Friday, October 31, 2008

Mueller Park

Lunch was GOOD today! Forced out of the office by donuts, cookies and other treats I fled to the Bountiful hills where I rode one of the best trails in the state. Mueller Park is the sweetness, especially at lunch when there are fewer people hiking/biking/getting their family pictures taken while dressed like elves. And yes, I'm serious about that last item. We passed a group straight out of Lord of the Rings posing for pictures.

Corner Canyon: Weekend Closure

To all,

Corner Canyon is closed from Bear Creek on the north to Clarks on the south. We have put up signs and tape and bikers are still going around. Helicopters will be flying tomorrow morning. Anyone caught will be cited. The helicopter will be flying several tons of wood straw per load. If any of you could pass along this info on blogs or sites or anyplace someone may read it I would appreciate it. The canyon should be open by Monday. If you have any questions let me know. I will be working tomorrow.


Greg Hilbig
Draper City
Corner Canyon, Trails, and Open Space Specialist
(801) 831-6435


I just spoke with Greg Hilbig at Draper City for a further explanation of what was open and what was closed. Greg confirmed that Clarks IS open this weekend. As long as we don’t ride further North of Clarks. No Ghost Falls! He is ok if we climb and descend Clarks.

Tony Parkinson

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Enjoy it while you can...

...because the weather is about to change. Bare legs and short sleeves in late October? 70 degrees on Halloween? This is my kind of fall!

Mark and I were absolutely famished after working this morning so decided to take a long lunch and gorge ourselves on some sweet Park City singletrack. Starting at the main Glenwild trailhead we rode Stealth to 24/7 to Flying Dog (clockwise) to Preserve to Flying Dog to 24/7 to Stealth and back to the car. At just under 2 hours it was a nice power lunch.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Long Live Indian Summer

This weather is fantastic. When it comes to riding outdoors when it's cold I always go with more coverage than conditions require (knee warmers, base layer, arm warmers, etc.) which makes the fact that I rode in shorts today all the more amazing. Of course, all of the ugly hair on my legs might be providing a bit of extra insulation that I haven't had the past few late fall/winters.

For some reason I hate seeing hair on my legs when I ride but given my plan to avoid the trainer at all costs this winter I figured I might as well let it go. What I didn't expect was to be riding outside in shorts on October 28th! Oh well, the visual distress I experienced today was more than made up for by the sweet trails. Dry Creek to City Creek has got to be one of the best sections of trail within 10 minutes of a major city's downtown. Up E Street to 11th Ave and I'm climbing Dry Creek before I've had a chance to warm up!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Mini Spine

The first person (excluding those who were with me today) who can correctly identify the location of "The Mini Spine" wins their choice of an old UST 26x2.1 Maxxis Ignitor or a pair of well used Time Impact cleats (for the older style pedal). The only hint I'll give you is that I had a sweet ride this afternoon on the Shoreline Trail between the zoo and Dry Creek. And no, I didn't ride it!

What I did ride, however, was the steep double track that climbs up Rattlesnake Gulch to the northeast of the zoo. This was my first time riding up to the 3-way junction at the top without putting a foot down. Mark A. was up in front of me which provided good motivation to keep the pedals turning. At the top I about lost my lunch and had to sit down for a few minutes to keep everything under control. Fox told me he used to ride that in the middle ring. That's impressive as today I was dying in the 22x34!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Of course, there's a 1% chance that the result is inaccurate. However, given that Cami's October period is MIA, she's felt sick for a week and is napping everyday I'd say it's probably not. Should I buy a minivan? At least now I'm out of debt...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Big Spring Hollow

I think that picture pretty much sums it up: Mountain biking is fun!

Many thanks to Kris and Jolene for showing us around the network of trails up Big Spring Hollow (which is up South Fork Canyon which is up Provo Canyon). Very, very nice.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Don't Tread on Me!

I saw this little guy on my lunch ride today on the way up to the City Creek radio towers. He was doing his best to look tough and from the picture you can see he was doing a good job. At only a foot long his rattle was small so it didn't make much noise though that didn't stop him from shaking it non-stop until I rode away.

