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Bears, Toilets and Bike Parts

A story of the importance of the M check

Have you heard of the ‘M check’? It’s the basic check of your bike for safety, just a useful reminder to check each important part of the bike before you set off for the day.

It takes, of course, the form of an ‘M’ – starting from the front axle/brakes, you move up to the headset (the bit where your handlebars are joined on); down to the axle, up to the saddle and back down to the back axle & gears. If you check all of these bits of the bike, then it’s safe. Just see everything is there and done up, the brakes work and so on.

This is Tully. He didn’t do an M check.

So Tully spent 3 hours hiding in a toilet at 10,000 feet from the local bears, because he hadn’t noticed that he’d left his rear axle in the car.

The ride was The Whole Enchilada, one of the world’s best mountain bike rides in Moab, Utah. The Whole Enchilada isn’t always open, but we were lucky and late in the season there was an opportunity to go as it wasn’t snowed in. Driving up first thing to get a Californian Alpine Start (10am), you ascend into the beautiful birch forest to a car park (with toilet) at the trail head.

Tully reunited with his axle, toilet in the background



From here, you ride across some meadows with fantastic views across to the Rockies in the distance, then uphill to Burro Pass where the trail starts in earnest.

This leads to the Whole Enchilada descent, followed by Hazard County, Kokopelli, Upper & Lower Porcupine Singletrack and finally Porcupine Rim. What a day out, too much to describe here so it’ll wait for another day, but Tully nearly missed out. 

As it was, we ended in the dark rescued by Adam…

If you are interested in The Whole Enchilada there’s an amazing video of it on YouTube. Several Cycleshack staff members have ridden it too, so please do ask if you’re thinking of a visit!

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