Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Fog Island

My house sits atop a hill with a gully on each side of the hill. Often, like today, when the fog rolls in it goes down the gullies and leaves my house sitting on an island surrounded by fog.

I liked this picture because you can see the rooftops poking out of the fog.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Time for New Tires

I guess it is time to get new tires. On the way down the canyon today I had a blow out. The tread had become so thin that a rock went through the tire and gave me a flat.

This is the hill side next to the pipe hill.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

It's Raining Again

I know we need the rain, and with how dry it has been it sure is nice, but it really cuts into the ride time. This looks like the only day I will be able to ride this week.

Here is a picture of the hoarfrost from last winter. It won't be long now 'till this is back.

Friday, November 05, 2004


Yesterday as we were coming to the top of the first hill everyone stopped to wait for everyone to catch-up. When it came time to start I started out first because I like to go at max speed down the hill and then up the next and didn't want to run into anyone. However as I started Layne started right behind me and threatened to be right on my tail. So I put it in the highest gear and bombed down at max speed and push hard up the next hill. When I got to the top Layne said "beep beep" to let me know I wasn't able to drop him. So as we started down the next hill I kept my speed as fast as I dared, however there are some curves in this hill. As I rounded the curve I was going too fast to feel good about the traction and swung a bit wide. Off to the side of the road was a nice backpack sized rock. You guessed it, I hit it straight on! Flying off the bike I am fortunate enough to land in a tree and not on the rocks. Of course Layne was right behind me as I endoed off the rock. He started to laugh then I could tell he was worried that it might not be a laughing matter and tried to hold the laugh back.

Here is a reenactment of where my bike was and where I landed. It turned out that even though I had flown 15 feet in the air and landed in a tree, all I got was a couple of minor scratches.

Thought: No matter how much pressure you feel from behind, don't go so fast that you can't keep control: You may end up breaking your neck.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Snows Melting

It was about as nice of a day as you could ask for. The sky was blue the temperature was cool but not cold and everything was just beautiful.

The trail is real nice in most places, but there are a few places that are still a bit muddy, but enough to be a real problem. It just makes it a bit more difficult to climb when you have bald tires.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Snow in the Shadows

The trail finally has gotten to the point that it is too wet. I think the biggest problem is that it snowed last night and the snow was melting into the trail making it a bit sloppy.

This is my first picture of snow up the canyon. So far it is just a dusting of snow but I imagine it will be a lot of snow before too long.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

High Winds

It was quite windy today, but I was just happy to be able to get out and ride. Luckily it didn't rain until later in the day. The wind was so strong that I hit 45.3 without even peddling and usually I have to work to hit 40.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Falling Rock

We really did need the rain, but having it rain non-stop for a week sure makes it hard to go biking. We finally got a break today, but it is suppose to rain and snow for the rest of the week. I wasn't sure if would get another chance to ride this week so I decided I better make today's ride a good one. Rode from work up to the top of the hill under the pipe. The trail was incredibly nice for having so much rain. I guess rocks just don't turn into mud.

There was a lot of fallen rock on the trail today. On slate hill there was a rock slide that left a rock the size of an end table in the middle of the trail. I was able to clear a trail good enough for coming down, but it will take a little more work to make it so we can go up in that spot. However it has blocked the trail to where no trucks will be able to make it past.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Snow and Rain

It snowed/rained last night and this morning. It was nice to finally get a little moisture into the trail. In fact today was the muddiest I have seen the canyon, but was still very ridable. Although my bald back tire was spinning a bit in the mud.

We didn't find snow on the trail anywhere, but I guess I need to start taking the camera with me again so that I can get new pictures of what it looks like now.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Fork Again

Rode up to the fork again today. Just after starting down I figured I needed to look at the ride time. It was at about 58 min and I had ridden around the parking lot for a few minutes before starting out. So I figure it was about 55 minutes to the fork.

We were going slow on the way back down, which makes for a relatively long downhill.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Fast and Easy

For some reason I just didn't feel like pushing hard today. Instead of going up Slate Canyon we just did Juan's ride of the three gates. Given that I felt like I was mostly taking it easy I was surprised at the high average speed.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Winter is Coming

Today, even though it was the middle of the day, the sun was behind the mountain in places, leaving the trail in the shadows.

