Thursday, May 08, 2008

Cycling in north Orem Utah--even on the Provo River Parkway

Utah Lake - Utah Lake and Utah ValleyImage via WikipediaJason, a scout leader, is wondering where to take some scouts on a 15 mile (I would guess) ride. He's thinking about the Provo River Parkway but my comments from last year made that seem like a less-good idea.

Here's an 18 mile loop in Orem:

Start at 1600 North and 400 East in Orem. Ride down to 400 West (where the new goofy light is next to State St). Turn right and head over to 2000 North in Orem. Turn left and ride/coast all the way to the dump at the west end of 2000 North. Turn left and ride along Utah Lake to 400 South. This will involve a few left and right turns. Generally keep heading south to 400 south. Then turn left onto 400 South and ride East back to 400 East. Remember that fun descent along 2000 North? Now is when you pay for it. It's not bad, but some climbing. Turn left onto 400 East and ride north to where ever you left your car (or wherever you live).

I've been riding the Parkway trail in the canyon this Spring. It hasn't been too bad in the afternoon on weekdays. The worst of it is the section before and after Bridal Veil Falls which can be avoided by taking the road on the west side of the river then crossing the bridge at the parking lot beyond the old tram station. It's also a good chance to teach scouts some manners.

I did the cycling merit badge with my scouts 2 years ago. I loved the Provo River Parkway trail because traffic was not an issue. I am very very conservative about taking risks with other people's kids and the Parkway trail was great that way. We did a 25 miler and a 15 miler on the parkway trail including riding up south fork and down to Utah Lake both starting from north Orem.

Just this week, some kid on a sweet mtn bike chased me down on the Parkway Trail. Turns out it was one of my former scouts. He's really into mtn bike racing now and seemed genuinely out of breath when he caught me. I felt pretty good about that because one time I had to chase him down on the White Rim Trail after he rode right past our campsite. I was pretty out of breath then. Good thing he wasn't racing then or I might not have caught him. Scouting made a difference for him. It felt great.
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