Archive | April, 2009

Check Out Our Soil Crusts!

25 Apr

Very well developed biological soil crustsThis a picture of what we wish most of our desert still looked like. These are biological soil crusts that take many years to grow and only a second to destroy. If my swiss army knife were in the picture you would see that these guys are about four inches tall and took about 50 years to get that big. If not for cows and jeeps and ATV’s and bikes and any other thing trundling across the open lands, most of our desert would still be covered with and protected by these living organisms. Anyone who has spent any time over the last ten years here can tell you that there is way more dust in the air on a windy day. That’s because the soil crusts have been disturbed and can’t do their important job of holding the dirt in place. Once a patch has been crushed to dust (one footprint can be a culprit), that dust migrates with the next wind and smothers the neighboring crusts. It is a sad story that is only going to get better if people, all of us, start paying a lot more attention to detail. Every footstep, campsite, and tire track leaves a mark. There are a lot of us out there and we need to make a difference. Start now!


No Trepidation on Intrepid

25 Apr

Not to brag too much but this trail along the rim of Dead Horse Point State Park is fantastic.  This brand spanking new singletrack was designed by locals along with the IMBA Trail Care Crew and built by locals with the assistance of pros from the American Conservation Experience trail crews. The trail winds along through the pinion-juniper desert in and out of small drainages, up and over rock ledges and out to spectacular viewpoints that take your breath away.  The ride is designed for beginners and families and is where to go for a refreshing, remote, laid back peddle through some of the most wonderful country where you will most likely see deer, rabbits, hawks, and an aerial view of the Colorado River like no other. The trail moves back and forth from the rim to minimize impacts to wildlife, skirts potholes to protect local fauna access to water, avoids cryptogamic soils that hold the desert in place and keeps you abreast of your location through an informative map signage system. The complete 9 mile loop system will keep every member of the group engaged and if you are lucky enough to have rented the group site (located along the route), some of them can break off and relax with a beer or a cup of tea while everyone else goes for a second round.




The Whole Enchilada

25 Apr

Enough already! No more threats of tickets for illegal riding, no more covert shuttle activity, and no more wishful thinking that someday we would have a trail of epic proportion that showcases our mountains and desert with 7000 feet of elevation drop. The Forest Service in the La Sal Mountains has come through again for the mountain biking community. Say thanks to Brian and Max (and let’s not forget Jeff and Joel from Trail Mix) for coordinating the biologists and botanists and archeologists. Say thanks again for designing a fantastic reroute of the previously user created trail that forgot about the critter’s breeding habits and other environmental concerns. Another thanks for getting those biker volunteers out there for the big trail work day push that put the official opening in March instead of maybe sometime in August. If it ever stops snowing up there (actually it is melting fast now), we’ll all be enjoying the latest addition to a fine network of trails in Moab’s own little mountain range.