It was a warm enough day, however it was quit a bit cooler in the shadows. I guess when it starts to snow we will end up with the snow accumulating in those areas.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Slate Canyon Singletrack

Anyone who has gone up Slate Canyon knows it is not a single track. However with all of the climbing, coming down, and rock moving we have done it is now practically a single track winding its way up the road.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Trees From the Trail

The fall colors are going to be gone soon. However, the fallen leaves are looking nice on the trail. A lot of times I am so focused on going up the trail, and the task is so difficult, that I don't get much of a chance to look around.

Thought: Some people have a hard time seeing the forest through the trees, I however have a hard time just seeing the trees from the trail.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Doing Errands

Decided to take the day off of work and get some errands done. I took my car into the have it looked at and then finished doing my errands on the bike.

Started at 1600 S in Orem rode up to north of 1200 N and back, and then down to BYU and back. Mileage also includes a shot trip on Friday, and about a 4 mile trip on Saturday.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Picture Post

I'm entering this log late so I am going to just make it a picture entry.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Brain Cramp

I often have thoughts about what I should write about in the blog while I am riding, but I have waited to long since the ride and now I can't remember what it was I was going to say.

So I guess today's blog is mainly just the log of riding stats and the picture.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Broken Spoke

It is obvious from the average speed and distance that we did not drive out to the canyon today. I guess I must have broken a spoke last Thursday. It took me until today to figure out that I had a broken spoke. I heard a noise on Friday when we started out but didn't know what it was. Today part way into the ride I stopped to figure out what was making the noise when Glendon asked if I had another broken spoke. He could see that my wheel wasn't straight.

So today after work I took my bike in to get the spoke replaced. After taking the cassette off we could see that all of the spokes next to the cassette were damaged from the chain going over the top. This hasn't happened in a long time but I guess all of the rough riding has started to make the damaged spokes break, so I had all of the damaged spokes replaced. Hopefully now I can go for a while without any more broken spokes.

Friday, October 01, 2004

To the Fork

Today was the first time we have ridden all the way to the fork without doing the whole loop up Slate and Down Slide. The total distance from the street to the fork and back is only 6.43 miles so I guess that means that the fork is less than three and a quarter miles up the canyon.

I didn't look at the ride time at the fork, but I know it was about 50 minutes at the top of the last challanging hill before the fork. Yesteday it took us about 50 minutes to get to the top of this hill and 10 minutes to get back to the car.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Daily Climb

Today was only the second time I was able to make it up the first hill after the gate. However today I made it further up after the hill without stepping out. The problem is the better I do on the bottom part of the canyon the worse I do later on. Obviously because it takes so much work and wears me down.

I think this picture is from above the hill that goes under the pipe. At this point the lake is just visible at the bottom of the V, but can not be made out in the picture. After that hill there is a real rocky section (OK the whole trail is rocky but these are bigger rocks) that while not as steep as other hills, was every bit as difficult because of the effort needed to plow through the rocks. On the way down it was quite scary as I was going a bit to fast and being thrown around a bit. For a minute I was afraid I would be tossed off the trail and into the dry river bed below.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

No Excuses

Rained yesterday so there were no excuses today, the trail was nice and firm. I still have only made the first hill once, but now can start in the middle of the hill. I think overall today was the strongest I have been at doing Slate Canyon. I was able to get halfway up slate hill with only two stops to rest.

Layne had talked about leaving the hill that goes under the pipe alone so we would have to battle the rocks, but today he cleaned up the top part of the trail. The problem is the start of where he cleaned is about 20 feet past where I fail.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


Today we decided to drive up to the mouth of the canyon and ride from there so we could go further up the canyon. Without the 2 miles each way on the road the average speed goes down but the workout is every bit as demanding.

We now have enough pictures of the fall colors from the last few days to supply this blog with images for the rest of the year.

We met a man today who was walking up the canyon. I think I have seen him before, but today we kind of leap frogged back and forth climbing the canyon, so we talked a bit with him. He was suggesting a lot of nice places to ride mountain bikes, everything from Peru, to AF canyon. He said he didn't mind bikes but hated motorized vehicles. Then awhile later he started cursing all of the cars on the Wasatch Front. "They're a scourge!" He has a point, but it sure is nice that we have somewhere close we can go and escape the motors of our world.

