Thursday, May 17, 2007

Up hill into a thunder storm:

Up early at Wickenburg and prepared for a ride almost straight north into the hills on our way to Prescott. Wickenburg is interesting kind of a place. It is kind of a historic town with a lot of older buildings in the down town. The restaurant we ate in was supposed to be over 100 years old. I thought that it was quite an interesting building but I heard a lot of jokes and comments about the flowered wall paper. From Wickenburg it was 25 miles straight up hill to the first sag stop. I was getting a little bit worried as by the time I got to the top it was 86 F. I guess that is still 20 degrees cooler than the desert, but still too hot for my taste. From there to the next stop at a little store at mile 43 was these false flats. False flats look like flat terrain but are really up hill climbs. Very deceptive and as you ride along you are working harder and harder trying to maintain a cadence but you can't. Once we got to the little store there was a number of large climbs of 2-3 miles each with a little dip in between. The final summit at 6100 ft was just 3 miles out of town which is at 5300 ft. This made the last 3 miles a great ride. Just as I reached the summit the the rain started to come down. It was great splashing down the hill though the puddles. I hit 42.1 mph (66.9 kms). I was going to try and take out Murray's record of 88 kms but the road was just a bit too windy and I caught up to this truck with a horse trailer. I was being cautious as the road was wet. The rain cooled things down and it was in the low 70's. So finished the 60 mile day with 7300 feet of elevation gain over the day feeling really good about it all. I was a little worried as yesterday I had heat exhaustion.

The people from Florida all had trouble and had to sag.
My room mate Jim was in third today beating the Jim's dispite the fact that they fix the ride rules so that they get to finish first. The rule makers were humbled to day finishing a distant 10, 11,and 12th. I think that everyone was glad to see that. I was in the middle of the pact some where. I stopped to take a bunch of pictures which slows you down. Besides not everyday is race day (or at least Colleen has been telling me that). Personally I believe that race day is the day you bring your best stuff, and you should bring your best every day. Sorry it is my blog and I get to say what I want.
The scenery was absolutely beautiful as we came though the last 18 miles. The desert land scape gave way to tall pine forest and with the storm clouds building over the hills it was beautiful.
There was one exciting moment today as I was coming down this one little decent at about 25 mph and lost concentration for about a second and as I came around the corner went a little bit wide into the lose gravel where the bike got a little squirrelly. The outside pedal just grazed the metal grade rail. Fortunately I pulled it back on to the pavement and got the bike under control. It was probably 300+ feet to the bottom of the valley. It would have been a really rough ride down that hill. Note to self: NO more day dreaming when going down hill.

Today's picture is of these two rocks on the first climb which have been painted to look like a frog. Very creative.

Thanks for visiting my blog and for sending me your coments (and if you haven't send them in). It is great to know what is going on in Calgary