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AMMENDMENT #1 August 15, 1997

I just had my first encounter with quicksand. After so many bad movies about cowboys being swallowed up in the stuff, I figured it was pretty rare. It is, but when you find it for the first time it could be your last. I was hiking up a stream with Julio Laboy, a writer for the Wall Street Journal, just last week. Julio had spotted some Indian ruins and I was out ahead slogging through the creek over rocks and through the muddy water trying to find a route up to the site. I stepped onto what looked like wet sand and my foot sank like I had stepped into a patch of whipped cream. If it had not been for an instant fast-twitch reaction and a nearby rock I would have sunk up to my neck in a second or two. I poked my walking stick into the stuff and it went right down, but when I tried to pull it out the sand sucked it like a thirsty baby on a tit. Beware walking across wet sand in canyon country!

the portage from Hey Joe Canyon

AMMENDMENT #2 November 1997

On the night of November 3, 1997 I got shut down by darkness and deep sand in the desert and had to spend a cold night out there. I was scouting the Hey Joe Canyon Loop, a very, very long ride, and took along Tony Ellsworth of Ellsworth Bicycles, Mike Mulder, his brother, and their buddy Bob from Ramona, California. We found ourselves about 15 miles from the vehicle when it got really dark. These are some of the things I thought about while smoking myself next to the fire:

1) Wish I had a space blanket! They're so light and work so well.
2) Boy, am I glad I had matches and a lighter. No one else did. Also glad I know how to make a fire in a hurry. Also happy that sage is great firestarter and cow turds burn so nicely.
3) Thank God we all brought flash lights, though Mike nearly burned out his batteries with his Walkman before it got dark. No wonder he didn't respond to shouts.
4) Glad I didn't tell the guys about the scorpion that crawled across my leg to get next to the fire.
5) Making a windbreak and warming up a couple of rocks to put against my backside really made the experience much more comfortable.
6) Really glad that I didn't listen to Mike when he insisted we continue on in the dark.
7) Sorry we destroyed that fence, but fence posts soaked in creasode (spelling?) really burn nice, although my lungs are still saturated with the stuff.
8) The godawful portage out of Hey Joe Canyon (see the photo just above) is like rock climbing with a mountainbike (one thousand feet of steep rock). It was almost as bad as the ten miles of deep sand to the canyon and the ten miles of deep sand we had to endure after we reached the top and before the light went away. And, if we continued on, the next fifteen miles of deep sand back to the truck.
9) I've lost count of the times of the times I have gotten lost using an old and outdated guidebook. Remind me to write one.
10) Really glad I brought the glove liners and balaclava.
11) Really glad I brought too much water and Cliff Bars, and ate a big breakfast before we took off. Also, thankful for Tony's tradition of carrying beef jerky on long rides.
12) Really glad I donated to Search and Rescue.
13) Not so glad we got a late start because Tony had a million phone calls to make and couldn't be pulled away from his full suspension design work with his cad program computer he brought with him. By the way, Tony is Tony Ellsworth--check his bikes out at DREAMBIKE.COM.
14) Really, really glad I left the note on the frig that said, "Hey Joe with Ellsworth."
15) Really, really, really glad Miki called Search and Rescue when I thought she would.
16) Really glad to see Bego Gerhart in his four wheeler at 2AM, despite the fact that we had to listen to his dry humor all the way back to the truck.
17) Really glad Search and Resue is free for locals.
18) Really thankful for the insight that a Moab Mile is not at all like a New York Minute.

AMMENDMENT #3 April 13, 1998

Shaums MarchDreamride has been marketing and publicizing extreme mountain biking and slickrock stunt riding due to our professional involvement with the film industry, commercial photography and downhill racing sponsorship. As any person or organization goes down this path, these interests come into conflict with real concerns of local Search and Rescue who have made it quite clear that they are worried that encouraging this sort of activity will increase their already severe load of rescues. Moab Search and Rescue says, "We don't want to be out there scraping meat off of the slickrock with a snow shovel." In deference to these guys, I feel that I should put the record straight for those of you who may find this particular realm of the sport very seductive:

SLICKROCK: SOME PEOPLE JUST DON'T GET IT UNTIL THEY HIT IT. THIS STUFF IS VERY, VERY, VERY DANGEROUS. Leave it to the professionals. It is one thing to play around on a BMX course that has been meticulously packed and bermed to give you just the right arc for a jump. It is a completely different thing to go out and jump a bike on slickrock. Shaums March who is pictured here doing one of his first stunts on slickrock, says, "When you crash on a dirt course you leave an impression in the dirt. When you crash on slickrock, the course leaves an impression on you." This sort of riding is not only dangerous, it is lethal. YOU'VE GOT TO BE UP TO THE TASK AND YOUR EQUIPMENT MUST BE EXTREMELY STOUT. You will not walk away from a severe crash on slickrock. Search and Resue ain't cheap, if you are lucky enough to live long enough to pay. Life Flight helicopter trips start at about $7,000.