Monday, September 27, 2004

South Fork in the Fall

Today's ride was up South Fork Provo River. The colors were beautiful making this once again a great ride. Once we got past the bridge crossings and started to climb the trail became quite loose. I guess the horses have been loosening it up. It made the climbing very difficult, and I was feeling like it was quite the workout. But on the way down it was so much fun that by the time we got back to the cars I had practically forgotten how bad the climb was and was just sorry the ride was over.

Thought: Life is full of good times and tough times. The tough times make us stronger but it is the good times we remember.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Goal: Fork by End of Next Summer

I'm getting better all the time and figure that I should be able to go from the gate to the fork in the road by the end of next summer. Right now it takes my maximum effort to get up the pipe hill and the hill past the gate, and I can't make it all the way up slate hill yet. But at the rate I have been improving I think the end of next summer is a good goal.

Yesterday we got what I thought was a great complement when Rick told us he under estimated what we have been doing.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

New Records

Yesterday Layne set a new record for the longest distance from the gate without stepping down. It was just past the spot where the pipe goes over the road. Layne was talking about doing some work on that hill to make it climbable, but today he almost made it up the hill, so we decided not to do much work to leave it as a challenge. We did move a couple of large rocks today.

Again we had a couple of new riders with us today. One of them endoed coming down the slate hill. He ended up with a nice bloody shoulder. This is so much fun the weather has been great (cooler). Fall is a great time to be mountain biking. Too bad winter will be here so soon.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

New Riders

We rode with three new people today who are experienced riders. This added pressure to the ride and we went faster then normal. Going down hill I was running at top speed, much faster than I normally go. What a blast!

This is a little campground we found on the side of the trail. Someday we are going to bring lunch up with us and have a little picnic.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Some Much Needed Rain

It rained and snowed up Slate Canyon Sunday/Monday. We were thinking of riding up and seeing if we could get to the snow level yesterday, but I had a broken bolt on the bike and couldn't go. Today the snow had melted back enough that we wouldn't be going to the snow level. However the trail is much better with the added moisture, and for the first time I was able to climb the hill after the gate!

I have been making great improvements in how much I can climb during the last few rides. I think a lot of this is because we have missed a fair number of days of riding and my legs have had more recovery time.

Thought: When things are getting tough sometimes it is good to take a break.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

How to loose 3 pounds in 1 hour

I have been doing some reading about hydration, wanting to make sure I am drinking enough. Basically the goal is to drink enough to weigh the same before and after riding. According to Dr. Robert Murray, "Weight loss of more than 1 - 2 pounds indicates dehydration and a need for drinking more during your next exercise session." On most days I have been loosing about 3 pounds during a 1 hour ride. I have tried to increase the amount I am drinking and have switch from using water to gatorade. Yesterday I actually ended at the same weight I started at but today I again lost 3 pounds.

Slate Canyon is so beautiful with the fall colors. I guess it is time to take the family up AF canyon to get some good fall family pictures.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

No Snakes, No Spiders

But it was still a great ride. My legs were a bit tired, I guess yesterday's climb wore them down a bit.

Another picture from yesterdays ride. This is coming down a little hill just below the pipe hill.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Fall colors

Successfully climbed the pipe hill today. Today's ride was so much fun. The fall colors are making Slate Canyon more beautiful than usual.

Today's picture is of the hill we call Slate Hill. We spent some time today clearing a path through the rocks, and taking pictures. Also on the way up the trail I ran over a nice large tarantula. I tried to miss it but ran over it anyway. Somehow though it didn't seem to have killed it because it crawled off the trail.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Another Snake

It is getting more and more difficult to get up into the mountains to ride. Today we got yelled at by some redneck lady upset that we were crossing the pipeline to get to the trail. It sure will be nice when they get it buried and restore the access to the trails.

Just before getting to slate hill Layne saw a snake, but I guess there was a leaf over the tail so he didn't think it was a rattle snake, but did call back to Juan to watch out for the snake. I guess Juan didn't hear him and almost fell over onto the snake.

