Racing the Rain: Park City-Provo Canyon Loop

It was a beautiful afternoon when I checked the weather forecast for the next couple of days. Rain was coming—maybe even snow. Saturday looked better than today or Friday, but the weekend was looking sketchy. I decided to take a quick ride up to Park City and see what it looked like.

Parley’s Canyon is usually a busy highway with big trucks, fast cars, and a lot of drivers who don’t seem to see motorcycles, so you need to stay on your toes. At the summit, I could see ominous dark clouds and rain falling to the north and west, which is where I was thinking of heading. I enjoy the ride from Hennifer to Porterville, but wasn’t really excited about getting wet if I didn’t need to, so opted to jump off at Silver Creek Junction and head into Park City.

It started to rain as I headed northwest out of Park City on Highway 224, but let up as I raced south on US-40 trying to get ahead of the approaching storm. I could see the rain a few miles behind me as I passed Jordanelle headed for Midway. I used to work in Orem and would sometimes take this route to work in the morning to get a little saddle time before starting work. Riding back the other way through Provo Canyon (where I was headed) was also a great way to let the stress of the workday dissipate before I got home.

Midway is a quite little town and a great diversion if you’d like to add a few miles on relatively quite roads. It still retains it’s very rural feel and I enjoy the slower-feeling pace of these small towns. I spend a lot of time in New York working, and these little Utah towns are an incredible contrast.

The view of Timp across the lake was beautiful as I left the dark clouds and headed for Provo Canyon. I can’t count how many times I’ve been up and down this road over the last several years, but it’s a beautiful little ride into Orem, or back the other way. There’s still some snow on the peaks, but it’s starting to look like spring down by the Provo River.

It was rush hour when I hit Orem and I-15 feels like bumper cars headed north into the Salt Lake Valley at that time of day, so I hugged the mountains on 146 to Highland before climbing on the road to Suncrest before dropping into the valley and home. This was another road I used to take when commuting back and forth between home and Orem. Although it’s been a few years, I think I recognized some of the same potholes I dodged back then. In other words, it’s not the best maintained road in the city.

There’s usually a few bicycles climbing to the top on either side. I have to admit, I admire their fitness, but am glad I don’t need to peddle my Road King.

Spring is one of my favorite times to ride, but I keep a close eye on the weather to take advantage of those beautiful spring days the skiers call “blue bird” days. Although I really like to tour or spend the day in the saddle, sometimes a hour or two close to home can really hit the spot—particularly when home is so close to some of the prettiest places to ride anywhere.