Saturday, October 2, 2010

SR-114, 146, and 265

I think I am crazy... That is the ONLY explanation for my behavior.  Tuesday, (September 28th) I rode three state highways.  I am training for a century ride in Las Vegas on Oct 9th called the Viva Bike Vegas.  Okay it's not really a century ride (100 miles), because it is really 115 miles so it is a century-plus-fifteen ride.  In order to get ready, one has to spend more time on a bicycle than should be allowed by local, state, federal, and universal law.  Case in point, Tuesday I spent 4:52:02 in the saddle and rode 84.5 miles.  A milestone for me as that is the farthest I have ever pedaled my bike and it is the longest amount of time I have spent on a bike seat...  ugh... Interestingly enough, it was not my butt that was sore, it was the back of my calves that were sore... huh...  Anyway, the three highways were SR-146, SR-114 and SR-265. 

SR-146 starts at US-89 in Pleasant Grove.  It rises slowly through some nice neighborhoods passing schools, churches, parks and even a golf course.  It then peaks just before the end where is drops abruptly to terminate at SR-92, 5.3 miles long. 

  I started my day at home where I headed east then south along 700 E (SR-71).  I eventually made my way to Minuteman Dr in Draper aka the I-15 frontage road by the Geneva Quarry.  I rode past the quarry at the point of the mountain with (surprise, surprise) fierce head winds, then made my way down the hill past the Utah state flight park into American Fork where I hit SR-92, made a left and headed up the hill to reach the mouth of American Fork Canyon to ride SR-146.  Now... next time you decide to go on a VERY long bike ride, do yourself a favor.  Check UDOT's website to see what major roadways are under construction so you can avoid a million orange barrels.  You will also avoid the wondrous experience of making a choice between riding on pristine asphalt in traffic or riding 2 foot wide slabs of asphalt covered in gravel behind the safety of a million orange barrels.  That's your tip... I've done my good deed for the day.  I made it through the gauntlet safely and ascended the short steep hill at the end of SR-146 (it wouldn't be a state road ride with Chris if he didn't ride it backwards) and gleefully pedaled to State St in Pleasant Grove.

Sorry, didn't see any "End" signs

After finishing SR-146, I headed right on US-89, then took an immediate left to start SR-114 (rode this backwards too!).

SR-114 starts at US-89 in Provo otherwise known as 500 W.  It follows Center Street west up and over the train tracks (thus the spike in the profile), then dips under I-15 until it reaches Geneva Rd.  The street then heads right (north) paralleling the freeway eventually passing SR-265 and SR-52.  It again crosses under I-15, then terminates at US-89 (State St) in Pleasant Grove.  This one passes by acres of farmland, some nice little neighborhoods some seedier parts of Orem and what used to be Geneva Steel.  From the freeway to state st in Pleasant Grove the road is not very bike friendly, but there is a sidewalk to escape to, 10.8 miles. 

I did my best to avoid becoming road pizza and as you can see, survived.  I liked Geneva Rd once I got past the scary part south of I-15.  I would have guessed that this would be a popular bike route, but I didn't really see that many bikers on this road.  Maybe because it was a Tuesday.  When I reached University Pkwy in Orem, I stopped at the Chevron to fill my water bottles with ice and bought some jerky.  'Nuther tip for you: if you want to get some strange looks, walk into a gas station wearing bike shorts and this bike jersey:
K Jo bought it for me a few weeks ago and I absolutely love it.  It has the same thing on the back side of the jersey, only it looks like you are looking at the back of the ribcage.  Moving on.  From the Chevron I continued to make my way south until I made it to Center St in Provo.  I turned left to head West and saw more "road work ahead" signs and thought, "Great... Time again for 'let's see how many close calls Chris can have'".  In all reality, this construction wasn't too bad and Center St, despite being an older bridge, has a nice wide sidewalk to ride on.  At the bottom of the hill I came upon 500 W (US-89) and was a little surprised to see the end sign.  I thought the route went a little farther, but I was wrong.  I took a quick break to snap some pics and moved on. 
Gotta love Provo with their little decorative planters. 
 I headed to 900 E in Provo, took a left, then rode north to University Pkwy.  From there I rode through the campus of BYU on an exquisite bike lane until I passed LaVell Edwards Stadium on the right to start SR-265. Again... backwards...

SR-265 aka University Pkwy starts at SR-114 in Orem it heads East up a big hill passing Utah Valley University.  At the top of the hill, it is relatively flat as it makes its way past numerous commercial property filled with all kinds of businesses and The University Mall.  From that point, there is a bike pat that curves south as it descends then south-east past more businesses where it ends at US-189, University Ave, 4.3 miles.

After admiring LaVell Edwards Stadium, I stopped at the light on University ave and felt sorry for the poor Cougars and Bronco.  Hang in there guys, you will never be as good as Utah, but you will probably win another game this year... hopefully...  I rode past the practice fields, got a nice pic of the 265 sign rode up the bike path to the top of the hill.  At State St in Orem, I got back on the road and went down the hill stopping again at the Chevron to refill my water bottles and give K Jo an update on my ride status.  By then, I had traversed 45 miles,  only 35 more to go!  

As I made my way north, back on SR-114, I crossed some railroad tracks and as I did, I heard the sickening clunk of my rim hitting steel, then the depressing "psssssssshhhhh" that followed as the air escaped my tire.  I pulled over for a change of tube and as I pressed my CO2 pump on the valve, half the gas went into the tire while the other half escaped out the sides of the pump.  GREAT... 35 miles to go, I got a pinch flat and now I have to ride on a tire that is half full, which will only increase the chance of another pinch flat.  I did my best not to be disheartened, and plowed on.  I made a wrong turn on Center St in Lindon (supposed to make a left at Center St in PG) and rode to a few dead ends before I realized my mistake.  I again found SR-114 and kept riding only to be coerced off the road by a rather large semi.  I had been riding for 50+ miles so I was okay with the sidewalk.  I got to Center St (the right one this time) and went west hoping to eventually meet up with Redwood Rd which would take me straight to 9000 s, which would take me home.  I made another refill stop at a gas station in PG and kept heading west until I crossed I-15.  I rode over the freeway at the brand new Pioneer Crossing in American Fork and was really pleased to find it VERY bike friendly.  As I crossed the bridge, I saw a sign for SR-145.  Another state route that I wasn't planning on.  The ride from the freeway to Redwood Rd was simply awesome despite the fact my tire was only half full.  At Redwood, I saw a SR-145 end sign and realized that my plan to ride three state routes had just turned into a ride with four state routes.  I had already turned off my GPS, and SR-145 is not on Google Maps yet, so I'm gonna have to make another ride to Utah County.  At Redwood, I turned right and rode up a big hill, into more headwind (surprised anyone?) until I saw an oasis in a Smith's gas station where I refilled my tire to 3/4 full (why oh why do gas station compressors only go to 80 psi?), and made one more H2O stop in Bluffdale.  Despite the vicious wind, I finally made it to 9000 s in South Jordan and then rode home. These three roads constitute 18, 19 and 20 on my quest.  620.3 total miles ridden, 242.9 miles of state roads.  Thanks again, folks, for reading. 

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