Emigration Re-Form

This (late) afternoon I met Mark, Ed and Bob near Trolley Square for a ride up Emigration Canyon. I was so excited to see 55 degrees, I went in just jersey and shorts (but I kept the toe covers on the shoes and wore full-finger gloves and I packed a bunch of extra clothing - I'm only partially insane). We made our way along the city streets and Mark showed us a nice little route through some quiet neighborhoods. Once we made the mouth of the canyon we were done with stop lights/signs and it was time to climb. Emigration is fun ride as it starts fairly mellow, rolls up and down along the way, and keeps things interesting with changing scenery and twists, turns and switchbacks.

Ed and I got talking as we rode only a short gap ahead of Bob and Mark. I spotted a turn-off and asked Ed if that was Emigration Oaks. He said it was and asked if I wanted to ride it. I've heard Mark talk about this side loop and it sounded interesting so I indicated I'd like to check it out. Bob and Mark decided to do it too. It's a pretty good climb with section reading a solid 12% on my cyclocomputer. At what looked to be the summit, Bob mentioned something about a dip so I didn't attack the summit. Good thing because it's quite a dip with a good climb on the other side (after passing Bart's house). After that it was mostly downhill at a pretty steep grade.

Rejoining the main canyon road we continued up. There was more snow the higher we went and it was getting colder. Where my cyclocomputer had read 55 down in the valley, now it read 41. I had been a little chilled before, but actually felt pretty comfortable. Now my arms were starting to get cold, but the summit wasn't that far away.

Bob took off to do an interval as the rest of us chugged along. Coming around a bend where I could see up the road at least 100 yards I was surprised to see no Bob - he was gone! How would it be to have that kind of power? I'll probably never know. Just before the first switchback Bob came down and rejoined us. But it didn't take long for him to lead out a big gap on us. He wasn't showing off or being obnoxious - he's simply a faster rider.

I had a good pace going and even passed one other rider. It just felt great to be on the bike cranking along. I felt good all the way up to the summit - no huge effort, just solid, steady pace that got me breathing heavy, but not too heavy. At the summit I put on all the extra clothing I brought - leg warmers, arm warmers, ear band and wind breaker. After a few minutes we headed down.

The descent was fast and cold. I was warm except for my fingers - I should have brought some thicker gloves. About half way down I got behind Ed and drafted along. I coasted many times and if I had to pedal it didn't take much effort. But Ed had been leading for a while so I decided to take a pull. Moving to the side I felt the full force of the air and wondered if this was such a good idea. But I moved in front and put some power into the cranks. It's fun to pedal downhill because the effort produces such high speeds. I hit 32 mph for a while. As the canyon got flatter, I kept on the gas. It was silly, but it felt so good to mash the pedals I couldn't help myself.

At the zoo I backed off and Ed and I made our way through the city streets. On a steep hill Mark let loose and went flying by. We said good-bye to Bob as he peeled off and headed for home. Not much longer we arrived at the place Ed and Mark work (where we started). An enjoyable ride with good company.

When I got home, my wife and I went out to eat at Wallaby's. BBQ pork, mashed potatoes, baked beans - I'm stuffed.


irideiwrite said...

sounds like a nearly perfect afternoon.

in just a few more weeks, the climb up Big Mountain can be added and you'll be set.

Rick Sunderlage said...

It's so nice to be able to start riding outside again here in Utah. Sounds like a good time.

KanyonKris said...

iride: I'm up for Big Mtn, even though it punished me pretty good last year. I made it, but it wasn't pretty.

rick: Agreed!