Fruita MiniFest Day 4: Free Lunch

For day 4 we added Chris and Dragon to our riding group. Nate, Jim and Jesse had to leave mid-day, so we made the plan to shuttle up to the top of Ribbon Trail, where those guys could do the slab portion and bail out where it crosses Little Park Road, while the rest of us would take a new route down to the trailhead.

We’d had so much turnover in riders that only Nathan and I had been on Ribbon Trail two days before, so we got to share it with a new group, who of course really dug it. The hikers (now including H and Mira) got to check it out, and it was great terrain for Jesse, now on his second-ever MUni ride in his new bad-ass full-face helmet. (He’d forgotten his at home).

With Nate, Chris and Dragon on the trail, we found new lines that the group didn’t ride on Thursday. I made a couple of downs in the slickrock area called the Toilet Bowl that I hadn’t tried the previous day. Dragon won Best Biff, trying a ridiculous drop into a muddy wash, and followed it up by re-injuring his shoulder trying a ridiculous line on sandy rock.

After going through the cave, we split up with the Coloradans, and headed to Lunch Line to get to the top of Free Lunch, the most technical trail in the park (and in the Fruita area). Free Lunch has a qualifier feature at the entrance that’s supposed to be required to ride the trail. We all hit it, at varying levels of height.

Free Lunch has two official “play areas”, where you’re allowed to go off-trail. They’re not exactly at unicycle scale, but we had fun watching a line of bikes smoothly roll a huge drop. We played around a bit, making some stuff and biffing some stuff. I tweaked my ankle on one of the sections, Chris tweaked his pinky on another. Nathan’s knee was sore, so everyone was hurting a bit. The weather was also hotter, so it wore us down over the course of the ride. Between all of that, and trying to get back in time to do an Easter Egg hunt with Mira, we stopped going back for stuff as much, but had fun on the rocks on the way.

After finishing Free Lunch and Lemon Squeezer, we came down through a colorful and hot valley of bentonite hills, rode a couple of features down there, and got back to the parking lot. We might have thought about playing in the bike park down there but it was just too hot. We didn’t even hang around for beer, just went back to the condo, cleaned up and chilled out.

The group on Ribbon Trail

Jesse on Ribbon Trail

Chris on the Toilet Bowl


Chris biffing on Free Lunch

Free Lunch