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The Green Valley Classic

Where did you learn to shred the gnar? If you grew up riding in Southern Utah, chances are pretty good that your first ride was the Bear Claw Poppy, or as it was originally known, the Green Valley Loop. The Loop incorporated some dirt road, some pavement and of course the trail we all know and love.

If you are anything like me, you can probably recall the first time you dared ride down the Three Fingers of Death and then when you progressed to the next steepest one and then the next until you stopped feeling nervous and instead looked forward to launching down to that super smooth transition. You can probably recall a few dozen times that you went into the Acid Drops a little hot and how the second one came up on you way too fast, you thought you were a goner, but somehow you pulled it off without dying and went flying off the third one as well.

The point is that for many of us here in St. George, the Bear Claw Poppy is a trail that holds a lot of memories for us. It’s a bit of a training ground for new riders and a place of nostalgia for us crusty old guys. And that’s a pretty good summation of the Green Valley Classic. We love the trail. We love the memories that it holds for us and we still love to rally down its roller coaster obstacles and come sliding into the trail head at the end.

From Left to Right: Carl, John, Jamon, Chelsea, Kathleen, Moose and Mitch. Photo Credit - Joey Pancakes
From Left to Right: Carl, John, Jamon, Chelsea, Kathleen, Moose and Mitch. Photo Credit – Joey Pancakes

IMG_0344 IMG_0340 IMG_0330 IMG_0328 IMG_0339 IMG_0338 IMG_0334 IMG_0341In celebration of this trail, for the second year in a row, Red Rock Bicycle has sponsored the Green Valley Classic. A group of us met at the super early time of 8 AM on Saturday to pay homage to the BCP. Well, to be honest, some were there at 8 and others came wandering in around 8:05 and we were rolling somewhere around 8:23. We spun at a mellow pace as we made our way up the paved section of our route pedaling Bloomington Drive, Dixie Drive and finally up Canyon View Drive which ended the paved section.

Back in the day, we used to call the road up to the water tank (this is before the water tank existed) Mile Hill. You might not think it’s possible, but back then the road was a disaster, way worse than it is now. Driving a vehicle to the top would take as long, if not longer than just riding your bike up. The new whipper snappers just have it so easy what with the graded road and parking lot and trailhead with a sign…We used to not even have to stop and lift our bikes over the stepover, but then again, back then there were usually motorcycles tearing around on the trail as well.

This time around, we had to stop at the top not only to get our bikes over the gate and into the Bear Claw Poppy Reserve, but to take the above photo. You can’t have that rad of a group of misfits and not take a group photo.

Once photo taking duties were handled, we jumped over the gate and one by one, we bombed the Fingers. Some of us took the flat line, some of us went down the left, other the right and some down the middle. I don’t think I’ve ever ridden the trail without stopping for high fives after the Fingers. Saturday’s ride was no different.IMG_0368

After the excitement of the drops, we began the pedally section known as the wash. We were giggling like people tend to do on this ride and made our way right up to the Acid Drops. Off we went to regroup again at the top of Clavicle Hill. We hadn’t lost anyone yet and this was our last “drop” before hammering the rest of the trail back to the car. We were successful in cleaning Clavicle Hill and with a hoot, we took off toward pancakes.IMG_0380 IMG_0384 IMG_0388 IMG_0391 IMG_0401 IMG_0393

IMG_0426Pancakes? You ask. Why Pancakes?

Well, there’s two reasons. First, we like pancakes. Pancakes are yummy and they are even better when you share them with friends at the end of a killer ride like we were just about to finish. Second, we need a reason to call Joey, Joey Pancakes. It’s not a well known fact, but we tend to have nicknames. Those nicknames have to have reasons, even if it is as simple as Joey cooking pancakes at the Green Valley Classic. Some nicknames stick, some don’t, but he will always be Joey Pancakes to us.

And just like that, our group of rowdy and now dusty mountain bikers came screeching to a halt directly in front of the step over that signals the other end of the trail. More high fives were shared. The grill was eventually fired up and one more was in the books.

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If you’ve missed one, or both, of the Green Valley Classics, don’t fret. The trail isn’t going anywhere and the next one will be on October 7th.

Join us for 2018! Get your free tickets here:

One Response to “The Green Valley Classic”

  1. carl sigg on 15 Oct 2016 at 9:50 am

    Nice article Lucas!! Thats always a fun ride. Great friends ,photos ,great riding ,and as always awesome pancakes!!
    SEE YOU NEXT TIME!!

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