The name of this ride—I Think I CANyons Ride. There’s a choice of a 2 CANyons version or 4 CANyons version. All the proceeds of the ride benefit a local clinic that provides healthcare for the homeless. A wonderful cause and they are advertising water stops at the top of each canyon with a lunch after 2 CANyons or 4 CANyons—your choice. The event takes place on July 31st a mere 3 and a half weeks from today. So I need to decide which version I’m going to do.
The 2 CANyons version of the ride, I “could do in my sleep”; as Diane puts it and continues on, “Jeanne, it wouldn’t be enough of a challenge for you.” And yes, she probably is right; considering its 2 canyons with about a total of 3740 feet of climbing and 43 miles. Not to brag but this would require NO training what so ever for me.
So thus I’m playing with the idea of the 4 CANyons version. This version is climbing 4 CANyons along the Wasatch Front for a total of 12,000 climbing feet and 110 miles. Most people would consider this an INSANE challenge, and here I am playing with the idea of it. Can you say C-R-A-Z-Y?!?!
But in my defense I can say that I’ve climbed three of the four canyons. One of them of which I lead weekly bike rides up to the top of. The canyon I haven’t climbed is the steepest. In fact, it’s been compared to part of the Tour De France. It's Little Cottonwood Canyon. It maybe be only 8.3 miles from the base but has a whopping average of 9.2% grade as you go up it. I’ve heard rumors that Dave Zabriskie, local cyclist turned world class, uses that canyon quite often for training. Quite often when I’ve driven it I’ve seen cyclists riding it; but then again all of these canyons along the Wasatch Front you'll see cyclists going up and down.
In the past, I’ve done rides where there was 9,700 feet of climbing but that was two years ago. And outside of climbing the one canyon I haven’t really been doing that much climbing this year. Three years ago I did another ride called the Mount Nebo Loop (Wasatch Mountain's highest peak at 11, 870 feet) where there are 37 miles of 6% or higher grade of climbing. I did the whole 70 mile ride in about 5 hours and 20 minutes which is respectable considering the amount of climbing involved. I sent an email to one of the guys that put this I Think I CANyons ride on the cycling ride calendar and asked if I was in the ball park for attempting this. He said that if I could manage ¾ of the distance that in his experience I could pull it off the full thing on the day of the ride.
So the main question is… Am I CRAZY enough to do the 4 CANyons version? I would need to add a MASSIVE amount of climbing to my cycling training schedule in the next 3 weeks to be ready for the event. That on top of the training I’m all ready doing for a half marathon that takes place in August 20th in Park City. Realistically is it possible for me to do ALL this?
Hmmmm… maybe I’ll sign up for the 4 CANyon version and see what happens? It’s only a $10 difference, and then if I find myself not ready I can always do the 2 CANyon. BUT is that giving myself to easy of a way out?
(Editor's Note: All of the above photos are from a recent ride I took up Emigration Canyon-- which is the last canyon on the I Think I CANyon Ride. Beautiful, isn't it?)