Today was supposed to be a rest day, but my workouts got all screwed up today, so I did my Friday workout on Saturday and did my Saturday workout today. BJ gave me my workout of riding my bike up Emigration Canyon today.
I was SUPER nervous for this ride. I knew where it was, but I just didn't know what to expect. I've drove the canyon before and have been very intimidated by it.
I was expecting the ride to be alot like riding up City Creek Canyon. It wasn't. It was TOTALLY different.
First off, I got to use my CO2 cartridge today. I forgot to check my tires at home before I drove up to the base of the canyon (I parked at the zoo). So, I got my bike down off my car got it all set up and felt my tire and it was low. It wasn't too terribly low, but it would've made the ride harder. So...thankfully I have my little pack now (learned about not having this the hard way) that I keep a spare tube, a little pump, a CO2 cartridge and tire irons. I pulled out my pump and filled up my tire and off I went.
I started out having a head wind that made the ride seem a little difficult, but the farther I got up the canyon, the wind went away.
As I'm starting my climb up the canyon I figure out that someone has taken a can of spray paint and has painted little inspirational messages on the ground. The first one I came upon said "It was a great choice to ride today." I saw one that said "Keep pushing! GO!!!" There was another one where they'd list a bunch of names like "So&So is stoked". A few yards later you'd see another "So&So is stoked" and it would go on until it said "So&So is stoked for you!". I loved it! It made the ride more fun.
I didn't know how much farther I had to go. I didn't know how many miles up the canyon it was to the top. The only thing I knew was my boss told me that it should only take me as long to climb Emigration Canyon as it does for me to climb City Creek Canyon.
All of a sudden I was at the top of the canyon. I was SO surprised. It's 8 miles up the canyon. I didn't have to shift down in to my easiest gear until about 5 miles in to the ride. I was pretty surprised. (Pardon my stupid helmet. I want/need a new one.)
Then it was time to head back down the canyon. It took me a little less than 1 hour to climb the canyon and it took me 25 minutes to get down the canyon. I was able to pedal a little down the canyon, but most of it was just coasting.
I know this might sound silly, but I was kind of proud of myself. I caught myself going 31 mph down the canyon and I didn't slow down. Usually once I hit about 25 mph the speed scares me and I start to slow down, but it was fun going 31 mph.
After I got home and got everything taken care of & off to work I decided to research and see why this ride was easier than City Creek. Well, as far as mileage goes, Emigration is a longer ride, but it's not nearly as steep as City Creek. Emigration you do gain more altitude, but it's not so steep. I believe City Creek is at it's steepest point is a 9.4% grade and Emigration is no more than a 6% grade. I was kind of disappointed that the ride wasn't as hard as I expected. But my brother pointed out a couple of different factors. He was saying that with Emigration, you have less oxygen 'cause you're higher up and a longer ride at a consistant incline, so those all add up. That made me feel a little better.
If I would've had more time, once I got to the bottom of the canyon I would've turned around and climbed the canyon again, but I had to get to work. :(
Next time I ride the canyon, I'm gonna park down a couple of blocks at a library or I'm going to park at the near by VA hospital and get a longer ride in with a couple of more hills.
I. CAN'T. WAIT!!!