Once you've climbed past the Widdowmaker Hill, there is a bit of rolling trails (a lot of it is doubletrack) and you dump out at the road. Continuing up the hill a little ways, you'll see two trails at the top of the ridge. One is Eagles Nest, the second is the Ribbon Connector Trail. We took the latter. It is a beautiful and a little challenging downhill that takes you down to the base of The Ribbon. You can see from the photos that it is definitely beautiful. Living up to its name, the Eagle's Nest trail had a nesting pair of Golden Eagles right below it. You might not have been able to see it from the trail at the top fo the ridge, but you sure could see it from the bottom.
The Ribbon is one of those epic downhills that people come from 1000s of miles to ride. It consists of 3 miles of almost nonstop downhill on a series of slabs of slickrock. This thing is FAST FAST FAST! It is also pretty darn steep. Jason and I did things a little differently. We rode UP the ribbon. We've always been a glutton for punnishment. We had a pretty good idea that no-one would be coming down. We were almost the only ones in the park that morning. It was damn fun and really exhausting. Imagine a 3 mile granny gear climb where you had to make sure to lean forward and keep a lot of weight on the front wheel. Traction was no problem. Just grinding up the hill was definitely a mental as well as physical workout. We nicknamed that ride "It takes a special kind of idiot". It definitely does. Do yourself a favor, ride the road to the top and take The Ribbon as a downhill. Just watch out for us climbing up. :D
There are a few sections of The Ribbon to watch out for. At the base of the slick rock section, there is a rocky, steep drop-in that will challenge the best expert downhillers. I've seen video of a guy riding it. He's a better man than me by far.
About 1/2 way down the slickrock section, there is an area where it is very steep and there are some pot holes that will grab your front wheel. It is all slickrock. I imagine that it is probably easier to ride down than to climb down. You just need to be careful. We had a tough time climbing up it, that is for sure. I slid down on my ass twice trying to make it up.
I talked to Jason about it recently. At the time he thought it was a pretty silly idea to do The Ribbon on the way up. When planning our 2006 trip, he suggested that he wouldn't be opposed to doing it that way again this year. YEAH MAN! I like it!