Thursday March 15, 2012

I had a request yesterday from a local rider to do one of my populaires, the Zion 101. It looked like it was going to be a spectacular day so I thought I should join him. We decided to go a little retro and take out a couple of our vintage bikes out for the excursion.

Bob has a 1985 Bianchi, updated with a few modern items but still with 6 speed with downtube shifters, toe clips and it is a L’Eroica ready rider. His leather riding shoes are the height of retro-fashion!

My ride for the day was a 1988 Battaglin Giro, Campagnolo Record equipped with 8 speed indexed downtube shifters and aero brake cable routing. It has a very clean and elegant look to it.

We set off at a casual pace not long after sunrise so it was still a little chilly. We also had the typical morning down-canyons winds that are common in this area. The outbound route is a steady low angle climb with a couple of short hills and generally follows the route of the Virgin River up to Zion. We shared the work into the headwind and chatted our way up the road to Springdale and our turnaround control at Zion Cycles. Fred Pagles (the owner) runs this great little shop in Springdale just outside the park. It is remarkably well stocked for a small shop and Fred knows everything about local cycling. If you are ever in the area you should stop in to Zion Cycles and say Hi to Fred!

Trying not to make a short story long, we turned and headed back. The headwinds became tailwinds and we cruised the return leg in good form. It is amazing how awesome you are when headed downhill with a tailwind! The temperature topped out in the low 70’s and we arrived at the finish in just under 4 and a half hours. During this conversation fueled ride we considered many topics important to cyclists and some, not so much. If you ever feel the need to answer the burning questions of the day I suggest that you jump on your bike. The answers just may come to you!

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