Search for the Holy Trail – Part II

Here’s the second part of our trip through southwest USA. We’ll start of with the Jem trail, one of the best experiences we had so far. Why? Easy, the trail starts just near our camp spot for that night. It’s a downhill only trail and probably one of the fastest trails around St.George that is equal fun for beginners and advanced riders.

High Speed on dusty Trails

It was already getting dark and the ‘Golden Hour’ treated us with the most beautiful light. Dominik and Björn took the bikes for a last spin while Clemens and Roy grabbed their cameras to capture this special moment. Everyone was so stoked and pumped with adrenaline because the pictures looked really awesome on our little camera screens. The photographers opened already the first bottles of beer as everyone knew it would be awesome.

And it was… Look at the pictures and see for yourself…

Golden Light at the Jem Trail
Bikes, beer and good light

We had so much fun that night so we forgot to cook for diner until very late. Riding the whole day, having a blast and drinking beer without too much to eat?!? Do we need to say more??

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Into the sunset

The next day it was time for Björn and Roy to ride the Jem trail. Alarm clock at 6:30, eating a cereal bar and 7:00 sharp on the bike. Riding this trail during sunrise was just as spectacular as the night before. Especially when Dominik and Clemens prepared a good breakfast and coffee when we arrived at the bottom of the downhill.

Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon

After all the awesome bike riding, we had a big distance to cover heading to our next bike spot. But a road trip wouldn’t be a road trip if we didn’t stop along the way to see some more of the fabulous landscape.

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Inside “The Narrows”

Zion National Park was the first stop on our way. We stayed there overnight after a hike into the Virgin River Narrows. A huge canyon (at least until this point because Grand Canyon was still to come on our list) forced us to enter right through the river, as there was no room for a hiking trail. As it was very touristy lots of people made their way through the water with special boots, walking sticks and all kind of gear.

When we got deeper into the narrows it became quieter. We could just make it to the most spectacular place where the river forks, before it got dark and already pretty cold. Being trapped between the steep canyon walls was quite exciting for sure.

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Wildlife spotted!

The next day Grand Canyon was on our list. To be honest: everyone of us became very quiet after the first sights of the Grand Canyon. We saw lots of pictures on the Internet but we can say that they’re absolutely nothing compared to the real deal! You just can’t describe the depth of the Canyon and the breathtaking views.

Hiking down – Grand Canyon

 Back on the bike: Sedona

Our next stop was one of the most famous places for riding in Arizona. Sedona is a small desert town surrounded by a network of awesome trails.

With little sleep we got up in the morning at 6:30 and started our search for bikeshops to rent bikes. The best deal was “Bike and Beans” south of Sedona.

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Santa Cruz, Kona, DeVinci - Bike and Beans had our dream bikes for rent
Santa Cruz, Kona, DeVinci – Bike and Beans had our dream bikes for rent

A small bikeshop with high quality trailbikes for rent and great coffee to drink inside. The shop is located 200 meters away from the start of the first trails of the area, including the famous Hline and Slim Shady. Again riding is different to what we are used to in Europe. The trails wind up and down all the time, very technical downhills take turns with difficult uphills. Most trails can be ridden in either direction. In this area you really have to stay on the trails because otherwise you might ride straight into a cactus (not that we did of course…)

Technical downhills on Hline

We explored Slim Shady, Templeton, Easy Breezy (which was not easy at all) and parts of the Hline. The sun was out all the time and we enjoyed not only the vast network of trails but also the incredible desert landscape. Taking a bath in the Oak river midway through the ride completed a perfect bike day. Riding Sedona was just too much fun. All the trails which are connected to each other pushed us to stay on the saddle as long as possible. What would be a quick ride turned out to be a full day of riding. So it’s not hard to imagine we took way too less water with us. So everyone was dehydrated, we know it’s not smart, but we couldn’t stop riding.

Clemens and Dominik didn’t have enough bike riding yet. After a night at one of the scenic, remote parking lots we got back to the trailhead of Slim Shady. We were excited like little puppies to go for a morning walk. Our plan was to do the whole Hline -Baldwin -Slim Shady–loop. Legs were still pretty heavy and the first uphills of Hline were really hard. Going down, the first flowy parts of the singletrail got us stocked and getting up early already paid off.

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Playing around on the descent of Hline

After crossing some big rocks marked with white dots, the trail leads into a steep technical section. Definitely not for sissies and at a very steep section we were forced to take the chicken way.  The work at the Whiskey Off-Road Race we still had ahead of us stopped us from going crazy and taking unnecessary risks. A broken index finger would be a disaster. In the end we got back via our new favorite trail “Slim Shady”.

Going Sideways

After the great, but too short bike road trip we were all excited to shoot the Whiskey Off-Road Race in Prescott. We couldn’t believe that by all days the weather forecast for the race weekend was looking bad. We were expecting rain, and some guys told us, that during last year’s race a snow storm forced riders and organizers to cancel some parts of the race. With the help of Andy (Sponsorship and Marketing Manager at Epic Rides), some really helpful advice of local bikers and the trail maps we could find out some really decent Singletrail spots. Unlike the landscape in Sedona, Prescott experiences more rain and pine tree forests can be found around town. The atmosphere at the race weekend was very nice and relaxed. Lots of bike brands, local dealers and sponsors of the race filled the Expo area around the courthouse in the city center. Despite a fair amount of rain, spectators and racers seemed to have a blast and defied the bad weather with humor and good mood. We were so glad that we made the long trip to the U.S. and hope you enjoy our pictures!

See the entire “Best of” the Whiskey Off-Road at: http://www.sportograf.com/de/shop/event/3049-The-Whiskey-Off-Road-2015#event

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