I really enjoy this section of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. It's narrow, rocky and I have yet to encounter another mountain biker. Today was my third time riding this section and for the first time I saw other people: 1 trail runner and 2 hikers. I still haven't made it all the way up without putting a foot down. Today I dabbed coming out of the last steep, loose switchback as you transition from City Creek Canyon to the ridge above the neighborhood.

The weather was awesome and I wished I had more time to keep riding. With an elevation gain of 1,650 feet in 5.5 miles it was a good, hard effort. Too bad the valley is full of gunk as the views were sweet.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Failure to Meet Expectations

This pretty much sums up my feelings on a number of fronts tonight: BYU, riding my bikes and John McCain.

The only reason I can come up with to explain BYU's 32 - 7 loss at TCU tonight is that they were massively overrated and in no way deserved to be #8 in the nation. In other words, the fans were destined for a letdown as the team obviously didn't have the talent and ability to meet the expectations of a top 10 ranking.

My riding has been hit or miss for the past month with the misses out scoring the hits by at least a 2:1 margin. I blame this on two things: Work and a lack of daylight. With regards to work, I know I should be grateful to have a stable job given the current economic situation. And I am, don't get me wrong. However, that doesn't make my 3 hour weeks (referring to bike hours and not work hours!) any easier to accept. I did get out for my first night ride in Corner Canyon on Tuesday which was a ton of fun. Riding the single speed made it even more enjoyable. Today I rode pavement from the office to the zoo where I jumped on the shoreline trail for a nice ride to the mouth of Dry Creek followed by a quick descent through the Avenues back to work. Tomorrow I'm heading to the radio towers above City Creek. Three rides and a little under 4 hours. This week I should manage 5-6 hours thanks to the nice weather forecast for Saturday. I'm no cross racer so when the weekend delivers rain, snow and/or freezing temperatures I head to the gym.

I'm not even going to start talking about how disappointed I am in the McCain-Palin ticket. Perhaps I suffer from Bush-induced fatigue but seriously, why can't the Republican party come up with a candidate that can speak? Surely there must be an articulate person out there somewhere?!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Digging a Big Hole

Unfortunately I'm not talking about overreaching or anything remotely related to cycling. Instead, I'm literally talking about digging a very, very big hole. A hole that just so happens to be in my front yard, right next to my water meter. The dirt that used to be in the really, really big hole is currently piled on top of two 8x10 foot tarps. Did I mention that the hole is quite large?

You see, this morning, as I prepared to leave for the office, I moved our garbage and recycling bins out to the road for Monday pick-up. As I positioned them in the gutter I noticed that it was full of water - running water. Wondering who had forgotten to turn off their sprinklers after the weekend's big storm, I looked up the road only to realize the water was entering the gutter from my front yard. Walking over, I could see that the water meter cover was underwater. I quickly went inside, opened my Riverton City utility bill that had come in the mail last week and called the first number I found. The very helpful lady who answered the phone took down my name, address and phone number and told me somebody would be over in 30 minutes. Not 10 minutes later a truck pulled up and two city employees started pumping the water out of the meter shaft. After turning off the main valve they located a very soggy, soft section of lawn. When the water was turned on this section of grass ballooned up and you could hear a hissing sound from underneath. They turned off the water again and told me that everything between the meter and the house is the responsibility of the homeowner. Recommending that I start digging to find the damaged pipe and call a plumber, they left.

At first I didn't know what to do: Should I call a plumber or start digging? I decided to find a plumber first, which I was able to do thanks to the recommendations of family, friends and a plumber who was too busy to make it over today. Before starting to dig, I went to Lowe's and bought an 8x10 tarp and a second shovel. Returning home I changed clothes and with my wife's help started to dig. After working on the hole for a while it became clear that we'd need another tarp so Cami went back to Lowe's while I continued digging. Eventually the hole got deep enough that getting the shovel in and out was proving difficult so I started working with a hand trowel, filling buckets with dirt that Cami would dump onto the second tarp. After a few buckets of dirt I found the damaged pipe.

