Just spent the weekend riding with friends in Fruita, Colorado. For the last seven years or so, after every Fall Moab, I've written a summary of the trip by handing out awards based on movie quotes. I'm not going to do that this time, and I'm not going to tell you why. In order to tell you why, I'd have to make up a reason, and then you'd think that what I wrote was really the reason, giving you a illusory awareness. Although I want you to be unencumbered by speculation, I can't explain why.
A Brief History
The Fall Moab event has evolved over the years. When Fall Moab started, email was a new tool to play with, the World Wide Web of the Internet was still a twinkle in Al Gore's eye, and we rode Slickrock in shorts, t-shirts, and sandals. At first, we called it Fall Moab to distinguish it from Spring Moab and Solstice Moab and the other times of the year when we headed down to the Canyonlands.
In the early days, we went to Moab in groups of two or three guys -- often for just a single day -- and we went several times a year. I went down whenever anyone else did. I was single. The married guys had a more difficult time getting away, and when the married guys started having kids, it wasn't easy for them to get away, at least not without making a huge withdrawal from the bank of good will.
"Would you rather spend time with your friends or be with me?" says the wife.
"I'd rather be with you! But every once in awhile, for the teeniest bit of time, I want to have fun with my friends. But I love you more than biking and more than my friends. Have no illusions. You mean everything to me. You are my buttercup, my golden dove. I just want to ride my bicycle a little bit." So says the husband.
We came up with a name. Fall Moab.
"Honey, I just fixed the garage door and sent that package to your Aunt. Oh, by the way, Fall Moab this year is the first weekend in November. We're leaving on Friday morning and coming back on Sunday."
Even then, it didn't always work. Some of the guys couldn't make it for whatever reason. Fall Moab really became what it is now in the late 90s when guys moved out of the state and needed to make travel arrangements.
"Sugar Pod, I just cleaned out the attack and washed the car. Say, that reminds me -- Bob and Elden and Gary are flying back to Utah the first weekend in November. You know, Fall Moab."
How We Know Each Other
Dug, Ricky, Gary, Elden, and I all worked at WordPerfect. Dug and Brad lived next to each other in student housing. Paul and I knew each other when we were cub scouts. Brad did Paul's mortgage. Kenny rode Leadville with Elden and printed photos for my mother. Jeremy, Ryan, Scott, and Racer all worked in bike shops. Sleepy and Rick S. are Dug's brothers-in-law. Rick S. and I both work for Adobe. Paul knew Tom in high school. Dug invited Tom to ride with us. Tom invited Rich. Rich and Elden were neighbors. Elden is now dating Rich's ex-wife.
I love seeing these guys every Fall. And every year, a few new guys show up, which is great because it gives us a chance to tell the same stories. The red rock country feels more like home to me than any place in the Northwest.
This Year's Highlights
* Ryan's amazing drop off the cliff was something you had to see to believe.
* Rocky, Elden's brother-in-law who lives in Fruita, was an amazing tour guide. My only disappointment with him is that he somehow thinks I am either (A) a talented cyclist or (B) a fool, because he kept encouraging me to do things like ride my bike off tall ledges. On one such ledge, which required me to get speed, make a turn, and wheelie drop off the ledge, I didn't have enough speed to fly over it, and I didn't pull up hard enough to wheelie drop, so I went off the ledge awkwardly, slammed on my front wheel, and ended up with a flat tire and hurt feelings. Thanks, Rocky.
* Riding on those amazing trails that dipped into slot canyons and scrambled over ledges is one of my favorite things in life.
* All the riders on this trip were talented. I'm in pretty decent shape right now, and if we had a race, I would have finished in last place.
* We ate beer-brats and told stories around the campfire. Has anyone ever not had a good time telling stories around a campfire?