I am sore, really sore - my upper torso muscles ache, my legs feel okay
but as soon as I walk they feel weak and fatigued; starved of
appropriate nutrients.

At least it should help counteract the week in Salt Lake City of not
eating particularily well and having way too many carbonated drinks.

Brainshare / Salt Lake City was fun, thoroughly enjoyed it, it was good
to catch up and meet some people but again I didn't really make it to
the sysops table <sigh>. And I missed my 'groupies' (as Brad put it),
ah well :-)

Then it was off to Moab for some exercise. Got to Moab ex-Denver,
ex-Salt Lake City to be given a lift in to town by one of the staff -
gotta love small towns!
Just cruised through the day and the following picked up a hire bike -
a Giant Reign X0 from Chile Pepper Cycles - they even swapped the
brakes around so I wouldn't grab a handful of rear brake and fly over
the handlebars.
I stupidly made the comment that I was too cheap to pay for shuttles to
various locations and mentioned that I would be doing the Moab Rim as
my 'warm up ride'. I helpfully got told that I could ride it as a loop
if I hiked up a trail called 'the Barney Rubble' which takes you in to
Hidden Valley (which has some ancient graffiti^w pictograms) then to
'Back of the Behind' before finally getting to the Moab Rim which is a
pretty nifty quick steep track down to the road. The hike was
litterally bike over shoulder material. It was somewhat tiring getting
to the top and started to become a 'when will it end, I just want to
turn around' but I am too stubborn to admit defeat.
Finally made it up to the top and rode along some track, lizards
scattering before my tires, through a lot of undulating terrain
(getting attacked by a bush which tore my cycle top and took enough
skin off my shoulder to bleed) until I came to the sandstone which
signified the beginning of the Moab Rim.
The Moab Rim is quite a steep 4WD track with a few technical sections
and grip for Africa! It was quite fun and I returned to the Motel
feeling that I had a decent work out. (I think it was around 25 miles).

Day 2 saw me wander off to the Poison Spider - it's a fair ride out
from the motel (past where they used to mill uranium - had to take some
pictures of the 'contaminated' and radiation signs!) and the write up
warned of sand. Didn't quite warn strongly enough. One thing I am
very wary of is hitting the wall, as such I was making sure I was
taking close to 6 litres of water, 'energy' food (though I struggled to
find anything that wouldn't kill me) and carbo-shots.
Posion Spider was long, sandly, undulating. After around 3 hours in
the saddle I was starting to get worried, just wanting it to end and
had emptied one of the two water bladders and was getting tired. I had
one carboshot left and all my food had been consumed.
I finally made it back to tracks that I had come along which was a
relief, consume my last carboshot and I am off. It was a long slow
ride back to the motel - I felt shot enough that I really just didn't
want to even go and grab tea :-O
That was around 30 miles.

Day 3 - my muscles hurt, instead of cranking I end up spinning. I buy
4 carboshots and down one before I start. 6 litres of water again and
I ride up to Porcupine Rim. It is a LONG ride from town. And I mean
really really long. But I had said I was too cheap to get shuttles
(it's like cheating anyway) so I just sucked it up and suffered. Did I
mention it was hot too?
I think I had ridden about 10-12 miles Before I got to the start of the
track, with a lot of uphill. Then there is more uphill along the rim
of a canyon and I was spinning. By the 4 mile mark of the track I had
already emptied one 3 litre bladder and had another 10 miles of track
to go. I had extra food but I had consumed 3 carboshots - I think I
had been riding for around 3 hours by that point.
Curiously enough it was around this point I started catching people who
were smart enough to get a shuttle.
I get to this corner, there is scrub then what looks like a ledge, then
more scrub. I lay the bike down to look at the ledge. Wow! Talk
about turn your legs to jelly. A shear drop, hundreds of meters -
approaching it wasn't too bad, but even that night when I was thinking
about the ride it was enough to send panic through me (I get really bad
vertigo - totally irrational as I have a very good sense of balance).
Anyways, after this we start getting downhill - lots and lots of tooth
rattling downhill. It was fast, it was fun, it was rocky. Seat
dropped as low as it will go (sadly not as low as I would like it) but
it totally worked the upper body, the suspension, your legs!
Passed 3 different groups of people that had pinch flatted on the
rocks. It was just endless - no more nasty drops, just a moderate
decline on rocky/sandy 4wd track with technical bits thrown in to keep
you entertained.
The speed you could get if you knew the track, if your bike was set up
would make it insanely fun!
Then you get to the single track - it follows the rim (and I mean the
rim) of a canyon out to the road. There was no-way I could rim back
the way I came - my last carboshot gone, not much food left, not a huge
amount of water - so it was go along the rim.
At first, not bad, you're far enough from the edge that there isn't
anything to worry about. Then it starts tracking the very edge - and
though all ridable, sadly I had to walk a reasonable chunk.
Eventually it pettered out so there wasn't a drop and nailed it along
passing large groups of people (looks like I wasn't the only one
walking the rim) :-)
Rode back to the motel on a high - Porcupine Rim positively rocked,
though I was sore and very tired. It was looking like another lemon,
but positively turned out to be a gem!
Pizza was what I wanted, something really bad, but I was good and
decided to not be lazy and get some 'proper' tea.
That was over 30miles and about 5 hours out cycling - a quick
inspection showed I had about 1 litre of water left and there was salt
build up on my bandana, my shirt (it was actually crusty across the
chest the next morning), my pack, and even my sunglasses!

Day 4 I decided to take an easy ride - man can't live on carboshots
forever so I cycled *up* the Moab Rim (which is just plain nasty) to
ride back down.

All in all, bruised and cut shoulder - got bitten by the pedal in the
calve, bruised the other calve and quite thoroughly fatigued myself.

As always, when you think back on epic missions where you expend far
more energy than the ride is worth I smile, actually I grin. The pain
was well worth the memories and brag factor.

Moab is a great wee town.