Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Have been kicking around the idea of riding a place near my house called Dimple Dell, I have seen riders pop out on it on the far side and ride up the Little Cottonwood trail. So after a rough night of sleep I found myself awake a 4am so I rolled out of the house at 4:30am in the usual act of desperation to do whatever it takes to ride! I rolled down the pavement and found an entrance and had high hopes the first 20 minutes as I rode some decent trail. It is a interesting place, it's basically a wash from the Little Cottonwood Canyon run off which comes down from the ski resorts. Years of erosion has deposited a lot of soft sand. It was not long before I was walking sections that were too soft to ride but still more packed to soft ratio. The night was dark and it was spooky down there in the ravine but I pushed on and finally found my way to the end of the park and hit pavement to the LCC trail. Once on the real dirt I was feeling tired and lazy but I pushed on cause I'm a bad dude. Halfway up my tire went flat and that was enough for me to throw in the towel. I took pavement all the way home which was un eventful all the way home. Watching the towering Wasatch front sunrise was pretty dang good that morning. Strava failed on me, or phone did but no buggy.
My lovely wife gave me the go ahead to go out and rock a ride during the evening, starting a good trend of riding wednesday evenings which is welcomed since I seem to be in a much better mood and flow when the sun is going down and not up. As usual there was a mass swarm of bikers all over the trail. I ran across at least three groups of 10+ riders. I always seemed to be going against traffic but after moving off the trail 10 or so times I got use to it and there was no choice but to just enjoy the trail with the other users. I hooked up a good loop and still have fresh ideas but I am wearing them out and have to keep it creative. Corner Canyon trails rip on a SS rigid, the climbing is fast and smooth and it feels good putting the pedal on the metal there. I got home in time to see the boy off to bed and do something with the house like my daily routine consists of always. The bathroom is coming along and I am learning a lot.
Monday, September 22, 2014
Set the 4:45am alarm to take care of business, I heade up to Park City since there are still some trails I have yet been able to hit due to time constraints. I had plans to ride flying dog trail and parked at Glenwild and began the mellow climb with many many deer. It's reliving to find out those glowing eyes are deer since I fear running into moose and mountain lion. Glenwild is a real mellow ride until I hit the switchbacks and I must say the legs were lazy and my mind was not far from it but I put the steam down for the climb. I started to get daylight as I ran into more and more deer. By the time I reached the summit the headlamp was off and I was ready for a rocking downhill. It was smooth as butter and was welcomed on the rigid. Ran into a friendly critter who as making an absolute mess of the trail. I guess no one gave him the memo that it was poor trail etiquette to damn up the trail. I continued on as the day grew brighter and the ski resorts were lit in orange form the sun rise. There was more Dh riding than I remember which is cool. The a mellow ride to the car and another ride in the bag!
The Millcreek Canyon trails have a special place in my heart, mostly cause they are all so awesome and it was when I really got heavy into mountain biking I frequented it alot. The best trail by far in the Canyon is the Big Water trail, a trail that climbs up to the famous Wasatch Crest trail. I have not hit this trail yet this year and I guess I kind of forgot it, also it is a very busy trail and best on the off hours. So I set off Saturday morning at the usual 5am and got up to the top by 5:45 and found a dark parking lot with alot of cars. I have never seen so many, especially that that hour, there mist have been some campers or something since there was no sign anyone just got there. I was a little spooked to ride this trail solo but I braved it and felt better as a car arrived as I started on the trail. It was dark obviously, and the trail was damp with heavy air, but it felt so good to be riding. As I climbed into the darkness it was pretty uneventful until just a hint of daylight arrived and I could see the dark blue and then eventually the surrounding trails were showing their fall colors even though the sun was far from rising. Passed my first people, they were hunters in cammo in hopes of finding Elk but I know for a fact that would never happen up there. Onwards the climb never ended, I forgot how much relief or level ground existed up there. I did reach a viewpoint and got off the bike and took in an absolute blessing of a sun rise. I took it in for a few minutes before I had to unfortunately head down and leave good miles of single track since I was out of time. It was not long before I ran into many uphill bikers. It was a fast ride despite stopping every so often for the other trail users. Was such a good ride, stirred up some old memories.
