A Cardiff Day with Kalen, Jay, and a Phantom Flat Fixie Tire

Privileged to know such active people, I headed out with Jason Eichhorst and Surface Skis team rider Kalen Thorine on a short tour in Little Cottonwood Canyon.  We skinned up pole line pass for a while and hit the top of Cardiff Peak.  From there, we dropped north for a run and then headed back to the car through the sticky, south-facing, gloppy snow.

…Wait, that didn’t do my day justice at all.

I woke up in Park City at 7:45am and was driving to LCC by 8.  Within 5 minutes of leaving my house, I heard the noise that riders of the veritable fixie bikes have learned to recognize all too well: that of a tire going flat.  Consider I wasn’t riding my bike–it was just in the back of my car–it was both strange and a big bummer.  Phoning Jay during the drive, I found out that he had invited Kalen along for the tour and that she would be a little behind our 8:30am meeting time.  In the parking lot at 8:30, I pulled the tube out of my front bike tire as Jay pulled in beside me.  We chatted as I checked for a puncture, only to realize that something had simply leaned against the unscrewed presto stem, releasing all of the air from the tire.  Before I could replace the tube into my tire, Kalen arrived and we headed up the canyon.

Kalen had a brand new touring setup, including fresh Walk Frees–the same skis that Jay and I were on–and Plum bindings.  It was a hot and sweaty walk.

Kalen
photo: Jay Eichhorst
photo: Jay Eichhorst
Jay
photo: Jay Eichhorst

On the north side of Cardiff, we ripped skins and skied.

photo: Jay Eichhorst
photo: Jay Eichhorst
photo: Jay Eichhorst
the photographer perch
photo: Jay Eichhorst
photo: Jay Eichhorst
Kalen
Jay

With a 2pm appointment at the Apple Genius Bar, my time was short.  We all agreed to head back to the road, and a short skin put us back on the long southern shot back to the car.

photo: Jay Eichhorst

At the Town of Alta, I quickly grabbed my stuff from the trunk and caught a ride with the first passing car.  It was 12:50pm.  Coincidentally, the driver happened to be Jim Conway, the lead guide for Teton Gravity Research film trips.  The ride back to the park-and-ride went quickly, filled with tales of Alaskan heliskiing and fallen comrades.  At 1pm, he dropped me at my car.  Rushed, I changed into street clothes, changed my bike tire, and changed my environment: from skiing to the sweaty, Salty valley.  I loaded my touring gear in the car, put my bike on my roof rack, and started driving to SLC.  The clock read 1:20.

At 1:40, I pulled into a random grocery store parking lot in downtown SLC.  My bike jumped off my roof, my backpack onto my back, and I was riding within a few minutes.  Skidding to a stop in front of the Apple Store, I locked my bike to the bench that everyone uses as a rack, and the iGuy at the front door greeted me.

“Hi, what can I help you with today?”

“What….time….is….it?” I panted in return.

To no one’s surprise, he pulled an iPhone from his pocket.  ”1:52.”

WHAT!?  I had 8 minutes to cool off and drink water instead of sweating all over the iFloor.

But seriously, thanks for the free new computer, Apple.

[Surface has a piece from this day on their superb daily blog, here.]