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.

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