Sunday, August 16, 2009

Provo Canyon with a Superhero

Last Monday I went on an early morning ride while I was in Utah with my Nephew-In-Law Ryan (I'm not sure if that's a real term but it seems to fit). First of all I need to divulge some classified information about Ryan but I need you to promise you won’t tell anyone. Ryan is a super hero. I’m not sure what his super hero name is because I was too scared to ask him but I do know that by day he is just a normal guy who has a day job and on Saturdays he works at a bike shop. But…… when he gets on his bike he transforms into a superhero who can ascend tall mountains with the greatest of ease. Lucky for me he only dawned part of his supersuit when we rode because it was brisk outside so he wore a jacket but from what I saw his supersuit had something to do with red argyles.

I love riding new routes because I always learn things. Here are a few things that I learned on my early morning ride.

Elevation makes a difference
I normally ride at an elevation of 150 feet so I was a little worried about how my lungs would do at 5000 feet. My question was answered about a mile into the ride as we were riding through town on level ground and I was breathing like I was ascending the Alpe d'Huez. I was quite embarrassed to be wheezing like a 20 year chain smoker but superhero Ryan was patient with me and my wimpy sea level lungs.

It’s not light at 6 in the morning in Utah
We decided to head out at 6 in the morning because I assumed that it got light at 5:30 like it does in Washington. To my surprise it wasn’t light at 6 but by 6:15 there was enough light to head out. I guess Washington is far enough north to make a 45 minute light difference. Who knew?

It gets really windy in Provo Canyon in the morning
Our route for the morning headed up Provo Canyon which was beautiful but holy cow it was incredibly windy. At one point I looked over at a road construction sign and noticed that it was bent over to the ground from the wind. The sign was sitting on a spring to handle the wind but man it was windy. This didn’t seem to bother Ryan much because he’s a superhero but I was thankful to be able to ride in the drops.

Even though Utah is in the desert it’s cold in the morning
When I packed for our trip I didn’t think to bring a jacket to ride in because it’s usually smoking hot in Utah. I didn’t think about what the temperature would be at 6 in the morning. Even though it was brisk outside as we rode up Provo Canyon the ascent kept me warm enough and I was feeling pretty good until we got to the top of the hill and turned around to head back. We descended the hill really fast which was a blast but my uncovered arms immediately went numb from the cold. Thank heavens for post ride showers.

View from Provo Canyon

The ride back home was great because it was the perfect storm for cycling. Down hill with a tail wind. Although my lungs were incredibly irritated for the rest of the day it was a great morning ride and a great warm up to ride the Alpine Loop the next day. It was also nice to ride with a superhero. Chances like that don’t come along very often.


jeff said...

Okay, so Ironman is not his name, right? And you are so right about the elevation. One of my buddies form CA got dizzy and nauseous in CO when we got above 8,000 feet. And it doesn't affect everyone the same! Other than the wind and the cold, both of which I hate, it sounds like a great place for a ride. Nice pic of the waterfall, too!

Lizzylou said...

I hear that capes are a bad thing to get with your super suit. Something about getting it stuck in the spokes I think.

Buttsy said...

I had never considered changes in elevation when riding the bike, just about sea level here.....
If you are riding with a superhero behind you...does the xray vision thing seem a little disturbing??????
Cold arms - no fun there......have been caught out in freezxing conditions with not enough clothing....very showers are a gift!

The Old Bag said...

Love the post!

I'm assuming your superhero didn't wear dress shoes with his argyles!

Mike J said...

no the argyle was part of the kit. Very styling.

Jenny-Jenny said...

Kind of makes me wish we could train there and then race here! We might become super then.