Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day One: Price to Bryce Bicycle Ride


The 235 mile trip between Price, Utah and Bryce Canyon National Park traverses two National Forests, one National Monument, mountain passes, deserts and canyons.  The drive can be completed by car in four to five hours.  To transform this excursion from a 65 mph express ride into an unhurried expedition my husband Tim crafted a plan:  how about a five-day bicycle trek—carving the distance into manageable chunks, eating in fine dining establishments, and lodging in comfort every night?  Sounds like fun.
And so, in January of 2012 Tim started training for the first annual(?) Price to Bryce bicycle ride.  By August he was ready to go.  Tim’s friend Mark flew from New York to accompany him on the ride and I drove the support vehicle, stocked with water and energy drinks, rain jackets and spare tires.

The map below shows the total route and elevation changes for the journey.

Elevation change per mile graph—X-axis:  starts at 0 miles, each hatch mark equals 100 miles.
Y-axis: starts at 5000 ft. elevation, each hatch mark equals 1000 ft.


          Day 1:  Sunday, August 26.  From Price, south on Highway 10 to Interstate 70.  This 70 mile stretch rolls through Utah’s Castle Country, known for high desert sagebrush meadows and red-rock mesas and buttes.


Map (top) and elevation change per mile graph (bottom) for day 1.
Elevation change per mile graph— X-axis: starts at 0 miles, each hatch mark equals 10 miles.
Y-axis: starts at 5000 ft., each hatch mark equals 1000  ft. 


           Tim and Mark completed the ride in 6 hours.  Scenes from Day One can be found below.   


Tim (front) and Mark begin their ride south on Highway 10
in Central Utah.


Mark and Tim pose in Emery County, Utah.
Our new puppy, "Annie" (resting behind Mark) rode in the support vehicle with me.


With apologies to Montana, Utah's Castle Country
boasts Big Sky views too.


Tim rides under the I-70 overpass—
Day One's destination—none the worse for wear.

            Interstate 70 intersects Highway 10 in a remote and desolate region of Utah—no restaurants or lodging to be found—so I picked up Tim, Mark and the bikes and returned them to Price for a dinner of Greek meatballs and sauce, Greek salad, homemade wheat bread and baklava, cooked and generously provided by our neighbors Deano and Shelley.  Thanks guys!

                                                            ****

This is the first in a five part series, detailing the highlights of the Price to Bryce trek each day.  Stay tuned for part two...

To view the next four days of this adventure, click on the links below:
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5

3 comments:

  1. Wow! I can tell this is going to be quite a series! I'm hooked already!
    Price to Bryce has such a nice ring to it!

    Also, I really like the part about eating in fine dining establishments, and lodging in comfort every night!

    John

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  2. Me too - a tough day on a trail or bike should always end with gourmet meals, real showers and a comfy bed!

    I did a double-take at your last paragraph: Did you really drive Tim and Mark back over the route they'd spent all day cycling?! That's gotta be the hardest part of the trip. :-)

    I'm looking forward to the next segments and seeing some monuments and Bryce along the way.

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  3. Thanks for your comments, John and Vickie.
    Typically on our adventure trips Tim and I are "roughing it", but this time we took the luxury route. It was the right choice!

    Yes, I really drove the guys back home from the first day's destination, and then drove them back there the following morning to start day Two. Driving the support vehicle proved to be more work than I had originally thought—I did quite a bit of doubling back and turning around over those five days. But it was all worth it!

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