Visiting SLC area: advice?
I'll be in Bountiful for a couple of days next week, and would appreciate some tips from locals on things I might want to watch out for (road bike). I'm coming from Southern California, where colorful lycra doesn't raise an eyebrow, and bike lanes are common. And where it hardly ever rains and never snows. I know the area pretty well, but have never cycled there. What am I in for?
....gets the cheese
Our friends at NOAA say the temperatures for the rest of this week should be between 33 and 73 and the forecast varies between sunny and snow. So bring warm clothes and rain gear if you have it.
The drivers I've encountered in the Bountiful area are usually pretty well-mannered. There are some of good cycling routes in the area, but you kind of need to know where to look. Maybe some of the Davis-County-locals will chime in.
The Salt Lake Century skirts Bountiful. Here's a link to a map of the route. The "outbound" route to Antelope Island might be fun from Bountiful. The causeway across the lake gets a little buggy and stinky this time of year. Maybe we'll have had a hard frost and some of the bugs will have died. Doesn't help the stench, but at least you'll inhale fewer critters.
While I've done very little riding in Bountiful, I've never had any problems up there. Salt Lake itself is pretty bike friendly. If you find yourself riding somewhere without a shoulder, there is probably a parallel route with a bike lane, just a block or two away. There's lots of great riding and motorists are mostly quite used to seeing bikes. Nothing like some of the disasters I've had riding on the East Coast and in the South. As a bonus, because of the need for snow removal, most of our roads have quite wide shoulders.
If you have a chance, I would highly recommend coming into salt lake for a ride. The mouth of City Creek Canyon is just a block or two away from downtown. The Canyon is closed to cars on odd days of the month, and when you get up in there, it's very beautiful. The leaves are changing. And you pretty much have it to yourself. It's steep, but it's an up and back, so you don't have to worry about getting lost. It's a good idea to bring along a jacket. The way down can get cold, as you coast along in the shade.
Beck Street, the road coming into Salt Lake from Bountiful is pretty awful. You get a view of the refineries, lots of potholes, fast cars, and not a great shoulder. But much of it can be avoided by staying on the frontage road until it runs out. But it's not terribly long, so if you can't get a lift in to town, then go ahead and ride it. You'll be fine. Just don't judge the rest of our fine city by what you see out there.
Unlike some places I've lived, it can be hard to find a bad ride. I never bother to plan my rides, I just explore. With the mostly grid patterned streets, and the mountains to the east, it is difficult to get lost. And I really can't think of a neighborhood I would be afraid to ride through.
Not really much to worry about in the Bountiful area as there are usually many cyclists out. My favorite quick ride goes from Layton to Bountiful and back, mostly flat with some rollers. What kind of riding do you want to do?
Thanks for the info. I know Becks, and your description sounds like what I remember. Redwood Road as I recall is pretty narrow and fast, maybe not a good cycling road? (My preferred ride is 20-30 miles with bike lanes marked, up to 1000 feet total climbing, but not all at once, thanks.) City Creek Canyon and Layton both sound promising.
Looks like I'll be there this weekend, with the rain and wind. I'll see you on the road.