In the nick of time, just before the warden put me on suicide watch, temperatures here in the Salt Lake Valley finally found their way north of 30 degrees F and the roads are in pretty good shape, despite the regular snowfall we have enjoyed over the last couple of months, allowing me to take the bike out for a couple of hours. Most of the mountain passes are closed due to snow, so during the winter months, I stick to the valley. Today, I strapped on my Olympia one piece and made my winter pilgrimage to Antelope Island; the largest island in the Great Salt Lake.
Antelope Island is now a state park and a wildlife refuge. The island is connected to the mainland by a several mile causeway. After paying a $3 entrance fee, I was able to enter the causeway, which was the coldest part of my ride. According to the BC, the temperature there was a bone chilling 23 degrees F. With the screen up a bit, the grip warmers on broil and the seat on weenie roast, it wasnít too bad.
Does the Great Salt Lake freeze in the winter? Well, the pictures donít lie. At least parts of it do. Fortunately for these ducks, they were able to find a spot that was open.
After crossing to the island, I found the welcome committee. Okay, it was a single buffalo, and he seemed unimpressed with my arrival.
You must forgive the multitude of bike shots. In my opinion, the CGM GT is one of the best looking bikes out there. I have to agree with what one passerby stated to me over the summer, ďThat bike is striking; itís like a work of art.Ē I chose to run sans side cases today in case I found a bit of ice. However, Iím not sure not having them on would actually save me any money. Either way, something expensive is going to find asphalt. Iím not sure what is under the cases is any cheaper than the cases themselves.
Of course, one has to do the obligatory shadow and mirror shots.
On the west side of the island, I found one of the many buffalo herds. In addition to the ducks and buffalo, I did see a jack rabbit being chased by a coyote. However, I was unable to snap a picture of them. It was mostly a two handed riding day that didn't lend itself to moving photography.
For the most part, the roads were clear, but there were a few tricky spots that served as a reminder of what the little flashing snowflake was all about.
As the sun started to dip low, I know it was time to head back home. I stayed primarily on I-15 but this gave me a good chance to test out a couple of new farkles. The Valentine One and Ztechnik mount that Santa brought me worked perfectly. I was able to find and follow the smokey-the-bear that I discovered with it instead letting him find me first and take a bite out of my wallet. My new laminar lip also worked very well. I like it much more than the huge +2 x +3 Cee Bailey barn door that I had been sporting. Also, my new Arai RX7 Corsair worked well. When I opened the visor vents it immediately shot two freezing cold shafts of air across my grape and gave me an ice cream headache; thus, it will likely vent well during the dog days of summer. All in all, it was a good ride and I was thrilled to get in a ride, if only for about 135 miles.