zion200k07_012a[1]

The day started out with showers and cool temperatures as well as a weather forecast that was not encouraging. That however, did not deter the 7 mostly experienced randonneurs and randonneuses from setting out that morning on their 200 km brevet to Zion Canyon. Optimism along with determination were clearly common traits among this group of riders. Starting under the grey skies of early morning things soon started to look up as the skies began to clear. It had rained heavily overnight and there was water and mud on the road from minor flooding but things were starting to dry up. At the Sand Hollow Control, riders began to shed some clothing as most were now overdressed. The rain had left the red landscape looking new and fresh and beams of sunshine illuminated the hills. Flat tires are a little more common in wet weather and several were had today. The rain had not totally quit and riders got a taste of a few more brief showers throughout the day. At the Springdale Control the “soup du jour” was very popular at the Sol Foods Market and Deli. In wet weather Zion can be a spectacular place and on this day many rare waterfalls made an appearance. The deep red color of the of the towering sandstone cliffs is unique to these occasions. A brief squall brought a few hard pellets of snow down to the canyon floor but temps were still in the upper 40’s. Soon the skies eventually broke to partly cloudy but this clearing brought with it a new challenge, breezy winds! Heading west out of the park the canyon winds can be unpredictable so riders gathered into small groups to share this challenge. With the shifting winds however, it was hard to stay in a draft. The General Store in Leeds was the last Control point and many folks made their last stop here. With days so short at this time of year the lengthening shadows added a little urgency to the pace. Finishing before dark is always a plus if you can do it but none of these riders would make it this day. In the end, 6 of the 7 riders who started the ride finished though one was outside the time limits.

Riders: Martin Abrams, Rick Blacker, Clair Jensen, Susan Plonsky, Jim Smith, Sam Smith Richard Stum.

Advertisements