12/30/2011 - Day 8 - The Festive 500 - 72 miles
Awesome. For now. I hadn't hit a single red light as I had just coasted for about five miles at 35 to 45 mph while dropping nearly 600 feet in elevation and I knew I was headed to the lowest spot in the valley. I had about five more miles of this magic tailwind on the now level road that was blowing just about as hard as I was riding fast before I had to turn straight west and pedal the ten more miles to the Great Salt Lake Marina. Five more miles of magic. Five more miles of level flight. Five more miles of perfection.
Once I reached the barriers on the north side of the frontage road I had to fight hard to avoid the tumbleweeds. They had nowhere to go having been blown up against the barriers and were shooting out in the eddies of wind all over and up and down the road. Some of them got me or I got some of them and I hoped that there was nothing sharp or solid enough on these dead plants that would puncture my tires. I only brought one tube and didn't fancy changing it this far away from home out in this wind.
I took a little break at the marina and took some pictures. There was a sailboat out on the lake and it was peaceful watching it slowly sail around the shallow water. I had a chocolate chip granola bar and hung out for a few minutes enjoying the utter lack of wind that I found so surprising. I had ridden about 33 miles to get here and I knew that I had a few more than that to get back and I hoped it would seem shorter because I was going to take a route that I had never ridden portions of before. Just the same I knew that it would feel like it was all uphill and I knew that anytime I was riding south I would be pushing a super stiff headwind.
I pedaled up the hill in the wind to State Highway 201 and pedaled up the hill in the wind to Magna. I pedaled up the hill in the wind through Magna grateful that I didn't get run over. I pedaled up the hill in the wind through parts of West the crappy part of the Valley City. I pedaled up the hills in the wind past ATK and Praxair and the Lays Potato Chip factory. I pedaled up the hill in the wind past the water towers. I pedaled up the hill in the wind past the Usana Amphitheater and I pedaled up the hill in the wind past where Wind Ridge Golf Course used to be. My legs were hurting.
There's a reason why this side of the valley is famous for wind. There's a reason why that golf course was named Wind Ridge. It's because it's SUPER WINDY stupid. What was I thinking? The only thing that kept me going was that I had no other way to get back home and the memory of that magic ride for 10 miles earlier in the day when this same torturous wind was pushing me perfectly effortlessly down the road. But right now I was climbing the hills and pushing the wind and I was paying the price.
The Festive 500. Now I'm at 258 miles for the eight days. There is one day left and frankly the weather has been so super cooperative this year that actually finding the time to ride has been the most difficult part of doing this.
A big thank you to my super supportive wife. Tomorrow I need to ride 53 miles. My ride will be as flat as I can make it. Right now my legs are sore and my neck is stiff and my wrist hurts and I feel great. For the first time since this began I feel like I am on top of this thing. For the first time since I got my bike dirty on December 23rd I feel like I have pedaled from the red to the black.
9/22/2012 - Dream Small Ride #8 - Nebo Loop
Dream Small Ride #1. I will reach 9400 feet above sea level.
I promised myself I would ride in 2012.
I will have pedaled a total of 606 miles just on these Dream Small Rides. I will have climbed a total of 40,479 feet of elevation gain and descended a total of 41,452 feet. I am looking forward to both. I am looking forward to these Dream Small Rides. I'm looking forward to the pedaling the pictures the coasting the memories and the speed. I'm looking forward to sharing these rides with you. Here. I am looking forward to dreaming small. I am looking forward to pedaling from the red to the black.