I wasn't sure what to expect of my $47-per-night hotel room -- especially after seeing signs behind the front desk about not renting rooms to Mesa County residents (the local county -- is that a prostitution thing?) -- but it was perfectly clean and well maintained (though spartan). My room's window was about 100 meters from I-70, but I was too physically exhausted last night for the noise to keep me awake.
I wanted a solid half-day ride that would let me get in lots of miles with nice scenery and minimal technical features (since I suck at technical features). This route, recommended by someone in a local MTB group on Facebook, turned out to be perfect: Western Rim Trail (including parts of the Rabbit Valley 2 trail and the Kokopelli trail into Utah).
I had to push my bike through some deep sand near the beginning of the loop, on the way in and out; it felt like a mile of slogging but was probably only a half or quarter mile.
There were also some rocky spots, steep hills, and exposed ledges where I had to hop off -- but not so many times that it felt demoralizing.
I had a minor epic where I followed some tracks off the main trail and ended up walking my bike along a narrow ledge at the top of a cliff. ("Do people actually ride this?!?" No...no they do not.) I eventually realized I was definitely NOT in the right place, but it was not obvious how to get off the ledge and back up to the main trail on the upper level. I was...not really scared but very concerned. After (very carefully) walking back and forth along the ledge a few times, I eventually found a place where I could scramble back up -- but it wasn't easy to do in my stiff bike shoes, pulling my bike up behind me. Holy sh*t.
From that point, the trail hugged the edge of the canyon / cliff for several miles -- sometimes at a comfortable distance from the edge, sometimes not. Since I was feeling spooked, I walked whenever the edge felt too close.
I stopped A LOT -- for snacks, photos, and checking my map. The ride was five hours total elapsed time, 3:30 of actual moving time -- and I saw ONE other person the entire time (a dirt biker at the half-way point).
I felt very worked over by the end -- sore hands and shoulders / arms, in addition to sore legs; I forgot to put sunscreen on my arms (oops...); my chain was caked in dust and making awful grinding noises for the last ~five miles; and I ran out of water about 1.5 miles away from the finish. But it was a great excursion that I'd love to do again sometime with friends.Looking towards the Colorado River from the top of the rim / mesa:In the lower left, notice how the trail gets really close to the edge...: