Winterizing the Bike: A Trip to Saltair

I once read that the best way to winterize your bike was to ride it all year long. I have one or two friends that agree with me and take pleasure in some seat time twelve months of the year. Although the rides are often shorter, and sometimes it feels a little like we’re shooting the gap in-between winter storms, when the weather is above freezing and the roads are dry, there’s not a better way to escape that claustrophobic feeling I tend to get if it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve had any time in the saddle.

This afternoon the temperature was pushing 50, so I decided to hit the road for an hour or so and took a short hop out to Saltair.

Although the architecture of the current building is interesting, it pales by comparison to past iterations. Saltair wasn’t the first resort on the Great Salt Lake, but it was the most successful. The first Saltair was completed in 1893. It was built on over 2000 wooden pylons driven into the beach. There was a time when I remember seeing the remnants of those pylons over 100 years later.

The train for Saltair left Salt Lake City every 45 minutes. Originally owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad, the Church sold the resort in 1906.

My grandfather talked about going there to be with the cute girls and so did my Dad. Both would go dancing on the weekends. My grandfather talked about a fire that destroyed the resort in 1925. My dad talked about the great bands that would play at the resort, including the Glen Miller Band. Unfortunately, the 1925 fire wasn’t the only fire contributing to the demise of the once popular resort—there was another fire in 1931.

In 1981 another Saltair development was started which is still standing today. Although it never became as popular as the resort was over 100 years ago, it has been a popular location for bands and dances. Built from an old aircraft hanger, the venue today is really not much more than a memory of what once was.

The current version of Saltair is a mile or so west of the original site, but there are remnants still visible from the highway. Some of the buildings that used to be part of the history of that time are now housed at the Lagoon Amusement Park.

Yesterday Kelly and I were talking about heading south toward the end of January for a long weekend racking up some miles in Arizona. Until then, short winter rides like this will just have to do. Today’s ride makes it another 12 months with at least one ride every month of the year. I’m sure there’ll be another before 2016 arrives, but the clock will start ticking again once January hits.