Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Snow Canyon Ride

My ride today from St. George, through Snow Canyon and back down the highway:

This morning I really wanted to get a bike ride in. We weren't able to find anyone to watch the kids so Pete offered to just stay with them so I could go. I was kind of sad I wouldn't get to ride with him since it's almost our tradition now to do a long ride (or 2) in St. George during the winter. Oh, well, I was happy that I still got to go at all.

I got all ready then noticed that my back tire was really low, but that the stem was broken so I couldn't just pump it up. I had to change the whole tube. What a pain. I really tried to do it myself because I know I need to be able to do it in case of emergency, but it was taking me forever and I was getting really frustrated so Pete finally helped me do it. I suck at changing tires! What would I do without Pete? I wouldn't have been riding my bike up Snow Canyon today if it weren't for him, for so many reasons!

Anyway, I got my tire all fixed and headed out. Three minutes into my ride, I turned up the road to go over the Red Hill. What was I thinking? I Wasn't warmed up at all! It was one of the hardest hills I've done. Ever. And I wasn't warmed up for it. As soon as I started up it, I knew it would hurt, but I still did it. I was really tempted to get off and walk a few times, but I didn't. I pushed through and made it up and over that hill! It was awesome!

#1 (from the map). Um, this picture doesn't really do the hill justice. This is just a small part of it, I had to go all the way over The Red Hill.

#2a. Here is the entrance to Snow Canyon National Park. I just love being able to ride my bike through such beautiful scenery! It was a pretty nice day - overcast, but not too gloomy. It was probably in the low 40s so I would have liked it a little warmer, but I wasn't about to complain. I was so happy to be out on my bike again! It's been way too long!

#2b. Here I am at the entrance to the park, completely forgetting to zoom out before taking this picture...

#3a. This is one view at a little past half-way up the canyon.

#3b. And this is looking the other way from that same spot. It didn't really come out in the picture, but you could see the fence that runs along the bike trail I rode home on at the top of that hill.

I got to the top of the canyon in 1:17. I stopped at the beginning of the bike trail to eat my animal cookies before heading down. We forgot to bring Gatorade or hammer gel or anything, but the cookies and water worked fine for this little ride.

Coming home was really fun and fast! And cold. I was nice and warm for the first part of the ride, especially going up all those hills, but when I started cruising down the bike path at 20 - 30 mph, it got cold quick! It wasn't all down hill, it's got some little roller coaster hills to make it a little more fun, but it was a really cold roller coaster!

Before I knew it, I was back in town and trying to figure out where I'd get some hot chocolate. I wish I would have planned for wanting that after a cold ride! I got to our lovely hotel room, decided to forget the hot chocolate and start a hot bath. Only, I couldn't get the temperature gage to turn, so it ended up being a luke-warm bath. It felt really good on my stiff and numb toes, but the rest of me just kept on shivering! Pete came to pick me up (everyone was at his parents' house) and was like, "You're freezing!" I was just trying to push through it and get dressed, but he reminded me that we had a key to the hot tub! This was a brilliant idea! Sitting in the hot tub for a few minutes warmed me right up, and I felt much better!

It was a really fun ride, I'm glad I went, even if I got really cold at the end. I felt good with the fact that I wasn't tired or sore, though. I could have kept riding. I mostly just wanted it to end because I was freezing.

It was a total of 22.4 miles and I did it in just under 2 hours. About half an hour faster than last year! It wasn't the exact same route, but pretty close.

We had a fun time the rest of the day at Pete's Mom and Dad's house with a bunch of cousins and aunts and uncles. My sister in law (Aunt Kathy) taught Mindy how to knit, and she did really well!

She only got one line done, but it's hard for a 7-year-old to focus on something like that for too long.

Here are Ethan and Elle with their Grandma Jane. We always love to come visit her!

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