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5 Rides to Extend Summer

By Celestia Howe

This week I received three emails advertising fall rides and cold-weather gear. It's a nice 85 degrees in Boulder right now, perfect for riding. Let's debunk the marketers and keep spinning late into the summer. Don't FALL in August! Here's five rides, to keep you spinning into the fall. #becausebikes  

MTB: The Whole Enchilada, Moab, UT

With nearly 8,000 vertical feet of descending and over 34 miles of iconic trails such as Porcupine Rim, this is an epic bucket list ride. Take a shuttle to Geyser Pass in the LaSal Mountains, climb another 600 vertical feet to Burro Pass where you'll be above treeline, then drop the saddle as the epic single track starts! You'll be shedding layers so bring a camelback. Don't look at the elevation and think this is a completely downhill ride. There are lots of steep climbs that will make your heart pump hard and test your climbing ability. This ride has a little of everything, densely wooded singletrack, rim riding with epic views, tricky drops, and slickrock sections. Watch out for the gnarly big-boulder downhill section called, The Snotch. All but the most experienced riders get down without harm (aka most walk down). Here's a video of it getting cleared.

Distance: 34.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,283 feet
Descent: -7,794 feet
Start/End: Moab, UT (with shuttle)
MTB Project Map 

Recommended Bike Collection: Enduro Bikes // 6-7" of rear travel

Specialized Enduro
juliana strega

ROAD: Tuna Canyon/Santa Monica Mountains, CA

Tuna Canyon Road Riding

Park at the bottom of Tuna Canyon Rd, or anywhere on the PCH between Tuna Canyon and Malibu Canyon Rd. Start riding west along the big easy rollers and then turn right on Piuma Road. The climb starts in the wild country above Santa Monica with pristine views and a low number of cars. You'll hit Tuna Canyon and after a steep climb, get ready for a perma-grin as you descend a one-way downhill road (no oncoming traffic). At the end of the loop if you're not tired yet, it's easy to add on ride miles, just explore the nearby canyons. 

Distance: 27 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,800 feet
Start/End: Tuna Canyon Road
Tough Ascent Ride Review

Recommended Bike Collection: Carbon Road Bikes // Light and fast

MTB: Glorieta Trails, NM

Glorieta Mountain Bike TrailsPhoto Credit: Singletracks.com
The Glorieta trails are outside of Santa Fe in a tiny dusty town that you can easily miss. It's hard to find which means there aren't many riders on these high desert trails. There are lots of short trails that you can piece together, which is what Race #1 of the 2017 Big Mountain Enduro Race did (map below). You'll find steep pumpers, chunky flow, and high-speed downhill on tight singletrack.

Distance: 21.5 miles one way
Elevation Gain: 4,646 feet
Descent: -4,654 feet
Start/End: Glorieta, NM
MTB Project Map

Recommended Bike Collection: All-Mountain Bikes // 5-6" of rear travel

ROAD: Withlacoochee State Trail, FL 

Withlacoochee TrailPhoto Credit: viewfromthetrial.net

Situated between Orlando and Tampa in Citrus County, this rails-to-trails ride takes you through rural towns, tranquil rivers and lakes, plus wooded scenery. The trail parallels the Withlacoochee River then crosses the Withlacoochee State Forest and Croom Wildlife Management Area. As an added perk, each mile you ride you get a dose of railroad heritage since mile markers are cement poles from the railroad era. 

Distance: 46 miles one way
Elevation Gain: minimal!
Start: Dunnellon, FL 
End: Trilby, FL
Bike Florida Map

Recommended Bike Collection: Steel Road Bikes // Smooth and steady

MTB: The Back 40 Loop (and Ledge Trail), Bella Vista, AR

Bentonville, AR Mountain BikingPhoto Credit: Ozark Cycling Adventures

Intermediate XC trail that includes lots of flow, berms, drops, and moderate climbs while riding through thick woods, amazing vistas, and a hanging bridge cut into a rock bluff. This is the number one rated trail in Arkansas on MTB Project for a reason. If you are an advanced rider, take The Ledges trail counter-clockwise and meet back up with the Back 40 loop. The Ledges trail features rock ledges and technical jumps and drops with immediate corners. On these trails, you won't get lost, there's lots of signage and the trail system even has a bike repair station. 

Distance: 22.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,576 feet
Descent: 1,592 feet
Start/End: City of Bella Vista, AR
MTB Project Map - Back 40 Loop
MTB Project Map - The Ledges

Recommended Bike Collection: Trail Bikes // 4-5" of rear travel


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