Saturday, June 8, 2013

riding in ruts, not stuck in them

Surprise, surprise - on Sunday we went MTBing in Round Valley.  I like this set-up we're developing, of hiking one day and riding the other, and although we keep going back to Round Valley I still find it challenging enough that it stays fun and interesting.

First, though, just to mix it up a little bit, we tried a new place for breakfast: the Olympian Restaurant in SLC (700 E 2181 S).  I drive by the Olympian twice a day, every day, on my commute to work and I figured it was time we gave it a try, plus it's close to an entrance to I-80 which would take us to Park City.  The Olympian is a pretty standard, family-run restaurant: clean, a little kitschy and with decent breakfast food.  Service was quick and friendly; our eggs, toast and hash browns were fine (although they didn't have sourdough toast which is pretty much de rigeur out here in the West).  Everything was fine and filled us up but we have other, tastier, more character-filled places we prefer.

After that it was off to Round Valley.  The skies were clear and it was windy and slightly warmer than last weekend, and there were a fraction of the folks out on the trails than we'd seen in recent trips.  I felt I was riding better - slightly faster and more confident - than I have been, even riding up the long hill that I call "My Nemesis" more easily.  H rode up Hammerhead Hill without putting his foot down this time; from down below where I was watching, it looked effortless for him although he was still breathing a little hard by the time I pushed my bike up to the top.  I ran out of gas a bit on that endless series of uphill switchbacks that H can ride and I can half ride/half hike-a-bike, probably because it was pretty hot; and the long uphill slog on the paved bike path back to the truck was excruciating for me with the head wind.  Still, I felt pretty good about the day.  H is very patient with me, letting me build confidence and strength on the bike.

We stopped by Park City Mountain Resort to sit in the shade with a couple of beers and people-watch.  The place was a ghost-town compared to Memorial Day weekend and there was hardly any line for folks wanting to take a scenic chairlift ride.  We were perfectly happy to sit in our non-lifted chairs and just enjoy the scenery from there.

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