Telluride Adaptive Sport’s 7th annual Moab Mania! took place last week with impeccable riding conditions amongst some of the world’s most famous mountain bike venues.
This year’s crew featured some of the most top notch riders from the western states and the rides they conquered pay homage to their immense skill and dedication to the sport of off-road hand cycling. Check out Telluride Adaptive’s Facebook page for profiles on each rider.
As the riders arrived Thursday night, it was evident that they were craving a challenge. Eager to quench the thirst for an adventure, trip leader and Program Director Tim McGough presented the riders with the most technically challenging ride Moab Mania! has ever attempted – all for the first day’s ride. The handcyclists took on Moab’s Alaska Shelf with incredible displays of skill and athleticism; boulders were scaled, narrow rock outcropping scraped through, and hills powered through by riders Pat, Jet, Jake, and Wally. The cyclists were rewarded with a ride along a thin, narrow ridge with sweeping drop offs to each side providing unrivaled views of the Salt Valley below and intricate canyon walls beyond. A zippy and bumpy downhill along Mega Steps gave riders the opportunity to gain some speed after all their uphill work and there was nothing left but smiles and laughter once everyone reached the van.
Climbing up the zebra slickrock
Day 2 found the group tackling an entirely different type of ride. Instead of endless slick rock and massive boulders to crawl, the ride on Whip Tail and Twisted Pines featured a flowy and winding dirt path careening through desert scrub and along the canyon rims of Dead Horse State Park. The riders ripped through the trail in record time and had plenty of time to soak in the stunning views from the vista points along the rim.
Trekking along the canyon rim
The third ride was once again a departure from anything that became familiar over the past two days. Bartlett Wash Slickrock is an incredible perch to gaze at endless canyons and rock formations, become acquainted with the interesting geology, or, as our riders opted for, rip around in a massive playground of slickrock and show off some incredible riding skills. Bartlett provided wild undulations and features that the riders could finesse their handcycles over with whoops of joy. Most impressive however was the entry and exit to access the slickrock; riders had to climb a rock face that was so steep front wheels had to be held onto the slickrock for fear of tipping backwards. A grueling and steep off-camber section directly followed forcing riders to lean as far out of their rig as possible and spotters anxiously hovering to glue them back onto the rock should their balance tip.\
Jake takes on the steeps of Bartlett
Day 4 saw a great final ride down Ramblin’ at Navajo Rocks. Combining a little bit of everything from the previous days, this ride was the perfect capstone for the trip. Joined by Daniel Riley, the riders once again cranked through flowy trail sections, narrow shelves, boulder crawls, and a final uphill crawl along a massive slickrock ramp. Even on this last day, riders were still going strong and enjoying each turn and technical section of the ride. Clearly some of the most passionate riders and most enthusiastic at tackling difficult trails, Pat, Jake, Jet and Wally perfectly demonstrate the spirit of adventure and challenge Moab Mania! strives to foster.
Jake and Pat race the final climb of Ramblin’