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  1. #1
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    Dec 2005
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    TR: Livin' well in the Swell



    After cracking a celebratory beer I was sitting comfortably in the warmth of my sleeping bag in the small camper trailer. I wasn't really asleep but my brain was floating in that space between conscious thought and dreams. It was about midnight and we just got done with a very slow 5-hour drive. The light from a little flashlight filtered through the whiskey bottle that I just took a warming pull from and dimly illuminated the space in a pale orange glow. It was peaceful and it was quiet.

    The loud blast of the 12-gauge shotgun only startled me a little bit. The childish laughter that followed seemed appropriate. I knew we were in for a good time when John came back in from rummaging around the back of the Jeep and shooting random things in the desert and asked if it scared me. Drifting to sleep was easy enough, although with the anticipation of riding some of the most technically challenging trails in the state my dreams got the best of me. I woke up suddenly in the middle of the night because I thought for sure that I had at least three broken spokes on my front wheel.

    Hot weather and hot babes, okay maybe the weather wasn't that hot, on the second morning the water jug had chunks of ice in it. And okay, maybe there were no chicks, but it was still really fun. In fact, there was hardly anyone around except for us. The San Rafael Swell is a big, desolate place. Perfect for switching off the cell phone, playing in the sand and relaxing for a bit. Bikes, beer, guns, and bacon; all is well in the Swell.

    Music:
    Can You Get To That - Funkadelic
    Ivory and Blue (Reprise) - Menahan Street Band

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Calgary
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    1,511
    Awesome!!! Not too many vids showcasing more tech riding. What trails there do you recommend?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Where the climate suits my clothes.
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    First, I enjoyed your words... then, I enjoyed your video.

    Solid contribution, thanks for sharing!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Colorado
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    2,064
    Wow! That was badass. I didn't realize there was any great riding on the Swell. I thought most of the trails had been moto'd out. Seems that's not the case. Thanks for sharing.
    All I want is to be hardcore.

    www.tonystreks.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Tahoe
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    858
    awesome vid

  6. #6
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    Jun 2008
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    SLCizzy
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    2,652
    Hell. Yes.

    That was fucking awesome.

    Was that the 5 Miles of Hell?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    4,130
    phucking awesome! very cool vid!
    "A man on foot, on horseback or on a bicycle will see more, feel more, enjoy more in one mile than the motorized tourists can in a hundred miles."
    Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    SLC
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    6,239
    Winning. So good to see a TR in here again, thanks fellas.
    I'm so hardcore, I'm gnarcore.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by robnow View Post
    Awesome!!! Not too many vids showcasing more tech riding. What trails there do you recommend?

    On this trip we rode the 5 Miles of Hell and Devil's Reacetrack. 5 MOH is hard, walky, and sandy in spots. The Racetrack is double track but has some great views and lots of fun terrain. The only other trail I've ridden in the Swell is the Good Water Rim, it's really great in the view/camping department but I seem to recall the riding being sort of "meh". That being said I would certainly go back and ride it again. There's a shit ton of moto trails down there too but I don't know how they ride on bicycles

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Aspen, Colorado
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    2,472
    I have moto and mtn biked there. I enjoyed the waterfall trail on the mtn bike, but the sandy wash at the end kind of sucked. If you can get out to the colored trails (red trail, orange trail, etc) they would be pretty good. They are named after the color of paint on the rock. It has been a few years since I have ridden anything there though. They are moto trails, so don't be too bummed about that if you do enjoy them

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    in the brew room
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    1,729
    sweet edit!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    93108
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    Awesome video.

  13. #13
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    Jan 2008
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    Paper St. Soap Co.
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    2,316
    nice video, thanks for posting

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    slc
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    10,690
    Great video!


    Quote Originally Posted by springsproject View Post
    The only other trail I've ridden in the Swell is the Good Water Rim, it's really great in the view/camping department but I seem to recall the riding being sort of "meh".
    To expand on this, if you want big climbs and/or descents or lots of tech spots to negotiate you'll be disappointed. It's pretty much a pure XC ride and may be the flattest trail I have ever ridden; done as a 31 mile out-n-back I only recorded 1,300 feet of ascending. That said, the trail flows very well (you are endlessly twisting and turning, it is a rare moment that you are riding in a straight line for more than a few seconds) and the spectacular views/overlooks just keep coming. It's definitely worth doing once. Bring the 29er if you have one.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    958
    We rode some of the "colored" trails, not red but a couple of the others, and they were fun desert riding, not as technical as the video, but still plenty challenging.

    Goodwater rim was as described above. We rode half of it and decided that was enough. Incredible scenery though and a nice place to camp.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Hell Track
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    8,571
    nice. that makes me want to go to the desert.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Trouserville
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    SP....is that your name on that vimeo profile?

    You used to live in tahoe right?
    Besides the comet that killed the dinosaurs nothing has destroyed a species faster than entitled white people.-ajp

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Bearsden, UK
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    Yeah that's me on the vimeo and no, I never lived in Tahoe

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Trouserville
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    Quote Originally Posted by springsproject View Post
    Yeah that's me on the vimeo and no, I never lived in Tahoe

    Damn, a lot more mike debernardos out there than I though
    Besides the comet that killed the dinosaurs nothing has destroyed a species faster than entitled white people.-ajp

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,135
    Nicely done!

    I miss Utah more than anything else after moving back east.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Golden, CO!
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    2,113
    Awesome! Thanks for posting the stoke!

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