It's been weeks since I've been on my road bike so I joined the Utah Velo Club for a ride around West Mountain (south end of Utah Lake). I arrived early so I wouldn't miss the 8:30 sharp start. It was a sunny but cool morning. I wore arm warmers and two jerseys which was a little cool for the first 10 miles, but perfect after that. I joined the sprint for the 10 mile mark and tied with the lead guy. Others asked "What was that about?", to which I replied "Just boys being boys". The road around the north end of West Mountain is deteriorating and as I followed the paceline I got led right into a pothole that jolted my bike so hard it reset my cyclocomputer - I lost my odometer (I was over 5,000 miles) and the temperature was in Celsius. Without my mileage I misjudged the distance to the 20 mile mark sprint and ended up in the pack. The stretch heading into Genola is my favorite with smooth pavement and a slight downhill. But the group was only doing a mellow pace so I took off out front. I was solo for a while, but the pack caught me at the bottom of the hill. Just having fun on the bike. Most of the group was going on to Mona (72 miles), but I needed to be back home around noon so I split off with two other guys to circle back on the 47 mile route. We picked up two other riders a few miles later and had a nice 5 man paceline going and averaged 21 mph. One guy dropped and his buddy went back for him so we finished with 3. I went into the gas station to buy a recovery drink (chocolate milk) and talked with the rider who broke his handlebars. He was hopping a cattle guard and came down and the right side snapped off. Luckily he didn't crash by quickly grabbing the stem and braking with the left hand. Yet more validation of my warning that carbon handlebars and seat posts are a bad idea.
At home I puttered around cleaning up stuff around the house. My oldest daughter Jamie was out on her "pre-date" - a helicopter ride around the south end of the valley.
Jolene and I decided to go for a mountain bike ride. Nothing fancy, just the BST, but it was a nice day and a good ride marred only by a flat (not me, Jolene's bike this time - another dang goathead thorn). We did the climb up past (north) Dry Canyon then turned around. The valley below looked more green. On the way down I tried to work on my cornering. I leaned into some turns and for a few short moments felt the tires hook up and rail me through the turn. It was a thrill! I'll keep working on it. The new tubeless rear wheel and tire felt great. The tire is noisy on pavement, but it grips the dirt good and didn't feel heavy or slow.
When we got home Jolene helped Jamie do her hair and get ready for prom. She looked beautiful. Kevin came to pick her up, they exchanged corsage and boutonnière and off they went. Can I really be this old?
With 47 miles on the road and 10 miles on the dirt, I was tired and kept falling asleep if I sat down. Went to bed and slept like a rock - felt great.
Bonus: The above image was created from two shots taken by my digital camera and merged together with AutoStitch - the best free panorama software I have found.
Inside The Passion - John McGuinness
2 days ago