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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I are going to Fruita in 2 days for a MTB vacation. We decided that we may as well bring the road bikes and ride the CO National Monument too.

We're going to ride the whole Monument from end to end then return along the road parallel to the river. Does anyone know whether it would be better to do this ride clock-wise of counter clock-wise? Any other tips would be appreciated.

Thanks.
 

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I used to live in Breckenridge, CO and I've ridden the Monument 5 or 6 times always clockwise beginning on the east side. That's the way the Coors Classic ran the Tour of the Moon stage. The climb from the east entrance is on switchbacks while the climb from the west side is a long, single grade. Once you're up on the rim, you've done most of the work but it's not flat either. You might want to check out the web site of the local bike club (www.redrockriders.com) and send them a query if you want to get the locals' perspective. This is an absolute classic Colorado ride, The scenery is stunning and, hopefully, the traffic hasn't spoiled it since the last time I was there (1999).
 

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Have fun in Fruita. We always hit Marys and Horsethief loops on our way to Moab. Fun, easy trails that help us get back somthing that might resemble technique before heading to Moab for technical stuff. Guess that's what we get for only riding MTB's once a year for the annual guys trip to Moabl The rest of the year is on the skinny tires.
 

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I rode the Monument this time last year. Started in town Grand Junction and roade from the east entrance to the west and returned to town. Start early on a week day and you'll have the entire park to yourselves. Take care in the tunnels.
 

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Check with the park. There is a big construction project overlaying most of Rim Rock Drive starting from the west entrance that is supposed to start soon. I think you will be OK this weekend though. Also be prepared to pay a few bucks per bicycle to enter the park.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the tips everybody. We rode it this passed Friday and had a great time. We rode the Monument east to west and would have just turned around and did it again in the opposite direction if not for the dark clouds and thunder that had creeped up behind us by the time we got to the west entrance. So we took South Broadway back to the car.

The ride was a lot easier than we expected. After about 4 miles, with the switchbacks behind us, it seemed like the rest of the trip was downhill. Lots of fun. I suppose for a better workout a person should ride from west to east.
 
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