Wednesday, November 22, 2006

a mystical place that is 10 degrees warmer in the winter and 10 degrees cooler in the summer, antelope island seems like it would be a great place to ride your bike. chris and i had been there once before and the trail was okay, but we did not feel it was much warmer than the winter riding we had been doing. but we decided to give it another try...

chris' mom lives close to the park so we decided to combine the trip with a visit. we were surprised at the $9 day use fee, but we had come so far we weren't going to let our cheapness deter us. the may they give you is terrible. what would appear a straight route on the map is in fact a turn. my four year old neice could draw a better map. we finally get to the trail we want to ride--wite rock (i think). it is on the west side of the island and as far south as the roads allow. as we approach the parking lot, we notice a number of horse trailers. chris hates horses and equestrians. he tries so hard to be cordial, but he alway ends up having a bad experience.
we follow the dirt/sand road for a while as it climbs. then we decide to do the elephant off shoot which will bring us to a lookout.

this is a fun, rocky single track portion. the trail variably descends and climbs. the rock formation is different from what i am accustomed to riding on. everything seems very jagged. it would really hurt to crash. so i don't.

back on the main trails we decide to do the loop clockwise. this ends up being a wise decision. this allows us to do some moderately technical descending and climb the dirt/sand road out. chris tore a hole in his tire that stans could not seal. he had to throw in a tube. i am surprised at the quickness he ends up doing this. i think he should hold a tutorial for others we ride with.

on the way out we had to slow for several groups of equestrains. we always slow down as we approach and wait to see how we should pass. this is where confustion comes in because who ever is a top the horse does not feel like communicating. for example, one guy just looked at us until he was incredibly close and THEN exhasperately indicated that we would have to come to a complete stop. ummm...sir, i don't know how old or young your horse is and whether or not it understands a mountain bike. i would assume that being on a multi-use trail it would have some experience, but let me know if that is not the case. i will work with you.

then the next group, they just refuse to talk to us. chris asks if we need to go a ways off the trail. finally this women mumbles, it should be okay. can't there be some sort of signal? something to indicate that we need to 1) come to a complete stop; 2) slow down but don't worry about it; or 3) stop and hide because my beast thinks you are an alien and is going to freak out. i don't know sigle mountain biker who would not honor this. i really think communication is key.

1 comment:

UtRider said...

I live in Riverton and rode Yellow Fork a bunch this summer & fall. Herriman, for those not familiar with the location, is a city of horses. So, inevitably, a network of trails a few miles from town sees heavy equestrian traffic. My approach is to stop as far off the trail as I can when I see horses approaching me from up ahead. If I'm coming up on a group from behind I'll slow way down and say "Good Morning" or whatever is appropriate for the time of day. Thus far I haven't had any bad experiences and the riders I've passed have all been very friendly.

The key to playing nicely with horses is patience. Lots and lots of patience.

For me motorcycle riders have been a bit more difficult to communicate with...