Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Work road trip

Last week I took a road trip for work, driving from Kemmerer Wyoming to Durango Colorado with numerous stops along the way. The route involves driving endless hours on rural highways with many great views. The drive also includes some great mountain biking trails along the way, allowing me to get my excercise while trying new trails. I had planned to ride in Vernal Tuesday afternoon, but the weather had different plans. The picture below is an area near Flaming Gorge reservoir with interesting geology (rock nerds take note).

Lucky for me, the clouds weren't as ominous once I reached the trailhead in Vernal. I managed a quick 30 minute ride in light rain then called it quits before I got hosed.

Wednesday was filled with plans of riding singetrack in Fruita Colorado. Supposedly the new mountain biking mecca, Fruita has lots of areas with varied terrain to ride. I rode an area called road 18, lots of trail loops, the few I tried were good. Someday I will return to sample the rest of the trails.Thursday's plan was to get work wrapped up, then squeeze a ride in on the drive back to Moab. I rode a favorite of mine, Phil's world, near Cortez Colorado. I think this trail beats any out there with nice flowy singletrack consisting of berms, jumps, a few technical sections and very little climbing.

I returned home to find the garden thriving with all the rain we've had in Salt Lake lately. Thanks to the cool temps, brocolli harvest continues. And my first zucchini harvest of the 09 season last night.

Here is a picture of the lamest 3 wheeler I've seen yet. The guy driving this claimed he use to be a Harley rider but switched to this because his wife didn't like the noise. Seems to me he made the wrong choice in what to let go.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Triple

I set out for work yesterday with a goal I pondered all winter long. I wanted to complete what I call "the Triple", something I only managed to do once last season. The triple involves riding my bike to work, riding my mountain bike behind the office (15 mile loop) followed by riding my commuter bike home. The total mileage for the day is approximately 47 miles. Having ridden Sunday and Monday, my legs were already spent before I began yesterday morning. After my mountain bike ride, I was feeling tired but still up for the challenge of riding home. I made it home and could have fallen asleep with the kids at 8. I built tomato cages instead (pictures and info later). As for whats next, the triple only gets harder as the summer months get warmer here in Salt Lake so trying for the triple 3 days a week may be a bit much.

My reward after making it home yesterday was Sarah's homemade lasagna accompanied by homegrown broccoli and lettuce.

I was also lucky enough to have two cute girls join me for dinner.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Thanks Dad

As I was pedaling my way in to work this morning, I began to think about why I bike commute. Soon my thoughts led me back to the day it all started. I had been mountain biking for a few years while in college plus riding to class. I moved back in with my parents for the summer of 2000 to complete an internship at Williams Communicaitons, located in downtown Tulsa. After a few weeks of driving downtown for work, my dad posed a question at the dinner table one evening. "How about riding your bike to the office" Dad suggested. My response was something to the effect of "crazy, not gonna happen". That night and for the next few days I felt challenged to ride my bike the 14 miles to downtown Tulsa. I finally committed to making the ride happen when I bought slick tires for my mountain bike. It was a few weeks later when I got the slick tires on and decided to make an attempt to bike commute.

I had driven my planned route on the way to work a few days prior but had never ridden 14 miles, let alone 28 in one day. I woke early (6:00 am) to begin what would soon become a routine while working at Williams Communications. Upon beginning the ride, I noticed the clouds headed my way but kept pedaling in hopes of dry weather. I only made it 3 miles when the rain began to pelt me along with stong winds. After realizing I wasn't up for the challenge of riding in a downpour, I turned around and headed back home. Dissappointed in my first attempt, I changed into office clothes and promised myself another attempt the following day. The next day turned out much better with me making it to work and back home via my bike. That summer was filled with good times biking to work in 100 degree heat and 90% humidity, man I miss Oklahoma summers.

Its funny that I had to same thoughts as I contemplated bike commuting in Salt Lake. I had considered the idea for a few years before taking the challenge and getting a bike set-up for commuting. Once again, bike commuting is easier than initially thought and really provides many benefits. Thanks to bike commuting I'm healthier than I've ever been but more important is the strength I've gained in other sports. My skiing last season was greatly improved along with my mountain biking this spring(either that or my friends are getting slower).

If not for my Dad challenging me with his "question" years ago, I may have never explored the ability to commute to work via bike. Thanks for the challenge Dad, I'm now a stronger person because of you.