Nancy Cycles!

Nancy Cycles!
"You got to be careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." ... Yogi Berra

Monday, September 30, 2013

High Hills and Thin Air

Monday 9/30/2013

We each dithered and debated about riding the first five miles up that 13% grade that was so thrilling to descend yesterday.

Another of our leaders, Bill, will drive the shuttle for those who would rather not ride 13% grade
Janet dithers whether to ride the shuttle or her bike
Frank is determined to get the luggage to the van on time
Peter has, unfortunately, earned the title of "wrong way" as he missed the turn into our hotel yesterday
Kirk is another of our four leaders, and is the driver who went to rescue Peter
George knew he would ride the whole distance

With Dan's encouragement, and Susan saying she knows I could do it if I chose to, I decided to give it a try. They seem to have much more confidence and faith in my abilities than I have ;'-)

And I did it. Don't let me be misleading about the effort it took me!! It was a struggle, but once I started I just could not bring myself to flag down the van for a lift.

Dan says -- the pain is the weakness leaving your body. So now, I am that much stronger ;'-)

Once at the top we made the turn toward Panguitch -- out destination for the night -- on the most fantastically long (12 miles maybe) descent I have ever ridden. Our payback for that laborious climb. Our lunch stop at (the town of) Panguitch Lake was the halfway point for today, and the continuation to the end was just as easy with mostly downhill riding with a few small, short "bumps" in the road.

in addition to the delightful colors in the forest, there were lava fiellds
Jerry searches for a lava specimen to share details with the grop

By the time we reached our hotel in the Morman town of Pangwitch we had lost 2,500 feet and the air was easier to breathe. At 10,500 breathing was very difficult in the thin air.

We were at our hotel quite early and could relax and make our way to the market for tomorrow's lunch. I walked rather than biked as I felt different muscles needed some activity. I didn't find much in photo material, but there was a "Cowboy Collection" store I found interesting -- more of a museum than store.

Set 'em up barkeep
I'll just set here a while
Bar queen may want in on the deal


The getaway wagon is ready

This being a Mormon town, I found this sculpture rather intriguing.The sun was in the wrong place at the Quilt Walk Park so the photo is not so good. But the story is interesting.

One of the Quilt Walkers
Story of the Quilt Walkers

Ended our day in the usual way -- a very filling meal in town.

Tomorrow more clilmbing -- but no more 13% ers.


Cedar Breaks Revisited

Sunday 9/29/13

This visit was a little later in the day than my last visit, and the cold front had passed through over the weekend. I am glad I drove up in the frost for the views of frosted trees and sharpness in the air. I didn't take much in photos because I have included some in the earlier post. But I cannot resist adding two form today.

After our morning safety meeting, and before we could take off for the ride, I did a little more riding and scouting around the neighborhood and came upon this rather interesting mailbox.

Our route took us back to the bike trail for a couple of miles and then on the road to make our way up a gradual but continuous grade. The van picked us up about 10 miles out of town to shuttle us up the 21 mile, 4,500 foot climb. Thank you...

Waiting for everyone to reach the van, Dan brushes up on his curling skills
Here's Dan

We got back on our bikes and continued UP to the Cedar Break Visitor Center where we would have our lunch stop. Most of us took the two mile walk, some of us chose not to.

David thought he might hike, but ended up simply changing shoes back and forth
Steven (Dan's son) extols the virtues of animal cookies to Kirk (another of our leaders)
Peter and Jude have their lunch along the hiking trail


The remainder of the ride to Brian Head also had some climbing!! And then a 13% grade thrilling descent into the Village where we stayed for the night. I hit the hot tub immediately, took a little (very little) swim in the little (very little) pool, and got ready to go to dinner.

A Test Ride


Saturday 9/28/2013


Let me start out with a list:

Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Leonardo Da Vinci, Marie Curie, William Shakespeare, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Galileo Galilei, John Stuart Mill, Germaine De Stael, Thomas Jefferson.

Susan wonders who the twelve Great Thinkers are who are honored at SUU memorial. I thought some others may wonder also. After our initial test ride to and along the short trail, I rode to the campus to collect their names.

Any time I have used a bike from an outfitter, and have filled out all their requested information, including my measurements and the measurments of my bike at home, I run into some issues at bike fitting. I think the main thing they see is my age and if they have no "perfect" bike they will give the more perfect one to a younger woman and I get -- an inferior one. I am not laying blame because, how do they know who I am (even though they ask on the form how much riding I do).

