Sunday, July 5, 2009

Road Riding on Antelope Island

Next Sunday is the Livestrong Challenge ride in San Jose so I figured I should start putting some miles on the old road bike. I set out from my house and made my way across the causeway out to Antelope Island. Despite living here for two years now I have never ridden across the causeway on my road bike. Last year I rode off road on the Island twice and got puncture weed flats both times, haven't been back since.

The ride out
After paying my three bucks at the toll booth I shifted into the big ring and hammered down. This is probably the flattest road in Utah and had a slight tail wind so I just kind of zoned out as the miles flew by. The lake is kind of stinky, kind of like the hot pots up Diamond Fork Canyon, you get used to it after a while.

The Island

Once you get on the Island there is wildlife almost everywhere you look.
The road goes from flat to rolling hills which is a nice change of pace. The two tiny dots in the center of the picture on the beach are Coyote's (I promise).
The lake stinks and sometimes there are a lot of bugs but to make up for that there are some spectacular views.

After cranking through a few miles of rolling hills I ran across these guys.
They seem pretty harmless, kind of like big cows that make scary snorting and grunting noises when you go by.
This guy was all by himself out humping a rock. I thought it was kind of funny. Ok maybe he was scratching his stomach.
Tail Wind

On the way back a monster storm rolled in. It looked like I was going to get soaked so I pedaled as hard as I could. The wind was picking up in front of the black wall off to the West and I could tell that if I could get in front of it before it hit the causeway I would have a direct tail wind. When I hit the causeway the road turned exactly parallel to the gale force winds. It was like surfing an imaginary wave on a bicycle. This was one of the strangest things I have ever experienced, I was completely spun out. I could see the violent wind bending the grasses straight to the ground along the sides of the road but since I was traveling at the same velocity as the wind the air directly around me was eerily still and quiet. I am guessing that I was cruising at 45-50 mph as I blew across the causeway and the farm roads leading to my house at a pace closer to freeway driving than bicycle riding.

As near as I can tell this is about a 45 mile round trip ride from my house (note to self, replace computer batteries), no major canyon ascent and descent but still a very nice ride. I did it three times last week. I think that this is just the thing to get me in shape for San Jose.

No comments:

Post a Comment