Gone

Age robs us of our get up and go. The desire might be to get up planning for a ride. However, when the rubber meets the dirt the go seems to blanch.

Yesterday was a beautiful early winter day albeit w/ no snow or low temps. I ran some errands in town like taking on propane as the furnace runs all night. 27 degrees this AM, 55 inside but I was comfortable after I put on a sweater. The plumbing doesn’t freeze. Battery power reads 11.8 volts at wake up b4 solar gains. Rest day. Last night I thought out the ride I did today which I considered for Sunday.

SO, this AM I drove down out of the hills into the valley stopping for a latte and reading the small daily newspaper. I let sun to warm things up b4 riding. As it was I wore a heavier wool underwear top that turned out to be just a bit too  much but the option of removing it would have been too uncomfortable. Another drop dead gorgeous beautiful day. The trails at Quail Creek are newer. I started out on the west side of the lake which is really punchy with death from a 1,000 cuts right from the start. Another mile has been added since I last rode it last year,

other side of lake, trail works in and out of washes

Looking across the lake to what I would next be riding:

trails on each of 3 knobs

Trails over there are collectively known as the Boy Scout trails as many are named boy scout themes. Lots of rocks lots of places for me to walk. I have 2 bad conditions, one might be fixable, the other a fact of age. I have not acquired sufficient tech skills requiring balance and an engine to propel the move. Maybe practice might make some of the moves doable. The second is age. Can’t stop it. My anaerobic pulse rate is 132bpm. Every older year decrease that amount by 1 beat. My heart exceeds the upper limit, there ain’t much more. Little pedaling for spinning. Incredible amount of work to build these trails on either side of the lake. All sustainable.

Look for Gooseberry:

over Quail creek lake with Gooseberry way back

So back into town to wash off the white dust and sweat. Back out at JEM after dark, furnace on 38 degrees. Head is slumping closer to the keyboard.

I am near the Bear’s Ears National monument that has been shrunk by executive decree. Utah wants the federal land for their use: read resource extraction and $ for the state. How few people can benefit from taking from all of us.

Tomorrow is a ride with Kevin and Morgan who built Gooseberry.

A joy of this living on the road lifestyle is I can be in places with better weather. Every now and then I check La Pine, OR where my run aground place will be, Presently air stagnation warning and 1 degree temp. Bare ground. But pot is legal and plentiful. Mt Bachelor reports 28″ base with season snowfall of 120″.

G & G w/ K

Gooseberry and Gander with Kevin.

Furnace ran all night keeping me toasty outside just above freezing. Body is adjusting to lower temps as I slept almost too hot under the light weight doubled over down blanket. Battery power kept the blower going. Looked outside to see 4 rigs parked behind me, never heard them pull in. They left before I finished dishes.

Headed out to Gooseberry stopping right across the cattle guard on Gooseberry rd to meet Kevin at 11:00. Road in is now all weather almost paved smooth which pleased my van. Road has been reworked since I was here last winter. Parked at cattle guard, we rode from here climbing up onto Gooseberry mesa 4 miles away. We rode a bit of Gooseberry following white paint stripes indicating the trail. At least I did as Kevin made numerous his line choices for fun I needed to stay a bit behind him so I could make my informed decision if I wanted his line or perhaps walking. Disclaimer: I affected my sensory and coordination capacities before starting out which stayed with me all day. I was way off my game. I found that talking distracts me, social rides don’t improve my riding skills.

Kevin on Gooseberry with Zion behind

Our ride plan had something for each of us: a road pedal to Gooseberry for Kevin and Gander back for me. We got a lot from each. Gooseberry is Kevin’s long time back yard. Gander is maybe 4 years old and he had ridden it only once before. Mesa riding lots of rock. Gander rides right along the mesa rim. I hit a tree with my right hand that shifted my line to the left which I corrected inches from a long way down.  Long day with many stops. Finished late afternoon with low sun angle and crystal clear skies. Just beautiful.

me and the Turner
what you see

Decided to just stay at JEM and not drive down into town then back out. Propane is iffy. I stopped at Apple Valley store after official sundown as they had propane. I asked for filling and she said after sundown can’t do.

No precip in forecast, just dry trails talc like dust.

Last night I ordered Endura 3/4 shorts which are like knickers. I like their shorts way better than club ride. Extra length keeps some warmth from escaping my knees. I also ordered a king sized Egyptian cotton flat sheet that I will have resized for 2 sheets. Look forward to both new fabric things.

In the shadow of Gooseberry

Up there, it’s Gooseberry

OK, it’s sunset now after sunrise I would be in the literal shadow.

Wed night I slept on Sheep Bridge rd under a slightly different aspect of said Mesa. 15 degrees at nose out from under the covers, enough inside heat to keep the plumbing from freezing both van system and human being. The catalytic heater ran full throttle but raised the temp to only 45.

A wind event was forecasted for noon and on. like gusts in the 40s. I bailed on a ride because of the forecast which missed arrival time of 12PM. I coulda should of but didn’t. Wind did pick up blowing 43 mph as recorded at ST George.

Examined by another DR who determined that the skin bumps are caused by something inside my body and not topically as other DR, new scipt for steroids. Itches and bumps are less objectionable since pill popping.

Thursday was clean clothes preceded by a latte at River Rock roasters where my name is now added to my standard drink. Moving along the familiarity continuum.

Kevin and I made a ride date for early evening ride of Kentucky Lucky Chicken above a ST George Walmart. trail opened this spring. Tough purpose built single track by hand, mostly using rock for tread. Grunter, I walked a bunch of places both up and down. Trail is a loop, the uphill had many switchbacks, the down had different geography requiring a different solution. We finished about darkening 5:30. Dinner at buffalo wings then drive to Hurkin cleaning shower then drive up to JEM TH.

Because he can

While free thinking laying warm under the covers I figures a ride for today riding from van, I wanted to mix up and maybe shorten the Hurricane Cliffs IMBA epic ride. I pedaled off just before 11 chilled by 41 degrees and slight breeze. I rode down the JEM untill Dead Ringer which was named after a dead cow discovered during trail build. I do not know if the cow bell was on the cow but a bell is now at the top of said trail. I turned onto Kripto to ride to join the cliffs trail for the rest of the way back to the van. The day warmed a little and aspects where either in or out of wind. This route put the jeep road climb up Goulds in the middle of the ride. The climb lasts 1.48 miles climbing 386′ per mile taking 19 mins of pedaling in the gear right below granny. All by myself. Ride was 20.2 miles pedaling almost straight for 2 hrs 3 mins climbing 1853′ The tread has lots of rock challenges while above the Virgin river. Out beyond Goulds it is less bumpy. Cows are out on Goulds. What are they eating?

Yesterday I noticed a new sticker stuck to the van’s rear door. I didn’t permit it, I stick stickies on if I have a connection to the meaning of the sticker. This one was vandalism. I Goo Goned it today.

Riding in Utah’s deserts a full suspension bike eases the body beatings because of all the rocks. The 2.5WT tires further enhance the ride experience.