Grand Canyon day 1

/Grand Canyon day 1

“How about we do a short 45 mile ride from the visitor center to Cape Royal?” That seems like a great idea, and look, it doesn’t look that hard on the map. Next time look at a topo map!

It was a beautiful ride, we left early enough that there was not too much traffic on the main road and we quickly (4 miles) turned on to Cape Royale Road.  It was a wonderful start to the road. Up hill, but not too difficult to enjoy.  When it got steeper there were a number on turnouts with informational signs to read, which were a great rest for someone who is not a great climber. While it turns out you quickly come to the high point in the ride its not obvious if you are not aware of that before hand.  After the top you get a fun down hill and then a really fun rolling section.  I had a lot of fun on the rolling section. It was my favorite part by far, but it was deceiving.  I did not realize how much elevation we were loosing.  There was a great over look on the way out which afforded a great view and gave you a hint that you were getting close to Cape Royale.  At the turn around point, there was a slight view but to get the true overlook it was a a half mile walk down a path.  On this day we choose to walk only halfway down since we did not have walking shoes.  It was still an amazing view.

On the way back I discovered just how much elevation we had lost.  The really fun rolling part turned out to be a lot of up hill.  In fact it felt like all up hill. Having gone on a hike the day before and being slightly sore from that my calf cramped before we got to the top.  There are only a few areas were you can pull of on the side of the road so I just kept spinning even though it was agonizing.  We finally got to a small gravel pull out and I stretched out my leg although the rest of the ride was very hard and we sill had 10 miles left.  The final down hill was not as fun as it could have been since I kept trying to keep my leg stretched out. Turning onto the main road was not as bad as I had thought it might be.  After all the other climbing from the day, the small hill back towards the Welcome Center did not feel very bad. The traffic was much friendlier than I would have expected on the main road in the park – with plenty of shoulder, there was nothing to worry about in that department.

Great ride, but remember to always take into account the elevation: the elevation you are riding at (8000 ft), and how much you are gaining during the ride ( 3600 ft).

By | 2017-07-10T06:02:31+00:00 July 9th, 2017|Feature|0 Comments