Back in the Saddle

It was a busy, busy weekend for this rider. After more than 3 weeks of almost constant rain, this weekend the sun came out to play, and temperatures were in the 80’s!. There was a lot going on, and I had been invited to by two different groups to ride through East Canyon (a favorite among riders here…. clearly). One group was going Saturday, and the other Sunday. I hadn’t yet met either group, so I to go planned to go on both rides.

Saturday

Saturday’s ride was with the group SL, UT Riders, and was going up Emigration Canyon, dropping into East, heading through Morgan to Trappers Loop and then up through Ogden Canyon. I was pretty excited to go, But I had a lot of things to get done, including shopping for a new helmet (mine was stolen– another post). I found a helmet I was interested in but there are only a few places in the valley that sell the brand.I chose to go to Layton, it was farther away but traffic is not as bad, and I’m more familiar with the area. I didn’t leave my house until about 1, and arrived around 1:30. I spent time looking around and trying on some different helmets. I did find one I like, but I had to order it. Anyway, by the time I left I knew I’d never make it back to meet the SL,UT riders in time. I considered just riding home, but couldn’t stand wasting such a wonderful day.

My bike at the bottom of the slide. Seems appropriate

Devil’s Slide

I headed east towards I-84 and Weber Canyon. One of my favorite things about riding on I-84 is Devil’s Slide. It’s a geological formation of two parallel limestone strata that have turned vertically and are now protruding out of the hillside. As far as I can tell there is only one other like it, in Montana. There are pull offs on either side of the highway, and so I pulled off to get a few photos. (See some more photos here). After spending a fair amt of time at the “slide” I headed on down the road. I wanted to ride East Canyon and I was getting hungry, so I exited in Henefer. After about 2 miles, I pulled off the road next to a farm and some very pretty drainage ponds, to snap a picture of the rocky pass I had just ridden through. I noticed the field next to me was full of Red-wing Blackbirds, and they were in full courting behavior. If you don’t know already I’m a huge bird nerd. So this was fascinating. I stayed and watched/photographed the birds for a while, until I could ignore my stomach no longer.

Grump's Pumps

Grump’s Pumps

I hopped on my bike and stopped at “Grump’s” my favorite (and possibly the only) gas station in Henefer. I grabbed a soda and some granola bars. I sat outside eating my “lunch” attempting to make dinner plans back in Salt Lake when “Diva Amy” rode up. Most riders turn and look when they hear the growl of a motorcycle, I am no exception. This time it did not disappoint. Amy’s bike has a custom leopard print paint job with a heart on the tank, a bejeweled air filter, and a custom leather seat with the words “Diva Amy” on it. Her plate was also personalized. Amy herself was quite interesting, a woman in her 60’s with short spiked hair, dyed red about the same as the accents on her bike.

Divas bike

Diva Amy’s bike

I watched her make some loops in the parking lot, and once she parked I approached her. I really wanted a closer look. She told me that this was her first bike, but has another that she prefers for longer rides, but still really likes this one. She was fueling up for a trip on Sunday through the Monte Cristo pass. She headed inside, and I took a quick photo, secured my bike, and headed out towards East Canyon.

I had only ridden about 4.5 miles when I saw a swarm of bugs ahead. “GREAT,” I thought, and ducked my head. I made it through with minimal squashing. I was relieved until all of a sudden my left arm began to burn. As I processed the pain in my arm, I filled with terror… THEY. WERE. BEES. I immediately began flapping my shirt up and down to try and free any that had gotten stuck inside, and I pulled off as soon as I could (a dirt pull off ~.5 miles after I was stung). I jumped off my bike and started removing my scarf and continued flapping my shirt. There were two men (and their bikes) there who had pulled off the rode for a smoke, and they looked at me curiously. “I just rode through a swarm of bees!” I said, only slightly concerned with how odd I must appear. One of the men saw one on my head, and we found two more on my bike. I could only see one actual sting but my arm was burning. My arm felt like it was on fire, and I didn’t want to get back on my bike, but one of the guys started creeping me out. He asked if I always rode alone, and stated how it would take a long time to get help if something happened, so even though my arm was still throbbing, I hopped on my bike and sped off.

At this point I was eager to get home, it was getting late and I needed to treat my arm. But I didn’t want to waste the trip, so I made a few more stops. The first was quick stop at the East Canyon Reservoir to take a few photos and to make sure my arm had stopped bleeding. I then headed up East Canyon. There is NOTHING like riding up a windy canyon road on a gorgeous, warm day. I am always taken a back by the beauty. It was so gorgeous I decided to try recording my ride with my phone, and was successful except the video is wobbly/shaky. I’ll post them soon. The second time I stopped was to take photos at the top of the canyon and headed down. I finished out my ride through Emigration Canyon.

All in all it was a wonderful day of solitude and riding. It reminded me of why I wanted to start riding in the first place. I was sad that I didn’t make it on the ride with the group, but there will be plenty of time for that.

Sunday

Sunday’s ride was with the Lita’s a group of awesome ladies in Salt Lake City. I found them on Instagram, and contacted them over a month ago, but with the weather and a other conflicts, I had yet to meet up with them. The ride scheduled to leave at 10:00AM. I woke up a bit late and was moving a bit slow, but I was hellbent on riding with these ladies. I was a few minutes late but luckily they were still there. I introduced myself, and after a few more minutes, we headed out.
Kelly's Roadhouse

Kelly’s Roadhouse

The ride with the Litas was through East Canyon to Morgan; our destination was Kelly’s Roadhouse. It’s neat little place out in Morgan. The first real biker bar I’ve been in Utah. The parking lot is only for bikes, and the interior is dark but covered in motorcycle related items. I think my favorite was the drawing of James Dean and Marylin Monroe on a bike. They also have nice outdoor area with plenty of seating and likely fire pits for the winter. They specialize in burgers, and while it’s not the fastest place in the world, they do them REALLY well. All in all it was a great ride with rad ladies, to an amazing place especially for bikers. We spent time talking about future rides, and get-togethers; I really can’t wait to get to know them better.

Overall it was a great weekend. I have decided I want to start dedicating Sundays to a different ride every week, possibly combined with a hike as well. There are just so many places to explore here and I’m not going to let this summer go to waste. I’m going to make calendar of ride/activities, and if anyone wants to join, feel free to message me and we can meet up!

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2 thoughts on “Back in the Saddle

  1. Pingback: The Litas | Blog of a Biker Babe

  2. Pingback: Saturday Ride 05.30.15 | Blog of a Biker Babe

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