Thursday, August 7, 2008

OutdoorRetailer Show & American Fork Canyon

I applied for a media pass today but fear I submitted my request too late. As Editor of the UtRider blog I feel it's my duty to report on the latest advances in cycling equipment and technology. If anybody can hook me up with a pass it would be much appreciated.

On a different subject, I somehow managed to drag myself out of bed at 5 AM this morning to meet my neighbor at 5:30 AM for a 6 AM ride up American Fork Canyon. Craziness I know. We drove to the mouth of the canyon, rode to the summit, descended, everybody drove to work/home and I rode home, climbing the south side of Suncrest as I made my way back to Riverton. The ride was great and I ended up with 2 hours 50 minutes - all before 9:15 AM!

Kris joined us and, after about 20 minutes of riding, asked how I felt. I responded with the truth and said, "Not good" which looking back was probably the wrong thing to say as he promptly went to the front of our little group, increased the pace and soon rode away with Craig, another neighbor of mine on his wheel. Nice. Not wanting to put my nose into the wind (The stiff headwind blowing down the canyon reminded me why I'm not a big fan of early morning climbs!) I stayed on the wheel of the other two guys. It wasn't long before Mike (another neighbor) took off in an attempt to catch Kris and Craig who had opened up a nice gap. The wind was still blowing and my legs still felt heavy so I watched the three of them ride away while I stayed on the wheel of James. As we passed the road to Tibble Fork the grade increased and I noticed that the wind had all but stopped. So I did what any good cyclist who has been sucking another's wheel for a long time does: I made a casual comment about it being time to "catch those guys", shifted up two gears and rode away. Yeah, not very nice I know but hey, I couldn't stay on his wheel forever could I?

I caught and passed Mike - who, I should note, had finished RANATAD on Monday - as I continued my chase of the others. A few minutes later I caught Craig, who had fallen off the pace, but Kris was still up the road. Finally, after a couple of hard efforts, I managed to claw myself up to his wheel. Kris, for his part, acted as if he didn't know I was there which suited me fine as I was gasping for breath as I struggled to recover. Any attempt at conversation on my part would have betrayed my fragile condition and the last thing I needed at that point was an acceleration. So I stayed quiet, only shifting when Kris shifted, focused on his rear wheel. I managed to hang on and by the time we reached the road to Timpooneke I had recovered. At that point I started to chat with Kris, hoping it would keep the pace civil until we reached the summit. My tactic worked and we finished the climb together. The others weren't far behind and it wasn't long before I found myself in a near hypothermic state as I descended the mountain. Luckily the descent was over quickly and after a quick refuel of cold chocolate milk (thanks Kris!) I headed for home.

A sweet ride for sure but one I don't think will be repeated soon. Getting up that early was brutal and I spent the afternoon at work trying to figure out how & where I could take a nap (with no luck, I should add)!


Bike Junkie said...

Does that work, getting a media pass as the editor of a cycling-themed blog? I may have to try that next time myself.

Andy H. said...

Yuk, buttcrack of dawn rides suck. I'd rather sleep in and ride in the heat.

IamMatt said...

Let me know, Ill be the photographer if you get in..