Day 15: Price to Green River

It was a great day, it was a tough day….   Reasonable distance and climbing, a really good group esprit de corps as we worked in a large pace line.   We’re very close to the Utah Arches National Park; there are some extraordinary rock features along the highway.   However, headwinds continue to plague us.   Today they were so strong it made riding next to the road a bit precarious — every time a large truck passed on the 2-lane highway at 80 MPH, it somehow shifted the wind, and we all did our best to balance and then re-balance after the passing.

We had a conversation last night about the what the ingredients are for a perfect ride.  Debate became heated when we tried to order the variables:

      1. No accidents / safe
      2. No headwind (tailwind!)
      3. Reasonable climbing
      4. No precipitation
      5. Smooth road
      6. Limited traffic
      7. Reasonable temperature
      8. Reasonable distance
      9. Good social atmosphere / friendly people
      10. Good scenery
      11. No bike problems
      12. Quality of coffee stop at the end

A few observations.   When I started I was just focused on distance and safety.  Turns out that we all put a lot of things before distance as we reflected on how good a ride was that day.   We’re all so obsessed with the Weather Channel we often check every couple of hours to see if the forecast has changed.   And we are focused on wind and rain, not temperature.  The amount of climbing is definitely more important than distance.

Second so far we’ve had a lot of great rides, but no ride has been perfect.   The question is whether you focus on what was bad in the day or what was good.   I guess life is like that — you can either obsess with the 2-3 things not going your way, or you focus on the 8-10 (hopefully) that are.   Of course, we all have really bad days, but hopefully we can stay focused on the good.

Happy Father’s Day everyone.   My daughter remembered this year, which I believe is a near first :).

UWCSEA update.   I recalled a speech I saw by a Cambodian scholar named Kim Cheam that Anna Lord, the Chair of the UWCSEA Board, forwarded to me last year.   She forwarded it to me again.   Kim Chean is an example of a scholar that was brought to the school as an 8th grader, barely literate in English.   The impact of UWCSEA on her, and her choice to take a “gap year” to begin her commitment to social service in Cambodia, is very moving.

Ride Summary.  66 miles, 1271 feet of climbing.   I suspect we were in the 15-20 MPH for winds much of the time.   One of the challenges of going in a straight line is you can be into the wind the whole day.   I rode with a very moderately paced group; my days as the hare are over (at least for the time being).   We passed 1000 miles today!

Song of the Day.   One Bad Apple by the Osmonds (kudos to Mark Koulogeorge for that one).   Fits with today’s theme.

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