Saturday afternoon we rode the Kokopelli trail system. Last year we parked at the second parking lot and rode Steve’s Loop, then took Mary’s Loop to Horsethief Bench. This time we parked at the first parking lot. We missed the entrance to Mary’s Loop because it had a sign that said the trail was closed, so we ended up on Rustler’s Loop. That was a fun, quick and easy trail that added a few miles to our ride. We then took Mary’s Loop and headed to Horsethief Bench. We met a group of five women from Utah who were out riding while their husbands took care of the kids. That was pretty cool.
This is a picture of the staircase drop in to Horsethief. I made it this far, which is three steps farther than last year. From here it gets much worse. The drops get bigger and harder to negotiate, so going that far felt like a major accomplishment. I would never try to take the whole section because I enjoy eating solid foods.
There is a slickrock section that takes a steep dive that I skipped last year. I owned it this year. Soon after is a large rock drop that I forgot about. I came up to it and couldn’t remember how I rode it last year, and by the time I realized I had to jump it I was going too slow and hit my brakes and almost fell off the rock. That was unacceptable, so I convinced Tim to go back and hit it with me. That might have been the biggest drop of our trip, and it felt great. Right after that is a tougher drop because you don’t have a ledge to launch from. You ride down at a steep angle and have to pull up before you faceplant. We took that too. We stopped at our lookout spot above the Colorado River.
This is looking down on Horsethief Bench from Mary’s Loop. Horsethief Bench may be my favorite ride in that area. It has technical drops and steps to climb, fast single track, and beautiful scenery. I hope to take a few laps on it next time we are down there.
We rode almost 15 miles on the Kokopelli system, giving us 40 miles for the two day trip. Last year our trip was cut short when we were rained out and missed riding the Lunch Loop system. This may have been my favorite biking road trip. I stopped riding my road bike the week before we left, and I rode the Juniper trails at home on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before leaving Thursday night. Juniper was great training because it has several rocky sections and tight turns, so it was good practice for the technical riding we did. I went down there ready to push hard and put down miles. I rode sections that I skipped last year, and I rode well. I was great to spend time with Mike and Tim and watch the feud surrounding Lance Armstrong and air quality. It was a great trip.