After weeks & weeks of climbing the mountain I finally climbed all the way to the top. I wasn’t planning on going all the way, but once I saw the Needles lodge, I knew I’d be very disappointed if I didn’t get there. For this ride I took the Needles Trail from the parking lot at the base. Once I was into the middle section of the mountain I took the Diamond Trail up to the Philpot Trail where I eventually rejoined the Needles trail. I excruciatingly made my way from there up the final ascents to the lodge. I parked my butt at the lodge for about 20 minutes, just chilling before I headed back down. For the trip down I took the Porcupine Trail, effectively covering most of the mountain. It took 3 1/2 hours to do all this, and the sun had set by the time I made it back to the parking lot.
Earlier in the day I was at the Outdoor Retailer Show’s Open Air Demo Day at Willard Bay. While there I came upon a glove manufacturer who let me borrow a pair of biking gloves to test out on a ride. I don’t know if they realized that I meant a real ride, but dangit, that’s what it was. So these gloves showed a lot of promise, but seriously fell short. The first thing I noticed was a massive seam between the thumb and the forefinger that dug into flesh whenever I gripped the handlebars. Everything else was good for a couple miles, and then my pinkies started to complain from the seams around those fingers. I kept going & then I started feeling my skin being rubbed raw from excess material bunching at the base of my fingers. Near the top I noticed one of the design elements on the glove had started peeling away. When I looked at the gloves on the top I noticed that the padding which was prominently raised on the palm was almost as flat as the rest of the glove. Between the seams, the bunching fabric & lack of padding my hands were complaining the whole way down. When I took the gloves off my palms were on the verge of being all pruney from lack of ventilation for the palms. One last thing, the terry wipe pad on the glove was teeny tiny for a guy whose sweat glands act like sprinklers. I was wishing I had my regular pair of gloves in my bag. They’re a 10 year old pair of Specialized gloves, mostly leather, no padding at all which are still as functional as the day I bought them. Thanks Specialized.
All in all it was 2600 ft of elevation climbed and 12.5 miles.