Day 32: Manti to Orem UT: 100 miles with 1800 feet of climbing

A very nice days riding. It started with an offer from another member of the touring list who lives in Orem to meet with me and ride with me into the Provo area. It ended with supper with his family in Orem and the promise of a, too early but still vital, ride to the other side of Salt Lake City tomorrow morning. It was a very nice day, a good ride, and excellent company.

I didn't leave Manti till after 9AM, in part because the restaurant at my motel didn't open till 8AM and the service, when it did open, was very slow. I needed a good breakfast for my ride to Nephi, 42 miles away since I couldn't count on services being available in small towns along the way on Sunday morning. As it turned out, I was able to stop in Maroni for a snack and riding conditions were so good, I really only need that one refueling stop.

Mt Nebo from a little north of Manti

This ride took me around the mountains west of Manti and through the gap between those mountains and Mt Nebo. Nephi is at the south end of Mt Nebo and I rode US 89 through Ephraim, another pretty town, to Pigeon Hollow Junction, where I took UT 132 through Maroni and Fountain Green to a gap in the mountains and down the other side into Nephi. On the way I saw a LOT of turkeys. This area is big for turkey farms.

Those silver lines are each a big building full of turkeys

The gap

That gap still required climbing about 700 feet vertical in seven miles - more of this 2% grade stuff - and then had a great ten mile downhill to Nephi. I took me three hours, riding time, to cover the 42 miles from Manti to Nephi.

At Nephi, I had lunch and headed north on UT 91 - the old main highway, to Santaquin. Although a bit bumpy in sections, this was more fast, and pretty easy, riding with a tail wind from the south. It was hotter down at 5000 feet, and there was a bit of climbing near Santaquin that had sweat running into my eyes, but I still kept my average speed high and enjoyed the ride. There is a great view of the west side of Mt Nebo from near Mona which is a small town in the middle of this section.

At Santaquin, I met my riding companions for the rest of the ride into Orem. They were riding Bike-E recumbents and led me, by good roads, through Provo and into Orem. That route was a bit complicated, so I'll not give it here, but it is possible to ride into this area doing little climbing and avoiding urban riding conditions. The fact that we did this ride on Sunday certainly helped. We stopped once for a snack at a very nice park in a small town and once to fix a flat tire in Provo. The riding was good, the scenery magnificent, and the company pleasant. A nice ride.

Here are my companions riding by a wall of poplar trees north of Santaquin.

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