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  1. #1
    LOOK FREAK
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    Going to be in Moab in July...

    ..with road and mtn bikes. saw the 'discoverutah' site and plan to hit several of those 30-50mi rides near the CO river, through arches, canyonlands, etc.

    can anyone recommend other great rides in this area (preferably road) that might not be so well known?
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  2. #2
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    Plan to ride early in the morning (before sunrise) and take/drink lots of fluids. It's drier than dry and dangerously hot. If you want to drive north just a bit, the San Rafael Swell has lots of mtn. biking options and history as well.

    Some of the best road biking in the state is up north in Salt Lake in many of their canyons (Big Cottonwood, Emigration and Park City). Park City/Heber have lots of mtn/road option and is cooler that time of year).

    Have fun!

    Quote Originally Posted by nyvram
    ..with road and mtn bikes. saw the 'discoverutah' site and plan to hit several of those 30-50mi rides near the CO river, through arches, canyonlands, etc.

    can anyone recommend other great rides in this area (preferably road) that might not be so well known?

  3. #3
    LOOK FREAK
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    really? now y'all are scaring me..i'm flived in the southeast (new orleans, houston, baton rouge) so i'm used to extremely hot/muggy conditions. is a 30 mile ride going to kill me? i mean i know about how quickly u get dehydrated and stuff..but there will be a breeze while you're riding..as long as i take a couple water bottles 2-3 hours in the sun won't be that bad right?

    i was planning to do one in the morning..go have lunch in moab somewhere..then another ride in the afternoon.
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  4. #4
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    North?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleblu
    ...If you want to drive north just a bit, the San Rafael Swell...
    Isn't the Swell WEST of moab?

  5. #5
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    Yes, west, but a little north too. It's been a few years since I lived in the state.

    There's no humidity there (unless you get a thundershower, which is common in the afternoons there), but, no it won't kill you - the elevation is something to think about too coming from sea level. I did several trips in that area during college and always remembered how paranoid people were about people new to the area about staying hydrated and not getting too carried away. We used to ride the Swell in the Spring/Fall and went through a lot of liquid (support wagon with us). A lot of tourists in the Summer down there.

    Go and have fun and report back - I'd even recommend ditching your bike for a day and taking a river trip.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tlaloc
    Isn't the Swell WEST of moab?

  6. #6
    LOOK FREAK
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    the lack of humidity is a welcome friend..i realize its because my sweat is getting sucked out of me..but when i took my kids there a couple years ago (granted it was early june) i loved how i could run up a hill..then pause to catch my breath..and once i had my breath i was good to go.

    here..not so much. you pause to catch your breath and then you have to wipe the gallon of water and salt out of your eyes and your shirt sticks to your nipples and rubs them raw. loads of fun living in a place where you can wring 8oz of water out of your headband after an hour ride.

    i'll take the risk of getting dehydrated vs the misery of too much humidity any day of the week. with all the warnings i'm aware i need to be careful to drink plenty of water.
    1999 Gary Fisher Procaliber Red/Yellow SRAM X9
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  7. #7
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    I just got back from Moab yesterday. Rode the skinny tire festival Canyon-lands and Arches were the two best rides lots of climbing, The Colorado river corridor is good also. Definitely want to get an early start as it is very hot in July.

  8. #8
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    i took the trail down the side of canyonlands in my 4runner a couple years back that meandered back to moab along the CO river..so if the river ride includes that area with the indian writings on the rocks..yes goregous.

    i didnt hit arches so that will be a new area for me. i'm glad there's some climbing..i love riding but i like having some hills to throw into the mix..although moab is for fun..not for training or riding hard.
    1999 Gary Fisher Procaliber Red/Yellow SRAM X9
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  9. #9
    la dolce vita
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    Do the La Sal loop with the famous "Big Nasty" climb. Its south and east of town. It's easy to find. Just head south out of town on Spanish Valley Dr, it runs just to the east of the main road, Hwy 191. Stay on it until it turns east into the big mountains and ride it until your lungs explode. It takes you from desert up to alpine forest. Its awesome.
    There are great road rides in Moab, just not that many roads though. You may also want to search this site. Road rides in Moab comes up every once in a a while.
    insert witty comment here

  10. #10
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    Incredibly hot in July.. Your tires are going to melt of your bike midday.. Like others have said, start early.. Lots of fluids..Lots of SPF 50. I go out there every April/May and it is hot even then, with crazy UV.. You can ride late in the day too, but it is still quite warm because the pavement reatins the heat from the hottest part of the day..

