First Alpine Loop 2009

I got word of an Alpine Loop group ride this morning. I wasn't sure I could do the 5:30 AM wake up, so just like last time I decided if I was up I'd go. I woke up (the 2nd time) at 5:40. I wondered if I was too late, but decided to go for it.

Filled a bottle with water, another with CarboRocket then grabbed a banana and Brown Sugar Cinnamon pop-tart. Threw on the shoes, gloves and helmet; stuffed a jacket in my pocket and I was off.

Thanks to the cloud cover it was a warm morning and I was comfy in just a jersey and shorts.

Spinning down State Street I chugged water and CarboRocket and ate the banana for breakfast. Up ahead I could see another rider going my way. As I got closer I could see it he was in the eye-catching green Omniture kit. When I caught him I asked if he was doing the Alpine Loop ride, he said yes. That's how I met Ben.

We rode together to the mouth of American Fork Canyon. I was surprised we were nearly 15 minutes early. I ate a pop-tart. The wind was blowing so we moved down the road to wait for the crew. They rolled by and we joined in. Back at the canyon mouth we stopped to make sure we had everyone.

The pace was fast for me, but I hung on the tail of the lead pack until Little Mill. I was chewing up too much energy and didn't want to be blown for the steeper half to come. But hopefully it will make me faster. I didn't mind riding solo - the canyon is so scenic, especially in the still of the morning. The river was running high and raucous. Just after Little Mill, Brad flew by me with an invitation to jump on - a kind offer, but I know I can't hang with Brad so I told him to keep going.

My legs complained a bit when the grade pitched up after Tibble Fork, but I kept turning the pedals over and got into a rhythm.

The switchbacks took me out of the canyon bottom and up on the side of the canyon - such a great view. All the small streams were gushing.

Up by Altamont I got into the conifers - ahh, that refreshing "pine" smell.

Past Timpooneke there was gravel where a culvert had been installed. Other wise the road was in good condition with very little debris.

I took note of the wildflowers growing near the road. Many colors and varieties. I even saw some bluebells.

I rounded the last switchback then past the infamous mile marker 18 and tried to push it a little harder.

At the top I rejoined the lead guys. And only a few minutes later everyone was up.

I headed down the Provo Canyon side with Ben, Keith and Adam. I'm not a bold descender, but it was still fun to swoop through the turns - especially snaking through a left/right turn combo. Ben is a bold descender and he was gone in no time. We flew down, but I still tried to take in the incredble views.

At the junction with Provo Canyon Ben was waiting. We soft pedaled along expecting the others to catch us, but they didn't. I should have stopped, but I thought they were right behind me. And I needed to get to work.

Ben and I rolled down the highway aided by a nice tail wind. Ben lives in Orem too and we parted ways by Cascade Golf Course. I made it home around 9 AM - showered, dressed and headed to work.

I'm not a morning person, but a good AM ride like this makes me consider changing my ways. It was good to see so many familiar faces. Just a fantastic ride.


South County Ciclista said...

Thanks for a good ride on friday.

Anonymous said...

A group of us will be riding the Alpine Loop every Thursday morning starting this week to help prepare for Lotoja. We'd love to ahve anyone who wants to join. Check out for meeting times and location.

Ski Bike Junkie said...

Kris, every Friday, same time, same place. Expect to see you there.

Always nice to ride with you.