Oren and Harpo had planned this tour for awhile and Oren has gone into some detail in doing so. (see Itinerary). Spoon has since signed on to the tour.
After a hard year with health issues and having did the ACA Cycle Utah event I was not keen on doing a long tour just yet as I’ve not fully recovered. But following their planning and struggles to lighten their loads it occurred to me that maybe I could provide support in the way of a sag driver hauling their gear and emergency help. Also could have the morning coffee going too and maybe some light cooking as well. I’ll take my bike and hope to do some riding. So that is the current plan.
Also I have a map too.
Added another bicycle tour, Utah 2014, where I’ll be providing support rather than riding. (see Utah 2014)
It looks like it will be mostly a camping trip, for me, as there are campgrounds except for the Hanksville stop.
It also looks like there are plenty of restaurants and cafes as not to worry about getting meals. Maybe a couple of exceptions.
Morning hike goal Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. I found it fairly strenuous 3 mile hike up and back as I had not walked that kind of terrain or distance for two to three years due to foot problems. It was worth the effort. Most interesting was the Asian lady with a silk dress, slippers and parasol nonchalantly viewing the arch with nary a drop of sweat showing.
Oren was an excellent tour guide and we visited some awesome places, Arches, Zion, Bryce, and Capitol Reef National Parks. In addition I was able to add Canyonlands NP and Dead Horse, and Goblin State Parks to my list. And we also did some hikes that were great too.
But as a sag driver I was only able to do sag duties two days as the weather made bike riding untolerable. The one opportunity we had to camp, with decent weather, at Goblin State Park the campground was booked and the few places left that were available was in the mud and the tent pads pools.
I have mixed emotions about having a sag on a bike tour. It seems to offer a too easy of a way out when the weather is bad, as we experienced. Without a sag you just have to tough out the weather and soldier on.
On this route riding fully loadable and camping would be rather difficult because there were some huge climbs and some smaller but rather sharp climbs most of the way. And none of us were exactly young either. The alternative is either a credit card tour or a longer loaded tour with shorter mileage.
This seemed be an anomaly with the weather we experienced as the end of September and the beginning of October are normally the prime time for southern Utah.