Late Fall Ecstasy
gpzzzzzer at hotmail.com
Sat Nov 10 20:56:59 PST 2007
Weather all week has been clear and dry with temps above average. After Saturday morning working on various tasks around the house, I could not resist the warmth and sunshine any longer. Around 2:30 I jumped on the GPZ and headed out for a ride. I live right at the base of Mount Timpanogos an 11,749 ft (3582 m) mountain. It takes me literally only 5 minutes from my house to be heading up Provo Canyon which runs along the east side of Mt. Timp. A few miles up Provo Canyon I turn onto the rode which runs up and over Mt Timp, a route known locally as the “Alpine Loop”. The Alpine Loop is one of my favorite rides, but today it was something very special. After passing the Sundance Ski Resort and heading up to the national forest, I came to the gate that they use to close off the road during winter (since the road is too narrow and twisty to keep the road open with plows) and found the gate with the big “Road Closed” sign on was indeed closed. There is a three foot gap in the middle of the gate that allows snow mobiles to pass during the snowy season. Proceeding through the gap in the gate I had the road virtually to my self. I saw a total of 1 motorcycle (a beautiful Red GPZ 1100 that I was riding), 0 cars, 0 SUVs, 0 Pickups, and 9 bicycles. Near the summit of the Alpine loop there is a spur road that turns off and runs down hill and dead ends in a place called Cascade Springs. The 7 mile road to Cascade Springs must have been engineered by a motorcyclist or at the very least a sports car enthusiast. It is much wider and faster than the Alpine loop and just begs to be ridden fast. I especially enjoy the ride back up from the Springs. I always find fast sweepers going uphill are a better ride. I went up and down the full length of the Cascade Springs road twice making some beautiful music on the GPZ. I was in 1st and 2nd gear mostly and spent the majority of the time between 7,000 and 10,000 rpms. The road is so well laid out that it is easy to be between 50 and 90 mph for much of the time, with just an occasional 20-30 mph curve thrown in to keep you honest. I saw one small herd of deer grazing on both sides of the road but they did not seem bothered by my presence and did not even flinch as I went by. After my second run on the Cascade Springs road I went ahead and finished the Alpine loop coming down the west side of the mountain down American Fork canyon passed Timpanogos National Monument (a cave) and back into Utah Valley. Another 15 minutes and I was home.
It is really amazing how much joy and satisfaction a short 2 hour ride like that can bring. I guess it is one of the reasons I ride, and one of the things that those who don’t ride can’t really fully understand.
Tomorrow the forecast is for colder temps, rain in the valleys and snow in the mountains. If this proves to be the last good fling of the season – I can only say it was a dandy. Just had to share.
Orem Utah, USofA
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