Stormy Singletrack

Skiers Shaun Raskin and Weston Deutschlander ride mountain bikes in Brian Head, Utah on a stormy day. This all-mountain and cross country trail is called Bunker creek.

And down came the rain. Sometimes you get lucky in Brian Head, and sometimes it just pours. According to the locals it had been raining since the first week in July, and this was simply a continuation. Shaun Raskin, Weston D, Re Wikstrom, and I rode for three days, through mud, cow turds, and across wet, slippery roots. Singletrack had turned to rutty ditches and fast, technical downhills turned into a two-wheel slip’n slide punctuated by trees.

The Location: Bunker Creek

Here Shaun and Weston pedal up a hill during a Bunker Creek shuttle ride. Later in the day we were treated to sun, just enough to turn the mud on our bikes to cement.

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Forest for the Trees

Trees against the sky on an overcast day in the forest in Brian Head, Utah

Trees along the side of the Dark Hollow mountain bike trail in Brian Head, Utah

|| The Dark Hollow and Bunker Creek trails ribbon through the forest above Brian Head, Utah. Drive to the top of the mountain, unload your bikes, pedal a few hundred vertical, and you’re treated to an hour of screaming-fast riding across well-traveled single track, rock gardens and roots that bite at your feet, and views that give you more than a moment of pause. Mud was the order of the day for this particular ride with photographer Re Wikstrom and riders Shaun Raskin and Weston Deutschlander. Our grins caked with mud and our bikes soaked, we skidded up to the shuttle truck at the bottom well after darkness fell. Two more days of riding to go, and it only rained more. ||

Powered by Pedals

Looking down at the trail below the bikes, shoes, and muddy tires of three mountain bikers in Utah.

|| A Yeti, a Genius, a Jekyll, and a Kona went for a ride at Brian Head. Pictured here are the feet, bikes, and tires of Weston Deutschlander and Shaun Raskin on the trails outside Brian Head, Utah. Although you can’t see the mud in this particular photo, it was omnipresent during our trip. Once you’ve driven four hours and put in the time to park to trucks there’s no turning back, so we rode regardless of the weather. Fast, slick, and fun, it’s like playing in puddles for no good reason when you’re a kid. The best part is that it makes for some amazing photos.||

Headed to Brian

Professional telemark skiers Shaun Raskin and Weston D. standing on a redrock ridge overlooking Brian Head, Utah.

A vast and sweeping view of the redrock cliffs just off the side of a mountain bike ride in Brian Head

Ridges like this make the mountain biking in Brian Head, Utah truly amazing. Re Wikstrom, Shaun Raskin, Weston D., and I shuttled our bikes to the peak intersection of trails in Brian Head, and made lap after lap over a long weekend. Muddy mountain biking is fun (although we try to avoid it) but sunny moments like this are always nice when you’re shooting photos outside.

Unspoiled Singletrack

The singletrack in and around Brian Head is some of the best in Utah and also some of the least crowded. Places like Moab and Virgin get much more attention and far more coverage in statewide tourist marketing and venue selection but Brian Head has its own gems—not the least of which is a stop on the Utah Gravity Series of DH races.

Special thanks to the all of the locals and trail builders in the area who put in countless hours to make these trails so we all can ride them.

 

The Inroads

Rock walls stand tall along the side of the highway in Utah.

Tall, rocky mesas overlook the highway that stretches into the town of Moab, Utah.

|| Rock and sand are the skeleton of Utah. Highways wind in and out of this skeleton like arteries, delivering life to various cities and towns. Travel these highways enough and you’ll have an opportunity to snag some amazing photos of the landscape. Above are two bits of road that stretch between Salt Lake City and Moab. ||

Paved

|| An injured shoulder doesn’t leave much mountain bike time on the agenda. Today I took to the road and followed the bike paths around Salt Lake City. Quickly I realized that dodging traffic might be more hazardous than trying my hand at a downhill trail. These days the Spring sun shines later and later, it warms the pavement and the air until dark. Mill Creek Canyon was my destination, and after about 30 minutes of weaving through neighborhoods I was able to find the road I needed. Single-speed bikes aren’t usually the best for sustained climbing, but I have to say it offers a unique strength training regime. Over the next few weeks I look forward more time on the pavement. ||