Micro Epic Monday

Today may have been our only shot for a mountain bike ride this week (tomorrow and Wednesday the weather looks bad and Thursday we're heading to St. George with the kids for Spring break). So we went a bit more epic ride than usual for a weekday evening.

We rode away from the house around 5:30 and headed for the water tank road (above the Orem Cemetery). After the climbing we took Betty up to the junction with Crank and considered our options:

  1. Continue up Betty to the Altar then down Frank and Dragon's Back, take the Union Aqueduct dirt road then a lap or two on the Race Course then home.
  2. Up Crank then west on Area 51 and down Dry Canyon and finish with the BST.
We went for the 2nd option - little did we know.

It started off OK. We expected more snow in the last shaded meadow before the ridge, but we were surprised to discover it was passable - however this may have only opened up today as we didn't see anything but old tire tracks.

Timp blanketed in snow made a striking backdrop for our little adventure.

Upper Crank was in bad shape - the ponies have chewed it up pretty bad when it was muddy and now it has sections of dried chunks and hoof holes. I spun out in one spot but made the rest.

The dip in the old jeep road that always seems to have some water was full up. (Note the reflection of Timp in the muddy water.)

Amazingly the traverse up the east-facing, shaded side hill was clear so I thought we were home free. Nope. Up on top we crossed 100 yards of snow.

Do you know what true love is? This. (Although she did threaten to get me a jersey that says "DO NOT FOLLOW" on the back.)

The views from the ridge were splendid. Yes, I said splendid.

The descent into Dry Canyon was OK, but had a few more patches of snow and the steep spots were chewed up by our good friends the equestrians.

We could hear voices on our way down and when we stopped we spotted some people on the edge of the cliff (in the photo on the right cliff edge). Down lower we met some hikers who said the people up above were rappelling off the cliff. It looked like a good spot for it - I'll have to try it some day.

We continued down Dry Canyon (sorry KC we didn't feel like doing the stairs.) then finished off the ride by rolling down the BST then rode home.

More than we bargained for, but still a good ride. And I led Jolene on yet another of my "I think it'll be OK" adventures. But her bike shifted real smooth because I replaced all the cables over the weekend - so that balances things out, right dear?

I recommend waiting on this route for a while. While we never encountered deep mud, we got splattered and the snow hike-a-bike was not ideal. I guesstimate it'll take one week of temperatures above 60 to dry it out. Then because of all the chewed up sections it'll still be a rough ride.

29er Update

I've been riding the 29er hard tail this Spring (except for Guacamole and Little Creek last week) and it's really growing on me.

The big front wheel still feels a bit "floppy" but I'm getting used to it and learning how to drive this big rig. It turns a bit wider than my Prophet, but not much - frankly it's hardly an issue, which has been a surprise.

I was expecting to take a beating from the hard tail, but it's been OK and rides smoother than I expected. The larger wheels may have something to do with this.

I've been spoiled by the high bottom bracket of the Prophet which means I hardly ever hit a pedal on rocks and logs - the X-Caliber is noticeably lower and I have to watch my pedal timing better to avoid hits. This is probably my biggest complaint about the bike, but it's not major and I can deal with it.

There are some who probably think I should take the next step to single speed (then fully rigid?), but I'm having fun with this bike and will stick with it this year.

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