Navigating a New Place

As my first week in Ogden comes to a close, I feel good about our decision to move here.  I’ve managed to do a fairly significant amount of Bike 5-ing this week.  Here are some of the places I’ve gone…

  • City Hall for a Planning Commission meeting
  • South Fork Hardware
  • RE/MAX South Ogden
  • Ogden Bicycle Collective
  • Skyline Cycles
  • Weber State University
  • Post Office
  • A Fresh Market

All told, I rode close to 100 miles on my clunky old Specialized Hardrock with a wonky front end, and so now it is no longer just theoretically possible for me to use a bicycle as my everyday runner.  It’s real and that’s very cool.  Here’s some of what I’ve learned along the way.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 10.20.17 AM

The large loop was just for the fun of it. The rest of my routes have been pretty practical and relatively close to home for the most part.

No matter where I go, it’s all uphill coming home. 

The view up 22nd Street from Harrison. It's all uphill to the mountains...

The view up 22nd Street from Harrison. It’s all uphill to the barn…

Our home is only two blocks from the base of the Wasatch Mountains.  The Wasatch have no foothills.  They’re pretty abrupt and dramatic.  There’s a gradual slope out of downtown up to where our house is.  We’re probably two hundred feet or so above the valley floor.  That’s twenty stories…every single trip…just…to…get…home.

The Ogden River Parkway is my freeway/beltway.

I rode the Parkway yesterday all the way down to Davis County to the south and then came back around on the Bonneville Shoreline Connector.  There’s basically a 30 mile bicycle loop around the city now.  Some of it is paved while other parts are singletrack, so a gravel grinder or mountain bike/hybrid is perfect.  The Parkway tunnels under most busy streets so there are very few grade crossings.  It also goes by a lot of destinations such as grocery stores, restaurants, movie theaters and even an indoor climbing wall.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 10.38.38 AM

Approaching the Washington Boulevard underpass and the gateway to downtown. There are lots of shopping and entertainment venues easily accessible from the Parkway here.

The Parkway heading west into downtown. Lots of new housing options here...

The Parkway heading west into downtown. Lots of new housing options here…

You have to get lost to get found.

I got lost yesterday.  It’s no big deal on a bike.  In fact, it’s sort of fun. You have two choices.  You can turn around and go back the way you came or keep going and hope it works out.  I kept going and ended up getting caught by a train. Even that was fun, and yes, it worked out.

There are a lot of cyclists here.

It helps to have miles of world class singletrack right out the door and a mayor who cycles to work every day.  In some ways, Ogden reminds me of Boulder way back before Boulder developed cache and cred as a serious outdoor lifestyle town. There are very few places in the US that have the urban/natural interface that Ogden does.  In addition to Boulder, Asheville and Tucson come to mind. None of those places are nearly as affordable as here.

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