Friday, May 27, 2011

The Thing about Road Trips

As you know from the deebs, The red rider and I were out on the open highway last week and I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to get some training in for the up coming Rockwell Relay (Less than two weeks away) and  of course the looming LOTOJA freak show.

This seemed to be a brilliant idea to escape the; what feels like Seattle type weather from SLC, and head south where it's always warm and sunny. Our plan was to camp at least 5 nights and then enjoy a hotel for two nights in Vegas. Well, instead I was reminded of a song, can you guess which one?

You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need

  • Day one in Moab: Rain 45 degree high
  • Day two in Mesa: Verde Rain 35 degree high
  • Day three: Four Corners Area Rain
  • Day five in Flagstaff Az Snow 28 degree
  • Day six: Las Vegas Sunny 77 degree high (YEA!)
  • Camping Gear Covered in Snow !!
  • Day seven: in St. George Sunny 73 degree high (YEA!)

Well just like the lyrics to the song, there was some opportunity to get what I need....(I needs me some saddle time)

We were still able to log about 150 miles, a wee bit short of my goal of 250. I guess I can't complain "riding is riding" no matter how much or how little. (Something that seems to be escaping me lately with all this training. Must not forget biking is fun..) It was actually very interesting to ride in straight lines with out cordinating the return route. And to this in very scenic areas that were filled with lots of visual distractions was a big help.

I know the focus is cycling with Rodzilla, but hey I can't help it. Picture of my sweetie and I at Mesa Verde.

Some of the challenges we faced while trying to find rides decent rides where as follows:
  • Lack of Planning ahead.....
  • Dealing with the weather.
  • Finding roads that had wide enough shoulders to be safe.
  • Finding Roads that didn't have fresh chip seal that felt like wet tar that flipped up in your face.
  • Dodging construction, cars react very aggressively while dealing with construction.
  • Unknown Hill Climbs, Out of nowhere what you thought to be a long ride turns into Col du Tourmalet
  • Wind, Wind, and more Wind, worst thing ever to be doing 80 miles into a headwind with no turns.
So, for your entertainment I thought I would share a couple that seemed to work out well. My hope is that next time your traveling in some of these remote locations with a bike you can benefit from some Rodzilla knowledge and make it a memorable ride.

Ride One
Monticello, Utah - Cortez, Co
This was a great ride with high elevation about 7,000 feet. My only regret was not getting out of the car sooner. Oh and the Head Wind. We tried to split it up a little between Red and I (driving and ditching the truck strangely reminded me of leap frog), but the road all the way from Monticello through Cortez was perfect with wide shoulders and smooth pavement. Although appearing very flat it did featured rolling hills which really racked up the vertical climb in a hurry. (love those Hill-Billies) Red will tell you her portion was a little frustrating due to construction but still enjoyable.

Ride Two
Kingman, Arizona to Bolder City, Nevada
This was also a great ride, again wishing I got of the car sooner this could have been a great long distance ride of 75 or more. Basically flat with some gentle hills towards the end. I understand that this is a new stretch of road, again really nice surface and wide shoulders. The last 10 miles had some incredible scenery over looking some deep canyons and Lake Mead. (Warning !!! Beware of Cross Winds) there were lots of surprise gusts of wind coming out of the canyons. The end features you crossing the bridge overlooking the overlookers looking at Hoover Damn. This was a little daunting with the cross winds, but the faces of the tourist were priceless. They didn't know whether to look at the damn or a Rodzilla on two wheels.  I couldn't help but yell out, "how much did you pay for that view as I road past." The road quickly reduces down in Bolder to a tight two lane road, which is too bad, as I was feeling good and contemplating riding into Henderson and possibly Vegas.  

Ride Three
Red Rock Canyon Loop
For those that have ridden in Vegas before I am sure you already know about this little gem of a ride as it seemed to be the meca for cyclist near and far. We must have past 20 or so riders on a Thursday. This was a great out and back with some beautiful scenery. Again some gentle climbing but not to bad. There is a convenient convenience store located in Blue Diamond at the turn around point. Again you could extend this ride by adding miles on West Charleston Blvd which has a good bike lane. We parked at an Alberstons parking lot.

Ride Four
Ala Tour De St. George Remix (Washington, Sand Hollow, Hurrican, La Verkin, Toquerville, and Leads)
This is a portion carved out of the Tour De St. George however, somewhere, I took a wrong turn and did some dirt/gravel roads on some steep pitches. Roadie slicks didn't grip as well as my mountain bike tires on a couple of stretches I was spinning out. To avoid this take same route but right after Leeds turn left into Quail Creek Reservoir, you can't miss the sign, 500 feet later there will be dirt and gravel. This will keep you on tarmac all the way through. Personally I like this one, circling around Sand Hallow is beautiful. The Toquerville climb sucks a little as the road narrows, but great loop all around. Could have really gotten some great speeds if not for that morning wind.

Well I think that is enough for now, unless you wanna hear about the romantic details that Red Rider and I had.....nah we will save that for another Blog...

And Remember don't be a chicken or a pussy on your bike. Enjoy every ride to its fullest. 


1 comment:

  1. Nice work Rodzilla, I rode that Montecello route once and it was a blast. I had a tail wind all the way out and averaged 26 mph, was my fav of all time