I have to admit that I'm torn between the allure of the soggy Pacific Northwest and my home in the High Desert. Having lived in this dry climate for so long I often look north towards a change of scenery and atmosphere.
I don't think I need to rehash all that's playing out in this country and around world. But I will say that it has allowed me to calm the down for a minute and refocus on my surroundings with a renewed interest. Let me clarify: There are no gravel roads in or near my home at the base of the Wasatch Mountains in Salt Lake City. What I do have is miles upon miles of singletrack, elevation and trails that would make any ho-hum mountain biker discernibly turgid right out my back door. So to get to the gravel goods it definitely takes some talent and a lot of time on Google Earth and all is not guaranteed. Certainly 99% of the rides I scout turn out memorable and quite a few have seen a return on multiple occasions - but all that driving isn't without a turd or two.
If I'm going to put a positive spin on the restrictions the pandemic has had it is two things... Well, more like one and a half. 1. There are a lot less people out on the highways and backroads at the moment. 1.5. Social distancing has taken a bit of the route finding pressure off. What I mean by this is that large group rides just aren't happening. At least not in my circle of semi-responsible cyclists. The pressure of driving up to a new and potential route and hour + away cold turkey and have it be stellar enough that others would want to join you again just isn't there.
So in the meantime my bag of gravel tricks continues to get heavier without anyone - save for lone soul who dares to adventure into the unknown with me - knowing any better.
A week ago we found out that the geoweb surrounding the state had been lifted - as had some traveling restrictions. After a brutally rough Easter weekend ride we decided to aim further west towards Sin City's bastard nephew - Wendover, NV. Like most rides we had a solid Point A with two, potentially three routes heading North and West with myriad of side roads to add flavor if we found things to be a little too bland.
Here's what we found.
The weather forecast said mid-60's but both myself and Pablo quickly put on base layers, arm warmers and wind pro. I need to stop here because I was wearing wind pro - Pablo packed what looked like a fucking lab coat which was apparently some old Rapha jacket he had picked up years ago. It was as creepy as it was fitting during a pandemic.
Regardless of Dr. Pablo's garb we headed northwest on some of the fastest and virtually flat gravel roads we've ever ridden. And this would mostly be the theme of the day with the GPS reading a dead flat 0 degrees for most of the ride.
I'm still unable to find Big Penis Road on any BLM maps.
Practicing social distancing by being distant socially. Moonscape bike packing.
It finally warmed up enough to shed the creepy Rapha lab coat.
Featured bikes: Peacemaker Gravel+ with Race Fork // Full Custom Paint and Pippin' Green Small Batch flavors // 700C HiFi Carbon EP wheels.