Sunday, July 26, 2009
I traveled new terrain today, and conquered another summit.
and then the way back home just about conquered me.
on saturday I rode 93 miles, from home to mountain green, then a loop through the morgan valley, up and over trapper's loop, finishing with a lap around pineview reservoir. I was staying in huntsville that night, so was able to end it all there.
knowing I'd be in the huntsville valley today, I thought I'd take advantage of that and ride somewhere I'd always heard about but never been: monte cristo.
things I'd heard about the monte cristo ride:
it goes uphill
it goes on forever
it's 25 or so miles
it's not so bad
it just goes on forever
saturday evening, being the absolutely amazing planner that I am, I decided to get online and try to find out a little more about this ride up the canyon to the monte cristo summit. one of the guys I rode with saturday, paul, had told us all about this great website, mapmyride.com, and I decided to check it out.
after patiently (not) perusing the instructions and spending 15 minutes in an effort to map my potential ride ~ not being completely certain of where the summit of this ride was on the map provided ~ I threw in the towel and tried the "find a ride" search tool.
that was easy.
up popped the monte cristo ride, already mapped for me. it showed a 24 mile climb, with grades no higher than 5%.
5 percent is not too bad of a grade.
I then searched for emigration and little cottonwood, checking elevations and grades and concluding that I would be okay. emigration showed no grades steeper than 5% as well, so I prepared myself for a climb that would be like riding emigration 3 times.
then I looked at the elevations for the monte cristo ride.
huntsville is about 4800 feet, and the top of monte cristo was about 8900 feet. now that is a significant gain. it's almost exactly the gain from my house to the top of brighton ski resort. and climbing to brighton involves a titch more effort that 3 emigrations.
to cut to the chase, it was a climb. and if some of those spots were really only 5%, I will each an entire bunch of bananas. at one sitting.
darn good thing it was absolutely gorgeous.
unfortunately between the climb, the lack of watering holes, and the pissy little headwind on the way down, I was a bit beat up and grumpy for the last 5 or so miles. most muscles in my body ached with tension and overuse, and I was most eager for the whole thing to just end. stop. be over with. leave me be.
of course it eventually did.
and I get to add another name to my list.
would I have had a better ride if I hadn't ridden 93 miles the day before?
at 22 miles up the hill was I glad I was doing it?
at 6 hours post ride-completion am I glad I did it?
you bet your life. and a bunch of bananas, because you're safe on that bet.
and if anyone dares take me up on my challenge, I'm almost absolutely certain you won't have to shell out the 3 bucks to buy me those bananas.