those are today's answers:
the questions, oh the questions!
first, just how far can one ride up the road to east canyon, after you slip around the still-locked gate, before snow on the road keeps one from going further?
second, how far did I ride today?
35 miles: from home up emigration, down to mountain dell and george washington park (which is still closed for the season, and I didn't dare venture down the road for fear the 2 sheriffs parked by the gate would come after me and issue me a trespassing ticket) and back up and then up east canyon road as far as I could go . . . then back up little mountain and down emigration and back to my home sweet home.
third, how many fuzzy black caterpillars did I see on the road while I was riding?
fourth, while I was heading down the canyon on my way home, how many times was I almost certain that the headwinds were pushing me backwards, back up the road, as I pedaled furiously downhill?
of course the first question is the most important, as it is one of those questions I am stunningly curious about when I don't know the answer. the other day I rode to the gate, but due to scheduling issues I couldn't go any further. you could see dry pavement on the far side of the gate, and you just knew with complete certainty that cyclists were slipping around the gate and continuing their rides . . . the unknown was for just how much further.
so today I was able to satisfy my curiosity.
from the gate to the top of big mountain is approximately 5 1/2 miles, only perhaps 3 1/2 miles of which is excruciatingly painful. (for me, that is.) as I started up the road today, with a huge wind at my back, cruising along on the easy part, I was paying strict attention to how very dry and snow-free the road was.
my heart actually dropped a little, as my brain told it I bet it's clear all the way to the switchbacks, or maybe even to the top! hee-hee, now you have to ride it! should've brought more fuel with you . . .
of course I wanted to ride, but I'd already done some decent climbing, and wasn't sure that I could tackle big mountain with the limited water and energy still remaining in my biking self. and if you know me, you know that a clear road would have urged and taunted and pulled me all the way to the top, water or no.
the sight of rivulets of snow crossing the road in the distance actually shocked me, for suddenly there they were, where they hadn't been before. melting crystals leaked from them, but they offered a pretty significant barrier to those of us on skinny tires. I snuck around a few passages, wiggling from edge to edge, and even rode a brief section of snow to get to another clear patch, because I was pulled by the sight of a tree, felled across the road, and wanted to get within spitting distance of it.
which I didn't quite do.
maybe next time.
unless the rain and snow the next 3 days are supposed to bring us fill in those melted crevasses, and we are pushed back to riding only the first mile after the gate.
regardless, it was a productive day, as I answered 4 most pressing questions, in a very simple way: 1.5,35,2,2.