mountain biking

How to Conquer Moab This Summer

Words: Megan Michelson
Photo above: Aaron Ingrao 

Learning a new sport in a far-flung locale this summer is one thing. But what if you gained more than just a skill from it? The keys to getting the most out of your Moab vacation. 

Do This

Moab, Utah, is a mountain biker’s desert paradise, where trails traverse rock plateaus and rise to spectacular views of deep canyons, the Colorado River and natural stone arches. If you’re new to mountain biking, before you attempt the legendary Slickrock Trail, a 13- mile loop over rolling, packed sandstone, pick up a few skills first. 

moab

According to Lawrence Van Lingen, sports therapist at Rausch Physical Therapy and Sports Perfroamance, “Mountain biking involves looking far ahead and processing a lot of visual information while relaxing your body and letting it react to the terrain.”

© Whit Richardson

Gain This

The bike-handling skills you’ll develop in Moab will lead to improved agility and nimbleness that could benefit you even when you’re off the bike. “The variability of the terrain and the vastly different speeds of mountain biking are great at challenging both balance and agility,” says Lawrence van Lingen, a sports therapist who works with elite athletes at Southern California’s Rausch Physical Therapy and Sports Performance. “At high speeds, anticipation, forward thinking and reaction times are challenged.” 

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“There’s no other place in the world that has rock formations like Moab. A lot of the trails are technical and challenging, but there are also fun beginner and intermediate trails, too,” says Alison Dunlap, mountain bike world champion and two-time Olympian.  

© PLAINPICTURE.COM 

Get Started

Rent a bike from Moab’s Chile Pepper Bike Shop, then head to Moab Mountain Bike Instruction for two-day camps or private lessons taught by renowned instructors. You’ll learn bike- handling skills like cornering, braking and how to ride up and down ledges. Start the day practicing in a custom-built park, then get a guided tour of some of Moab’s best trails, including Slickrock, Captain Ahab and Porcupine Rim. 

Stay tuned for more summer travel tips, including freediving in Hawaii, paragliding in Alaska and more.

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