May 15th, 2019 / (107km/66mi)
When I leave Green River, Google Maps first sends me for 19km onto an old state highway which turns into a gravel road after a while. When I make it to the end, I decide to re-join interstate I-70 and follow it on the shoulder for some 12km. Then the intersection with UT-191 sends me south again. But, boy, UT-191 is a mess: the shoulder is only 3-4 feet wide, it’s windy and hence a bit shaky on the bike and there’s massive traffic on that highway: tons of huge trucks, many RVs, lot’s of pickups, normal cars. Everything. Just one lane in each direction and traffic shooting past me with 70mph. Not that one could break a bit and slow down behind me, move to the left when there’s nothing coming the other direction and bring some distance between me and that damned car — no. Keep your stupid foot on the throttle and just shoot past full speed. The trucks are normally not that bad — they seem to have learned that they are weapons on wheels. Truck drivers usually take a lot of care and most of the time drive to the left onto the opposite lane. On two way highways even with a wide shoulder I have seen many of them go to the left lane nevertheless. They know what they are doing. But the hobbyist clowns in their ridiculously oversided “master bedroom closed on wheels” RVs, those folks really suck! I think they have no idea what they are driving around and what drag these massive boxes create. I’m not sure, but it feels like once you’ve managed to drive a sedan twice around the block of your neighborhood DMV 40 years ago, you are allowed to steer those RVs across America’s roads. Reckless. Totally reckless. Those folks seem to have no ideas what weapons they are pushing around. I would love to pull them out of their motorhomes, put them on a plastic chair right on the shoulder of a highway, get myself into their stupid RV, accelerate it to 70mph and rush past them with only two hands fitting in between — just to give them some idea about how that feels. Screw them!!
After 40km I finally get to a real bike trail that gets me off UT-191 for the last 10km to Arches National Park. I take a 12km trip into the park, try to take a few pictures that capture the atmosphere, but today’s not my day: I don’t find my angle, I don’t find the motives, it just doesn’t work. Perhaps it’s the bad mood after the poor start into this day.
Leaving Arches NP again, the bike trail gets me quickly into Moab where I am staying for this night.
Right across the motel (Days Inn — I think I picked the oldest motel in town) there’s a bike store!! Great opportunity to re-stock on spare tires and tubes. I buy the only two 700-28c spare tires they have in the shop – road bikes seem to be a bit exotic around here – and four spare tubes. I have blown 3 already on this trip due to the crash last week and the worn down tire of my back wheel two days ago. I’m curious to see how long the tires actually survive. But now that I have spare parts again, I feel more comfortable.
The bad news for tomorrow: It’s 88km on UT-191 to Monticello, UT. Dangit! Perhaps there’s a better shoulder on the roadside. Perhaps. And towards noon it’s supposed to become very windy (up to 25mph). Not good. So I better start very early and try to get it done by noon.