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Posts tagged ‘utah’

water in the desert

water in the desert

A few years ago now, my friend Joe Parkin guest-edited Dirt Rag magazine, and he asked me to write a story for it. With Dirt Rag sadly gone and the story likely to disappear into my magazine pile forever before long, I decided to put it here for safekeeping.

This is a story about bikes and friends and recalcitrant trails, and the ways that our worlds collide in ways we never quite expect.

I have included Joe P’s original introduction, because it made me laugh at the time, and it still does. I reproduced this thing from my original file, so any errors belong to me. Don’t blame Joe. He’s totally innocent. The Oxford commas, for example, all mine.

My friend Jen See has a big brain—as in Ph.D. big. Despite that, she writes a lot of stuff about bikes. When she’s not writing about bike-related things, she surfs. A couple of years ago, she gave me a copy of Chas Smith’s Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell, which is a totally awesome read, by the way. [Jen: Heh, that’s where my copy went!] Recently, she went on a media trip that included a trail that I don’t like at all. She didn’t either. Mostly. Though she ended up finding something positive. I asked her to write a piece that felt like Chas Smith [Like I could really ever ghostwrite Chas!] but was still completely Jen See [That part, I can do, for better or worse]. I think she did it. —Joe Parkin

We’d driven out to the desert with mountain bikes and beers, the necessary ingredients for a weekend of trouble making. Up a muddy road, the campsite sat high on a mesa overlooking the torrid landscape of southern Utah. We pitched tents and pulled cactus thorns from our fingers. Clouds billowed overhead, promising a future storm. I didn’t like the look of that, but there wasn’t much I could do about it. Sometimes I regret my life choices.

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lizard life

I went out to Southern Utah and played bikes with a crew of women. Southern Utah has crazy weather, on the whole. Last year when I was at Tour of Utah for Bicycling, it was all thunderstorms and flash flooding. The Dodge Dart did not like the flash flooding. This time around, it was rain. And hail.

But we rode bikes anyway and ate a lot of great food and drank beers around the fire. And then we rode bikes some more. Western Spirit handled the food and trail guiding and Diamondback dialed in the bikes. I recommend Southern Utah for all your bike riding and camping needs. It’s good out there.

My friend Kate wrote a story about our trip out to the desert for Cool Hunting and you can see more of my pictures from the trip there.

Back home, out of the desert, hammering keyboards, wearing the letters off. My keyboard is missing a bunch of letters. It’s totally fine. Nothing to worry about.