Friday, November 27, 2009

Water Bottle-sicle

17 degrees at dawn

I suppose there is a reason why you don't hear a lot about people in Northern Climes doing centuries after Thanksgiving. The reason of course would be weather. The weather this morning would of course stand up to the reputation. It wasn't snowing or sleeting but the temps were at a nice 17 degrees down by the lake. I had pretty much dressed to match the cold but my fingertips and toes were quite cold until about half an hour after the sun came up.

The cue sheet I printed out was a little outdated and I found it had problems after around 15 miles or so. There are a lot of new communities around the end of the lake and it has renamed a lot of streets. I suppose some of it might have been the early morning and the cold though. Even with the problems with the cue sheet I managed to find my way around though.

Mist on the lake

I found myself wondering what in the world would posses a person to wander around in the predawn hours in 17 degree weather on a bike. I have to say I couldn't really answer. There wasn't any hope of a sunny warm day and Autumn had lost her colors. Well, Hmmm. I guess I did it as I had never seen the otherside of the lake and of course it was a challenge. In the end I am glad I got a late start as I think my fingers and toes couldn't have handled the freezing temps much longer.

Master Rando Ninja

When dawn arrived I had passed Provo and was down on the shore of the lake. I managed to startle 5 deer just before getting to the lake. Utah lake for those of you who might not know is one of two lakes that is the remainder of a prehistoric lake called Lake Bonneville that covered both the Salt Lake valley and Utah valley down by Provo. The other lake of course is the great Salt Lake. Though it is but a remnant of the earlier lake it is still quite large and would take me the better part of the day to go around. I'd end up with 105 miles by the end of the ride.

Road down the west side of the lake

Navigating around the top of the lake while trying to make heads and tails of the cue sheet was interesting but I managed to find my way over to Saratoga Springs. It was around in here that I discovered that my non-insulated water bottle had frozen solid. Incidentally I made fun of Saratoga springs in an earlier blog entry where I commented on communities far out of the city with rising gas prices and sinking home values. Upon closer inspection, Saratoga springs seemed to be doing ok despite my earlier speculation.

The highway going down the edge of the lake didn't have a shoulder but I did alright and no one gave me trouble. 9 out of 10 vehicles were pulling trailers full of ATV's. My brother inlaw tells me there is a great set of dunes out here so I guess it wasn't state ride your atv day, it was just that I was close to the mecca of such things.

The center of the farming community.

The stretch along the side of the lake is 27 miles long with long rolling hills. The landscape was a bit stark in contrast to the mountains of the east side of the lake. In several places good old boys were out with there young little bubbas shooting in gravel pits on the side of the road. Getting toward the end of the lake the road moved into farms and farming communities.

I was able to take off my jacket and windvest and go with just my longsleeve microfleece jersey from here although it still got chilly in spots when the wind picked up (it was a headwind unfortunately).
Very old Sinclair Gas Station in Elberta

Elberta isn't a very big town but it was a welcome sight after the long trip down the side of the lake. Their only convenience store appears to be for sale. Hopefully they don't lose their current store like they did the one across the street from it.


I took a wrong turn or missed the turn to head up to West Mtn but I ended up in the right spot with only a few miles added onto the ride in the end. The ride around the mountain was pretty. It was not a very busy road. I saw one car int he first section and didn't see other cars until I had passed the boat launch on the other side.

New Orchard

I was surprised to see farms on the side of the mountain. Much of the way the road was right on the side of the lake. I was amazed at how remote the road seemed even if it was just a few miles from a rather populated area to the east. As I stopped to take a picture a driver's ed car drove by. I guess the instructor was taking no chances.

Very low travelled road around West Mountain.

After I got around the mountain I was surprised to run into a few other road cyclists bundled up just as good as I was. They didn't get the worst of it though. It was around 40 degrees. Personally I think they got to see the best part of the ride. I enjoyed the whole ride but I think the part I saw them on was the best so they didn't do too badly for the morning.

Edgewater Wetlands

Edge of lake by West Mountain

West Mountain Road

D'Net's Uncle's farm- somewhere in that direction anyway.

Even though the cue sheet was once again correctly designating roads I departed from it. I was in country I knew and I wanted to ride past D'Net's Grandpa's farm. Her Uncle has a farm nearby too. Last weekend D'Net's grandmother passed away and we get to attend the funeral tomorrow. She always called me "Carl". I knew she knew who I was she just got my name wrong but it kind of became one of those things one looks back fondly upon. Her Grandpa is too old to run the farm anymore but there are the remnants of the old barn out back and old farm equipment to the side. I snapped a picture on my way by.

D'Net's Grandparent's house

I couldn't stop long as I was long overdue. The headwinds and cold had slowed me a lot more than I had anticipated. I suppose riding the last few days up the canyon didn't help either. Anyway, I was a few hours late and needed to hurry across the farmlands of the town of Lake Shore (great name huh?).
After heading through Spanish Fork about all that was left was to climb the hill up to my Sister's house. It tops out at 7-8% which is a nice little addition to any ride that leaves you a little fatigued. I ended up with 105 miles in 6 hours and 18 minutes with 1800 feet of climbing. Not a bad days work considering all the junk I had to carry to stay warm.

The Very last Hill


Bruce's Bike Blog said...

You are sick... Dude, like--go on this ride in the Summer! Ha ha ha ha! Just playin'

Looks kind of fun! Cheers! Bruce

Sir Bikesalot said...

I have it on the best authority that the bugs have to be experienced to be believed down by the lake in the summer. I bet they wouldn't be as much of an issue by bike though. I heard abou the bugs from a fisherman so it's likely a different world for him from us since he is sitting still. They have an organized ride in the summer that follows this same route and I must say it is tempting.