when I see them…

When my family and I moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, a couple of years ago, a new dimension was added to our lives.  My third son was introduced to and became near obsessed with road cycling….  It became his thing, his activity, part of his daily life…riding hundreds of miles each week, up and down the hills and into the mountain canyons that surround the Salt Lake Valley.

Utah road-cyclists and mountains 1

My son and his little family have since moved back to Arizona…and he has spent the last few months getting used to riding the desert roads and highways that criss-cross the greater Phoenix area, the Valley of the Sun….

Utah road-cyclists and mountains 2

While I was never inconsiderate or discourteous to cyclists when I encountered them on the roadways wherever I have lived, I became even more aware of their very pronounced presence in the Salt Lake area…cyclists are absolutely everywhere around here…and my son was one of them.

Utah road-cyclists and mountains 3

While he no longer lives here, I can’t help but think of my son when I see cyclists out on the road…can’t help but recall his recounting of rides that he took out into the countryside that surrounds the greater Salt Lake area…greening fields in the springtime with snow-covered mountains in the background…that solitary rider out there racing against himself and the wind and the angle of the roadway…that joy in his beating heart…riding…riding…..

solitary Utah road-cyclist and mountains

30 responses

  1. Beautiful scenery to ride through!

    April 8, 2013 at 8:20 am

  2. Nut Balls

    Wow, Dad…that means so very much to me. I truly will miss that beautiful place and all of it’s roads that were seemingly built for a bike…very fond memories that I will never forget. Thank you for this 🙂

    April 8, 2013 at 9:05 am

    • You are very welcome, Nathan…and yes, the roads seem to have been made for you and your fellow cyclists. Good memories…..

      April 9, 2013 at 6:38 am

  3. me

    Me too. My heart hurts every time I see them. I imagine that it is really him…..but it is not. This made me cry, but I loved it.

    April 8, 2013 at 9:45 am

    • I’m glad you loved it…and I can’t help but look for him, too……..thank you.

      April 9, 2013 at 6:39 am

  4. I too used to cycle many miles in a week Scott. It’s a wonderful sport. Sadly cyclists take their life in their hands on our roads now as people drive too fast and selfishly, not considering the possibility that they might come upon a cyclist on these narrow roads of ours.
    The number of cyclists killed or seriously injured rose by 19% last year. Figures just released show that 850 cyclists were killed or seriously injured in just one quarter last year. Going too fast and unable to take evasive action because of oncoming traffic, cyclists are just being mown down. I don’t consider a charge of ‘driving without due care and attention’ cuts it. The charge should be manslaughter but our law doesn’t allow that charge to be made if you kill someone with your car.
    Rather than tackle the problem, our department of transport has put the increases down to more accidents being reported. 😯 I’m pretty sure deaths and serous injuries have always been reported. 😦

    April 8, 2013 at 10:29 am

    • During the cycling season here, we’ll see huge bill-boards, advertisements reminding motorists of the laws to allow so many feet of clearance between their vehicles and the cyclists when passing them….there are signs all over the place to watch out for them…and we sometimes read sad stories of accidents where cyclists hit guard-rails along the roadways and are thrown down into ravines. More accidents are certainly going to occur as more cyclists are out there…but, yes, we all simply need to be more aware of them, to actually be conscious of them as we’re on the road together. Thank you for the info, Adrian…and how nice to know that you shared the same joy of cycling as my son. 🙂

      April 9, 2013 at 6:45 am

  5. I think I’d have to ride at dawn because of the heat there, but I’d sure enjoy the scenery.

    April 8, 2013 at 10:45 am

    • My son did used to take most of his rides in the morning…and now that he’s moved back to Arizona, he’s doing the same there already. But, yes…such beautiful scenery…..

      April 9, 2013 at 6:46 am

  6. We have a lot of cyclists taking the coast road here, especially in the summer. I bet it’s a wonderful way to really enjoy the scenery. Good shot of Timpanogos in the last one.

    April 8, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    • Oh, I’m sure you do, Gunta…and talk about being distracted…goodness! And thank you…that bit of mountain is rather wonderful…and hard to miss when taking a photo of nearly anything when facing east out there in your Cedar Valley. 🙂

      April 9, 2013 at 6:49 am

  7. Our kids really do open worlds for us. This is such a sweet testimony to that, and to him.

    April 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    • They sure do…thank you, Lynn.

      April 9, 2013 at 6:49 am

  8. Thanks for sharing this, Scott. I enjoyed the lovely photos, but was more touched by the words for and about your son.

    April 8, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    • You’re welcome, Erica…and thank you, too.

      April 9, 2013 at 6:49 am

  9. What a backdrop to a cycle ride. That long line of cyclists reminds me of the Tour de France which I watch avidly every summer.

    April 8, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    • I’ve spent the better part of my last two weekends down in that part of the valley, Andy…can’t seem to get enough of those mountains…gorgeous backdrop. You’ve got some good company watching the Tour…my son was glued to the TV watching it, as well…and watched recordings of it into the night….

      April 9, 2013 at 6:52 am

  10. I can just imagine what an awesome perspective you have from a bike while riding in and around those mountains! Out in that open air…I bet there’s nothing like it!

    April 8, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    • I’ve not been on a bike out there, Susan, but have stood along the roadways and out in the fields…and can’t help but marvel at what’s around me out there…like a natural high…..

      April 9, 2013 at 6:54 am

  11. That’s a beautiful place for cycling! I understand the allure of it, but content myself now with a mountain bike and roads or trails with no traffic.

    April 8, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    • I understand all of that, Terry…and do agree…I’ll take the trails and mountain roads, too…but yes, it is certainly a beautiful place for cycling.

      April 9, 2013 at 6:55 am

  12. victoriaaphotography

    I can well imagine the wind in one’s hair and the freshness against one’s exposed skin on a bike ride.
    Such beautiful scenery to watch that I’m sure I would fall off or get hit by a car if I got on a bike.

    April 8, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    • Yes, Victoria…I’m sure one has to maintain a bit of focus out there…might even miss a bit of the grand scenery having to pay such close attention to the roadway and other vehicles…but what a place to stop and take a rest every now and then…..

      April 9, 2013 at 6:58 am

  13. Beautiful pictures and an even greater tribute to your son. The last photo of the loan cyclist made me a bit sad….but I suppose when he’s out there he doesn’t notice the difference. Your post almost made me wish I could still ride a bike.

    April 9, 2013 at 1:28 am

    • Thank you very much, Ms Peebody…such kind words. And as far as the solitary cyclist is concerned, my son preferred to ride alone…loved that solitude…so enjoyed being out there and absorbing it all without the distraction of conversation and personalities. I’m glad you enjoyed the post…thank you again…. 🙂

      April 9, 2013 at 7:00 am

  14. Oh, the majesty of those mountains and all those determined cyclists rising to the challenge of the open road…a great set of pics, Scott.

    April 9, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    • Yes, John…such majesty…and thank you.

      April 9, 2013 at 7:20 pm

  15. Oh yes, riding is a wonderful thing! Still waiting for the weather to improve here…

    April 14, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    • They are out and all over the place, Karen….spring and winter trading places every few days, it seems…but they are out in force when they’re able. 🙂

      April 14, 2013 at 1:02 pm

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