Several years ago the Red Bull Rampage got into full swing attracting hoards of bike industry types and freeriders to the sleeping little southern Utah towns of Hurricane, LaVerkin and Virgin. I got my very first press pass at the second Rampage event and I continued to shoot every one after that. But I didn’t just shoot when I traveled there, often we’d ditch the contest and jet over to nearby Gooseberry Mesa for some of the best singletrack and slickrock in the southwest.
The Rampage contest hasn’t happened for a few years now, but this year, after working for a SOLID five days I couldn’t resist to blow off some steam and return to this desert wonderland. So as soon the show closed on Friday evening I finished up my last gallery for the week and started the 3-hour drive east.
It seems as though I’m not alone either. Traffic through Hurricane must have tripled since my first stay there and I quickly learned of several other industry peeps who were thinking about stopping in to catch a ride as well.
Saturday was an exercise in patience as we attempted to ride Gooseberry and then later successfully descended Grafton mesa with a crew of riders including employees of Shuntavi Cycles as well as Chris and Lance Canfield of Canfield Brothers Bikes. I broke my rear shifter first thing in the day so I had a great excuse to demo a new Canfield One model. It’s a light freeride bike that weighs in the low 30-pound range and includes a very effective four-bar rear suspension design that tracks remarkably well over the square-edged impacts synonymous with the red rock cliffs of southern Utah. That bike is super rad, if only I lived closer to this type of terrain to justify a purchase.
Other casualties of the day from our group included: 1 sheared swingarm pivot, 1 mangled rear deraileur, 1 broken shock shaft, 1 shredded shifter cable but astonishingly no flats…
Sunday began with a few repairs and meeting up with Troy Rarick from Fruita’s Over The Edge Sports. It seems Troy is opening another Over The Edge bike shop right here in Hurricane to take advantage of their amazing local trail systems. Later we teamed up with Noel Buckley from Knolly Bikes, Paul Bell from Cane Creek and Jude Monica and Jeff Enlow from Magura to go explore the mesa across the highway from Gooseberry on a trail known as Little Creek.
Our ride was mostly slickrock with plenty of steep ups and downs plus a few flowy jaunts through rocky brush with one amazing panoramic overlook. Little Creek is less established than Gooseberry and requires a guide or else you’re bound to get lost lost searching for cairns, or rock stacks, that mark the way. I remembered by Garmin GPS this time and mapped our expedition HERE. I can’t think of a better finale to Interbike than a trek to Hurricane, I’ve already forgotten about the dozens of miles I walked last week through the Sands convention center…
Rubber Side Down