* WARNING:   FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN UTAH INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS…UTAHS DIXIE…ZION AND BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARKS…CAPITOL REEF…AND THE SOUTHERN MOUNTAINS.

Threatening rain and storm warnings did little to deter the riders who showed up to ride the Bryce Canyon 200 km brevet.  The monsoon season had started here in southern Utah and there had been local but severe storms all week.  The Sevier River was running high and red as a result.  There was a fresh smell in the air however, one that is unique to the high desert after a rain and even though the sky was overcast the colors of the earth and vegetation were more vibrant than ever.

Monsoon:  The seasonal weather condition which brings warm moist air from Mexico into the interior of the southwestern states, often bringing with it heavy rains and severe flooding conditions.

I gave riders the appropriate warnings to be prepared for the weather and released them to their fate.  Soon, some of the effects from the recent weather became apparent.  The Red Canyon bike path had been washed over by flooding from heavy rains for about a half a mile, probably within the last day or so and there was still quite a bit of debris on the path. It was still ride-able however and most of it was still in great shape.  Climbing up through the hoodoo’s in Red Canyon in the early morning is always a treat.  Last year the path was extended about 4 more miles and now is about 9.5 miles in length, ending just 3 miles from Bryce Junction.  This bike path alone is worth the trip!

You should have been here yesterday!

Temps stayed mild almost all day with only one report of a warm climb coming out of Tropic. Variable winds seemed to be the rule of the day due to the shifting storm cells.  Almost miraculously the riders stayed dry most of the day, that was until somewhere around Circleville.  The faster riders go hosed and the slower riders less so.  When the downpour started our two lead riders had a choice to make.  One decided to soldier on through the rain and hail, while the other pulled in under the only cover for miles around, sharing the shelter with a dozen other riders on Harleys.  You’ve gotta love it, leather and lycra, biker buddies.  If we only had a picture!   The weather was certainly fickle on a day like this but everyone overcame any difficulties they may have faced.  One rider even managed to stay dry altogether although he was penalized with a flat tire.  Finish times ranged from 7 hrs 42 min to 10 hrs 26.  Congratulations randonneurs!

Results are here.

Advertisements