After eight years in the valley, I finally rode the infamous Goat Camp Loop in the White Tanks. All those years I lived on the west side and was riding the competitive loops… all the while Willow, Mesquite, and Goat Camp were up there just laying around waiting for me… Sure I’d heard about them but when I asked the park rangers years ago, they said they were too rocky for bikes. Rangers.
Sure, Goat Camp is a rocky beast but it’s not too much for the adventure-hungry semi-insane or skilled rider. You’ve only got to be one or the other, but both doesn’t hurt at all (unless you fall). I made it out today with just a couple of scrapes, no hard crashes. Pretty happy about that. My first day of Christmas vacation and I have one epic ride under me.
Photo by Kathleen
Today’s ride consisted of a group of seven MTBR riders, including one Mike Curiak, the famous big wheel builder and Lenz rider. Left to right, DurtGurl, Mikesee, AKA Monkeybutt, Salty Dog, tonloc08, TheBarqsMan, and Cactus Joe. Scott and Chad were going to ride today but bailed.
There wasn’t as much HAB as I thought there would be, a lot of the tough stuff in the beginning was rideable. Once up above the initial buff stuff, the climb was incredible. For the most part, it wasn’t techy but, but it was at a pitch that motivated me into a sweet climbing groove. Around every bend seeing the next climb was inspiring. I could do this.
While Mike C. was taking pictures like crazy, I was enjoying the groove of the climb too much to stop and play photographer. Even with all his stops, he was back on the bike and climbing like a madman ahead of me. So not many pics from me on this ride, but I’ll link to some shots from the group later.
The descent is almost indescribable. With one adverb and an adjective I’d say it is dangerously incredible. If I want to keep riding this trail, I’ll have to consider a couple of things: body armor, a couple more inches of travel in front and back, and about 3 more inches of wheel. Watching the 29ers roll through the chunk was a treat. The combo of skills and bike (Mike C. + Lenz, DurtGurl +Lenz) made riding this stuff look easy. Christmas is coming up in a couple of days, I wonder if it’s too late to order a Lenz from Santa?
I was also amazed at the skills of Jeff and Cactus Joe. They nailed all the big stuff on their 26ers, a Turner and a Nomad. Spiral Staircase, Jackhammer, they rode through it like butter. I need to ride with guys like this more often. Thanks all for a great time.