Chicago Tribune

Exploring Moab by bike … and then by foot

My first Moab mountain biking excursion started off bumpy _ and not because of the rocks.

My husband, Neil, and I had traveled to this red-dust town in Utah, about a four-hour drive southeast of Salt Lake City, for a long weekend of biking, hiking and magical desert scenery.

As we drove past dramatic gingerbread stacks of sandstone to pick up our rented mountain bikes, I was nervous for the ride ahead, despite my husband's assurance that he'd chosen an easy route. He's a regular visitor to Moab, an area known for some of the world's greatest mountain biking. Before this trip, I'd ridden a total of 2 miles on singletrack trails.

At the bike shop,

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