The city of Moab is a mountain biker’s dream, no matter the skill level, and this should be Number 1 on your list of activities while in Moab. The trails are nothing but beautiful, filled with vistas of the La Sal Mountain range being just out of focus of the rolling desert hills, scattered cryptobiotic soil and mounds of canyons. From beginner level rail trails to slickrock trails that even the best must walk a little, the most important skill to have isn’t necessarily the actual riding of a bike because any levels can enjoy a basic easy route. Rather, it’s how to fix a flat tire.
There is a severe lack of bike repair stations along the Rail Trail parallel to Highway 191, which is why it’s important to have the basic bike skill of changing a flat. But, if you end up stuck and forgetting a previous tire-changing lesson, a fellow biker or two would be more than willing to stop.
On Thursday March 26, a group of rail trail riders and I rode about a mile on this scenic route before one rider had to stop due to a flat. Luckily, we just had a lesson from Merv Davis, a senior at West Virginia University, on how to change a flat tire.
So our group of seven women started hacking away on this tire, trying to follow Merv’s recent instructions. Too bad we broke two of the bike tools and were simply too weak to do what was necessary. However, a nice Canadian man, Mike, rode on by and stopped his long ride to take care of our flat tire needs. He got it changed in under ten minutes, and we were more than thankful. If it wasn’t for Mike, we probably would’ve been stuck way too long in the hot desert sun.
The rest of the ride was a beautiful breeze, with the exception of the fact that the Rail Trail ended up being on Highway 191. Other than that, when you do go mountain biking in Moab, just make sure you can change a flat – or have a friend that can do so. Or just pray you don’t get a flat tire and enjoy the ride.