With beer, of course, and an RV. Someday we might actually bike a few more miles at a time…maybe across a country in Europe. We’ve half-assed talked about that adventure. But for now, our travels to find great craft beer usually put us in regions where there are also great mountain biking trails. So, in a way we are biking (and drinking) our way across the USA, starting with Moab and our story about the best worst beer ever.
While we truly didn’t start our RV beer and biking travels in Utah, this was one of our true first forays into mountain biking, along with our honeymoon spot decades ago. Because this was where we started on many levels – marriage, adventures, biking – Moab deserves the first story in our Craft Beer Biking Series.
Moab, one of the hottest mountain biking destinations in the nation, was definitely hottest on our list, too. As par for most travelers, we were there for only a weekend, and beginners at that, so we only had time for two famous (infamous) trails: Slickrock and Dead Horse Point.
Craft Beer Biking – Slickrock
Picture this: June. Noon. Desert. Deserted.
Hot! Nobody in the parking lot except us (June in Moab equals HOT!), so we were definitely doubting ourselves that day, but we had water (plenty of it), sunscreen (plenty of that, too), snacks, spare tubes and pump, a bit of fear, and that heart-busting excitement and naivety only known to beginners. With 12 miles of trails and then some if you venture off the main path, Slickrock is nothing to laugh at. You will rarely get out of your lowest gears, but the beauty of the surrounding desert and the challenge and reward of completing this trail is worth every ounce of sweat. Plus, we were only riding the two mile practice loop. How hard could it be?
This trail was definitely different than any single track, through-the-forest, dirt trails that we had started on in Colorado, but oh was it fun. Challenging enough to make us work hard, but not too technical to make us want to give up. Even after Kenny went head over heels into some sand. Have to give him credit, though; he, at least, tried to ride that section. I walked it. Not sure who was the smarter one.
Craft Beer Biking – Dead Horse Point
Dead Horse Point Tour is just over 14 miles of green/blue trails and was the perfect ride for us rookies. Again, hot, sunny, and oh so sweaty, but oh so gorgeous. The hardest thing about this trail was getting in a continuous ride. We had to stop every few feet to admire the views. Don’t get me wrong, this trail was a workout, but the views…
Did I mention it was hot! I still remember how good the cold water tasted from the gift shop once we were done. Best few dollars ever spent! And that’s only because I didn’t have to pay for the best worst beer ever.
Best Worst Beer Ever
I suppose I have to tell this story now. We arrived in Moab on a Saturday afternoon in June. It was at least 100 degrees. We had water, and we were excited to find a trail before checking into our hostel. We only had that day and the next to ride. So, after a sweet drenching first foray into Moab on Slickrock, we headed towards town and came across this swimming hole. Nice, local place to cool off. Which at this point, was where I was starting to drool. I had this image in my mind of an ice cold beer while cooling off in the cool river waters after a sweat drenching bike ride.
There was no beer to be found, surprisingly none in the hands of the peeps at the water, none in our coolers in the car (we did not plan well), and no liquor stores nearby. (Remember, we were in Utah.)
So, I kept drooling as we made our way to the hostel to check in before searching for a brewery or liquor store. Not sure why we decided to do that, but if we hadn’t then I wouldn’t be telling you this story. Lesson: There are reasons. By then, I was ready to pay somebody for any kind of beer, just as long as it was ice-cold. It was so damn hot, and I could taste that cold liquid gold running down my throat as the sweat ran down my back. I was still drooling.
As we unpacked, I heard a grumbling noise and glanced over at the few motorcycles heading towards the cabin across from ours. What kept my eyes glued on them was not the beauty of the bikes, but the beauty of the Miller High Life that they had just pulled out of the coolers from the backs of their bikes, glistening with drops of water that so casually fell back into the ice cold abyss of what was hopefully filled with more of that cold liquid gold. I snagged 5 bucks from Kenny and was prepared to seriously pay for a can of that magic water.
No payment needed; they gladly offered me a beer, and barely remembering to share it with my husband, that can was crushed in mere seconds, and I will never forget how heavenly that terrible beer tasted. Can you guess what happened after that? You got it. Time to hang out with new friends, sharing stories around a beer.
Best worst beer ever!
Craft Beer Biking – Moab Brewery
I really want to end this story with that, but since we are beer bloggers, and there is a microbrewery in Moab that serves good food and good beer, I suppose I should mention Moab Brewery. With names such as Squeaky Bike Nut Brown Ale and Dead Horse Point Amber Ale, this brewery knows how to connect with the region. Being the only microbrewery in Moab, we had to pay a visit. Plus, we had to redeem ourselves after drinking a Miller High Life. With food and beer in the bellies, legs like Jell-O, and spirits twinkling like the desert stars, this old couple was contentedly off to bed. After all, it was their 20 year anniversary.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Stay tuned for more Craft Beer Biking stories and our recommended biking gear list, making its way to our blog soon! In the meantime, click here for our Palisade and Fruita beer and biking adventures.
Helpful App – We use the internet a lot when looking for craft breweries, places to stay, and biking adventures. One of our most trusted resources for biking adventures is the MTB Project. What are yours?
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Ken and April, craft beer and travel lovers. We live and work from, RAIF, our 24 foot RV, while traveling to drink good beer, visit Mother Nature, and mountain bike. We are not experts and don’t want to be. We are, however, tourists, just like you, and we want to do everything and visit everywhere. We also know that this is impossible (dammit – and wrote a post on it), so in order to help you experience as much as you can in the time you have, what we experience, we pass onto you. We hope to only give you guidance (although our friends say to never follow April), because you need to also create your own adventures along the way. Happy craft beer and biking travels!