Got out on a crank last week, I started at about 6:40 so I had a good hour + of light and then whatever amount of darkness I wanted to ride. I had some pent up energy and fumes to exhaust so this ride started off at a furious pace. I was at Corner Canyon trying to mix up a loop and ended up getting up high on the Eagle Crest in hopes of a glorious sunset over the valley but by the time I reached to the top I missed it but still had a fun descent down the trail and felt fuzzy being able to call this place home. By then I had been pretty sure I was making personal record times and was enjoying the fast pace. With time I climbed back up to Ann's and over to the top of Rush trail and made a difficult ride down with a headlight. It was really hard to get depth perception on the trail so I took my time. Solid ride and sure enough I did set many records on the strava. The house is never ending, in the middle of a bathroom demo and various other stressful scenarios I think this ride was me spinning it out. It helped for a little but did not last long enough, oh well.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
With more morning rides as the weeks go on, more of them are bing spent in the dark. The woods here in Utah just don't spook me like the woods in CT. I have been desperate to get more rides in Park City so I set the alarm for 4:30am, I was willing to do whatever it took to get a ride in and it meant the morning. I hope one day I can just ride more and whenever I want but for now I must tend to my demands of life and squeeze rides in wherever I can find them. So off I went to a new spot I have never been with a plan and hopefully a successful outcome. I parked in the outlets parking lot and found what I needed climbing through small brush in the dark lit sky. I could not tell but I was at the base of the Olympic facility form years ago where they did the bobsled and the ski jump. There were a lot of switchbacks and found them tricky with a light and a SS as I washed out on a few. Checked my phone a few times for my map and successfully ended up at Robs trail. Now I hit thick pine forest which came with a spook factor but I had relief when I saw two cars at the trailhead, could there be another wacko out on the trails like me in the dark. Well after 20 minutes I found an older man hiking, as I went by he called me an intrepid soul and I said the same back to him since we probably had a mutual understanding for the Mountains. By then I was getting just a slight faint bit of light from the East but it was slowly for sure. I was getting higher into the Canyons ski area and finally hit my trail junction I was looking for. I guess it's called the Hunters trail. Started off at a nice downhill flowing real nice offering up views into the are as the sun rose, it was absolutely incredible. Waking up with the mountains was as majestic as it should be. After some really nice trail I ran into a large critter in front of me, I saw the massive antlers and he disappeared. After I cautiously proceeded I found to huge bull moose chilling together, why they were together I don't know but one spooked and ran further and the other more close checked me out and I was in awe of the size of him. I wish I had gotten a picture but it's all good. I fear moose, they're very powerful animals and deserve a lot of distance and ones with calves are very dangerous. Onwards I hit a bunch of downhill switchbacks and then doe dreaded uphill ones. I guess soeone counted them as 32 or something, by then my legs were a little weak so I walked some since they were steep. From then I made my way down as fast as I could since I was running late, there were so many trail forks, I look forward to getting back there to ride. I hit the school and took a paved path to the car, what a morning, it was fun on completely new trails and navigating. What a solid ride, I can't wait to get back!
I was going to ride the morning but LuAnn had a exercise class so I was was able to get out on the kiddos nap when she returned. I was excited since this meant I could ride in daylight, morning rides are good but riding during the day or evening are few and far between. I decided to start off at a trailhead near my house, I have walked a little of the shoreline and biked pieces but I could not remember if it was a good idea or not. Turns out the views were beautiful and with them came some hike a bikes with gears or not. It took about 25 minutes to reach the Corner Canyon trail network but everything was good. Climbed on up Rattler feeling real good and was stoke to be out riding. Up Canyon Hollow and to Brocks trail and then made the decision to rip down Ann's. The I made my way back up when I ran into my first rattlesnake. He was little and his rattle was not yet developed, they still pack a punishing venom so I admired him as I waited for him to make his way off trail. What a nice time of the day, it felt a lot different than those early morning rides. Ran down Ghost Falls and then back to the trailhead. Solid ride that again never wanted to end I had another 20 miles left in my legs but as usual I was out of allowed time but I was happy to have what time I had.
Monday, September 15, 2014
Finally got my homie Brent out on a ride after a lot of harassing on our backpacking trip. We set the radar on Emigration Canyon AKA Mormon Pioneer Trail. I have ton rode here since I last lived here in Utah some years ago. I was excited to get back since I have good memories. It was so cold this morning, it was probably 40F or lower and I was without gloves, I could deal with the cold body but not the hands it sucked. We got going just at the break of light and we did not need lights as we chugged up form the Reservoir. The wind was brutal bearing down on my hands making it almost unbearable. But I toughed it up as we climbed up the trail. It's a really mellow ride for the first few miles and then it gets steeper and loose, I did not expect to walk but single speed and loose on uphill don't mix well. Once we hit the switchbacks it was smooth sailing. On the way up the views were incredible, offering a view down the valley of Salt Lake. We did not spend much time at the top since we were but cold s we headed down. Just a minute in my hands froze, I could not feel how much pressure I was putting on the brakes, it felt like I had no skin and the bones themselves were pulling the levers. It was a pretty uncomfortable ride to say the least but still had a good time. So glad Brent made it out for another good one
Sunday, September 7, 2014
With not many options for a valley ride I was at the Shoreline trail for a ride, this time I passed Bobsled and continued to Terrace hills. Really un eventful ride but a good ride in that. Still riding strong even with gears the let two rides.
