Salt Lake City Commute

I currently reside in the Salt Lake City area.  More specifically, Davis County which is just north of SLC in a “city” cleverly dubbed, “North Salt Lake.”  I’ll leave your imagination to place the city on a map, but I work in SLC, about 7-8 miles south of my house-which I consider to be just about the perfect commuting distance.

I have three main routes which I utilize to get to and from work.  Much depends on the time I want to spend and the weather.  I use one route 95% of the time.  Unsurprisingly, it is the most direct and quickest way.  It simply follows Hwy 89 (or “Beck St”) into SLC.  Shown on the map below in blue.

When it snows (and a few days after), I am uncomfortable on Hwy 89 on my bike.  This is mainly because the shoulder never gets plowed and thus snow piles up in the “bike lane.”  This forces me to ride out in the lane of traffic, which I am usually ok with.  But, I find Utah drivers to be very impatient, so instead of taking a lane in slippery conditions with drivers that are in a hurry, I go around the problem.  I take Warm Springs Rd which is a great ride.  I see maybe 3 or 4 cars coming and going.  The problem with this route is you have to cross the RR tracks twice in an area where trains are sometimes operated remotely.  I have waited more than 30 mins.  In SLC, you can route around to North Temple which takes you over a bridge.  On the Northern end, the only other option you have is to get on the interstate for a short distance, exit to Hwy 89 which effectively puts you in the middle of the road since you merge onto 89 from the left lane.  Since I am usually on Warm Springs Rd because of bad weather, I wait it out at the tracks.  This is shown as a green line on the map below.

The final route is over the Bonneville-Shoreline trail.  IT. IS. A. GRIND.  Especially coming over from SLC to Davis county.  The bike I usually ride is a front suspension (with the fork usually locked out) turned commuter.  In the summer I run slicks to facilitate me going a bit faster.  Combine that with me not being a very technical offroad cyclist to begin with, one ride on this and I feel more used than a plow mule in a third world country.  Not to mention, I’ve taken an endo on this (attributable more to my riding skills than the trail itself).  Needless to say, I avoid it in the winter and about once a month during summer I am asking my self, “WHY?!”  A much less technical, and slightly shorter, route can be taken up by Ensign peak, and I usually prefer that unless I am feeling overly masochistic.  Route is shown in red on the map below.

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