Friday, June 19, 2009

Birthday rides rule

I think every cyclist should be able to celebrate his or her birthday with an epic ride. Apparently Elden is of a similar mind and he has lots of friends who agree, because this morning about fifteen of us met at the mouth of American Fork canyon to ride some or all of The Gauntlet.

Since it's a weekday, most of the group just rode to the top of American Fork canyon. A smaller group did the Cascade Springs portion (we decided to skip the superfluous minor spurs of Granite Flats and South Fork). By the time we got to Squaw Peak, it was just Elden, Kenny, and me.

On the way up Squaw Peak, we saw large numbers of BYU football players pushing their bikes up the hill. Most of them were on crappy mountain bikes, but we thought they still should have been able to drop to the granny gear and spin. We reveled in the fact that this was one athletic endeavor in which we could totally clean their clocks. I dished some good-natured crap to a few of the walking players, asking them "aren't you supposed to be pedaling?"

When one responded "if I had a bike like yours, I would be."

So I hit the brakes and said "OK, let's trade then." He made some lame excuse about how they HAD to be on mountain bikes, so I rode on. Knowingly.

At the end of the ride, Rachel met us at the park in Alpine with sandwiches, melon, and a delicious birthday cake. Every ride should end this way.

We were pondering how much vertical we'd climbed on the day. Before we consulted the altimeter, Elden made an estimation: "10,300 feet."

I asked each of my kids whether they thought it was over or under. They all chose under.

The actual result: 10,351. I think Elden could make a career as a Las Vegas oddsmaker.


  1. If those were Utah Football players they would have been pedaling. Go Utes.

    One of these days I am going to have to do that ride.

  2. "I think Elden could make a career as a Las Vegas oddsmaker."

    it's possible elden's done this ride before, and even measured.

    i wish i'd been there for all of it. sort of.

  3. that was a great ride, until the "extreme" mile coming up cascade. then for me it turned into armageddon.

    thanks for letting me tag along.

  4. that really was a great ride. even when my legs and lungs were hurting i was having fun.

    extra-big thanks to your wife for the great sandwich, cake, and cantaloupe afterward. really, that made the ride perfect.

  5. Blackdog, I loved it so much, I'll do it anytime anyone wants to go.

    Dug, I know that. Still pretty remarkable since as he totaled his estimates for each climb, they were rounded to the nearest hundred.

    Eber, wish you would have stuck it out. I understand why you didn't. Can't say that squaw peak or coming up Sundance were any easier than the extreme mile.

    Fatty, Rachel says you're welcome. And happy birthday. And anytime (let's hope she means this part literally).

  6. I had a blast. I wish I would have done Squaw, but the real world was calling. The 52 miles I did ride were fantastic. I may have to plan a repeat for my b-day in August.

  7. I'm guessing that none of the BYU guys had a "Your Bike Sucks" sticker.