Thursday, April 29, 2010

SLC Restaurant Recommendations?

What are your favorite SLC restaurants?  I've been to a lot, but can always use a good recommendation.  In the last week I've eaten at Tsunami, Wild Grape, Frida's Bistro, Sage's Cafe, Tin Angel Cafe and Vinto.  

I like Trio, Em's, Metropolitan, Market Street Broiler & Grill, Takashi, Mazza, Cucina Toscana, Bambara, Faustina, Acme Burger, Bombay House, Tandoor, Red Rock, Settebello and Squatters.  

What hidden gems am I missing?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Back in the Saddle

Dang, it's been a while! Close to 5 months, in fact, since I last rode a bike. My full suspension BMC is still at the shop, getting some much needed TLC (can you believe in 4+ years I've never had the cables replaced?), so the choice I had to make was whether to ride my road bike, or single speed mountain bike today. And the bike I chose was ....... the single speed mountain bike. Honestly, it wasn't much of a choice. With temperatures in the mid-60's and the Bonneville Shoreline Trail a 20 minute ride from my office, it would have been wrong to not ride dirt for lunch today.

Climbing E Street made me second guess my choice because it hurt. A lot. But I made it up to 11th Avenue, where I turned east. 11th was fine, until I crossed Virginia, passed Popperton Park, and started to climb through the neighborhood below the U. That hurt. Thankfully it didn't last long and I found myself on dirt as I dropped down to Dry Creek. Lower Dry Creek was fine, except for the technical rocky section which forced me to put a foot down. From the switchback at the top on up to the overlook, however, was quite painful. I made it up though, and didn't even stop at the top to take in the view. Until I hit the rocky section a bit higher up, at which point I again put a foot down. Dang rocks! My tech skills are minimal on the BMC, and close to non-existant on the rigid single, so a little dab here and there doesn't make me feel too bad.

I was feeling good as I approached the Wall, so hit the bottom of the climb with a bit of speed. It didn't last long, but I was able to make it up ok, though I'm sure my heart rate was at the highest level it's been in a long time as I went over the top! I kept going, albeit at a drastically reduced pace, as I recovered from the effort. From that point on I felt great, as the trail was mostly downhill as I descended into City Creek. I felt a bit squirrely on the loose descent, but am blaming that on the rigid bike and not any real or perceived lack of dh skills.

All-in-all I'd say it was a good first ride, and I'm looking forward to a repeat tomorrow. My legs felt good, with most of the pain related to the high intensity cardio efforts, so I'm hopefull it won't take too long for my bike fitness to return.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Good, but could have been great

This morning at Brighton would have been amazing had I only made it up Big Cottonwood Canyon before it closed at 8:15 AM. Here's the first text sent by the Sheriff's Department at 6:30 AM:

Both BCC & LCC will be closed this morning for avalanche control.

Given that Little Cottonwood Canyon (LCC) has been closed since Tuesday night, I interpreted this message to mean that both canyons were closed. Previously I had planned to meet a friend at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon (BCC) at 8 AM to carpool up. I forwarded the above text to him and assumed I would stay at the house a bit longer before driving up. At 8:06 AM I received the following text from the Sheriff's Department:

Big Cottonwood will close at 8:15 AM - 9:00 AM for avalanche control

I panicked, quickly packed the car, and took off without eating breakfast to try and get up the canyon before 8:15 AM. Unfortunately I reached the canyon at 8:20 AM which, after hearing on KSL that BCC would close at 8:30 AM, I thought would still be ok. As is often the case, however, the news report was incorrect and the canyon had closed on schedule. I didn't realize this until I came to a stop 3 minutes later. So, for nearly an hour, I sat in my parked car (turned off mind you, unlike many others who kept theirs idling the entire time) thinking of the powder turns I was missing in the Milly Bowl (which never opened yesterday). Not helping my mood were the following texts my friend (who had, when he received my first text about the canyon's being closed, immediately driven up BCC since it was still open at that point) sent:

I got up early, I was going to wait for you but not if it's closing

I'm going to be first in line today

The latest says they are closing bcc from 8:15 to 9:00 so you can still make it up if you hurry

Me: Son of a $!&. I'm screwed

Sorry man, I'm already in the parking lot

Me: I'm stuck in the canyon. Save some pow for me!

No way

I pulled into the Brighton parking lot at 9:31 AM. Looking up at Milly Bowl I could see a lot of tracks, but still plenty of fresh. The session was good, but I had a tough time enjoying it as I knew I'd missed out. Listening to my friend talk about how the first 5 runs were some of the best in his life each time up the chair didn't help my mood. Even now, at 6 PM, I'm still bitter about getting caught by the closure. At least now I'll know better for the future.

Happy 50th day on skis this season to me!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A day that did not suck


Looking back I think the conference call I had at 8 AM this morning was a stroke of luck as it got me to the Brighton parking lot early enough to 1) Get a front row parking space in front of Milly Express, and 2) Participate in the call (if you call listening silently, muted, to 45 minutes of arguing participating). What surprised me was the fact that when I arrived - nearly an hour before the lifts were scheduled to open - there were at least 10 guys standing in line. Note that the temperature was in the high teens, the wind was blowing (effectively dropping the temperature below zero), and it was snowing quite hard. I don't know about you, but if I stood around in weather like that for more than 10 minutes I'd be frozen solid! Those guys certainly deserved the first chairs.

So after catching the last 10 minutes of the conference call from a private stall (I just couldn't wait any longer...) I was finally able to get my gear and go stand in line. Luckily the call ended before the lift officially opened so I was able to get my headphones put away before the real business started.

Let's just say that 3+ feet of new snow ridden on big, fat, rockered skis does not suck. In fact, it made for an extremely enjoyable morning. So much so that I'll be back tomorrow morning for more. I rode the lift with a group from out-of-state who were in Moab yesterday, but decided last night to drive up and go for a ride in the white room. Spring riding in Utah rules!