“Cycling has encountered more enemies than any other form of exercise.” Louis Baudry de Saunier
Day 15 from Green River to Moab was a get from point B to point A ride. Moab was an A destination for me, an active outdoor enthusiasts paradise and the opportunity to experience several national parks in one fell swoop. Excited to put my time on Utah’s Interstates in my rear view, I began climbing out of Green River.
Once I got over the foreign concept of riding on the big highways, it wasn’t so bad. The shoulder is wide, and the roads are well maintained. The constant flow of big rigs offered a bit of motor pacing draft that I welcomed as, again, I was plodding through a headwind and a 20-mile uphill false flat.
The congested traffic strews the shoulder with debris, and when I wasn’t diligently dodging the retreads, bungee cords, and truck parts, there were some beautiful sights to see. Even pronghorn antelope are allowed on the interstate in Utah. I was looking forward to the one turn on the route that put me on the southerly path into Moab.
The ride took a dramatic turn, and the pit in my stomach immediately signaled that I wasn’t on the interstate anymore. I wished I was.
The narrow road condensed the barrage of big rig traffic from two lanes to one. All that separated me from fate was six inches of coarse tarmac. It was the cyclists’ version of tight-rope walking, and the stakes were Sophie’s choice of desert scrub, cacti, and road rash to my right, and I didn’t even want to think about my left.
My nerves were frazzled, I locked my grip, and my body was tense. When I heard the whine of the truck’s engine approach, thoughts of whether this would be the one overcame me. Oncoming traffic meant even less room for me, and the summation of the swirling wind wash sent me in a frenzied panic to stay upright and on the right.
Trucks hauling other trucks passed me without a conscience. I didn’t even know they made triple-trailers and rigs as long as football fields. The “wide load” designation is relative here, it seems!
I knew it was suicide. I kept going. Kristin wasn’t happy, and quite frankly, neither was I. I was quickly growing to resent Moab for betraying me. How could my A place be the most bike-unfriendly spot on my trip?
Am I supposed to feel better or worse? I left my DIRT Dad Fundo breadcrumb here. It would give my loved ones a clue and a starting point in the search.
F– YOU VERY MUCH!
USE CAUTION! SERIOUSLY?
UNEVEN LANES AHEAD! IS THIS A FRIKKIN’ JOKE?
When I rolled into the Sun Outdoors RV Park and our final destination for the next two days, I was done!. My mood was piss-poor, and I had enough. I needed a moment!
If not for sheer luck, stubbornness, and stupidity, I survived the ride from point B to point A. I leaned my bike against the turn-of-the-century wooden house of worship and did my version of kissing the ground.
My case of cycling amnesia is a bad one. Even I would need some time to get over this one. Thankfully tomorrow is the only rest day we scheduled for the trip.
After what I did this morning I think I’m invincible. I decided to test the theory with some novice rock climbing. Kristin wasn’t happy, again!
Arches National Park was Spectacular! No words!
Canyonlands National Park was Awe-Inspiring! No words!
It was an incredible afternoon! I’m in a better mood. Let’s do this!
About theDIRT Dad Fundo Pledge for Day Fifteen—Craig Pike
Here is what Craig had to say—”Ironman Triathlete, ultra runner and past hockey player. A pulmonary embolism in April 2021 nearly ended it all. Missed just 4 ttt races with DIRT Vipers, then built back quickly with the Dirt family. Dirt / Zwift provides an opportunity to race with other Dads and Moms in a safe environment. No traffic, just hard training.”
Amount Raised to Date—$3,481
Thank you, Craig!
Now off to Fruita, CO! A bit of R and R first!
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!
Yikes!! So glad you are okay. That would make me sooo anxious!!