12/26/2011 - Day 4 - Festive 500 - 28 miles
The day started with breakfast - the most important meal of the day. Two fat slices of Triple Chocolate Gingerbread Cake sprinkled with powdered sugar and those two fat slices really hit the spot. You can tell how focused I am on my nutrition this time of year and today I was determined to eat right and log some miles for The Festive 500. The weather this year is turning out just about as good as can be hoped for. There was minimal wind today and the temperature was a sunny 35 degrees when I started out. Almost perfect.
Legs feel good? Check. Dressed perfectly for the temps? Check. Almost two hours to get a ride in? Check. Flat course planned? Check. Courteous motorists? Check. The ride was going great. About the time I was fixing to turn and head back south, it dawned on me that I had spent all of the miles I have logged so far for this Festive 500 on the hoods.
I was cruising along thinking that it just doesn't get any better than this when I felt my bike bobbing slightly underneath me moving slightly up and down with each pedal stroke. Flat. Rear tire. Crap. Fizzle. A quick dismount and push to a nearby Barbacoa to sit on their patio and change the tube resulted in some very very very cold fingers and the use of my last spare tube. Back underway I realized I had lost some time and the sun was quickly dipping toward the horizon.
7/18/2012 - Dream Small Ride #4 - Guardsman Pass - 60 miles
It's been said that it's the toughest climb in the area. Basically it's a 17.5 mile climb up Little Cottonwood Canyon and then on up to where the pavement ends at Guardsman's Pass. From the base of the canyon it is 4779 feet of elevation gain to the top. It's rated as a ''hors catégorie'' climb. Sounds painful and it will be.
I'm starting at 9:00 a.m. on July 18, 2012 where the pavement (road) ends at the top of Wasatch Boulevard so I can warm up on the way to the canyon before crawling to the top. After the descent from Guardsman's I will head up to the cafe in Brighton and have lunch before heading back down the canyon and then slogging the 18 miles through the valley back home. 60 miles total with 5279 feet of overall elevation gain.
Besides I had accomplished what I had set out to do that day. I had hill-slugged it up to Brighton. I had reached a goal. I had hit a milestone. Besides I was pooped. And even though I probably spend about 95% of my time on the bike perched on the hoods - at that moment in time I felt like I could finally consider myself a real cyclist. So I turned around and headed back down the canyon and I rode back home and shaved my legs.