If you’ve followed us for any significant amount of time, you’ll notice that we don’t let stereotypical holidays drive what we do with our down time. We’ve spent Christmas in Nicaragua and last year we spent Thanksgiving in Florida on the beach. While we like to eat ourselves into a sleeping coma as much as the next person, we’ve adopted the habit of NOT spending all the time and effort to cook up a Thanksgiving feast and have instead chosen to eat out for the holiday.
So this year, when selecting a cool place to spend our Thanksgiving vacation, we made sure there was a solid all you can eat buffet nearby! After considering a multitude of locations to spend our time, the desert, single track and hometown environment of Fruita, CO shot to the top of the list. So we loaded up in the Dodge Sprinter with four bikes, three people, and lots of beer for a road trip out west.
If you’ve never been to Fruita, you need to stop what you are doing right now and load up your mountain bikes for some epic single track. Upon arrival to the area, we ripped through town and headed straight to a section called the “Book Cliff Area” out on Road 18. We crashed out at the camping area and started early the next morning. My wife and I both took our fatbikes for this adventure and a Surly Big Dummy with a Yepp seat for some additional gravel grinding and super chill single track with the toddler on the back. After a morning cup of coffee and a stunning view of the sunrise, I took off to ride Prime Cut and Joe’s Ridge.
We spent the entire day alternating chasing our little girl on her Strider and individually knocking down all the trails in the Book Cliff area, to include Kessel Run, PBR, Chuttes & Ladders, Vegetarian and Down Uppity. The views from these trails are spectacular and the super narrow and swoopy single track is what this area is renowned for.
Although the mountain biking played a major part of this weekend, you can’t spend a good Thanksgiving without friends and family. So we packed up and headed to a house we rented with a group of our friends in downtown Fruita. The house we rented off VRBO was the perfect size and location. Our friends arrived in town excited to rent bikes (they had never mountain biked before) and see what all the hype was about. The folks at Over The Edge Sports in Fruita hooked them up with a few super nice full suspension Trek bikes that spoiled our new riding companions.
Riding the excited wave of renting these new bikes, we went out to test the new riders’ skills on Rustler’s Loop at the Kokopelli trail area. We plopped our daughter on the back of the Surly Big Dummy in her Yepp seat and took off for an easy introductory ride. The views encountered on this trail cannot be properly described or captured by a camera. The trail is perfect for beginners or folks looking for a nice easy 3.6-mile ride. We had a blast, finishing just before sunset.
True to our style, we started Thanksgiving morning with some miles on the mountain bikes back out at the Book Cliff area. The wife and I took turns ripping down trails with our friends and hanging out with our 3 year old. To my surprise, our daughter was really tearing up the trails on her Strider. She constantly yells out “who doesn’t love single track!” I think Santa is going to bring her an Isla bike this year for Christmas.
So it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without TONS of food and afternoon naps, so don’t worry, we didn’t completely forget about that obligation. After getting our fill of miles on the bikes, we loaded up and headed to “The Feedlot” in Fruita for some fantastic grub. After much deserved afternoon naps, we spent the evening playing games, having a few beers and exaggerating our epic cycling prowess.
The next day we woke up to SNOW in Fruita! It’s ok, we had knocked down some serious miles already and needed to drive over the Colorado Monument into Grand Junction anyways. After a relaxing day we rolled by the Copper Club brewery in Fruita on the Surly Big Dummy and snagged up a few growlers of beer for the evening. What a cool brewery! They have some great beers and a very down-home atmosphere. Riding the Big Dummy with beer in the bags always brings a smile to my face, even in cold sleet.
What a great few days with friends in a really cool area. Fruita Colorado should be on your shortlist of adventure towns to hit. Drop in on The Edge Sports for info/guidebooks on the area, tear up some single track and then head back over to the Copper Club for a beer to chat about your endeavors!
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