Day #46) July 28, 2011. Salt Lake City, UT to Tremonton, UT: 78 miles in 6:11 hrs.
I just love looking back at the previous day’s blog, especially the final comments on the next day’s ride. Yesterday afternoon I wrote “Well, tomorrow I’m looking at a fairly easy ride to set me up for a big ride on Friday.” Yea right. I was on the bike for an “easy” ride of 78 miles today. And it was bloody work to. More in a minute.
Late night the old gremlin got the best of me. And what with Judy’s comment to me yesterday that all I eat is Subway and chinese, I decided to try something different. So right next door was Apollo’s Burgers – local, different, and interesting sounding. So I went over to the carry out kiosk and checked out the pictures of the stuff before I walked in to order. And damn, those were some BIG burgers. Went in and ordered the Apollo Burger and the Mushroom Swiss Burger and added in some onion rings. Ok, so I got my order, walked back to the room and opened the bag – Holy Moses were those burgers big! These are dbl burgers with like pastrami, lettuce, tomato, onion and the works on them. And then the oinion rings – had to be like ¾ lb of rings.
So I got into the Apollo, and it was just crazy good. The kind of local stuff that you just keep going back to all your life. This burger made Louie’s in Akron taste amateurish. But it was just a total monster. Once I ate the rings I was totally overflowing, and couldn’t even think of eating the Mushroom Swiss. Two hrs later I did eat the second burger. So I do change things up - thank you Jude!
Got up at 4:30 am and packed, then did one of the best breakfasts at a motel yet, and then got on the road at 6:30 am. Now I’d calculated today’s ride to be about 60 miles, all in the basin and all that I thought would be just as flat as the basin ride yesterday. NOPE. Now the first 1 hr was pretty good as I negociated out of SLC and worked my way north paralleling I-15 N on probably 6-8 different roads. And I have to pat myself on the back with my choice of roads because they were pretty darned sweet. No traffic trouble, decent berms, and great road surfaces. Once I got to Framington though the road really began to hug the foothills of the mts and the climbing began. No worries though as it was just an easy 60-mile day...I thought! The terrain was super rolling with the foothill literally a quarter mile off to my right. The homes and the neighborhoods were just spectacular and totally off the charts expensive. Saw a ton of cyclists whizzing past me both south and north. I only had to stop once to check with someone on directions, a policeman from the town of Farmington, who pretty much confirmed my route choice.
I was finally able to get on Rt 89 N (it was part of I-15 for 15-20 miles) which came off of the interstate, and that’s when the climbing really began, first as a super long false flat climb, and then as two pretty intense little cookie climbs. I’d thought that the whole Ogden, SLC Provo area was all one big, flat basin. WRONG. No, they’re basins separated by highlands. And the climb up out of the SLC basin and into the Ogden basin is the toughest I had. So on this stretch a rider caught up to me (and that’s not hard believe me) and we began to talk – him asking me about my trip and me asking him about his cycling. Turns out this is Bill’s first year as a cyclist, and he’s now training to do his first 100-mile ride down in the St. George area later in the fall. He was a runner, but has been sidelined by injuries a lot, so he made the switch to cycling. He looked to be doing quite well. So Bill filled me in on the stretch I was going to ride today, saying that I had one really big, steep climb on Rt 89.
He rode with me for about 25 min and then peeled off to ride down to the Great Salt Lake, off to my left about 3 miles. Hell, at times it looked like the ocean down there. After he left I did a good descent and then looked off to the north and there it was, this rampart that just went way the hell up into the horizon. So once I descended and got to the base of that climb the wind was just gusting out of the east at like 30+ mph, really forcing me to lean into the wind to not tip over. It was coming out of this canyon, kind of a wind tunnel that was just channeling the wind like a wind tunnel. Once I hit the climb that gusting wind was totally gone. It was really unique how localized it was. So the climb was indeed steep and long, and at the top of this pup were million dollar homes tucked right up onto the foothills.
Descended into Ogden, and I was really disappointed as to the looks of this place. It was rather disheveled and run down in places. Sorry to say this but it reminded me of parts of downtown Akron, OH. Off all the places in the basin I’d ridden through, this was probably the least appealing. And what floored me was that just up the hill were those million dollar homes. I mean there were points in my riding through downtown Ogden that it just felt creepy.
Kept rolling on Rt 89 N through Harrisville and N Ogden with more rolling climbing. Next city up was Brigham City. And this was a pretty place in the downtown, but the northern periphery was again, kind of seedy. By then I had 50 miles in, and I still had a good ways to go. So much for my easy 60-mile day. I realized I’d be in it for 70-80 today. The final 20 miles of the ride were really more in the country than urban. Once out of Brigham City it was just like I was heading out into the country, with farms, ranches and miles and miles of crop and grazelands. I was also surprised at all the orchards out in this northern basin area. Went by countless produce stands similar to our Szlay’s in the Cuyahoga Valley. There were places that specialized in cherries, others in peaches, and still others in veggies. Then there were the mega stands that had everything.
By the time I turned on Rt 13 N I felt as though I was in the high plains again, with more desolation in the basin and mts seemingly on all four sides of me. This part of the ride was indeed very flat, and I could maintain 14-17 mph to help bump up my overall average. Made one stop in the town of Corinne where I got a 44 oz fountain coke. Sucked it down and finished off the last 14 miles to the city of Tremonton. Place reminds me of some of the small towns I rode through in KS, save for the mts on all four sides of the basin. So I got into the city and went to this motel that was right down the street from a Subway. And I get in and no one’s there in the office, and there’s a No Vacancy sign up. So I asked a maid there if there were rooms available. Well, she couldn’t speak English. So I thanked her and went back to the office, with her following me saying, “no rooms, no rooms, no, no.” And I was like, I’m getting the hell out of here, close to Subway or not, this is nuts!” Rode down the road about a mile and came to a nice little place where English was the language of choice and got a very nice little efficiency. Then I just broke down my gear and rode back to Subway to eat.
Got a couple of Fosters Oil cans afterwards and rode back to the motel to work. I’m telling you this is a sweet little place for 45 bucks. Got my flat screen TV on the wall, a coffee table to work on, two foo-leather easy chairs to sit in, a refrig, a microwave, and a queen sized bed. Couple that with the all important AC and life is good.
Ok so tomorrow….I’m almost scard to say it will be an easy day. I’ll call it a “set-up” day. I’m looking to do like 35-45 miles to the town of Snowville, darned near on the ID border. Have to do that because the next decent sized town is Burly, ID, and it’s a solid 80+ miles from Snowville. So rather than attempt a 120-130 mile day tomorrow and “go for the green,” I’ll shoot for the fairway and lay up for a good day on Sat. Tomorrow is the day I get on the interstate for 25 miles. So I think I’ll hazard to say tomorrow will be much less in mileage than today. I should be correct on that one. Now on the intensity? Don’t know, could be climbing hell.
I think I’m going to walk on the wild side for dinner and do this little Mexican place just up the road. But NOT save any for breakfast. That’s a big no-no after that epic ride out of Walden, CO having had pizza for breakfast, and consequently acid-reflux for 2 hrs of total hell.
Could be totally out of contact up in Snowville tomorrow, so If you don’t have a blog to read on Sat morning, it’s because I had no cell and no wifi. Which reminds me, I had 4G coverage in SLC yesterday, and damn was that nice. Only had that 3 times on this trip – DC, St. Louis and SLC. Everything else has been 3G or less.