“There Is Nothing, Absolutely Nothing, Quite So Worthwhile As Simply Messing About On Bicycles” – Tom Kunich
The outside bitterness fogged over the windows, and I awoke to the sight of my breath as I stretched and sighed, signifying another day’s start. A chill seeped into my shivering body, and in my bleary-eyed morning haze, terror came over me. Oh no, was I sick?
A long-sleeve jersey made the trip just in case, even though I knew I wouldn’t need it. Always prepared is a fine motto, but who needs to dress for NY fall in the high desert in Summer?
My Dark Sky app read 28F, easing my flu fears, but I wasn’t calm. I don’t like to be cold. I’m an indoor specialist, after all.
After procrastinating for as long as possible, I got on the road. The long-sleeve jersey came in handy for a few reasons. I was comfortably cozy, and my skin needed a break.
The unforgiving desert sun has done a number on my exposed areas. Despite looking like a glazed donut iced with max SPF, my arms are pealing and scared, and my lips crack and bleed every time I smile. A day hidden behind the barrier of Rapha Smartwool would do them well.
The breathtaking scenery along the undulating rural road fueled my furnace. It was a beautiful day to be riding a bike in the amazing backdrop of Utah’s rocky crag formations and endless vistas.
We were in true cowboy country and apparently you can get one of your own for the right price.
I saw my first jackrabbit, some quail, and the horses are majestic and unimpressed company. There is nothing like sharing the road with little else but your own thoughts and wonder. Like all good things, reality eventually set in and off in the distance today’s climb was off in the distance.
A seven-mile climb with long stretches of 7-8% is a solid test of a climber’s legs. With 40 miles and 2,000 ft of vert already in them on the day, the twelfth day in a row, it is one of those, “Can I do this climbs?” The questions came to mind a few times. I did it. Again, I don’t know what acclimation to 4,250 ft. is doing if I am climbing to 8,200 ft. I’ll take what I can get.
The downhill jaunt into the town of Loa was a welcome conclusion to another rewarding day in the saddle. Today took a bit out of me.
RV park living has rarely ceased to amaze. Fremont River is near the top of the list on the scale of amenities. The spacious and forceful shower was a luxury, and the timer that counted down from seven minutes with a 10, 9, 8, and so on made rinsing like a game seven, and you pulled the goalie. I relished in the competition!
About the DIRT Dad Fundo Pledge for Day Twelve—Walt Flood
Here is what Walt had to say—”DIRT has influenced me to be a significantly more fit person and the strong example set by the other DIRT dads has encouraged me and reminded me to be as present as I can in my kids lives.”
Amount Raised to Date—$2,811
Thank you, Walt!
Now off to Hanksville, UT and Capitol Reef National Park!
To support Chris in his effort to raise awareness of The DIRT Dad Fund, the non-profit he created to assist members of the worldwide cycling community, check out this link to learn more.
Find out where you can pledge a donation and subscribe to The ZOMs newsletter to follow along on the journey.
Semi-retired as owner and director of his private Orthopedic Physical Therapy practice after over 20 years, Chris is blessed with the freedom to pursue his passion for virtual cycling and writing. On a continual quest to give back to his bike for all the rewarding experiences and relationships it has provided him, he created a non-profit. Chris is committed to helping others with his bike through its work and the pages of his site.
In the summer of 2022, he rode 3,900 miles from San Francisco to New York to support the charity he founded, TheDIRTDadFund. His “Gain Cave” resides on the North Fork of Long Island, where he lives with his beautiful wife and is proud of his two independent children.
You will read him promoting his passion on the pages of Cycling Weekly, Cycling News, road.cc, Zwift Insider, Endurance.biz, and Bicycling. Chris is co-host of The Virtual Velo Podcast, too!