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.