chain tops
On-line Moab Souvenir Shop
Click on the "curios" cart for on-line sales of Moab souvenirs including bicycle jewelry, Native American arts and crafts, southwestern folk art and curiosities, minerals, rocks and fossils.




In August of 2000 a 13 year old boy died after getting separated from a group of riders on the Porcupine Rim Trail. Once on the trail the group separated, spread out, "to let each rider enjoy the trail at their own pace." The boy's father and another boy stopped to repair a flat. The 13 year old waited for a while, then got impatient and rode on to catch the faster group, most likely taking a wrong turn to Coffee Pot Rock. Only after both groups reconnected was the boy noticed missing. They split up again, one group searching, the other going for help. This, in itself, could have been a disaster. When they contacted the local police they were told this happens all the time and the boy was probably back at the trailhead looking for them. They eventually called Search and Rescue. It took three days to find the boy's body under a juniper behind the radio tower on Sand Flats Road, many miles from the Porcupine Rim Trail.

Difficult trail. Difficult day. Difficult situation. Difficult weather. Bad decisions. Poor timing. Horrible consequences. Horrible shit happens. And I am laying no blame. But only through talking about it can we learn to be VERY careful when taking young and mixed skilled riders on such difficult and remote trails. There is an education involved in learning about mountain biking, especially on the frontier. It is a great responsibility. The boy made the worst mistake, probably in panic, certainly under the influence of a degree of physical dehydration. It was 108 degrees. Dry as a bone. He got turned around, left the trail and tried to walk out through unknown territory for help as Grand County Search and Rescue was looking for him up on the rim, concentrating on areas where other riders had gotten lost.

BE PREPARED. That is the motto of the Boy Scouts. Someone knew something when they made that the motto for a bunch of young boys. Plan your trip to take ADVANTAGE of the weather. Ride at 5AM when the temperature is 65, not 110. Plan your trip by talking to your group about this. If you are lost, out of water, or hurt, stay where you are! Find shade and stay there! Conserve water by conserving energy, not by rationing any water you may have left. If you find water, don¹t leave it! If someone is missing, call Search and Rescue IMMEDIATELY and tell them to GET ON IT RIGHT NOW!! Don't do it on your own. If your friends are lost or hurt, bring in the professionals before someone else gets lost searching in an area that they are not familiar with, or the victim manages to move too far away from the spot he was last seen. The news story from the Times Independent provided at the introduction of these safety pages has one example of people taking a Search and Rescue situation into their own hands. This article repeats itself several times a season. Don't play with the lives of your friends and family to save money. Search and Rescue is there to be used. Do it! And please, take the story of this young boy to heart. Let us remember his death to prevent others.

We are guides. We help by providing more relative safety and removing the stress. Dreamride's methods are the most advanced in the tour business, focusing on small groups of similarly skilled riders. No raw beginners, but novices with aerobic fitness should not shy away from Moab trails simply because of the difficulty. We accept novices in private groups and Moab is getting easier all the time. If you ride without a guide, be cautious. Overly cautious. Walk all sections of trail beyond your skill level. The only time to push your skills is when riding in a group in an area where the consequences of injury are not dehydration and lonely death. And yes, if you are walking your bike, it is still considered mountain biking.

Going down?Tell at least one reliable person where you are going and insist that if you are not back by a certain time that search and rescue be notified. Leave someone with the name of someone to contact in case of an emergency. This is especially important in summer and winter when weather extremes demand quick response to missing persons. Your hotel or motel may perform this service for you for free. If you do not have a person to ride with or someone who will call for you, use a guide service. Dreamride at 59 East Center Street (259-6419) will take out solo riders. Remember that Search and Rescue expenses are the responsibility of the rescued party. A guide is certainly cheaper. Again, if you are alone, get lost and cannot retrace your route, stay where you are, unless no one knows you are out there and you are WAY out in the middle of a place where people are not to be seen. If that check list is getting full, you have been very unwise indeed.

