Thurs. eve I called Coyote Shuttle and scored a seat for the 8:15AM shuttle to ride the Whole Enchilada. I spent the night at Sand Flats XG county XG just above town making a short drive for 8 AM arrival. Late arrivers kept pulling in.
Friday morning I fed myself and cleaned up continuing to my arrival at Chile Pepper for shuttle. Van was filled, 14 riders and their bikes and the driver. $30 fee.
This time the van sports a lower geared transmission that allowed 1st gear climbing. Visited with Gary the driver.
Long drive climbing, climbing, and then some more up into the La Salle mountains. Mechanical assist stopped at Geyser Pass at 10538′. Outside old snow remained frozen in the shade. Ride will drop all the way to Moab at 4,000′ with temp forecast upper 60s. Cold at start. I wore a wool long sleeved long undershirt with a sleeveless same over topped by long sleeve jersey covered by a wind shirt but just knee warmers. Chilly. My spending time in CO thin air did not condition me to this elevation plus acquired benefit wanes. Little effort produced gasping for breath. The climb to Burro Pass was a lot of push a bike as I was too winded to pedal plus the tread on the climb was rubble. Rocks up here are from last mountain reformation: no slick rock here.
From the Pass just gravity pulling down for primary engine, hence the smile
Forest cover downhill was dense maybe spruce. Tread was steep with loose maybe paperback book size that slid with. Beat up. I walked some as I would have drug my brake for control. The trail dropped down a more than babbling brook rimmed in ice. Crossed it 3 times picking my way across icy log steps.
Dropped out of trees into open high country, home of environmentally destructive cattle grazing. Aspen drop their leaves with the slightest provocation leaving just sticks
Trail dropped down to slick rock elevation but in pinon and juniper with not white sand reminding me of ocean woods. But the slick rock corrected me. Trail in places “danced” right on the edge of Porcupine Rim, a bad bump to the right would start a long fall.
Castle Valley viewsheds competed with what was under my tires.
Trail dropped out onto pieces of double track till it hit the boundary for heart propelled users only. Things got nasty again as it stayed close to drop offs to a big splat. I walked many places. Black skid marks on some of the moves either meant speed was controlled or oh shit. Trail drops down to river highway for bike path ride back to town for a long flat pedal home.
I finished at 3:15, sundown is 5:09. I believe there was a second shuttle at 10AM. If so those riders would finish after dark.
I was drained emotionally from mental concentration.
In town I hustle for water refill, groceries, and a shower then drive out to N Klondike arriving after dark. Many rigs parked out here. Picked spot where I stayed 2 days prior.
Today was to be a recovery ride from here which made a luxurious morning listening to Wait Wait.
Beautiful day. I rode out Dino Flow then returned on the easier trails on the west side of the valley. Just pedaled enjoying riding my bike.
Consideration for other people and myself is a very strong emotion in me. I am really annoyed by drivers dusting people outside. The road tread out here is all weather gravel. Above a speed any rig stirs up a dust cloud. Today my ride finish was on this TH road. I heard a car approaching, I moved to the center of the road to cause the driver to slow down. I motioned with my free hand to slow down which he did before he got to me so I yielded the road. His response was to punch it as he got abreast of me. You Fuck I called. I watched other rigs come and go with each creating a dust cloud. They drove by the parking areas swirling dust. Consideration and empathy for others who are not creating the dust.
Nice afternoon for sitting outside. I listened to OSU and the Cougs win their games. Sundown is 5:00PM now. Weekenders will be leaving tomorrow.
Quite a bunch of van conversions abound.