I’ve wanted to do a 100-mile bike ride for years. Up until this point, my longest bike ride had been 50 miles, and that was about two years ago. But I’ve been going on a lot of 20-mile rides, so I figured I could knock the bugger off. The plan was to ride around the big lake west of Provo—Utah Lake. This would be about 88 or 89 miles, so I’d tack on another 11 or 12 by biking up to Provo Canyon and back. Seemed like a reasonable plan.
The first 20 or 25 miles were mostly on main streets through suburbia, rounding the north side of the lake. After that, the roads turned south, following the west side of the lake. I ended up staying on that road for about 30 miles. After a few of those miles, there was nothing. No houses or buildings or farms, just lightly winding road. The views across the lake to east were amazing; the mountains still have a ton of snow on them. On the side of the lake I was on, however, was mostly desert. Just dirt, hills, and scrub.
I stopped for a bite to eat (Snickers, trail mix, jerky) at about 40 miles. At 53 miles, I hit Elberta, It’s a depressing little town in the middle of nowhere with no services. I had some more food (another Snickers, Clif Bar, more jerky). Somewhere in those 13 miles, I started to get tired. My thighs were starting to feel the burn.
From Elberta I headed east, then NE. Just NE of Genola, I unexpectedly had to go up and over a low pass on the SE spur of Lake Mountain. Some other dude passed me on a bike and mentioned how windy it was. Punk.
My journey stated to take a turn for the worse at about 70 miles, directly east of West Mountain. See that red dot on the map? Yeah. That’s where I got a flat tire. I fixed it, went 100 feet further up the road and got a flat in the other tire. I only had one spare tube (which I had already used), so I was screwed. I made some phone calls and had someone come pick me up and take me (and the gimp bike) home. I figured I was about 18 miles from home when I got my flats.
But wait! There’s more! I figured that since I had already done 70 miles, I might as well do 30 more and make it an even 100! So after some Taco Bell, I borrowed my roommate’s bike and biked up Provo Canyon to Bridalveil Falls, then back down the Provo River Trail to within a mile of Utah Lake, then wandered through the streets a bit (I had to hit 100!). I ended up doing 101.2 miles. My thighs were pretty tight by this point and I was just sick of riding, but it was a great day overall. I’ll have to do it again sometime soon and do a complete loop.
I’ve also made it a goal to do a 200-mile (in a day!) ride this year. It will be horribly painful, but that’s ten miles an hour for 20 hours… Doable, right?
11:38—stopped to eat; 40 miles
12:50—Elberta; 53.4 miles
[waited for a while, ate food, etc.]
5:00—started off on the last 30 miles