One way to enjoy extreme slickrock biking in as safe a situation as possible is to take a DREAMRIDE SKILLS CLINIC. This way you will be spotted and supervised by professionals like Shaums. Everyone who has ever taken a clinic from Dreamride has gone away with a hefty boost in skills and confidence.

AMMENDMENT #4 May 7, 1999

IT'S A PLACE, NOT A RACE! 99% of our clients are awesome people to be with, fit, willing to listen, interested in the natural world and in the lives of fellow clients, but there will always be the occasional rotten apple. The best advice I can give, if you are coming out with friends, is please choose your friends wisely. If you need clarification go to MATURITY AND BUDDY GROUPS. On a similar note, Dreamride is in the middle of litigation from an accident caused when one of our guests refused to listen to the guide and rode a section of trail that the guide demanded that she walk. When your guide tells you to get off and walk a section of trail, do what he or she says. If you hire a guide and do not use the wisdom and knowledge you have paid for, then falling on your head is not going to make you any smarter. When you fall on your head then you forget that the guide told you to walk that section of trail and then you end up suing us for your own stupidity and ignorance. So, for the sake of both of us, if you are not someone who accepts "guidance," please do not call us up for a tour.

Note as of April 2001: We won the lawsuit in a summary judgment! Waivers work. Judges obviously can read and thank God for good lawyers and judges who understand that business in Utah would be nowhere without dangerous sports like mountain biking.

AMMENDMENT #5 MAY 20, 1999

There is now a ski lift up to the top of the Moab Rim. Do not take your bike up there thinking that a downhill ride on the Moab Rim Trail is a fun thing to do, unless you are a skilled rider with full suspension equipment and armor. The Moab Rim Trail is brutal going up, but even more brutal coming down. It is extremely steep and made of slab rock with huge drops, ledges and can chew up a bicycle wheel in no time. There are a couple of spots on the trail that have you exposed on the edge of a cliff. If you are curious, just ride up it a ways. If you can handle the climb chances are you will skilled enough for the downhill rush.


On the 3rd of August a 13 year old boy got lost on Porcupine Rim and was found dead four days later. Reasons for this sad event are easy enough to state, so I will list cautions here and hope the right people read them. 1) Don't ride trails beyond your skills. A 13 year old boy with little or no instruction in desert survival (one of the skills that is required), should never attempt this trail even under the supervision of a parent (the boy in question was riding with his father). 2) Never leave on a ride after 11AM during summer months. Leaving late in the day does not mean it will be cooler. On the contrary, it is hotter in the afternoon due to heat that has been absorbed by the rocks--sort of like riding in a pre-heated oven. 3) Take A LOT OF WATER!! That means a 100 oz. bladder and a couple of water bottles PER PERSON. At least a gallon is needed as you leave from the trailhead. 4) If someone gets separated from the group, do not take on the responsibilities of local Search and Rescue. Get the professionals involved ASAP. IF THEY BLOW YOU OFF WITH SOME BULLSHIT LIKE "THIS SORT OF THING HAPPENS ALL THE TIME--JUST WAIT AT THE TRAILHEAD AND HE WILL SHOW UP," TELL THEM TO GET ON THE BALL AND FIND THE LOST RIDER. DO NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER! 5) If you run out of water, conserve energy. Know where you are at all times in relationship to water and trailhead and trailtail. If you are dizzy, sit down in the shade and conserve your energy. 6) If you are separated from your group, get in the shade, STAY WHERE YOU ARE AND WAIT FOR SOMEONE TO FIND YOU. Do not take the bike magazines, the Moab Bike Patrol, and local bike shop community at its word when asking what is an appropriate trail to ride. Read as much as you can on the subject. I have written a trail guide especially for you. All proceeds from sales in Moab or through this website go to Grand County Search and Rescue in the name of the boy who died here in August.


