It’s Time to Ride

Normally at this time I’m patting myself on the back for having spent a few days on the bike during January and February. Unfortunately, between actually having winter this year and my work travel schedule, I wasn’t able to ride at all in January and only rode a couple of times in February. Fortunately, March is here, the first day of spring has come and gone, and there have been some great days for putting some miles underneath your feet.

If you didn’t get out last weekend, you missed some incredible riding.

Kelly and I started our day at Harley-Davidson of Salt Lake at the Celebrate Utah kick-off. In addition to enjoying the BBQ set up for everyone who was there, we talked to a number of the vendors who had displays and I’ve just about convinced myself that I need a new set of Progressive shocks for my Road King.

Our goal was to head down the west side of Utah Lake, head southwest to Mt. Pleasant, up to Fairview and home. A great plan, until we got behind a convoy with one of those dump trucks you’d see at the copper mine on a flatbed after we got of Bangerter headed south to Lehi. Since we didn’t know how long the backup would be, we decided to do the ride in the other direction and jumped back on I-15 at the Point of the Mountain and pointed the bikes south toward Spanish Fork Canyon.

I love riding this time of year and the weather was just about perfect. With snow still on the peaks it was a little cool as we dropped down into Thistle from Highway 6, but there wasn’t much traffic headed into Fairview. Normally we’d stop for something to eat at the Home Plate, but the BBQ pork we had in Salt Lake had hit the spot. We did stop at the gas station and talked about riding and rides with about a dozen guys on bullet bikes. I think everyone agreed that a 400-500 mile day was a lot more comfortable on a Road King or Kelly’s Road Glide—although one or two of them admitted to having survived such a ride hunched over the handlebars.

Leaving Fairview, we headed for Lehi via Mt. Pleasant and Moroni. Normally on this stretch of road I’d expect to see half a dozen other bikes, but other than the bullet bikes, I hadn’t noticed any yet.

It’s a short little detour, but we’ve come to appreciate the little canyon road that cuts left out of Mona and winds through a little canyon into Goshen—bypassing Santaquin. It reminds me of the little stretch of Route 66 from Kingman into Oatman, AZ. I think it’s more the road surface and the narrow road than anything else, but I tend to think of 66 whenever we take this little shortcut.

Shooting up the west side of Utah Lake we did see a bike or two, but we were both surprised that on such a great day there were so few riders. Days like this in the early season are not to be passed up, because I think they can be about as good as it gets until the mountain passes thaw and the roads are trustworthy for two wheels.

With that I declare riding season officially started. If you were on the road last weekend, where did you ride? What are some of your favorite early season rides?