by Dave Johnson
Today I decided that I should ride Zen Trail seeing that I wouldn’t have another chance to try it for another 3 weeks, even thought I dislocated my knee for a second on Tuesday. By Friday the pain was gone so I said “what the hell lets go try one of the hardest trails in St. George.”
I arrived at the trailhead around 8:00 a.m., and had a look at a 750ft climb. The beginning portion of the trail is ATV track and is a smooth steady climb. As soon as it turned into a single track I started encountering a much steeper climb and some quick rock stunts
About half way up is a tiny rock drop and continues between two rocks that I scraped my pedals on. After that you come to a cliff where you can see the 3 Fingers of Death of Bearclaw Poppy Trail.
For your first time riding this trail it would be really hard to find your way without a GPS. I lost the trail countless times, and had to walk a few steep parts. In some sections I think it’s impossible to bike up the trail no matter what type of bike you have.
I was somewhat disappointed with downhill even though it had a lot of fun tech spots mixed in. The downhill isn’t fully downhill. There are a few places where you have to climb back up. It was nothing big or hard but after the 750ft climb I really didn’t have the energy to climb the short ups near the bottom of the trail.
The weather was perfect. Yes I know it’s cloudy, but I would much rather have cool and cloudy verses Hot and sunny. The trail was really great but not a trail I would ride every week.
by Dave Johnson
Today I decided to go for a solo ride again, this time I chose Sidewinder Trail. This is a new trail located inside the Santa Clara River Preserve. It shares the same trailhead as Barrel roll and Black Bush Trail. You start off on Barrel Roll trail and after about 130 ft it branches off on Precipice Trail.
Precipice Trail is cut into the side of the mesa just below Barrel roll, and after about a mile it branches off again. If you go right then it will hook into Barrel Roll and if you go Left then it will hook into Sidewinder Trail. This is where the real fun starts. Sidewinder is a trail made up of switch backs that never seems to end and is about a 300ft climb in about 2.5 miles.
This trail has many tech parts nothing really hard. I only walked one part and that was a little rock stunt on top. It had a 90 degree left turn off a drop with a cliff to the right so I wasn’t feeling that sporty after a 500ft climb. The downhill is really fun, but is very short lived because of the silt in the corners of the switchbacks. Right before you join back up with Precipice Trail and/or Barrel roll there is a little jump that won’t get you that high but you can fly a good distance depending on your speed.
by Dave Johnson
I went for a solo ride this morning on Barrel Roll Trail in Santa Clara. I haven’t riden it for a few months so I sort of forgot how much of a workout it is. I was using this as my training ride before I try Zen Trail in a few weeks.
The ride went really good for me. I forgot about all the tech stuff but there was nothing that held me back. It took me about an 1:45 minutes to run, which is a major improvement on my first time of about 3 hours. so I got some good photos, some good exercise, and I didn’t crash.