Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Fun Day :

Saturday from Cottonwood to Flagstaff could not be classified as anything but fun. It was only 46 miles and 7300 feet of elevation. There was two climbs one long out of Cottonwood to Sedona but only about 3 of it was steep, and then the climb out of Oak canyon to the top of the mesa just before Flagstaff. The climb out of the canyon was 3.2 miles of really steep switch backs up this near vertical rock wall. I think someone said that it was 1000 feet. As I rode up to the base of the rock wall I stopped looked up and wondered how I was ever going to make that. Was it going to 4 or 5 stops? So I downed a gel and a couple of gulps of water and set off in my lowest gear. After the first switch back it was going OK so I just kept on going. Second OK Third I am puffing hard. As I came around the fifth there was a sign that said look out 1 mile, I was only 2/3 of the way. At about the sixth switch back one of the tour staff was standing out on the outlook yelling at me. No stopping now. So I made it up in one go!

Earlier in the day we had stopped for an early lunch in Sedona at the Pink Jeep Plaza to have coffee and a biscotti and enjoy to view across the valley. The rocks are really something else. From the tops of the rocks to the bottom of the valley has to be 1500 feet. The amount of material which has been eroded is unbelievable. Sedona is a really cute little town. We had visited about 3 years ago and the amount of new development is astonishing. I guess that this whole area has under gone phenomenal change. Cottonwood has exploded with new development. Flagstaff is bustling. I really wonder where this housing market bust is. I am looking at the prices and have real sticker shock.
Most of the day I kind of laid back and rode with some different people than I normally ride with. There are something like 42 riders of which 34 are going all the way across the country and I would like to get to know them. There are some real characters. One of the characters is the British fellow. He is now in the restaurant business in Portugal. In played in in a band in the early 60's in Manchester by the name of the "Aliens" and although they didn't quite make the big time were the warm up act for Herman's Hermits and Crosby Stills & Nash. In fact Crosby's girl friend dumped Crosby to go out with him. But then he dumped her. Another of the character is Boris a retired options trader. He is so funny he always has a quick quip and he looks like a real prankster.
So not withstanding all my goofing off I made it in 20th or right in the middle of the pack. Looks like a good place to be. "It is not a race!"
My butt has settled down nicely after I adjusted the seat. The concern-o-meter was just about pegged on how my butt was going to make it for an additional 43 days. Overall I think that I am getting my leggs under me and I feel stronger each day. The lack of seat time in training set me off to a slow start. However the other training that I did is starting to pay off. So a big thank you to all of the people who helped me get through that.
Today's picture is of this really neat little shed which was beside the road on the way into Flagstaff. I figured that if you really wanted to see pictures of Sedona you could look them up on Google.
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Rest day in Flagstaff tomorrow.