but they were just scrapes and bruises.

We set up a trip around the White Rim in Canyonlands (that's 100 ish miles of moderately difficult dirt roads). For scout groups who've trained and have competent adult leadership, the White Rim in mid-June is a difficult journey in which there is a significant chance of severe injury in a remote location with a difficult evacuation. We found that we could travel at about 7 mph, we had an injury accident every hour and experienced a tour-ending bicycle failure every 2.5 hours. That's why we opted to take the Potash Road back to Moab after the 20 mile ride into Airport Tower camp (going clockwise).

It was great. We got all the desert dirt road riding we wanted and our 50 mile day ended with 22 miles of paved road into town. Every scout finished the 50 mile ride for the merit badge. We even had overcast with light wind all day for the 50 miler.

We did Slickrock on Friday. For a scout group, Slickrock on a sunny day in June with a 7:30 am start will require about 2.5 liters of water per person to complete safely. Unfortunately for us, we only had about 1.6 liters per person and there was no opt-out option when the water got real low and the sun got real high. Fortunately for us, Dan Mick of Dan Mick's Guided Moab Jeep Tours carries a case of water to pass out to less-prepared scout groups such as ours, and the one behind us. Dan drives a tricked out jeep and we meet one of his clients on Saturday. She and her family had a great time. That should sound like an endorement of Dan's jeep operation. It was meant to be. Good karma should come to good Samaritans like Dan.

Slickrock was fun with the scouts. We experienced about 6 injury accidents. All injuries were minor and 4 were mine. My Canari jersey looks like swiss cheese and my knees look like strawberries. But it was a blast. Although the riding was more technical, a serious injury here would be less serious than an injury on the far side of the White Rim.

Friday afternoon, we cleaned up a park in town for our service project then lazed about in the shade while the scouts played soccer in the park. That evening, we rode down from Sand Flats to the Moab Community pool on 400 North for a shower and a swim. A perfect end to the riding part of our tour and a good set up for our spiritual meeting friday night followed by the 1/2 day whitewater trip on Saturday on the Colorado past Fisher Towers.

When I got home, my 3 year old daughters were very concerned about my "owies" on my knees and elbows. I told them I fell of my bike and they thought that was ok. Later, I told them I would take them down to Moab. Megan got a scared look on her face and said she didn't want to go. I asked her why. And she said she didn't want to fall off her bike and get owies too. I admired her courage, but I don't think her tricyle would make it far on slickrock. We'll have to take all the bikes and do the Millcreek trail in town instead.


Neha Rungta said...

4/6 injuries were yours? Any particular reason?

Mike Jones said...

Well, "rider error" was the main reason. Mostly, I tried to ride up almost everything. My shoes attach to my bike pedals, so when I fall over on a climb I pretty much hit the rock with feet still attached. When I climb with that kind of pedals, I am fully committed to finish the climb or fall over trying. Most of the young men would just put a foot down and then walk.

On one of my falls, I finally pried my foot off my pedal and the bike slid about 15 feet down the rock. It was cool.

Neha Rungta said...

Question is do you have any cool videos (like the one with Eric falling) that would provide us with some entertainment

Adventure Man said...
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Adventure Man said...

Nice.. trip to moab with the scouts. I like the blog for Utah updates. Just found you.

I am creating an online community for updates and adventures in Moab, UT. I think we should link our blogs up (and anyone else who is interested).

I do work for the Moab Adventure Center, so I stay up-to-date on Moab stuff. Anyway, good blog, and lets link up! Moab Adventures