My bike this morning was one of those -- smaller wheels, cramped size so that my knees hit the handlebar bag I had brought, very upright, and overall uncomfortable. I was worried, but Dan assured me he could make it better. Dan remembers me from his tour last year at Moab, so he knew his mistake in assigning this bike. Long story shorter -- he traded to a men's frame. Someone had to cancel out of the trip at the last minute and Dan had the bike with him. Ahhhhhh -- what a difference once I rode that one. Thank you Dan!

After our shakedown ride and everyone was happy with the fit of their bike, we had an introduction meeting and went off to a fine dinner. We will begin the actual tour tomorrow.


Our leaders prepare the bikes
Along the bike trail on the test ride


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cedar City -- a town of statues?

Saturday 9/28/2013


My walk this morning took me to Veterans Park and then to SUU (Southern Utah University) Campus.

Veterans Park memorializes the Cedar City residents who lost their lives in one of the five wars. Each war (WWI. WWII. Korea, Vietnam, Iran-Afghanistan) has its own memorial. I chose only two to include in my post -- the two that I found most profound as well as those that had the best photo result ;'-)

This city is very Shakespeare oriented - or at least SUU is. The Shakespeare festival runs June-October and I missed a performance of one of the plays yesterday while doing other things. I am not a huge fan of Shakespeare, so I consider this no big loss. These sculptures are in front of the Randall L. Jones Theatre; the building was not open, so I could not get inside to see the sculptures there.

I thought Lynne would especially like these.

John Falstaff
King Lear

SUU is an LDS school. It is not, by many of our standards, a very big campus, but the grounds are impeccably kept -- bright green grass (sprinklers going a lot), well trimmed edges of walkways, no trash on the grounds and not a weed that I could see.

I had gotten the SUU Sculpture Stroll map from the Visitor's Center yesterday and enjoyed stolling through the grounds which begin a mere 10 minute walk from my hotel.

Interesting looking library on campus


The Starmaker
Pioneer Nellie
All about Nellie
The Centurium celebrates 12 of the great thinkers of western civilization


The Founders Monument -- one of the largest bronze sculptures in the West

There were a couple of sculptures I would have liked to see, but they were inside locked buildings. As well, there were a couple of contemporary sculptures I skipped by rather quickly without interest.

Throughout town there are bronze sculpures that appear to commemorate someone -- a founder or pioneer of some sort.

When I returned to my hotel, our tour leaders were there, conferring together. I reintroduced myself to Dan and Kirk who were leaders of our tour in Moab last year, and met one of the two additonal leaders -- Steve who is Dan's son. We chatted a bit and they told me where we will meet this afternoon.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Cedar Breaks National Monument

Friday, 9/27/2013


First thing this morning I took a drive along the shorter scenic byway loop from town. It was a beautiful drive and a wonderful way to begin my day.

Cliffs line the drive
That spectacular yellow
Entering deeper into the canyon I noted the frost up there at the top. When I took the photo, little did I know that I would be driving through the frost at 10,500 feet elevation.
Note the frost up there


Frost covered trees


Frost covered grass

Soon I was near the summit and it was COLD!!! I stopped at the visitor center where one is supposed to purchase the entry ticket, but it was before the opening hour of 9:00. I would not have to pay anything anyway as I have the "Geezer Pass" (Senior National Park Pass). I drove on and stopped at several of the overlooks -- taking little time out there in the freeze.

Colorful rock formations of the natural Amphitheater
From the same overlook

I continued the drive and stopped for views from the other side of the amphitheater. This amphitheater is 2,000 feet deep and more that three miles in diameter. Various combinations of iron and manganese give the rocks their different colors. President Franklin D. Roosevelt established Cedar Breaks National Monument in 1933.

The amphitheater is the result of the same geolgic forces that created other Southwestern landscapes including the Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce.

It is hard to "cull" the photos becuase I loved them all! I may have put in too many here, but I can't help myself.

It was frosty and cold with some snow on the walkways, and I was glad to be driving out of it into the sunshine. Passing through the ski resort of Brian Head I slowed to avoid hitting some wild life ...

Open range


I returned to town and took a walk to the riverfront trail. We will do our short shake down bike ride on the trail tomorrow. Back to the hotel, a rest and another walk around town and the University Campus rounded out my day. Nothing exciting to report about the walks as town has not much exciting nor interesting. I will weed out a few town photos and decide whether to post some tomorrow. Might be too boring.