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By Ethen Roberts

Growing up in Utah, I've always wanted to put a big mountain bike trip together down in Southern Utah with all my Nitro Circus friends. With the new line of Giant and Liv E-mountain bikes released, I thought there could be an epic “couples weekend” in the making.

The only problem was everyone’s schedule. Travis and Lyn-z Pastrana, along with Dusty and Tarah Wygle, are some of the busiest people I know. When I called Travis, he said they only had two days free in December.

With such a tight window, I called in a favor with my helicopter-pilot friend York: "Would you fly Travis and Lyn-z down to where we’d be riding?" He was psyched for that and more. With everyone on board and the helicopter ready to go, this would be a trip of a lifetime.

When Travis and Lyn-z flew in, they got to see Utah from above. It was cool to see their genuine excitement and get to share a place I grew up riding.

Word must have gotten out that Travis was flying in because all the local MTB pros bombarded our camp spot. It was cool to see the support from the local MTB scene, but we couldn’t wait to start riding.

Grabbing all the E-bikes, we took off as a group. It was so awesome to see everyone riding together. Riding up trails that would normally take hours only took a fraction of the time on E-bikes. Riding down we found so many awesome little hits and jumps.

Travis wanted to do a backflip and followed me into a jump he had never hit before. His backflip ended up missing my head by only three feet, but somehow he landed it.

Typical Travis.

On day two we wanted to ride somewhere we’d never ridden before. We flew up to a red rock ridge with 1,000-foot drops on all sides. It looked like an amazing place to ride, with a rolling sandstone ridgeline and ledges that looked like perfect jumps. I don’t think anyone had ridden up there before, but we had to try.

We got clearance to land and unloaded the bikes as the weather started to roll in. We knew we only had a few hours to ride before it would be too bad to fly out and we’d be stuck on top.

We strapped on our helmets and soon realized it was perfect terrain for riding: uncharted sandstone lines, dropping into creek bottoms, and dodging sagebrush and trees.

You would forget you’re on top of a 1,000-foot ridge some times. Way too soon we felt the first rain coming and pinned it back to the helicopters so we could safely get back down. The experience left us with the drive to come back someday.

When the helis took off to head back home, I felt so grateful to be a part of such an amazing trip and to be able to spend it with such great friends.

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