In addition to Country Jam, Fruita is a pretty significant mountain bike destination. This weekend I rode Prime Cut both ways, Chutes n Ladders, Mary's Loop, Horsethief Bench, and Lion's Loop.
Prime Cut is a buff, smooth rolling singletrack designed for climbing. Having always been there with Grandpa Kaz, descending it is a bit of a tradition so I started with that. I vanquished my demons and cleaned Pete's Rock, which feels pretty good. (Pete's Rock was so nicknamed after a rather dramatic and public tumble a few years ago. It's been in my head ever since.) As expected, once I nutted it up and rode it, it was easy. And it turns out that the problem was never insufficient speed. I also cleaned that up-and-over rock before you get to the Prime-Chutes junction. I tried the sucker crack on the right first, got stuck on a pedal, and on my second try went right over the top. Finesse is not my style.
At the bottom, I turned around and rode back up. That's a fun uphill. Smooth, interesting, all it could use is a nice shady bar.
I went on up to Chutes from there. My saddle was sky-high for climbing, so I made the first steep climb without much trouble, but went right over the bars on the subsequent switchbacks. It's one of those trails where you have to be comfortable climbing and descending with a middling height switchbacks - there are a bunch of short steep climbs and descents. I, however, said screw it to the climbs and just dropped my saddle for descending (coming from the Wasatch, I'm not really used to low ampitude stuff). I cruised the rest of the descents and pushed up a couple climbs.
Sunday morning started with a very hungover dawn. I was on Mary's by 8 and was rather not to lose my cookies on the first doubletrack climb. Mary's is a good trail for intermediates - mostly it's just fast singletrack, but there are a good number of achievable technical challenges. Horsethief is a bit harder (with a famous and extremely tough entrance), but similar. I'd take a second season rider (or tough first season rider) on it. There are a ton of 4-12 inch ledges to go up and down on each trail, a couple steep sandstone rollers on Horsethief, and great views of the Colorado.
After those two I took a lunch break and went on to the Mack Ridge trail. Man, that was a mistake. At this point it was 11:00 and way too hot to be riding. In reasonable conditions (like March), Mack ridge is a really good climb. It's fairly technical, but almost all rideable. Lots of rocks, good views each way from the top of the ridge. At the top you pick up a loose, rocky jeep road and tear down it. A speed demon would probably love it, but next time I'll probably just turn around and ride down the singletrack.