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Green Valley Classic – Ride Report

I’m rolling up. My hands are clinched around the brakes, both tires are skidding. The 90mm of travel my suspension fork is supposed to have doesn’t seem to be doing much for the repeated hits it is taken as I careen semi out of control toward the drop on the middle of the Fingers of Death. I had left the top of the ride with high hopes of coaxing myself over the edge this time. With both hands wrapped around the levers controlling the V-brakes on my bike, the edge gets closer and closer.

The Green Valley Loop was the ride you did if you were doing rides in St. George in the 90s. It was a combination of dirt road, singletrack and pavement. As the roads and trails have evolved, this loop has somewhat been lost to the memories of those who rode it. The name has even been changed and the singletrack portion is now known as the Bear Claw Poppy.

For those of us who learned to shred in St. George, the Green Valley Loop holds a special place in our riding indoctrination. It was the first trail most of us ever rode and continues as a favorite and mainstay of the area. The Green Valley Classic is a once a year ride to celebrate the history of this trail.

20171014_082420This year’s Classic took place a couple of weeks ago. We had planned the ride for 8 AM as the weather is usually on the warmer side the first part of October. We happened to catch a cold spell this year. As riders gathered at the bottom, you could see that the winter gear had come out and people’s breath was evident in the air.

With 11 riders, we headed out. Wooping and hollering was heard as Colt tore out of the parking lot. We chased him making our way toward the top, stopping ocassionaly to regroup and chat. Once at the top, we sent the fingers and shredded the Claw all the way back to the parking lot.

20171014_092834As is our custom, we had snacks, coffee and hot chocolate at the end of the ride. The nostalgia was running deep.

We awarded Damon Barker best vintage bike as he rode his 20+ year mountain bike for the entire ride. His steed happened to be the same one that he had ventured out on the Green Valley Loop for the first time in the late 90s.

20171014_085337I eventually made it over the edge of the drop. The middle finger was my first demon, the first section of trail that scared me bad enough to never ride it, but was still close enough to being doable that it haunted me for years. Of course, we now just send it and forget about it, but that’s the beauty of the Green Valley Loop. Despite how many times you’ve ridden it, it always brings a smile to your face.


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