  11. #11
    LOOK FREAK
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    y'all are depressing me. i was there in late may a couple years ago and it seemed really nice. is it really hot enough to melt your tires???
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  12. #12
    Diphthong
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    Average high temp for the entire month of July is 101. There will be days where it will be hotter than that. It is a dry heat but the hard part is carrying enough water for longer rides. I've never been to Moab between June and September. It's been plenty hot in May and October for me not to want to be there. Water is scarce to say the least. You have to carry all of your water with you and hope you brought enough. I ran out once on Slickrock and it was no bueno.
    I expected the Rocky Mountains to be a little rockier than this.

    I was thinking the same thing. That John Denver's full of $hit, man.

  13. #13
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    I lived in Houston, Baton Rouge and New Orleans. All 3 of those places routinely hit the low 100s and the humidity is off the charts ridiculous.

    So 101+ doesn't scare me if its a dry heat..I got the hydration message loud and clear..I'm just wondering is it really worse than a summer in Houston??? Cuz that's tough to top imo. Its in the 100s until like late Sept there.
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  14. #14
    Yo no fui.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyvram
    I lived in Houston, Baton Rouge and New Orleans. All 3 of those places routinely hit the low 100s and the humidity is off the charts ridiculous.

    So 101+ doesn't scare me if its a dry heat..I got the hydration message loud and clear..I'm just wondering is it really worse than a summer in Houston??? Cuz that's tough to top imo. Its in the 100s until like late Sept there.
    I've ridden in Fruita in the summer, and it's scary hot out there. It might feel hotter with the sun, which won't be blocked by any clouds whatsoever. Sunscreen, tons and tons of sunscreen on all exposed skin is required. With the dryness, you don't realize all of the water you're losing. Plus, out the BFE around Moab, there's nowhere to refill those bottles.
    "It is better to conquer yourself, than to win a thousand battles." -Dhammapada

    "Fact is only what you believe; fact and fiction work as a team." Jack Johnson

    "A true cyclist sometimes has to bite the dust before he can reach the stars. Laurent Fignon

  15. #15
    LOOK FREAK
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    Here is the website I was using:

    http://discovermoab.com/moab_road_biking.htm

    The rides I'm planning are short..2-3 hours with the longest one being maybe 45 miles or so. I'm thinking I'll be ok especially if I start out in morning. ISTR its pretty chilly in Utah at daybreak.

    None of those seem out in the boonies..they're mostly the major parks in the area and I'm not getting out on the slickrock (little more risky getting out on a mtn bike and hurting myself offroad)
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  16. #16
    Diphthong
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    Every ride I've ever done in Moab is in the boonies. Don't be fooled by the proximity to Moab. Outside of city limits there is very little in terms of services.

    Start early
    Rest often
    Carry as much water as you possibly can.

    From your link:
    Arches - relatively busy, heavy tourist use if anyone else is visiting Moab in July :-); water available at the entrance, hilly
    Potash - small/no shoulder, good views, flat; if you have a filter, river is a water source, may be some small springs along the way
    LaSal Loop - best road loop in the area, demanding, tough climbs, scenic, cooler temps; lake and river as a water source
    Needles Overlook - don't know this one. Guessing it's fairly exposed
    Canyonland/Needles - don't know this one
    Canyonlands/Island in the Sky - exposed, windy, flat-ish, descends down to the entrance to the park; water source at the park visitor center
    Don't know the last three rides
    I expected the Rocky Mountains to be a little rockier than this.

