Mountain Biking in Fruita, CO for Thanksgiving


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.


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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.


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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.


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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.



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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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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Awesome Non-Traditinals Traditions

We are a family of awesome non-traditional traditions. We love traditions but not in the sense that most people think of tradition.


For example, we had two weddings. The first one was just the two of us, our two dogs and an officiant at a cabin on the hillside at sunrise.  Our little ones first birthday was a big “todo”, but instead of pony rides and marry-go-rounds, we opted for an open tab at our favorite local brewery and celebrated with all our closest friends.


This Thanksgiving we decided since we are currently living in the south and only a few hours from the coast, we would ride our bikes along the Gulf of Mexico over the holiday.


Nearly every Thanksgiving, that we have been in the states, has been celebrated with family and friends. Lots of food, overstuffed bellies, naps and games. This year the Adventure Van was calling our name! We spent 2 nights and 3 days on the road in Florida.


Our first stop was Pensacola, FL. With no agenda but to ride our bikes and enjoy the weather, we didn’t make any reservations. Upon arriving at camp after dark, we set up shop and had the van ready for sleeping in no time.


The morning came a little early. We woke to the sound of waves and a bright sun shining on the van. While the hubby took the little one to the beach, I organized the van and had a glorious morning coffee out of my favorite silipint. (NOTE: we love these glasses. Its great for cold beer and does NOT get hot with hot coffee! Stay tuned for Adventure Family In Motion Sili-Pints coming soon!)
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We strolled the beach and collected seashells, enjoyed the morning breeze and then set out for a quick ride around camp. Come to find out that Thanksgiving is a big camping holiday in the south.  We thought a round of disc golf was in order but we don’t own discs so we were going to rent them…but the place was closed.  The next option, pack up and head east!


We explored historic Pensacola on bike! Neat area with a quaint main street that offered a overabundance of restaurants, bars, and shops. The street ends at the water where many marinas house huge yachts. We let the toddler do her thing while we enjoyed the beautiful day. The pigeons were out in masses and would crowd around all the kids looking for a handout.


We had lunch at an awesome build-your-own burger joint that features spiked milkshakes and craft beer called the Tin Cow! (Just what the mommy needed!)


After lunch it was time to head to Pensacola Beach (over a mile long bridge). It was time for some beach roaming. The little princess LOVES the beach and would spend all day there if she could. The weather was in the low 60s with a brisk wind, but that didn’t stop her! She was elbows deep in the Gulf of Mexico! We spent an hour running in the water, collecting seashells and burying her feet in the sand. When she finally walked back to the van she was a little sugar cookie.


On the west end of the island is Fort Pickens Gulf Island National Seashore. Fort Pickens is the largest of four forts built to defend Pensacola Bay, Florida. Ten concrete gun batteries were built between 1890 and 1940s, each in a response to a particular threat. Now open to the public, visitors can explore the fort at their leisure. Most areas in the fort are open to wander.


We drove around the camp ground at Fort Pickens and found a great spot near the restrooms & bike path with plenty of shade! It was also essential not to have a clear view of the beach, since I am certain we would have lost the little one to her own beach roaming.


With the evenings coming quicker and quicker lately, we had a campfire up and going in no time. Hotdogs and smores’ while curled up next to a fire pit is ideal camping and a perfect Thanksgiving eve!


The next morning was good ol’ Thanksgiving Day! The weather was great and we all slept till 8! First thing was first…a bike ride! We took the bike path to the Fort and explored the old bunkers.


By the time we retired to camp it was time to clean up and move out. A few laps around running camp with the toddler is always essential; one parent preps the van for departure the other runs laps around the camp ground wearing out the toddler.


Our Thanksgiving feast was a beautiful brunch at Jimmy Buffets hotel Margaritaville. A beautiful buffet spread of two types of cooked turkey, lamb and roast beef along with 2 types of dressing and a plethora of desserts!


With full bellies and grateful hearts we loaded up in the Adventure Van and headed home.