Arctic Alpine Loop

The forecast indicated this would be the non-rain day for the week, so the Alpine Loop ride was on. It was also in honor of Elden's birthday, and I'm not above piggy-backing on someone else's excuse to ride.

When I checked the outdoor thermometer at 5 AM I was surprised to see 47 F. Really? In late June? Since it was going to be a nice day I was sure it would warm up so I went light - just a thin windbreaker jacket.

I met Adam and Brandon at 1600 North and State Street and we pedaled over to American Fork Canyon. We met the rest of the pack and headed up the canyon, into the usual, perhaps stronger today, head wind.

The pace was pretty mellow up to Tibble Fork, but once the grade kicked up the pack broke up. I did OK, but it was disheartening to be working the climb and hear the group behind me having a nice chat. They caught me a little after TimPOOneke and I hung on until the end when I couldn't close the gap and came straggling up to the summit, last.

It did not get warmer, but colder to the tune of 37 F up the canyon. On the climb it wasn't bad, even though my arms were cold (I took off the jacket for the climb). But going down was a chilling experience. I was all too willing to stop to take photos.

Yes, the Alpine Loop is a blight to the eyes. It's visual torture to ride. (If your sarcasm indicator didn't go off, you better have it checked.)

I stopped to look at Primrose Cirque. The waterfalls were gushing and I could easily hear them - I estimate over 1.5 miles away.

I was still getting colder and descending down the shaded canyon below Sundance didn't help. When I finally made it to Provo Canyon, I was thrilled to be in the sun and pedaling to get warm.

The canyon tail wind pushed me home where I took a warm shower (I tried hotter but my numb toes got the prickles). My toes didn't regain full feeling until I arrived at work. Next time I'll take more clothing.


dug said...

you now who else needs more clothes? dr manhattan.

KanyonKris said...


South County Ciclista said...

Nice pics! I froze down the cascade road and was still cold coming down Sundance. Crazy chilly morning, but a great ride.

bikemike said...

c'mon...those pictures aren't real, are they?
holy crap, i can't even think of stuff that nice.

dang it.

KanyonKris said...

bikemike - "They're real and they're spectacular." Sorry to torture you with those photos.

MOCougFan said...

Stunning pics Kris. I'll be there this Saturday riding that riding. Totally looking forward to it.

As for the Arctic... it's gonna be 97 here (heat index of 110). I'll take the cold.

Thanks for changing the comments section.

MOCougFan said...

Er... riding that Ride. I'm an idiot.

Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

That is my LEAST favorite part of a ride - being cold. Well, maybe running out of water is worse - I did that on Saturday. But not having enough clothes - misery. Glad you got through it.

Grizzly Adam said...

Nice Seinfeld reference. One of my favorite lines of all time.

One of these morning we need to get the group to do a Fri. morning Nebo ride. The Alpine Loop is just baby steps compared to that.

KanyonKris said...

MOCougFan - Thanks for alerting me to the comment problem and testing it. Hopefully I'll be able to ride with you Saturday.

Kathleen - If you've experienced cold and thirst, you're a real cyclist. Welcome to the club.

GrizzlyAdam - You're right, we should do Nebo. But I'm pretty happy with baby steps.