Thought: watch out for snakes in the grass (or leaves). They may be rattle snakes.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Back to blogging

I didn't have my computer with me for the last two rides, and between being sick, holiday, and work getting in the way, we haven't ridden as much. I decided to prevent the problem of the computer not getting back on the bike I will now just carry a pad of paper and pencil in the trunk of the car so I can jot the numbers down and leave the computer in place.

Today we found a nice camp spot at the top of the pipe hill. One of these times soon we are going to do a picnic there.

While riding today I remembered how much harder this canyon was for me just a couple of months ago. I still don't make it up the hardest hills without pushing but I am getting closer, and I don't struggle as much on the rest of the canyon.
I think one of the hardest parts of writing a blog for every ride is coming up with the title. Maybe I am doing it wrong, I should write my blog and then look back at it and find the title?

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

I Love Morning Rides

I think today's ride had everything you could ask for in a ride. Nice morning temperature, some good climbs, fun down hills, beautiful views, the trees starting to change color, and the fresh smell of the woods.

This picture is from a trip last year on the same trail.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Hot Day

Thought: Going up Slate Canyon over and over you learn where things are and the best route past them. Sometimes though a rock has fallen off the hill and into the trail in the worst possible spot. Sometimes when something bad happens we may want to blame someone else or even God or the devil. However I think sometimes the challenge is just there for no real reason, and if we can overcome it, it will make us stronger


Friday I kind of crashed coming off of the dike, so yesterday I tried it a little faster so that I could have more balance. All it did though is make it hurt more when I crashed.

So this morning I went out with a shovel and made the track wide enough that even I can go down it.

Thought: If at first you don't succeed try it faster!

Friday, August 27, 2004

No Rain

It has been a long time since we have had any rain on the Slate Canyon trail. Yesterday when we were riding we came across some muddy spots and a spot where a spring had come out in the middle of the road. I guess we have more water than we have had for awhile even though it is still quite dry. Anyway, there is a place on the Slate Canyon trail where you come around a tree and when it has rained there is a big puddle. The last time we had rain, I had kind of forgotten about the possibility of the puddle being there. As I came around the tree I wasn't ready, but was still able to manage to go around the puddle. However I cut a bit close to the mud and the soft edge gave way. My tire slipped into the mud and then I was had to live with mud getting flipped into my face for awhile.

In life we need to be on the constant watch to guard ourselves from filth. Sometimes we get to comfortable and let our guard down. And then it is best to keep as much distance between you and the filth as possible, so you don't slip into it and then have to live with the consequences of not keeping your distance.

Catching up

I keep putting off the blog thinking I will do it later. Also keep forgetting to get the numbers off the computer so today's numbers are actually from three days of riding. I believe the first day was 8 miles and 9 mph average the second day was 8.5 miles and an accumulative average of 8.? mph which would mean yesterday was about 10 miles and better than 9 mph. We rode up Provo Canyon and south on the shoreline. I think this is the fastest we have ever done this ride.

I think this is a picture that Will took by pointing his camera backwards while riding. A little slanted and out of focus but makes for a nice "artistic effect".

Friday, August 20, 2004

Jumping Logs

My front tire was on backwards for the first 1.6 miles and so it did not register on the bike computer.

This is another picture from the Blackhawk trip. Mike and Bruce are about to do a spectacular maneuver and hop over the logs. Well, OK I lied, they are about to go around it.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Bee Sting

On the way out today a bee stung me in the back of my leg. A few days ago Myron was talking about how he had never been stung by a bee. It was kind of funny to hear him trying to figure out which he wanted more, to know what a bee sting feels like, or not having to suffer the pain involved.

Another picture from the Blackhawk trip.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


Took off after work today and rode blackhawk trail on Mt. Nebo. It is a nice longer ride that has some great single track. I hadn't had a real wreck since before the Brianhead ride, but I made up for it today. We came to a boggy river crossing and for some stupid reason I tried to ride through it. As soon as my front wheel hit the river/bog it stuck and I went over the handle bars. The worst part of it though was landing on the rocks.

If that wasn't bad enough right after this picture was taken I went off the side of the hill. If you look close you can make out my helmet behind the tree. The trail was soft and there was a little rock that should not have been a problem but for some reason is psyched me out and I went of the trail and had the tree catch me from falling down the hill.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Three Gates Plus

We did the "ride of the three gates" plus "Glendon's hill" today. Tomorrow we are planning on doing black hawk which I guess is a hard ride so they won't do Glendon's hill a second time.