At that point I had a few hours before the plumber was scheduled to arrive so I quickly changed clothes, ate a quick lunch and drove to work for a couple of hours. Ironically I was able to unwind and relax a bit in the office (usually I depend on dirt to help me deal with work related stress!) and the time went by quickly. I left at 3:30, was home by 4 and the plumber arrived about 30 minutes later after calling me to say he was leaving Rose Park and would be over soon. The call was much appreciated (truth be told I was about ready to call and confirm that he was still planning to come) and within 90 minutes he had the cracked pipe replaced and the water turned on again.

If you're looking for a good plumber let me know as I discovered a great one today. And if you need a tough core workout try digging a big hole!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Why everybody should go for a ride during the working day

Keith Sawyer, a professor of psychology, education and business at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, says good ideas come from a combination of hard work and down time.

"Creativity researchers have discovered that there is a cycle. It is very difficult to have a good idea when you're working all out. It typically happens when you take time away," says Sawyer, author of "Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration."

"The unconscious mind is really good at bouncing different ideas together," he says. "That's where creative insight comes from. When you're working hard, you're basically blocking the unconscious mind from doing that work."

Go here to read more.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Quick Lunch Ride

I had a lot to do in the office today (I'm afraid that trend is becoming all too common...) so kept the ride to under an hour - 54 minutes door-to-door to be exact. Knowing I didn't have much time I maximized the climbing by riding up D Street to 11th Ave and over to City Creek. I climbed up the BST to the main dirt road where I dropped down to the top of Terrace Hills and descended through the Avenues back to the office. Elevation gain was around 1,300 feet.

The climb up seemed much easier compared to my first ride in this direction a few weeks ago. However, unlike that ride I didn't make the steep corner with the wooden barrier this time though that was the only time I had to put a foot down. Why am I able to ride switchbacks uphill so much better than I can ride them downhill? That's something I need to figure out.

Oh, and even though I was wearing wool socks, knee warmers, base layer, jersey and a vest I FROZE on the descent back to work. What's up with this crazy weather?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Back-to-Back Dry Creek to Bobsled

Two days, two lunch rides, both up Dry Creek and down Bobsled. Today I rode with Raul and Mark A., the latter inspiring me to ride the single speed next week after making everything look so easy. Given the forecast of rain/snow this weekend (cross racer I am not - go away winter!) I think I'll brave the cold on Friday and give it another go. Usually I leave the office around noon if anybody would like to meet up on the road/dirt.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Boise Riding: Corrals & Hulls Gulch

My brother and I snuck out for a quick ride on the classic Corrals and Hulls Gulch trails late in the afternoon. After driving up from Riverton earlier in the day it felt good to get out and stretch the legs!

We started & finished at Camelsback Park, riding 2 miles up Bogus Basin Road before turning onto the dirt. I was on the single speed and had a blast. The descent down Hulls Gulch was fun but had enough rocks, sidehill and sand over hardpack to keep me on my toes. I'm an average downhiller on my full suspension so you can imagine how I am on the rigid!

Ride time was 1:23 and we gained 1,765 feet of elevation according to the Suunto T6.

Upon returning to my parent's home we found ourselves in the midst of final dinner preparations. And what a dinner it was: Oven roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, rolls, corn on the cob and a tray of raw veggies. All homemade and all delicious. A mini Thanksgiving dinner in October!

Pie Tracker: Raspberry

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Back for Seconds

Today's lunch ride was a repeat of yesterday: Dry Creek to City Creek from the office. The only difference was that I rode with Raul, a new developer who started working with us on Monday. He tries to get out on the bike 1-2 days each week and did really well.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Had a good lunch ride today: Office to Popperton Park via E Street and 11th Ave, Dry Creek to BST to Bobsled and back to the office via 11th Ave and E street. The new entrance to the Bobsled is super loose and rutted but after 100 feet or so it improves. I only saw two other people on the trails: 1 rider and 1 hiker. A dead tarantula, lots of grasshoppers and a few lizards were the only other creatures I encountered.

I had two more slices of pizza for lunch when I returned to the office. After 2 days it's starting to get a bit old.