So, off down the 18 Road and to the trailhead we went. We found the place without any trouble, out in the desert past the edge of town where the roads turned to dirt. There was plenty of camping right at the trailhead, so we parked the car, pulled the bikes off the roof, laid our plans for the ride, ate a quick bite and made ready to hit the trail.
Stage 14: Crested Butte, CO - Fruita, CO
Sadly, our time in the mountain paradise of Crested Butte had to end. I could have stayed all summer but, lest we forget, we set out on this journey with bigger goals than spending the month of August riding mountain bikes and sipping pints of delicious brew. We had to be in Portland by the 17th, and still had a lot of country to cover before we could move into our new apartment and sleep in our own bed once again. We rolled out of town and headed northwest toward Fruita, a sleepy farming town near the Colorado border with Utah. Most people would have never heard of this quiet little town, but the fat-tire faithful know Fruita for her miles upon miles of widely heralded desert singletrack. The drive wasn’t too long, and put us into town around 2:00, with plenty of afternoon left for riding. We had heard tell (from our helpful friend who helped us solve our roof rack issues at REI, among other people) of a trail called Zippety-do-dah in the foothills of the Book Cliffs outside Fruita. It sounded like great fun, a roller-coaster ride of smooth desert trail, so we thought we’d seek it out. We found our way to SingleTracks bike shop in downtown Fruita, and weren’t even sure if there was anyone working in the store. We wandered around, found the trail maps, which also had clear directions to the trailhead, and only then saw someone who appeared to be an employee fiddling with the front wheel of some kid’s Wal-Mart BMX bike. He didn’t look up as we walked through, so we made our circular tour of the shop, eyeing the fancy bikes hanging from the walls and ceiling, and back out the front door. I think everyone feels condescension from snobbish bike shop employees from time to time, but at least those rude people recognize your presence for long enough to make a jab at your apparent ignorance. I’ve never been totally ignored in a bike shop. Not one this small, anyway. Whatever, I didn’t really have the money to buy anything, the trail map was free and now I didn’t feel obligated to buy anything.