Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cycling Great Salt Lake

Sunset The other day I got an email from a guy who had read about my ride around Great Salt Lake.  I had emailed one of his colleagues about a project at work and that colleague forwarded my email on to him.   In his email response to me he answered my work related questions then finished with this:

In a funny coincidence, I was talking to some co-workers today about bike touring and I told them about a Cycling Utah article I had read four years ago or so about some crazy dude who rode his bike around the Great Salt Lake. I had remembered a few things -- it sounded very rough and he ran out of water. I wasn't sure it sounded fun.

So I googled some stuff, found the article and guess what?


It seems that I’m getting a reputation for being ‘that crazy dude’ that rides his bike around Great Salt Lake.  While ‘crazy dude’ is not a status most people, myself included, aspire to, I have done little in the past to dissuade people from thinking otherwise about me.  Today’s post can only make the matter worse and will probably solidify my position as the world’s preeminent crazy dude that rides around Great Salt Lake.  

During the summer a friend of mine met a woman who was devoting her summer to exploring Great Salt Lake.  She and another woman had been swimming in, sailing on, hiking along, flying over etc. etc. around the Lake and were writing about their experiences on a blog called Summer of Salt.  My friend, doing his part to ruin my reputation, said something like “I know this crazy dude who rode his bike around the Lake.  You should talk to him.”  So a few days later I got an email from Heidi and we arranged to meet for lunch. Nicole, her partner in the project, came along too and we all swapped stories about our travels around the Lake and discussed why so few people appreciate and recreate on it.  I felt good talking with some fellow Great Salt Lake lovers and wished there were more people like us.  We decided that one way to make that happen would be for me to write a post for their blog about why I rode my bike around the Lake, and why I keep going back.   

You’ll find the introduction to my post below but you’ll have to visit Heidi and Nicole’s site to finish it.  When you’re done, do yourself a favor and spend some time reading some of their other posts. I recommend the one on the Bear River and the one on the Sun Tunnels.

Let me make one thing clear from the beginning: The cycling opportunities around Great Salt Lake are terrible. There I said it, but it’s a lie. Great Salt Lake is the last destination in Utah I would recommend for a cycling adventure. For that Utah has Moab, St. George, Vernal and Park City. Those places have buff single track, paved rural roads, ideal weather and communities that cater to cyclists’ needs. Great Salt Lake has none of that.  Instead it’s got horseflies that bite through spandex, a complete and total absence of shade, awful roads that rattle loose every bolt on your bicycle, and the real possibility that the most minor of mechanical failures, or even just one too many flat tires could put your very survival in question…click here to continue reading.