The best way to get help on a main trail is to stay put, remain visible, stay in the shade if it is hot, conserve your energy, and sip your water--don't conserve water, conserve sweat and energy. If it is getting dark (and cold) and you are still a long way from your destination, stop and make a fire BEFORE it gets dark. Be prepared for the cold, as well as the hot. Prepare to sleep in the desert BEFORE YOU HAVE TO. Take an emergency poncho and a space blanket, as well as the right clothing (see the equipment section of this guide). If you ride enough, you will eventually find yourself in this situation, so be prepared to enjoy it. Think of it as a camping trip.

Trails advertised in international magazines as the best trails on Earth can kill you. The Moab Chamber of Commerce and local bike shops are notoriously stupid when it comes to promoting Moab as a mountain biking destination. Just ask the raw novices that are halfway around the Slickrock Trail loop, out of water, in way over their heads. This irrseponsible marketing of our tourist destination drives away novice mountain bikers day after day during peak season, and even discourages many from continuing with the sport. Find out if you are up to the task before you leap into mountain bike Mecca. The Moab Bike Patrol marks and maintains ten of the local trails; Slickrock Bike Trail, Porcupine Rim, Pritchett/Back of Behind, Flat Pass, Poison Spider, Amasa Back, Gemini Bridges, Klondike Bluffs, Monitor and Merrimac, and Hurrah Pass. The markings are sometimes an amateurish futile attempt and cannot be relied upon due to vandalism and inadequate funding and maintenance. The Moab Bike Patrol also rates the trails, but these ratings are misleading. Remember easy trails are really not easy, and difficult trails can be downright dangerous. After a hard rain an easy trail can turn into a bear of a loose rock and slimey challenge. After months of little moisture some of the trails turn into beach sand. Getting lost on any of these trails is quite possible and this is not only a bad thing for you, but for the desert, as lost riders tend to wander through fragile ecosytems. The Moab Bike Patrol also recommends that you take at least 2 full waterbottles on any ride, which makes me wonder about whether or not they actually ride bikes. Take at least 2 waterbottles or energy drink and a waterpack with at least 80 oz. of water--a gallon pack would be better!

Don't be a macho idiot. I once watched a fellow ride the most dangerous spot on the Portal Trail (the spot where riders have been killed over the years). He finessed the section then sat on a rock and egged each one of his group on. "Come on, man, you can make it.". When I asked him to stop before he killed one of them, he refused. I had to stand there and yell at each one of his friends, "Don't do it! If you biff, you die!". The presence of females tends to cause these male members of the species to loose about 50 points of I.Q. That is generous. They don't usually have that much to work with. . . . What is even more depressing is watching these same types taking less-than-experienced girlfriends onto the Slickrock Bike Trail. It never ceases to amaze me. After about a mile, they leave the young woman to fend for herself as they ride on, trying desperately to demonstrate that their courage far exceeds the size of their sexual organ. Girls, if your boyfriend does this to you, find another boyfriend . . . FAST! And if the creep kills himself trying to demonstrate his manliness on a mountain bike, remember, it's natural selection. Rejoice for the betterment of the species. At least he will not be breeding with you in the future.

True Moab news stories headed straight for the movies:
1. Woman falls out of raft in class V rapids. Sues the outfitter because she can't come anymore. She wins a $340,000 cash prize from a jury trial.
2. Huge well known bike tour outfitter brings ten or so people into town. The guides have never been to Moab before. They take their group onto Porcupine Rim in the heat of summer with one map and two waterbottles apiece. They make it back to town, half dead, in shock and unaware, and when they get to the hotel the entire group jumps into the pool. Two don't come up. One dies in the pool. The other dies later. Everybody else gets real sick.
3. Two guys are walking down the street. A cop sees them and thinks they look suspicious. He picks them up. Turns out they had just intentionally swerved their craft services step van into a mountain biker's face on Potash Road and dragged him for 3 miles from the rear view mirror. They go to jail. Cyclist is very dead.

A special note to those who think they do not have money enough to afford cell phones: They can save your life! Borrow one!

[Previous] [Safety Hompage Index] [Next: Environmental Concerns]

to reserveVacation CatalogDreamride HomepageReservationsScheduling

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.