Part 13: Ross and I recap our tour. We decide it was a success: we had a great time, learned a lot and experienced beautiful landscapes -- through the climbs, the heat and the cold, the isolation, the food deserts (and literal desert) and more. Listen for the highs and lows, what we learned, and where we're headed next.
Not recorded: my challenging solo ride to St. George, Utah, which was supposed to be an easy downhill coast into town. Instead I endured 100F/38C temperature with no shade, lousy roads, a flat tire, and had to reschedule my bus from St George to Las Vegas (to which I had no desire to go other than finding a cheap place to sleep on a mattress, and it was on the way to Los Angeles). On the plus side, I found my first roadside farm stand a few miles outside of Springdale.
This spring I rode my bicycle across southern Utah to view the spectacular remote desert landscape and explore seven national parks: Colorado NM, Arches NP, Canyonlands NP, Capitol Reef NP, Grand Staircase-Escalante NM, Bryce Canyon NP and Zion NP. My friend Ross and I left April 30 from Breckenridge, Colorado, and took 3 weeks to ride nearly 1,000 miles / 600 km to Zion National Park in Springdale, Utah — taking in the sights and spending some quality time on the road and in camp, plus a few “rest days” in Moab, Utah.
The ride was mostly fantastic — amazing scenic landscapes and no traffic — but came with some challenges: very long and strenuous climbs over mountain passes, temperatures ranging from below freezing to 95F/35C, isolation from people and civilization, long distances between bike shops, the steep dirt/gravel Burr Trail, and long stretches without access to food (and no real supermarkets) or water (I carried over 2 gallons and still had to ask car tourists for water a few times).
I talk about the landscapes, people, challenges and more in the summary episode but be sure to check out the mini journals recorded from my tent or along the road. I will post a new episode every 1-2 days so you can follow along in front of your campfire.