Getting the all clear from the local bike shop, we leave Friday after work. The drive down seems so quick in comparison to our recent trips to saint george. We did the usual breakfast of bagels, yogurt, and hot cocoa from the city market. We were running on schedule. We were ready for our early start to Bar M to Sovereign (out and back), to Gemini Bridges road. Then we were going to hit Gold Bar, Golden Spike, and Poison Spider. The weather was supposed to be great and we were excited to start the 70 miles. That is when everything went wrong.
a patch of snow by nine mile canyon
Apparently patchy snow means different things to different people. The patchy snow we experienced would be more accurately described as snowy and muddy with some patchy dirt. Sovereign has always been the highlight of our trips. It was ridiculous. So we took it out, but returned on the road. If you know Chris and his philosophy on road riding you can get an idea of how bad it was. The snow was ankle deep in several areas.
a very long, deep "patch" of snow
Patchy snow on my bike
Not willing to accept defeat early, we decide we will try Gemini Bridges road. In my mind, I am certain it will be a soupy mess. I am pleasantly surprised though. There was lots of snow in the more shaded areas, but it was packed and ridable for the most part. Once we hit the “summit” snow was not an issue at all. Gold Bar, Golden Spike, and Poison Spider had what I would call patchy snow. That ride is so difficult. It is up or down and technical. I was spent by the time we got to Poison Spider which was in good condition. The sandy sections were mostly ridable due to the moisture. Some of the descents were VERY icy and so I attempted to walk or more accurately slid down. Chris broke the “no crashing” rule in one slick section. After 7.5 hours and still probably close to 70 miles, we returned to the car—wasted.
Climbing Gemini Bridges Road
A mile or so later
A warm view
A mixed view from above