Just above the campground, 14 miles of riding, and 1700 feet vertical of climbing, to reach the summit
I didn't get up early this morning - it was too cold! I came out my tent about 8 AM when the temperatures were in the 40s. I cleaned up, had some breakfast - including a two day old bagel which I would have considered inedible under normal conditions ;-} - watched a variety of animals, and packed up my stuff. After another, briefer, visit with the camp-host and his wife, I headed on up the canyon. It was about 50 F, there was no wind, and the day was beautiful. The camp-host had told me roughly what to expect on the remaining climb. It was good that I had stopped where I did since the next four miles were almost flat and my body had a chance to warm up before the serious climbing began.
Near the base of the dam that forms
Electric Lake, the river is calm
This is the start of serious climbing
The road followed the river, which had a gentle flow and looked to be very good fishing in this section. Then it rapidly - 400+ feet in a mile - climbed up well above the river to Electric Lake.
After a short, flatter, section on the Lake, The road climbs again to around 9000 feet. Now aspen become the dominant tree in the forests and the ride is very beautiful.
Climbing in an aspen forest above Electric Lake
There is another reservoir, and more hard climbing, as the road goes above tree level and then climbs a bit more gently to over 9600 feet. The total climbing on UT was about 4000 feet in about 37 miles.
12 miles up the road at 9300 feet
The summit, at 9655 feet, is followed by a moderate down hill to 8000 feet or so and then, after the road splits and one branch heads down to Fairview, there is a long (six mile), fast (8% grade) descent down the walls of a steep canyon.
Looking down the canyon in the middle of six miles of 8% grade descent
I got to Fairview just before noon and found a good place to eat ASAP. I had a big breakfast for lunch ;-}, and then rode about five miles south on US 89 to Mt Pleasant, then twelve miles west to Moroni, and, finally, twenty two miles north and west on 132 to Nephi. The riding was easy, and mostly downhill from Fairview to Moroni. From Maroni to Nephi wasn't as easy because the wind was now strong from the west and there was another, much lower, summit to ride over. The wind was a bigger issue than the climbing.
Headings south from Fairview to Mt Pleasant
Head north-west from Maroni
The pass the road goes through is between the two mountains on the left side of this image
The second, much lower, summit
When I got past the second summit and headed downhill, I could, with hard work, sustain 10 mph into the wind. On the last part of the climb to the summit I was only able to go half that fast. The ride down to Nephi, which was a fast ride the first time I did it, was much slower today. I remember how much warmer it was in Nephi than in Maroni the last time I did this route. Today, it was just hot in both places.
Heading down toward Nephi
Riding in Utah has been hard, but, until today, folks have been very polite. Today, in Maroni, my bicycle was pulled or kicked over while I was inside a service station. I didn't see it happen, but I pretty sure I know the punk that did it. It was not a big deal - a liter of water spilled into the top of my rear pannier and I had to straighten the handlebars. I had a worse bicycle 'fall-over' in similar circumstances in Colorado, but that one was probably due to the wind. This one was vandalism. A while later, descending toward Nephi, I had liquid thrown at me from a truck. The wind blew it well behind me ;-}. Utah seems to be a bit like Tennessee with a lot of very nice folks and a few real jerks. The camp-host last night told me that 99% of his guests were really nice folks but one out of a hundred "had no respect for themselves or for other people."
When I got to Nephi, I used my GPS' POI database to find a nice, inexpensive, motel. After cleaning up and washing a lot of clothes, I went to a Mexican restaurant across the street and had a good supper. Now, at 10 PM, it is time for sleep...