Well, as per the recommendations of a number of people (including levi from a post back in March), I decided to try riding my bike to work again. I figured I would give myself plenty of time and leave at 6:30 AM.
Biking in West Valley City
The ride started off pretty easy, as I chose to go through mostly residential areas this time. I headed through 3100 South from 7200 West to Redwood, which took me about 45 minutes. All the time I was being passed by other cyclists on road bikes. I then realized just how much more suited for this trek a road bike would have been.
The main problem with biking in West Valley City is that the roads are not designed to allow cars and cyclists to share. As such, you either take your chances of getting hit (which I nearly had happen a couple of times), or you ride on the sidewalk, which is then a hazard for pedestrians. Perhaps it's time for a lobby for bike trails through urban West Valley, going East and West... But I digress.
Anyway, I made it to Redwood, and tried to find my way through to the Jordan River. There are some really nice trails going along that way, and I was hoping I would be able to locate a simple way along the Cultural Center. But there wasn't one.
I backtracked (losing about 10 minutes), and found my way through the residential areas east of Redwood Road. I got the distinct feeling that this section was a small town, based on the quiet atmosphere, the established look of the homes, and the beautiful Christian church (not sure which denomination). I turned at the church, and then headed East.
I then road through a very distinctly rural section that I didn't think still existed in West Valley, at least not east of Redwood. And there, at the end of the road, was the Muslim Mosque. Nestled in a quiet field, right at the edge of the Industrial park. It was a very impressive building, with magnificent domes and a nice mixture of rose and yellow stone. They also have started work on an Islamic school, which will be right next to the Mosque. I can't wait to see it, because if it's anything like the Mosque it will be stunning.
The Jordan River
I finally found my way to the Jordan River just South of SR 201. Getting onto the Trail, I headed North, looking for familiar paths that I crossed while going home in March. Well, I didn't find them. Instead, I found my way to a Golf Course. Unaware of the Public Right of Way through the course, I chose instead to take a dirt road that went along the river.
I was lucky the gate was open, and I was able to continue across 1700 South. I then made my way along another dirt road that was fateful. I gathered thorns from this road, which punctured my tires. I didn't realize it because, thankfully, the thorns still held in the air during the ride.
I finally made my way to California Avenue (1300 South), and 700 West with 10 minutes to get to the 900 South Traxx station, when I finally started losing air in my front tire. I then noticed the thorns I picked up, and marveled that I didn't get a flat rear tire... until I removed a thorn from that tire. I now had two flat tires, riddled with thorns.
Realizing that I wouldn't make the Traxx station on time, I started walking. At this point I discovered something good: I wasn't sore at all from the ride. Apparently I have gotten in better shape since my last ride (thank goodness!). I finally made the Traxx station about 10 minutes later than I had hoped, and made it up to the University campus about 30 minutes later than I had originally scheduled.
So, that was my adventure, both the excitement and the woes of trying to get from East to West in the Salt lake Valley without getting hit by a car.