January 18, 2018

Words by Steve Ranger

Danny Brown’s Utah Trip Diary

In November 2016 Danny went to Moab, Utah and some other amazing mountain biking spots on a staff trip for Lewes Cycleshack and Deers Leap Bikes. Danny’s trip diary is below and tells a great tale of some fantastic biking…


Cycleshack USA Trip 2016.

Day one, Wednesday: of this trip, was a long one. Leaving Sussex at around 10.30AM and heading for Heathrow. After an easy check in and a spot of lunch we board the plane for a 10 and a half hour flight.

We arrived in LA at 6.30PM local time, about 2.30AM UK time! Steve met us at the airport and drove us to our first night’s hotel in Costa mesa, via an In n Out burger, for some food. We sat outside as it was still about 27 degrees, at 9.00pm! Shower then bed.


Day two, Thursday: saw us start with a short drive, to the ocean. Newport Beach, to be precise. I had a paddle in the Pacific before breakfast!

Bit envious as the surf looked great, by my standards, and there were a few surfers out catching some morning waves.

Pancakes, eggs and bacon at the “stuft surfer cafe” then on the road for a six hour drive
This country is… VAST!…

On to our next destination, Prescott Arizona, at 6100 feet.


Day three, Friday: We woke on friday morning, to minus something temperatures. It was COLD last night! Ice on the tent this morning. Drove into prescott , a really nice “old” town and had breakfast at the Lone spur cafe, whilst watching the veterans day parade set up.

We then drove out to granite basin to hit the trails. A bit of faf unpacking the bikes for the first time then riding.

I was first to fall off, 5 minutes in! Only a bruised thigh and some scratches from a juniper bush. Trails were sandy, front wheel washed out a few times but great fun. 8 miles and two runs later I had ridden at 5000+ feet for the first time.


Short drive over to cottonwood, via this view

And on to the campsite.

Of to Dennys for dinner, then bed.


Day four, Saturday: Cottonwood – Randall’s diner for breakfast.
View from Starbucks is cool!



Today, we rode: Sedona- llama trail, little horse trail, Chapel trail.  

We bought BBQ food and cooked dinner tonight at the camp in the dark.
Bbq – hot dogs, steak, wedges and beers.


Day five, Sunday: We packed up camp, went to town to Randall’s again for breakfast. Such a busy place but they recognised “us brits” from yesterday and even gave us some cake to take with us!
Then it was a loooooong drive, (it’s a big place), to the grand canyon.

Words and pictures cannot do it any justice, so pleased we decided to visit here instead of an early ride today.
From here we carried on through monument valley to  moab. Via flagstaff, some of it on route 66.

Arrived at the campsite in Moab (“home” for the next five days), put the tents up, and went into town for dinner (food is a BIG part of this trip 😉) at zaks.


Some of the local brew……


Day six, Monday: Went to Dennys for breakfast. Eggs, bacon, sausages, hash Brown and two Pancakes, coffee and juice. Pretty much the standard… Then it was off to the supermarket for supplies and a look around the local bike shop, poison spider. We took a half hour or so drive out of town, to the top of today’s trail – Bull Run.
Had a great ride down via Gemini bridges

(I’m standing on a “bridge” of rock)


We got a little lost. Sometimes the only thing to follow are yellow stripes on the rock

(you can just see one under my bike) and we missed a turn. Went a mile and a half up, only to have to turn around and head back down! 😐. We did make it out and met with Steve, headed back to camp for a quick shower before heading to town for dinner at zaks again. All you can eat pizza for $10.99.


Day seven, Tuesday: We had breakfast at Wake and bake today, big as usual.
We then drove out of town to the trail head again, but this time rode a different trail, called Getaway.
So good that we got a lift back up, and did it again! Best flowing trail of the trip.
We ate food at Eddie Mcstiffs tonight, another good burger! And more local(ish) beer.

Day eight, Wednesday: Wake and bake for breakfast again, (we’re becoming regulars!) yum.
Then the drive out of town, past The Slick Rock trail, about 8 miles up a dirt track road.
Once the truck was parked, it was another 2 miles or so of riding/pushing uphill to the start of the EPIC Porcupine Rim trail.


12 miles or so later we reached the end of the sometimes flowing, sometimes technical, sometimes slightly scary trail. Then just a short 2 miles on the cycle path back to the campsite.
A fellow camper, who was headed home, kindly gave us some of his bottles of beer. They we greatly appreciated!!!
Back to Zax’s for food, pasta today, and lots of it!


Day nine, Thursday: It was very windy and rain during the night, and not great conditions for riding bikes (it’s not good for the trails to ride them while wet. It can cause damage).
So, we spent a day being “tourists” day to Canyonland National park, and Arches National Park.


Day ten, Friday: Today we rode the Slick Rock trail! World famous, stunning (like everything on this trip) and REALLY hard work! Almost constantly riding either up or down steep rocks.

A VERY steep climb at Slick Rock


Day eleven, Saturday: It was “chilly” last night.  4 to -5!
We got packed up and left early, a lot of distance to cover today…
I 191 north, to Crescent Junction then I 70 West to Cove Fort and another left turn, onto I 15 south. We covered 4 states in one day: Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California!

I have to say that I was not a fan of how Las Vegas looked, 😝. Possibly just because we had spent a long while away from crowded, over commercialised areas, but I don’t think Vegas is for me.


We drove on, through the late afternoon sunset, into Joshua tree National Park. Again, stunning scenery and, of course, the bizarre joshua trees themselves……

Our destination for tonight, 29 pines C.A. A military town. A proper bed, in a motel and food at a local BBQ place.


Day twelve, Sunday: Heading back to “civilization” today via a GIANT shopping mall outlet at Cabizone.  

We had a bit of time to spare, and as it was a rainy overcast day, we drove around L.A. to see the sights. It was so cloudy that we could not see the Hollywood sign, but did see Mann’s theatre cinema (a highlight for me, although much smaller and less obvious than I expected!). We drove around Hollywood and Beverly Hills, amongst other places.

Then, it was time to drop off the vehicle, and check in at LAX (another icon, the airport sign. To be seen in almost EVERY movie or TV show whenever someone flies to Los Angeles!)


Then, after, a bit of a scare for me at the airport (being called back through customs to open my bike box to be checked! And having to be escorted back to the departure lounge with, what seemed like, moments to spare before the flight left!) All that was left was the long flight home to reflect on what an AMAZING trip this had been. Some great company (and friends made) thank you Steve, Adam and Tulley.