Despite the raging blizzard that commenced this past block break, a group of eight intrepid mountain biking enthusiasts left for Fruita, Colo. to embark on an ORC biking adventure.
The group arrived in Fruita late Wednesday night to set up their campsite at an area called Road 18. On Thursday and Friday, they explored bike trails around Fruita and spent Saturday biking at Kokopelli, a day-use area about 15 miles from the Utah border. The first night was cold, but most of the trip was sunny and warm. There was a short rainstorm on Saturday, followed by an impressive rainbow.
Junior Leo Stout reported that both Fruita and Kokopelli boast beautiful terrain. Fruita offers “short, flowy trails for beginners, as well as longer, technical loops for more advanced bikers.” The group enjoyed riding trails “surrounded by eroded sandstone cliffs and canyons at Kokopelli,” according to Stout.
“This was my first time mountain biking and I’m hooked,” said sophomore Alexandra Drew. “I love the downhill thrills and bumps, lots like skiing but much warmer… I felt really encouraged by the group and the mountain bike community as a whole to keep going and enjoy my time outside.”
Freshman Alex Beutel has been mountain biking for six years and led the trip along with sophomore Austin Miller and assistant leader freshman Rhys Louis.
Several tripees had ridden before, whereas several others were new to the sport. They divided into two groups in the afternoons to allow everyone the chance to ride trails best suited to their skill level.
“It was exciting to see the other people on the trip get pumped to mountain bike,” Beutel said. “I love this sport and it is always great to spread that love for riding to other people.”
Stout had biked a bit in the past and explained that his own improvement over the course of the three days was one of the most satisfying aspects of the trip.
“There’s definitely a learning curve, especially with regard to riding downhill… and riding over large rocks,” Stout said. “After overcoming the initial difficulties and fear of crashing, you can enjoy the fast pace and fluidity of riding a bike in an outdoor environment.”
Participants also raved about the food. The group had a two-burner stove and made delicious desserts including apple crumble with chocolate chips as well as peach and cherry cobbler.
“We enjoyed the feast around the campfire, then told stories and laughed heartily,” Stout said.
“Moral of the story,” Drew said, “is that bikes are super fun.”