Just swell

Yesterday I drove from Hailey to Vernal, UT. Many interstate miles driving @ 60 in 75mph zones. everybody was able to pass. Nice clear day w/ some wind affected corrections. These new tires don’t seem to play well w/ the fronts or there are suspension issues. It seems as if on set of tires has more flexible sidewalls. I turn almost like my bike flopping into a turn because of the wide bars and short stem. The Maxxis Ardents have side lugs that hook up when I lean the bike over. The van I just control the intensity of the turn. Will find a tire store to eliminate concern over tires. After dark on US RT40 an oncoming semi dropped  or flipped a hard object that smashed into my windshield which stopped it b4 hitting my left cheek. This AM I discovered what looks like a bullet hole.  Next on the fix it list. Insurance claim $0 deductible unless there is a frequency limit.

Last night my destination was McCoy corral just west of Vernal. Dark w/ confusing headlights and never having approached from the west I drove past the road and into the outskirts of Vernal. I parked then queried the GPS to find the road. I marked it. I drove out of town and the GPS was counting down the distance to the turn. I missed it again for the same above reasons. I waited till clear then pulled a Uey and headed back. This time I made the turn. 3 miles back on a lane and 1/2 fractured asphalt road lead me to the corral. I turned into the old corral parking lot and found a level spot. Flies are still my only companions. Almost full moon made the desert light up. Slept w/ the heater on low for fly comfort.

Woke up to sights of SW desert in the rock color, topography, and tree cover. Great vistas only blocked when down in the washes. I parked facing the west. I finally looked east and saw the BLM trail head facility w/ fenced in parking and a CXT outhouse. Back during my 2010 visit to Altitude Cycles I listened to owner and trail builder Troy converse w/ a local BLM guy who is also a rider. BLM is to install an outhouse at the corral because of the toilet paper flags from ill mannered visitors. It’s in and no flags.

For the second time here my bike GPS battery was played out in spite of my recharging it. The 7 mile ride on jackalope trail was not captured. Rideable hump up. Down was over loose babyhead rocks dislodged by back brake draggers. I returned to the van for the partially charged gps then headed across the road and rode Retail Sale and Slippery When Wet. Wonderful desert hand built single track flow. Gotta love the desert at this time. SO warm I removed my long underwear top.  Upper 60s under cloudless skies.

Next stop is Fruita tomorrow. I debated about driving today and camping above the pass. This would allow me to visit Altitude. Troy went home sick. The remaining healthy employee told me there would be snow at the pass. My camp spot would have been back aways  on a resource extraction road. Plan now is to return to McCoy for the night then leave for Fruita tomorrow.

Can’t get internet access out @ the corral. I am in the library w/o my camera to post pics.

Oil extraction.


I spent a quiet almost full moon night @ Indian Springs TH. No heater on. The flies were a bit cold affected this AM allowing me to suck up the slow ones. Still way many flies.

Today Steve is driving down from Bellevue to ride. We are going to get in a ride then I will drive back to Hailey for the follow on eye DR appointment.

Steve arrived and opened his Sprinter door and relished the warmth. Sun shine w/ a black rain cloud bearing down on us. The rain dropped elsewhere. We rode Sweet and Low over to Dry Gulch climbing up to Hotshot that climbs out of Dry Gulch then down Sugar Loaf. Steve lead the climbs because he is stronger although I stayed on his wheel allowing us to talk. I am faster on the downhill that he let me lead. He rides a full suspension 9NER I am on the baby 26″ wheels. I allow gravity to pull me downward. My bike is faster than him and his bike. Just beautiful bright blue skies and temps so warm I doffed my wool long underwear top. The trails were dried out and actually dusty from the weekend traffic. Enjoyable hand built trails w/ a mixture of spinning and tech challenges.

Steve on Sugar Loaf looking North

Hey Steve: Look ahead and bend your elbows.

I pushed my time of departure to past the limit. I bid a hasty adieu to Steve until his Sedona visit, changed into a street shirt, and put my foot to the metal. I drove the speed limit of max 65 that I normally stay well below. Strong cross wind heading north. I made my appointment 2 mins late.

The eye exam was to test peripheral vision that can reveal eye problems. I am now awaiting the results that might explain my eye pain and head aches. I do have issues w/ my vision as it seems I ride faster than what I can see and comprehend.

I caught a shower @ local fitness location. Still very warm here.

Next move is S. I am torn to stay here tomorrow for a ride out Croy Canyon where the trails should be dried out or heading S. Down thru Price, UT or over to Vernal, UT and Troy built trails. My goal is Hurricane just b4 T-Day. I have time for Fruita, Grand Junction, Moab, Cortez, Durango, & Aztec, NM.

No effects of Hurricane Sandy out here.

Off to dinner then sleep out Democrat Gulch, maybe Karma for the election for which I filled out my absentee ballot and mailed in. May WA vote to legalize pot and end the senseless incarceration of thousands and save tax payers money.

From cold to short sleeves

Yesterday I watched the cyclocross race in Hailey. Just about 40 degrees, darn chilly. Mark raced well. Chopper, the former columnist in Bike Mag was the talking head for the race, aka Greg R. I met him @ the Powerhouse several summers ago. I said hello to him after the race. He called me by name.

I looked several times @ the weather forecast @ Indian Springs while inside my warm van. The race was over and the festivity turned full on to a celebration of hand crafted brewers sharing their wares. I was chilled, not willing to spend $25 to drink beer. And the trails were not rideable….. but Indian Springs was dry and forecast for 66 degrees. I called Steve and asked him to share a ride w/ me Mon AM on his day off. He’s in. I need to be back in Hailey @ 3:00 for Eye DR appointment. I drove the 70 miles down to Indian Springs. The sun set during my drive but the temperature climbed. It was 53 degrees @ TH where I camped. So warm I did not use the heater and only 1 layer of the down blanket. B4 bed 2 rigs charged into the lot and spun gravel spraying my van then sped away. First time I have ever been harassed.

I slept in today. I had all day for a ride and drive to and from for a shower. B4 I rode off an older guy w/ a snappy FS mtn bike on the top of his car stopped. 76 yo Jim Brennan a piece of trail i would ride bore his name. I met him last year when I parked @ same TH. I rode up Swami to Brennan and down Matts to Dry Gulch to Rockstar then down Upper Sugar Loaf to Back door back to van. Several more cars were in the lot.

Mule deer in Dry Gulch

Cattle are grazed in this sage brush desert, what they eat is unknown to me:

I left for my shower 11 miles away. Upon return the rig population had changed. Funny what 60 degrees and sun will to for outside recreaters. Doug Swami stopped for a visit. 5 riders rode up. One was Dave from last week.

With the warm temps the flies emerge although not nearly as bad as Echo, OR. A bit chillier this evening w/o the heat making the flies slower such that my low amp dust buster might have swept up a few.

Full moon.

Tomorrow I will do an out and back to Hailey. I will prolly head towards Price, UT on Tuesday. South is warmer.