10 October 2008

Gemini Bridges 2008-10-10

Gemini Bridges sounds like one of those nice places to ride until you actually get started. The ride was listed as an easy ride that is usually done as a shuttle, but is also possible to do as an out-and-back. The out-and-back option also can be done from either the 'top' (where the shuttled riders start) to Gemini Bridges and then back, or from the 'bottom' (where shuttled riders leave a vehicle to take them back to the 'top.'

I started from the 'bottom' and rode up to Gemini Bridges. The going was on dirt roads the whole way, and as such the area in front of my wheels had very little of interest to keep my attention focused. There were a few good climbs, and at one point I was several hundred meters above the highway and could look out and see Arches National Park. Otherwise, it was a good excuse for exercise as well as a good way to get my leg moving after the Amasa Back incident two days ago.

As I was getting ready to ride, I was approached by a fellow who had shuttled with a large group. Unfortunately for him, he apparently forgot to bring the keys to the car that he left in the parking lot where I was kitting up. He offered me $20 to drive him 12 miles down dirt roads to get to where his keys were. $20 wasn't enough to eat up what would have been probably 2 hours of my time and a bunch of gas, so I declined his offer.

The Gemini Bridges, themselves, were pretty impressive. When I arrived I just saw this huge hole in the ground with a rope stretched across. Some climbers cinching gear and making modifications to their outfits, but I didn't hang around long enough to see anyone rapel down the hole. I rode my bike around on the slickrock field that was all around me, coming to the very edge of the canyon where I noticed that I was actually quite high above the canyon floor.

The ride back had a good portion of downhill, followed by a very steep climb before heading back down to the level of the highway. All the way back I kept thinking I would catch up with the group I encountered about 2/3 of the way to the Gemini Bridges. I did see them again, though they were waiting for a their shuttle car to return.

It was a pleasant enough way to get my leg moving again, but I wouldn't suggest this ride to anyone who is looking for excitement, technical trails or beautiful vistas.