Sunday, July 24, 2011
Why would a place like that have LITTLE in its name? There is nothing little about it.
Seven-thirty felt early but never the less we were off on our canyon adventure. We warmed up on Wassatch Blvd and by the time we hit the canyon we were ready to get down to business. Little Cottonwood Canyon Rd is about 12 miles long and climbs at a steady 9% with several steeper pitches. We rode eight of them.
The climb up the canyon itself was rather rhythmic, almost predicable in a sense and while I found it difficult at times, it was never extremely uncomfortable for long. I did however have a great deal of trouble with my heart rate at the last pitch before our turnaround point. I couldn't get it to come down enough to be comfortable pedaling (dizzy, lightheaded, pounding in the ears), so sadly, with the end in sight I made the turn for home. Coming down the canyon was almost more difficult than the climb. At one point I was afraid that I would have no break pads left at the bottom despite using the grab and release method of slowing my speed.One of the best moments was when one of the young skaters said it was awesome to see me that high up on the mountain and that she only made it half as far her first time. I thought about this for a bit, by the end of the day yesterday I had the desire to try it again. I know that part of my biological stress yesterday was due to not knowing what to expect as far as physical demands. Now that I know that climb is predictable enough to squeak out that last little bit.
I plan on riding big cottonwood tomorrow while Chris is at practice. I hear that this canyon is not quite as steep though its considerably longer. Of course you will hear how it goes.