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Figure 8 Stitch in Kokopelli's Robe

May 10, 2012
Sunday dawned as one of those beautiful days pulling you outside to enjoy life.  I’ve been off of my bike overly much for the last couple of months, so I was ready for a ride with my handful of free hours.  A little of it evolved as I rode, but what I ended up with was a good ride for me.  Beginning at the Loma area Kokopelli parking lot; Westward over Moore Fun, continuing southwest up and over Mack Ridge, clockwise around Troybuilt, a bit of doubletrack time back to the Lions area saddle, and finishing counterclockwise on Steve’s Loop, Mary’s and part of Wranglers, popping back over the saddle on the old Kokopelli doubletrack section to drop in at the base of Moore Fun, and over the road hump to end.
One of the nicest things about the Kokopelli loops is the opportunity to put together a ride or Quick read more or view full article a variation that suits the time available and keeps things fresh.

Moore Fun – some people refer to it as Less Fun, or some other less than enthusiastic nickname, but it’s probably my favorite section of trail in the area.  I enjoy the new entry section on the East side that was created this past year.  The route is its usual array of small rock moves, sustained climb sections to push your legs and lungs, places to dab and places to not dab (yes!).  Legs are waking up, starting to move a little less lethargically.  It always feels nice to top out and enjoy the view of the river as you bend west through the saddle to drop a bit, and then top out yet again.  The descent back towards the Lions saddle is a sweet mix of moderate speed, moderate moves, a few spots to check to see if your balance is still working, a couple of little bursts of energy moves, etc.  A nice mix.  If you’re new to this trail – think ahead and walk anything that isn’t within your skill set, and wear a good fitting helmet.

Today, so far, I see only one runner on the trail.

Mack Ridge – climbing from the saddle this is a sweet piece of trail.  A couple of rocky sections about a third of the way up the climb make you manage your timing and pedal strokes a bit more than usual, but nothing to kill yourself over.  Views of the agricultural side of Loma/Mack area are nice.  You could look down on the Country Jam folks at that certain time of year and think of the difference between their moment and yours.  As I hefted my bike through the rock band squeeze point, I notice the chainring gouges in a couple of the rocks in the middle of the move and think to myself “some folks are riding down this – I don’t”.  It’s a line that you can see, more easily when you’re at the bottom looking upwards.  It’s a little tougher to believe that line when at the top looking down the thing.  If you’re riding that – more power to you.  More spinning gains the gently rolling singletrack along the ridge top and heads towards the recently completed section that is frankly, a sharp new piece of work.  It’s still soft – needs a few more tires on it, and a bit of moisture to start settling things in a bit.  This drops you right down towards the south to low on the river side of the old doubletrack.  You can tell that a lot of effort went into the rock work in this route.  There are a handful of moves that take some focus.  I’ve had to ride a couple of them more than once to get through cleanly, but once you find the line it’s a treat.  Two more runners right here, enjoying the new route.  It would be nice to see some of the runner crowd out on trail work days.  The trail spits you out right at the top of the recent Troybuilt reroute (coincidence?  I think not).

Clockwise on Troybuilt.  This is an underappreciated piece of trail I think, sort of off on its own at the ‘end’ of things.  I love the fast moving sections of this trail – a little sandy now, but not bad.  Some moves have worn to better condition lately, and some to worse.  And a small new drainage across the trail appeared on the west side recently.  Looking down on Salt Wash and the Kokopelli route departing west always makes me want to continue that way.  I seldom do.  The skill level requirement of Troybuilt are not high overall, but it offers a satisfying mix of moderate effort, a bit of ‘chatter’ to keep you smiling, some sweet curvy & groovy spots, and the feel that not so many wheels go this way.  One of my faves.
OK, a couple miles of double track is the choice today in comparison to climbing back up over Mack Ridge on the jeep road (never all that much fun).  But quickly you’re back to the low saddle over the ridge in the Lions/Mary’s area.  A quick zip by the base of Lions, remembering the years of rides on that route and the surprising lack of time on it in the past few years….  And quickly you’re at the entry to Steves.  After dropping in and quickly hitting the level singletrack curving along the rim section, I’m blown away by all of the wandering tire tracks off of the trail.  It’s painful to see – why can’t we ride on the trails?  The power of education is the only thing that will improve that I imagine.  About this point, my orange in my pack calls out ‘eat me’.  Wow.

Then Mary’s singletrack appears in its dusty loveliness.  Wow things are dry and powdery right here for this time of year.  And again the mass traffic is apparent on this section of trail with a lot of wandering lines. But the river views that have graced a number of magazine pages are always nice, and the few familiar old moves are always welcome.  Barreling into the corner at the far East end of Mary’s singletrack I’m confronted with a parked set of bikes, in trail, between two rocks.  Watch out for inadvertent features is all I can say about that one I guess.

Wranglers peels off of Mary’s doubletrack with a sandy mellow climb.  Boy our dry winter is obvious in moisture content of the soil.  I enjoy peeling off of Wranglers just shy of its high point to head towards the old section of doubletrack that Kokopelli trail used long ago.  This allows for a quick drop right to the base of Moore Fun.  There’s nothing stellar about the route, other than it brings back old memories.

Up and over the hump on satisfyingly tired legs brings me to a view of the parking lot that is absolutely packed with vehicles and people out to enjoy the trails.  It’s funny, that on all of this ride, I’ve seen a grand total of about half a dozen people.  In the parking lot, I am greeted with a COPMOBA sticker on the truck next to mine.  Sweet!
So I bet that many or all of you have been on all of these trails, so it’s not telling you about something you don’t already know, but maybe this will spur a new route out of the old for you.

Have fun,  Scott
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Posted by Scott Winans
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