I got the call from our homies at Epic Rides on a Monday. They were going to Grand Junction, CO on Wednesday to prepare for the
party race they are putting on in August and asked if I wanted to jump in the car. Well thanks for the heads up, guys. But there was no way I could swing the time off from work on such short notice. It was actually kind of mean, because they know how much I love Western Slope riding (especially Lunch Loops). I really wanted to make this happen, so we started scheming. If I send my new bike up with them in the car and maybe I can catch a flight up there and meet up. Well that’s just what I did. I had no idea that there are direct flights from Phoenix to Grand Junction every day at 7pm. I’m going to take advantage of that a lot more in the future.
I busted out of work on Saturday and went straight to the airport. A little airport bar action followed by a little nap on the plane and I landed in GJ ready to get rowdy. And that’s just what happened when I was met at the airport with a bottle of bourbon that needed to be emptied. Game on.
We bee lined it for a bar called Bin707 to meet up with our buddy and GJ local, Robbie. Now I only mention (or remember) the name of this place because their “well whiskey” is Buffalo Trace Bourbon. Now you know. You’re welcome.
With so much delicious whiskey in front of us, the night went downhill fast. According to the stories the next day, it was a good time. Funny how what few pictures we have from that night all came out blurry. That about sums it up. I don’t recall getting that white girl wasted but my hangover in t he morning sure told me otherwise.
We rallied at the crack of noon and headed out to the mellow goodness of Fruita’s 18 Road trails. The easy grades and smooth desert pavement were just what the doctor ordered. We were joined by a nice group of GJ locals and by the time we all had a couple beers, we were almost feeling human again.
We were all feeling so much better, we decided to make it a two ride day and head to the Lunch Loops in Grand Junction. These trails are pretty great. They are a lot like my home trails here in Phoenix but more worn in and the amazing traction of sandstone instead of razor sharp granite. Might as well ride until it’s dark.
The next day, the Epic Rides crew had a full day of work ahead of them. So I headed to Grassroots Cycles to see if anyone wanted to ride and/or drink some beers. Grassroots is a pretty great shop. Besides the DC banner hanging on the wall and the extremely stylish furniture, these guys are just stoked on riding bikes. Definitely pay them a visit if you are ever in town.
I met up with Robbie and Dan and they told me about a lesser known trail system a half an hour outside of town. Turkey Flats trails are a few thousand feet higher in elevation than town and considerably cooler in temperature. We drove up through Colorado National Monument and before I knew it, we were sitting in the middle of an aspen grove at 8500ft. The trails are of the old school hiking variety and contrary to the name, there is nothing flat about them. Climbing for a couple miles right out of the car, we couldn’t help but stop and take pictures of all the wild flowers, aspen groves and meadows. It was absolutely beautiful up there. We even came across the Fruita city limits way up above the desert floor.
When it was all said and done, it was a pretty action packed 3 days in Grand Junction. A big thanks to Epic Rides for inviting me on this last minute get-away and for letting me mooch their hotel room. An even bigger thanks to Robbie, Dan, Lydia, Alex and all the rest of the Grassroots Cycles crew for welcoming us into their scene like family. If you are still looking for something to do on Labor Day weekend you should really consider the Grand Junction Off-road. I was a little busy last year and didn’t make it. But it looks to be just like the Whiskey, except with more technical trails. Cupcake is so fired up about it that he said he’s buying the first round for anybody wearing a DC jersey at the race. Be sure to hold him to it. I’m just going to wear mine all weekend and make the kid buy all my beers.
keep it dirty…