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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 3:13 pm 
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Following the prior day's warm-up ride, it was time to crank out an all day ride. Next stop was Kokopelli Loops, just west of Fruita. The official area is McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area and is sandwiched between I-70 and the Colorado River. This day’s ride would cover some 24 miles consisting of Moore Fun, Lion’s, Mack Ridge, Steve’s Loop, Mary’s Loop, and Horsethief Bench, but don’t let the mileage fool you. And those wanting to do the ultimate tour could add another 9 miles with Troy Built and Rustlers Loops. But you’d better be in century shape and have a mid ride water dropoff.

Parking at the trailhead off the Loma I-70 exit, this also begins the full 142 mile Kokopelli trail all the way to Moab. A short climb from the parking lot puts you over the ridge and the highway behind you.

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We barely got started and already lost the Moore Fun trailhead. We eventually ran across another unmarked connector that dumped us on to it.

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Once on the trail, there’s a lot of technical climbing and Moore Fun is rated as the most technical trail in this system. Many black diamonds, and several double black (read hike-a-bike) sections. To the far right is the main road coming over the ridge from the trailhead parking lot.

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The climbing doesn’t ease up, but the chunky terrain does mid-climb.

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Bjammin pushing his bike again (Singlespeed this time)

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Offroadie climbing out of the seat

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First view of Horsetheif Bench, the sunken mesa, which will be the last loop of the ride

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Mountain biker on the ridge overlook with Mack Ridge in the background

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Once reaching the top overlook at 5,400’ it was time for our first break.

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And soak in the scenery

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Then it was time for the descent to pick up Lion’s Loop. Mack Ridge is the 5,300’ mesa, while Lion’s traverses around the lower half.

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The group cranking it out on Lion’s

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Soon it’s time for lunch.

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While overlooking Steve’s loop below.

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And watching three other riders on Steve’s Loop

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Then it quickly turns technical

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With a portage by the big rock on the right

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Towards the end you jump on an old service road, but that’s where 600’ of climbing begins. Evdog with Jabantik in tow.

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On top of the ridge, the views just get better

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About 3/4 through Mack Ridge, we now look over our lunch spot on Lion’s, Steve’s Loop, and the Colorado River.

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Then it’s time to get off Mack Ridge

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With a fast descent back to the saddle that meets up with Moore Fun.

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Now it was time for Steve’s loop,

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Mary’s Loop (there’s 4 riders in the middle of the picture),

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And Horsethief Bench. But first you’ll need to drop this staircase to hell.

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If you want a better picture of someone riding the staircase it, see page 24 of May 2009 Bike magazine. With 24 miles in the books and all of us whipped, it was time to head back to Grand Junction for fine beer and food at Breckenridge Brewery’s Ale House pub.


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The following 13 users would like to thank GP_pilot for his or her post:
badkittyjing, bajamtnbkr, bankerboy, Brian, jabantik, katonk, Ld00d, Los, moondogg, OhNooo, Red Hot Sloth, Robo, tsinillas
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 3:32 pm 
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This stuff just makes me drool. Swooping narrow trails with the extra chunky mix thrown in, incredible views, wide open sight lines...ugh. Nice. Real nice shots too.

And thanks for the unbelievable help on Archipelago all day yesterday GP! Ice cold Gatorade never tasted so sweet.


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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 4:04 pm 
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Looking over the river from a neat trail whose name I never knew
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Almost everyone, along something bench, I think
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The river, from somewhere else
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Loco
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Scenic
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 5:28 pm 
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Awesome write-up and photos! :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 5:37 pm 
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Wow, what a great looking set of trails. I love the shots of Steve's loop. Did you guys feel the exposure on the trail or was the singletrack too far from the edge?


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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 5:51 pm 
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I spent a day there is 2005, that place is awesome. I've been researching the Kokopelli as a no-stop route, looking at fall 2010, any takers?

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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 7:20 pm 
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What an incredible looking trail. I bet the pictures only capture a fragment of the beauty.

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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 10:05 pm 
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Looking at those pics makes me even more excited for next year!


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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 10:23 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 11:42 pm 
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I think this was the most epic day, probably a good thing it was day 2 and not day 6 or 7. Really enjoyed the technical climbs (and descents!) on Moore Fun. Steve's loop was cool but you get a similar ride along the edge on Mary's. Maybe next year we can try out those other loops we didn't do....or Eric's no-stop Kokopelli. Now that would be epic!

Here are my pics.

Part way up Moore Fun. The intersection in the middle of the pic is where we got to before realizing we'd missed our turnoff.
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Looking from the top over I-70. We parked just over the ridge where you see the road cross over it.
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A repeat of Sean's, but whatever.
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No, there weren't any bodies in the cab
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Sladnas and jabantik approach a tough rise
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And because we haven't had a pic yet of Ben's ass:
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Sweet singletrack on Horsethief bench
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This pic is necessary or the series just won't be complete
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Somehow by the time we got to Horsethief I wasn't as tired as I had been the previous year, even though we had ridden a lot more difficult stuff on day 2. Horsethief and Moore Fun were definitely my favorites on the day.


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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 4:37 pm 
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nice photos. looks fun.

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