This is a picture Juan took of me on the Ridge Trail back in June.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Plastic Spike

I got a flat tire today. I figured it was because I hadn't checked my pressure lately and so I got a pinch flat. However when I got back to the car I found a piece of plastic shaped like a spike in the side of my tire. Looking at the tube it turned out the puncture was right where the spike was in the tire. I guess I was lucky it didn't puncture the replacement tube somewhere on the way back.

This is a picture of the Henry's fork area. King's Peak is the distant peak about 1/3 of the way in from the left edge of the picture.

Friday, August 13, 2004

The Dike

Glendon showed me a different way to get across the pipeline trench. After crossing the trench he then took me up a nice climb up the dike. So today's ride was up the dike then out to Slate Canyon, try and climb the hill past the gate twice, and then back up the dike hill and back to work.

This is a picture Myron took on our Timp hike.
Thought: After a week of riding sometimes you just get tired and want to take a day off. Its on these days that you don't feel like riding, but force yourself that you gain the most strength. Prayer is like that, when you feel least like doing it is when you need it the most.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Lambert Park

The plan today was to meet at the Alpine Rodeo Grounds and ride Lambert Park. Something must have happened because we never found Mike, but Juan and I rode the park anyway. This reminded me a lot of the dirt hills we use to ride our bikes on when I was a kid, except this was a lot larger area. It has a lot of nice little twisty trails, and in spite of the fact that there was not a lot of climbing I still felt like I got a good workout.

Another picture from the top of King's Peak. Here we are looking down into the Henry's Fork basin.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

AF Playground

Today we started at the Pine Hollow Trailhead and went up the road to Timpooneke campground then up the Ridge Trail and down Pine Hollow. I've decided to just call this area "The Playground" and like all of the other trails in the playground this was a great ride. Going down Pine Hollow reminded me a lot of the top of Slide Canyon. Same kind of look and feel only it is all ridable, which is not true for Slide Canyon.

Today's picture is at Gunsight pass on the way to King's Peak.
Thought: After climbing a distance it is fun to look back and see how far you have gone.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Provo Canyon

Today we went up Provo Canyon and then south on the shoreline trail. What can I say? It was a nice morning ride.

Today's picture is from the top of King's Peak looking west. I believe the lake is Tungsten.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Slate Canyon

The trail is getting very dry. I kept spinning out trying to climb the hill past the gate. The frustrating part was that I was spinning out before even getting to the hard part.

I went with my son and a couple of neighbors to the top of King's Peak last week. I was amazed at how easy it was. I have done this before and it wasn't this easy before. Mountain biking has made a huge difference. It was a great trip. We started at Henry's Fork on Thursday, hiked about 6 miles to Dollar Lake area and set up base camp. It rained a little while we were hiking and quite a bit at night. On Friday we hiked to the top of King's Peak. We went up Gunsight Pass and then took the short cut over to Anderson Pass. This was a lot nicer than dropping down into Painter Basin. I believe this was about a 10 or 12 mile round trip. On Saturday we hiked back to the trailhead.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Hog Hollow

I guess writing in a blog just like writing in a journal. I start out well, and then all of the sudden no more entries. I have been at least entering the ride stats in most every day so I will just let those go in with no comment. Today's picture comes from the 7/29 ride.

Today's ride was up Hog Hollow and down "the chute". As always it was a fun ride. It has been raining a lot lately (by Utah standards) and it rained again last night. The trail was a bit wet but not as bad as was expected.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

South Fork

Monday, August 02, 2004

Slate Canyon

Friday, July 30, 2004


There isn't much left to ride from Novell now. They are putting in a new gas line and it has removed almost all of the access to our trails. The only thing left is up Slate Canyon.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Pine Hollow

Friday, July 23, 2004

Slate Canyon Gate

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Dry Canyon

Started at gas station at the mouth of Provo Canyon, rode up the valley of the pipes, up above Dry Canyon, down Dry Canyon.

Back when we lived in Orem I use to take my kids hiking up Dry Canyon all the time. Since then they have done a lot of work on the trail and now it is a great mountain biking trail. Again, a beautiful way to start the day.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Gate Hill

A hill never looks as steep in a photo as it does in real life.

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