ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
[personal profile] ilanarama
Some photos from several recent bicycle excursions!

As I mentioned briefly at the end of my Narrow Gauge 10M race report, we'd decided to go to Moab to do a second White Rim trip in early June, because it was with friends of ours from Boulder, where we used to live, and we thought it would be fun to get together with them. Well, it was stupid hot, and after riding to our first night's camp and spending the afternoon alternately submerged in the Green River and listlessly drinking beer in the meager shade of the tarps we'd rigged, we decided the next morning that the sensible thing to do would be to ride back out and just camp for a few days on the mesa above Moab where the ride started. At a bit under 6000', it would be much cooler than either the White Rim or Moab town, and we could do early-morning rides on the nearby mtb singletrack trails. This turned out to be a great plan, and we had a good time.

One issue with turning back on day 2 was that day 1 involved an unexpected obstacle, which we learned of at the ranger station when we got our permits: due to the Green River being swollen with run-off, the normally-dry Taylor Canyon was flooded to the depth of several feet near its mouth - exactly where the White Rim road crossed. We girded our loins, took off our shoes, and carried our bikes across, though it was scarier for the truck drivers who had a lot more to lose. And then the next day...we had to do it again, in the opposite direction!

Water obstacle on the White Rim

Britt and I often do a weekday mountain bike ride to the nearby Horse Gulch trails at lunch, packing a picnic and taking a break at the high point of our route. Wednesday was such a beautiful day that I got Britt to take a picture of me riding the last bit up to where were were stopping for lunch:

Approaching top of Mike's Trail

We are probably not going to do any more picnic rides for a while, because it's gotten really hot lately - time to switch to morning rides. Or on the weekends, do what we did yesterday, which is ride to a higher (and hopefully cooler) elevation. Durango's at an altitude of about 6600'; yesterday we loaded our bikes into our pickup truck and drove up Junction Creek Road to the Animas Overlook, about 12 miles away and at about 9000', then took out the bikes and pedaled up the road - by that point it is a very rough dirt road, though not quite bad enough to require 4WD - to where it ends at 10,600'.

It was still pretty hot until we'd gained some elevation, and of course riding a bike up a hill generates its own heat. I got so hot I couldn't stand the feel of my braids on the skin of my back, so I flipped them up to make loops and tucked the ends into the ventilation holes of my helmet. It looked dopey (a friend on Instagram called it "Pippi Longbiking") but it felt good! But we finally got high enough that not only was the air a bit cooler, but we found several big patches of snow in shaded spots and could really cool off.

New hairstyle We found snow in June!

We also found some nice views. To the northeast were the high peaks of the Weminuche Wilderness, still snowbound but melting fast:

Needles from Junction Creek road

To the south we could see three states at once: the gentle ridges of the mountains below are in Colorado, the distant mountains to the left of the photo are in New Mexico, and those to the right are in Arizona. If you click through to the original and zoom in, you can just make out Shiprock to the right of the peak of the second (Colorado) ridge.

Three states view

Amusingly enough (to me) our total mileage on the bikes was that of a marathon, 26.2 miles, and it took us about three and a half hours, or about as long as my fastest marathons! Except a lot more elevation gain and loss, of course. We are both feeling it today, reminding us just how much work we need to do to get ready for the seven-day ride from Telluride to Moab in September.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-20 01:11 am (UTC)
yhlee: sleepy kitty (Cloud)
From: [personal profile] yhlee
Thank you for sharing! I envy you the scenery. =)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-20 10:19 pm (UTC)
mrkinch: Sean taking a picture (camera)
From: [personal profile] mrkinch
I'd forgotten how much I love mountains until I spent a few days at altitude (mostly less than where you live, but still), and your pictures make me want to go back even more. Beautiful!


ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)

August 2017

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My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31

You can reach me by email at heyheyilana @


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