Dreamride offers several packages throughout Colorado. Moab safety concerns consist of very technical trails that can hurt you, dehydration, flash floods and surprising vertical exposure. In the Rockies issues are primarily altitude sickness and lightning. Altitude adjustment is why we recommend doing a combination of Moab, first, with Colorado destination(s) second. The transition from your home altitude (unless higher) to 4K to 9K feet will allow you to adjust much more readily to steep and difficult climbs in thin air. If you are heading to Colorado, always include a day or two of mild off-bike activities prior to a challenging ride in the Rockies. Beginning your experience with a ride that starts at 10K and peaks at above 12K is not a very good idea. Altitude sickness begins with a headache, then irritability, then nausea, and can lead to death, in extreme cases. Effective hydration helps to control the symptoms, but if you experience a severe headache, just take it easy. Eating helps. Drinking helps. An oxygen tent helps, but don't expect one outside of the hospital. Symtoms of altitude sickness are truly dangerous, especially if you have heart problems, ashma, or low blood pressure. Our trips to Colorado are restricted to fit riders and itineraries are set up to ease you into altitude, with an easy ride on the first day followed by a hike and a really good meal. The second day we do a more strenuous ride followed by a good meal and rest. The third day we turn it on, riding as hard as we want.

Driving at altitude can be dangerous, also. A car gets you up there very fast, long before your body is ready for thin air. Stopping every now and then to drink, eat or just walk around will help to prevent unpleasantries.

As for lightning, afternoon rides in the summer generally present you with a threat of thunderstorms. Go to the section on lightning in a previous chapter for complete information.


A good bike is the best piece of safety equipment. We are building a bike designed specifically to make rough terrain riding less of concern when it comes to energy output and safety. We already offer a couple of great bikes for this. Try visiting THE LA BRUJA MOAB TEST. Author and Guide Lee Bridgers

Keep it sideways, but know what you are doing AND WHERE YOU ARE GOING TO LAND before you lift off! Ride hard, but within your limits.

Lee Bridgers, Dreamride founder

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Click on SKILLS INDEX for a section of the website dedicated to skills tips, technical information and more information on environmental concerns and ecological damage caused by recreation and the mining industry in and around Moab, Utah.

Moab guidebook

Oh yea, I wrote a guidebook. Themes are safety first, environment second, fun third. The New York Times recently reviewed the book, calling it big, heavy and opinionated. They used it to set up a trip to Moab and article on the town, so I guess they liked it. The book IS opinionated. It is kinda big. It is heavy enough not to want to take it in a fanny pack. Make photo copies of the pages or buy two and tear one up.

"There are trail guides; and then there's the real deal." ~ Bike Magazine

"Mountain Bike America's Moab guide is setting a new standard for guidebooks. Lee Bridgers' first-hand accounts give the reader a sense that they have some behind-the-scenes information about Moab." ~ Brian Fiske, Senior Editor of Mountain Bike Magazine

Lee Bridgers' Moab guidebook is now available in bookstores around the world. To order a signed copy for $25 call 1-888-MOABUTAH.

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copyright Dreamride 1997 None of the material, written, graphics, or photographs, may be broadcast, published, re-written, re-edited, or used in any way outside of this site without the written consent of Dreamride Mountain Bike Tours and Film Services and Lee Bridgers. Use of this site signifies agreement to terms of use.

Mountain Bike Vacations based from Moab, Utah.
Reading about safety and survival is a good thing. Ride with the most experience hardcore day ride provider in the Moab area. Our guide services greatly reduce risks and greatly enhance the experience. Dreamride is the most experienced hardcore day ride provider in Moab, offering mountain bike vacations for solos, couples and groups no larger than five.
Moab 3 day mountain bike vacation The 3D can be a weekend getaway, a good choice for novices and out-of-shape intermediates, or a great Moab sampler for those with tight schedules. Moab 3 day mountain bike and/or road ride series For a small group of strong riders, the RFT is a great deal. Moab 5 day mountain bike vacation The 5 Daze has long been our most popular Moab package, best for fit novices, intermediate to expert riders. Moab 5 day ultimate slickrock mountain bike vacation The Ultimate is the 5 Daze package on steroids with luxurious lodgings just yards from our door, a Toyota Sequoia shuttle vehicle, expanded range, night rides and food and drink. Moab slickrock skills clinics If you want to learn how to ride a mountain bike, Moab has all the challenges. Dreamride has been running skills clinics in Moab for 10 years. Dreamride slickrock skills camps have been seen on ABC's Good Morning America and in Sunset and Mountain Bike Action Magazine. Guided day hikes around Moab If you need a hiking guide, Dreamride was Moab's first guided hike outfitter. Reserve a day hike series or combine hiking with mountain biking as part of any private package.