As reported in the last instalment of our North American odyssey (In Search of Maple Syrup...), raging forest fires had forced the 'not-so-famous five' across the border from Canada to the US.
A Canadian friend once cheerily informed me "if you're being chased by a bear, it's easy to figure out whether it's a brown or a grizzly. Just (quickly) climb a tree. A brown will follow you up the tree while a grizzly will stand at the bottom and push it over, or at least shake it hard enough so you fall out."
Tempted by undercurrents of burgeoning popularity, it was inevitable that sooner or later we'd feel the need to give Ground Effect a nudge in the USA.
"Mountain biking in South America - are you guys completely nuts?" Almost certainly, but over the years we've often contemplated the possibility of a few Latin American epics. A randomly spotted article about riding in Peru defended our sanity and catapulted us into planning a trip.
For years we've schemed of mountain biking in the USA. We knew it would be a mind-blowing good time. The tough question was "where do we go?" - the place is so huge and the possibilities for biking so enormous. We decided to concentrate on the places we'd heard the most about: South West Colorado; and Moab, Utah. We wanted to minimise long hauls in the car, and managed to link up the quintessential mountain bike destinations in a tight loop: Durango; Telluride; Crested Butte; and Moab - scoring a couple of weeks in each spot.