Sunday, November 18, 2012
This was to be my last organized ride of the year. An epic 111-mile ride around the beautiful city of Tucson. I stayed at the local Air Force Base's (Davis Montham) lodging facilities and arrived on Friday afternoon. That evening I dined with some wonderful ladies, who were also doing the ride. One of the ladies was Sparkpeople's own LILPAT3. It turned out to be a super evening. Prior to going to bed that night, I thought I had set the alarm for 3:30AM. When I woke up my watch said 5:20AM. No alarm. I hurried and got myself ready, drove downtown and realized that I had not re-set the time on my watch and thus was really 1 hour earlier. All turned out OK as I found a parking space two blocks away from the start. There were over 9,000 cyclists at the starting line and I decided that I was not going to line up and stand up, with my bike for 2 plus hours. Instead, I found a chair and an 84-year old former Dentist who was also going to do the ride. We had a great conversation during the 2-hour period. At 7:00AM the ride officially began and I waited on the sidelines until all cyclists passed me. I then entered the starting line and was off.
Although in the 50's at the start, the weather totally cooperated. What made this ride different from the others was the two dry river bed crossing that we maneuvered. One was approximately .250 of a mile while the other was .500. Due to the soft sand, we had to pick up the bikes until reaching the opposite side. Kind of a novel experience for me. The total climbing was 2,891 feet (according to my Garmin). While my gol was to finish below 6 hours, it just was not meant to be. The river crossings took much too much time and I finished up at 6:32. Overall, a super experience. I would highly recommend this ride. Very well organized. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. HOOAAA!!