Yesterday I had the opportunity to ride with group of good old friends from the home-town. Years ago a few of these guys took me under their wing and taught me the ropes of road riding, racing and training. I’ve always been partial the mountain bike and my focus is mountain bike racing, but I don’t think I would have ever had the opportunities or success without the hours spent riding road bikes. Trenton and Tyler Higley, have been good friends of mine and through them I’ve been able to meet many other talented and great cyclists, all from the Farmington/Kaysville area. Guys like Nate Page, Roger Arnell and Cortlan Brown. All superstars in my book with lots of racing experience and pure talent.
We met up early Saturday morning in hopes of getting in some decent miles with lots of climbing. The Tour of Utah would be starting at 1:00 pm, down town SLC, so we wanted to get our ride in before then. The plan was to head South from Kaysville, to SLC, then make our way to Little Cottonwood canyon then Big Cottonwood. Millcreek was also talked about assuming we had time.
We made pretty good time into Salt Lake. Within a few hours from home we arrived at the mouth of Little Cottonwood. As we started the climb it was Roger and Cortlan who set the pace. It was tough. We soon began to catch stragglers from the Snowbird Hill Climb, a race that started earlier that morning. Roger and Cortlan began to string our group out and before I knew it, I was falling off the back. I found a few pockets of strength to ramp it up from time to time and eventually brought roger back. He greeted me with a big smile and lifted the pace once more. Man that sucks. We were greeted at the top by tons of hill climb supporters, shouting and ringing cowbells. We opted not to go through the finish line, instead around to stock up on some cold water at the lodge.
It wasn’t long, and we were on our way back down the canyon. We kept a pretty concervitive, coasting pace down the canyon and according the the GPS, still hit 58 MPH. Could have easily taken it into the mid sixties if there were no cars and we put some effort into the pedals. Not really worth it though.
Our next climb was only moments away. We made our way down Wasatch Blvd and took a sharp right, up Big Cottonwood. A mile or so up the canyon, Nate dropped a chain and broke a few spokes. I felt really bad. It would be the end of the ride for him but on the other hand, I was actually enjoying the small break from climbing. I could feel my body beginning to overheat.
Roger, Cortlan and I continued up the canyon. It wasn’t long before they began to put some time into me. I fought as best as I could but there wasn’t much better I could do. I settled in to my best effort and pushed forward. In the distance, I saw Cortlan picking up the pace. It wasn’t long before I couldn’t see him any more. Roger, was in sight but I was in no way, shape of form to reel him in.
By the time I reached Mill D, I had to stop and put my feet in the river. The felt like they wanted to explode out of my shoes. The short dip did amazing things to my mental and physical state. I immediately felt great again and though it would be short lived, the break was well worth it. It makes sense when you see riders drenching themselves with cold water on hot days. The simple act of cooling down your body temperature even just a little can work wonders.
Slowly but surly ,I finally made it to the top. I was pretty tapped and I think a little dehydrated. Looking for a quick bounce back, I grabbed a cold water and a coke. We mounted up and began our decent down Big Cottonwood.
From there we made out way back to down town Salt Lake. We took atvantage of the road closures and road down South Temple and climbed up State Street to the capitol, to end the day. I was totally beat. Another cold coke and a bunch of water later I started to feel a little better. Throughout the rest of the day, I seem to be getting a few “hot flashes” or something like that. I couldn’t drink enough water to keep them at bay. I got beat down by some tough dudes on the bike and by that giant ball of gas, blazing in the sky.
It was a fantastic day.
Ride notes: 103 miles | 6hrs | 10,479′ of climbing