    I was thinking the same thing. That John Denver's full of $hit, man.

  17. #17
    LOOK FREAK
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    thanks bulldozer! one more question..i have some friends with a farm in paonia, co that i am probably going to be staying at..but was also looking to camp out..do you have any suggestions of good places to camp around moab? i've only been to canyonlands (took the crazy drive down the cliff face in the 4wd) and downtown moab so i dont really konw much about the area.
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  18. #18
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    The la sal loop should not be missed. Great views, great climb, and a great downhill back into town.

  19. #19
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    I'm from Grand Junction. Coming from paonia, you have to stop and do the National monument loop(35 miles, 2-2 1/2 hrs). It's one of my favorite rides in the country, along with the La Sal Loop.

    I don't camp alot but will tell you what I've seen. Coming into town on the north end, on the right side of the road is a camping place that has pecial setups for tents where you get your own square, shower, there is a pool, and gated. I asked price(don't remember) but seemed cheap for the amentities , maybe 15$ ??
    There is a very similar place on the south side of town across from Chili Pepper bike shop.
    Camping is abundant up sandflats road. In season it's crowded, don't know about July.
    If you chose unimproved camping. I know there are showers at the gas station directly adjacent to the campground south I mentioned. A shower was maybe $6, I forgot, but that time of year you would pay $50 for a shower.
    I imagine there are more options, that's just what I've seen driving around.

  20. #20
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    national monument sounds awesome!! ok i'm doing that as well. la sal and that one are definites..and arches park since i haven't been there before. i'm also thinking the road that follows the COriver would be nice.

    i might have a buddy meeting me there..and so we could drive his car up to the turn-around point or perhaps even cut a few of the out'-and'-back in half by having a car at the end of the road. this could also be helpful for a water station. if its that hot, i would enjoy a loop..but anything that takes me back along the same stretch of road might be better if i do a one-way trip.
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  21. #21
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    ++ on the monument That's the "Tour of the Moon" from the Coors Classic
    The co river road into moab is busier with traffic than some of the other rides. Riding up to Dead Horse point is also nice.

  22. #22
    la dolce vita
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    There are campsites along the river road, but they seem full most of the time.

    On the Colorado side is a town called Gateway. South of town is a very Moab like canyon that goes for miles and nobody is on the road. It's the best kept secret in the state. Gateway has a nice resort and services along with a cool car museum.
    insert witty comment here

  23. #23
    Diphthong
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    Camping options are numerous. It depends on what you're looking for. Some places have showers, pools and electric/water hookups. Most will also have small "cabins" that will put a roof over your head. Other places are a firering and not much else. Lots of "improved" camping places in town. I haven't stayed at a bad campsite in town. More rustic camping is available along the river east of town (Hwy 128?) and along Sand Flats Rd (gateway to Slickrock and Porcupine). If you go the rustic route, some bike shops (Moab Cyclery) offer showers.
    I expected the Rocky Mountains to be a little rockier than this.

    I was thinking the same thing. That John Denver's full of $hit, man.

  24. #24
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    I've been in July. I'm from Florida, so heat didn't affect me too badly. You will be fine, when you live in subtropical climates your body acclimates to the heat, plus with experience your brain acclimates too and you ride smart.

    Enjoy yourself. I remember being out on Slick Rock with these guys from New York, they were cooked, literally. Those poor guys weren't used to the heat, I told them to keep drinking water. There isn't much shade around Moab.

    It's a cool place. Living in Houston, do ride with David Milham? I know it's a big road cycling scene in Houston.
    MyLabsBestFriend

  25. #25
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    I just rode Arches -- the road inside the park. It was stunning. That was July and we enjoyed ourselves MUCH more when we rode at the crack of dawn. Riding mid-morning is tough due to the intense heat. Plus, Arches is all about the climbing. We climbed 3400 ft. in 40 miles. You can also ride along the Colorado River, but the new bike path is washed out for the foreseeable future.

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