There is certain magic that lies upon the trails of Moab. You follow a path made of red soil, large rocks and loose rocks. You’re constantly concentrated, using the muscles of your legs, arms and back to fly over the without losing balance. With the flow, you start feeling the joy, you pedal faster and try something you’ve never done before, a higher drop or an incredibly technical and exposed section. You stay on the wheel. You ride on, stay focused, and keep your muscles tense. Until it happens: you weren’t focused for a millisecond, the pressure on your pedal was just a tiny bit too weak, you try keep the balance but it’s too late. Your legs need to run to keep up with the speed you are moving at. You slow down, you stop, you are trying to catch your breath. You turn around to pick up your uni, but the beauty surrounding you catches your eyes. And you pause. You look at the wide canyons, the red rocks, the towers and arches, the formations formed in a long passed chapter of this planet. You take a deep breath. You turn, grab your uni and hurry down the trail.
Last weekend I had the chance to participate in Moab Munifest, a classic amongst the mountain unicycling conventions. It had been on my list for a while, so last month, during my incredibly fun stay at Tenerife, I decided to simply book a flight and do it. I teamed up with Benoit Gonneville Damme, a rider from Montreal (who also organizes Unicon 17, the next unicycle world championships this summer) to extend the weekend to a weeklong adventure and make it worth the long flight.
We met up in Denver and went riding in the smaller mountains of the region, which weren’t completely covered in snow. We did some fun rides, went to Mallory Cave and the Dinosaur Mountain outside of Boulder, went up the Northern Table Mountain of Golden and had excellent snow riding conditions on Bergen Park Trail outside of Evergreen. I had never seen mountains like these before, very high but yet delicately formed and constantly imagined cowboys on horses exploring these wild lands. In the evenings we returned to Denver, where we were staying with Anne and Marco, the most lovable hosts one can imagine. Marco just recently got into unicycling and spontaneously invited us to stay at their house when he heard we were coming to the area. Every night a delicious home cooked meal and warm conversations about culture and politics were waiting for us. We also made friends with their joyful son José, who is four years old and turns out to be a big fan of balloon animals and hats.
On Thursday before the convention, Benoit and I met up with Max Schulze, who is also a member of the KH Factory Team, Jacob Spera and Jenni Rinker. With Max’ car packed to the roof with gear and camping equipment, we drove through the Rocky Mountains in the dark. When we arrived at Slickrock Campground in Moab later that night, we were happy none of our unicycles had fallen off the bike rack in the back, pitched our tents in the dark and soon crawled into our fluffy sleeping bags.
When I awoke the next morning, I found the campground to be surrounded by huge red sandstone hills, which kept the valley in the shadow and the air cold and crisp. Continue reading Three epic days in Moab