Things I learned on the trip:
1. Amasa Back is now my favorite trail out there. Hands down. The brand new (opened weeks ago) upper and lower Captain Ahab in addition to Pothole, Rockstacker, and Jackson make it the best out there IMO.
2. The Rumblefish was like an "easier button" downhill, but you pay for it on the uphills a bit with the heavier bigger wheels. The suspension on the bike is spot on for having fun and staying fresh in the rough stuff. The new bontrager XR3 TLR (tubeless ready) tires held up great in the super abrasive conditions. The TLR tires now have additional sidewall protection...don't leave for the SW without it.
3. There is still stuff that scares me too much to do out there. I try a little more each time I go.
4. Fruita is fun. The Kokopelli trials are much more fun than the 18 road trails.
5. The Hot Tomato in Fruita is the place to eat if you have one night. If you have more than one night, eat there more than once.
6. The Moab trails are still more fun than Fruita trails IMO. Some argue the opposite, but to each his own.
7. Watching off road vehicles, mostly Jeeps, do wicked thing on the edge of cliffs is super fun. This was the second time of the 1/2 dozen that I have been there where my trip has coincided with "Jeep Week". I am glad it was not my $50k super modified Jeep making those crunching sounds while rock crawling.
8. The trails marked "Easiest" in Fruita's Kokopelli group were on par with the toughest at Mammoth. Everything is relative out there, but there are some easy trails that I would take my son on (Bar M in Moab and 18 road in Fruita)
9. I remember this every time I take a bike trip, but it is relatively easy to get really fit when all you have to attend to is your own needs...
Really hard stuff. This one took me 5 tries to clear.
The Porcupine descent is still a gem!
The playground that is Fruita (Kokopelli Area)...yes those are trails all over the hillsides
Racing starts in a while. I have some different plans for the year and as I mentioned in another post, some different equipment. For now, I am concentrating on suffering in the cold=(