I have hesitated when riding in the dark, but I fear less when I run across another soul, so when I arrived in the parking lot of Corner Canyon that morning at 5:20 AM I saw 10 others gearing up. It crossed my mind to ask if they wanted company, but was not interested in a cold shoulder of LLDR's so I headed out on my own. Ran into quite a few deer on a corner and we both stopped in our tracks and the went about our business. Up Canyon Hollow I was finally armed with suspension and was ok with it even on the ups. I finally got a tie bit of light as I passed the summit and pushed for Jacobs ladder, I made it all the way up to the top of Ladder and was impressed with my leg power. Tore down Jacobs ladder and felt pretty uncomfortable on the bike, reminding me all too much of how much I need a different new bike. I desperately want a 150/160mm travel bike with some good components, the Kona Tanuki just barely gets me by..... Decided I had time to make a Maple Hollow DH trail run so I added in some annoying pavement to cut time and then headed down the trail. Really fun but has seen a lot of riders and the erosion and lack of maintenance shows but it's still a great trail. Another good ride and a good start before my parent arrived in town to help us with a ton of work needed to be down around the house and of course see Landon.
Only got one ride last week but it was good enough. It was a pre dawn ride as usual and was started at the Zoo and rode shoreline up to bobsled. It was nice to share the trail in the dark with an occasional runner here and there to not feel so sketchy in the dark. Running down bobsled was nice but I have to start riding suspension to really be getting the full effect. On my way up Popperton Park, I was following a unicyclist that I could not catch, he had mad skills and even made it by the gate. What a skill he had climbing up a hill I can barely ride up myself despite being paved. The ride was dull form then on since shoreline is pretty bland but was stoked to be on the bike!
Life has been busy as you could imagine, there have been endless projects with this house, but I still have found time to ride. Last weekend I was in the Uintas in the most spectacular place I have ever been. I have been in the Uintas before but never had this experience. We left Friday morning and got a late start on the trail but we were good to make it before dark. It was a mellow but long hike in from the China Meadows Trailhead. I was so glad to be back out in the wilderness on a backpacking trip again, it has been years. I had this trip planned out for us and nothing was going to stop us from having a good time. Even if on the hour 6 a lightening/hail storm nailed us. After we made it out of the storm the skies opened and blue appeared again and the most spectacular light hit Red Castle and was the most incredible thing I have ever seen. We landed a secluded camp sot with dumb luck and just 200 yards from the lake just hidden in the tree line with the most spectacular view! I was cold, I packed extra light this trip and wish I had a warmer layer but I was stuck with a rain jacket that barely kept me comfortable. We made camp and got a fire going as the sun set on the Lake in magnificent fashion. After some time drying shoes by the fire we made an early bed in the tent and hoped for a good night sleep. The rain and hail fell mod the night and we all tossed and turned all night long. I begged for the break of dawn and got out and made breakfast and we all got moving and go ourselves ready for exploring. We made it to the Upper Red Castle Lake and had a nasty wind that had me looking for cover and found a perfect spot to fish. Second cast I had a fish, landed a nice tiger trout. Brought a few more and had them throw the hook at the lakes edge but enough so I got to see them and I was glad they let them self off and saved us the hook trouble. Weather moved in after 5 minutes of fishing and forced us off the lake. Despite rain and heavy wind we made the best of it on the way down and did plenty exploring. I was so bummed we had to leave the lake I wanted to do so much more fishing. After a few hours of making our way to camp the sun came out! It was like nothing I have ever experienced, the wilderness turned into the most incredible view I have ever seen. I made a late lunch at camp and basked in the rays with my shoes off and felt finally at rest. I really wanted to go back to fish that lake but I was cooked for the day. Another incredible sunset and a good fire and tom foolery with my friends. The next day we headed to East Red Castle and found a beautiful secluded lake offering more spectacular scenery. Sadly no fish were found but it was another nice explore. When we returned we would have to pack up camp since I was out voted to stay three nights......The hike out was looooong but it was in good company and look so so so forward to going back.