Monday morning I wake up bright and early, well rested having drawn a medium straw - Long straws get a queen or king, short straws gets a cot, I got one of the twin beds. We had confirmed on Sunday evening that we would start with easy rides today.
Just like the New York Times crossword puzzle is easy on Mondays and gets progressively harder all week, we were planning on working our way up. Today was to be Kane Springs Road to Hurrah pass, Hang a right at the fork and onto Jackson Hole road, back out and on to Chicken's Corner, and then, depending on how we felt, maybe Lockhart Basin Road. As we suit up, someone says the words that were to become our catch phrase for the rest of the week; "We'll be back by noon".
We filled the hydration pack - 3l should be plenty I figured, loaded up the GPSs, suited up, filled up the bikes, and headed into town. A left at the McDonalds leads to Kane's Spring Rd and from there it's a straight shoot - as in follows the road - to Hurrah pass.
The vistas are amazing and we stop frequently to take pics, hydrate, and generally smell the metaphorical roses.
Here's Ted on the tractor
Steven following close behind
Mark and Ted at a rest stop just before Hurrah Pass
Steven offers up a salute at the top of Hurrah pass with the evaporation ponds in the background
We take a left onto Jackson Hole road. I quickly encounter that fine sand that will be the bane of my riding until I get more comfortable with it... sometime on Friday.
After one of our rest stops Ted realizes that his front tire is flat. No problem. 20 min later, it's fixed and the group is off again. |I rode ahead during the repair to inform Eric of the delay. When I reach him, the 950 had gone for a nap and was refusing to start.
The sand was fine and deep at this point
We push it to the side and Eric starts what would turn out to be a 4 hour road side repair. In the process, I offer to give the 950 a boost using cables Steven has brought along. A noble sentiment, but after 3 min my battery is dead. Fortunately Ted rescues both my and Eric's rides using the KLR that would thereafter be affectionately refer to as "the tractor".
After the bike gets going, I head out while the rest of the group is donning boots, and riding gear. I ride ahead as I don't want to be last and I don't want to slow down the group. At the point where the loop around Jackson Butte rejoins the main trail, I stop and rest in the shade. A few minutes later the group catches up and only pauses before continuing on. Ted waits for me to don my helmet and watches as I hit the start button and nothing happens. Dead. Shit. Trying to kick start a overheating 530 is an exercise in futility. Ted suggests we push the bike up the rock hill and bump start it. It works after the third try - after I ask Ted to do the honors. Pushing that bike up the hill in 40+ heat was hard work. I'm tired and at a simple hill climb (at about 9:20 in the video above I pass the location on the way in) I drive the bike off the road. Ted again helps me get out of trouble, bump starts the bike, and rides it up the hill for me.
The rest of the ride out is uneventful, but by now it's pushing 6:00, we're running low on water, so we all head back to the condo.
Day one is over. I fell oncel, and we had a bit of an adventure. Fortunately, tomorrow, they tell me is an easy day. White Rim Road, they tell me, is rated easy.