Two weeks ago the plan was in place, head out to Utah for some photos and riding. Getting out to Vegas for Interbike was tentatively in there too. After work on Wednesday, I took off to meet up with the Buells, Michael and Brian, in El Jebel. I got in late and we decided to leave early in the morning....like 4 am early. We got up and hit the road to meet up with Andrew Wilz to do some photos.

Our day in Virgin was spent riding what was already there and riding billy goat lines. I got super dehydrated and unfortunately was not able to ride during the limelight sunset. Andrew did a few amazing shots of a drop next to the Toilet Bowl line that are magazine cover worthy! The Buells are typically labeled as racers, but their Konas took to the Utah desert like they were built to huck....oh wait they were http://www.nicksimcik.com/_/About_Me/Entries/2009/10/6_Virgin%2C_99%2C_Moab_Oh_Boy!!!.html! Anyway, we got what we needed out of Virgin, so we started our trek to Hanksville. I hopped in with Wilz and the Buells took my truck with their trailer hooked up. Unfortunately they ran out of gas about a mile from the exit and couldn’t quite coast the remaining distance. Right at the same time, a right rear flat occurred. “It’s not a Utah roadtrip unless you run out of gas.” (Michael Buell)


From there we ended up camping at a Ranch Exit in the middle of the Swell and woke to some amazing landscape which we HAD to give a go. An hour hike and climb a bike led to a very cool descent which Wilz shot from a half mile away. He documented most of the ride with about 400 photos which was pretty cool.

From our moon ride, we headed to Moab. We got into Moab in the early afternoon and took a ride out on Slickrock for some shots. Andrew got some amazing last light shots. The trail bike was perfect and we even got some Camelback shots going too.

Saturday. This ride deserves its own story. The “Whole Enchilada.” This ride requires a pretty big shuttle and a pretty strong person to do. Ryon from Chilli Pepper Bike Shop shuttled us due to his busted hand. You start in the back of the mountains where it seems as though you are in the middle of Colorado, not in Utah or Moab. You start with a tough climb straight up a big ass mountain. From there its on. The first descent will get your rotors HOT! I have the scar to prove it. You start with a descent through the high alpine crossing creek after creek with some jumps mixed in. Then you have a small climb to the top of Hazard County. Then you head down Hazard County and then head to UPS and LPS. From there you come out on the overlook of Porcupine Rim. This 32 mile ride has 7,000 feet of trail bike descending. We were rallying like a full on DH race! It was awesome. I popped and ran out of water and turned to tunnel vision. Normally when you get out to the river at the bottom of Porky, you are bummed its over, by the time we got to the bottom, we were just perfect! After the pedal to town, we headed over to Milts for shakes, burgers, fries and recovery food. This ride is AMAZING! It makes Monarch Crest and the Rainbow trail seem like a XC warm up run. It is RAD!


Saturday night we headed back to El Jebel and rode the Buells trails. They gave me a tour of Geronimo bike Park and I was impressed to say the least. The trails are well built and in that terrain, building seems impossible. Cory Ross and the Buells have done an amazing job. I got to ride their jump trail, check out their Super D trail, look at the dirt jumps and slalom. That place has a BIG future. The trails don’t look slapped together, the trails flow, you don’t have to work for the trails and you can honestly ride any bike on them. The Buells rode their hardtails and I rode my Transition Double. They have the coolest bike rack/shuttle vehicle I have ever seen. It was perfect. Thank you guys for your hospitality! I cannot wait to come back and shred your trails and jumps.


The trip went very well, we got to do a bunch of riding, got to hang out with some very good friends and have some amazing proof of the trip thanks to Andrew Wilz of Frontline Image. I cannot wait for the next trip!


POD!!! http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/4076357/

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