Tales From The Road, Part 2: Specialized Bicycles’ #ridetovegas

By Kevin Rouse

Day The Second: Nephi, Utah to Fish Lake, Utah 104 miles

I’ve always had a thing for mountaintop finishes. Fancying myself a climber, my favorite
stages in any stage race have always been the ubiquitous summit finishes; they’ve
always held a certain romantic mystique, a glamorous depiction of struggle turned to
triumph—until today, that is. Today I found out that the ‘romantic mystique’ of these
finishes is really just little more than thinly veiled sadism.

Notice anything lopsided about this elevation profile?
Notice anything lopsided about this elevation profile?

After 70 miles of topography resembling the EKG reading of a flatlining heart-attack
patient, we began the slow ascent (well maybe not so slow, thanks to a few overly
industrious pacemakers) up to Fish Lake and the National Forest of the same name.
Still, all was well, and the legs were feeling uncharacteristically receptive to punishment
and I was feeling pretty eager myself.

Fish Lake beckons with its promise of some frosty GU recovery beverages—to be washed down afterwards with some malty beverages.
Fish Lake beckons with its promise of some frosty GU recovery beverages—to be washed down afterwards with some malty beverages.

However, this less-than-common zeal for a bit of self-torture tapered off rather abruptly.
Using the fact that I was in still in my big ring as encouragement to keep pushing, it
was, quite frankly, downright devastating when I went to look down and find that I was,
in fact, definitely not in my big ring…needless to say, the climb suddenly got quite a bit
longer.

All work and no play—and a severely deflated ego—made this rider one less-than-
stoked individual—until I saw the lake marking our final destination, but it wasn’t before
we reached an elevation of just over 9000 feet, passing several false summits along the
way. So…

Lesson of the day: Check yourself (and what gear you’re in) before you
wreck yourself.

Skin is in.
Skin is in.

Tomorrow finds us on familiar roads we head towards Escalante, Utah, on National
Scenic Highway 12, a road which happened to feature prominently in the ‘Open Road’
feature story in the Summer issue of Paved. Hopefully the breathtaking
scenery should make up for every foot of climbing…right?

Cosmonaut (and GU Energy Labs' resident hammerhead) Yuri Hauswald dons his moon boots to try and recover for Day Three...
Cosmonaut (and GU Energy Labs' resident hammerhead) Yuri Hauswald dons his moon boots to try and recover for Day Three..