My Second Epic
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My First Epic Ride just wasn’t enough, so later that fall I set out on my second epic ride.
Still ill prepared, I set out to ride Ridge Trail 157, from my apartment in Provo. You see I didn’t have a car in 1995, so if I wanted to ride a trail, I had to pedal myself there. I don’t know how I dreamed this loop up, there was so much road involved…without any mapping technology I had little concept of how far it actually was. I just figured I could combine two of my favorite trails add a little road in between and it would be a good ride.
I took the bike path as far as it would go up Provo Canyon. I wished it would go further because I didn’t like all the cars whizzing by me. Provo Canyon Road was a lot tighter back then, mostly two lanes.
As I passed the Sundance turn off I thought of the times I rode from the apt up to the resort. A favorite little ride I did when my bike was new. (Why I rode my new mountain bike on the road so much is a mystery to me.)
Cascade Springs trail was a favorite of mine. It was mostly double track, but was a nice steady climb rewarded with a sweet fast burmed descent and a couple of challenging river crossings. I always went for it on the rivers. Sometimes the water was two feet deep, but we still went for it. I did this ride in the Fall, the water would have been very shallow that time of year.
The hardest part of the day was the climb out of Cascade Springs. In my precarious planning I remember thinking this section of road was only a couple of miles long and not too steep. Turns out it’s seven miles and plenty steep! I hit one of my walls climbing on those hills. If only the Deer Creek South Fork (aka Joy trail) was built back then! I could have bypassed most of the road…that would have been a great addition.
I remember something about trying to conserve water about this time…so ill prepared. I guess it’s these first few solo rides that taught me a couple lessons about what to bring on big rides.
At last I made it to the top of the Alpine Loop, ready to rock the original Ridge Trail 157. The FS rerouted it sometime during the 90s which took out a few of the best root sections…I still think about that trail.
I can’t remember any specifics about this particular ride down, I’d ridden it so many times before this, and so many times after this that they area all a blur of roots, rocks, and endos. I can still see the quaking aspens in all their colors and smell the pines as I write this. I love this trail.
Down to Tibble Fork Reservoir. A long road jaunt home and I was baked. Good times on the Candy Blue GT Karakoram.