Sunday, July 17, 2005

5 Laps in Saguaro Nat'l Park

Another glorious morning in the Nat'l Park. This time we were there early enough to see all the runners gather for their ritual 8 mile run around the loop. The men and women there looked like the elite distance runners of Tucson. I believe the runners appreciated our positve encouragement and respectful consideration while we passed on our bikes. Sometimes I've seen cyclists speed by runners and people walking their dogs, taking photographs, etc, and for me its bad manners on the cyclist's part--hey what's the rush anyway? Save 20 seconds from point A to point B?

Anyway, there was this one runner in particular and he stood out from the rest. He was probably a professional top runner--you could just tell. I watched him run up a hill with power and grace--a hill that's not even easy to ride a bike up, no less. I told him he made that hill look easy. He beamed with confidence and graditute. "How many laps today?" I asked, "Five? Six?" He laughed at that one. We chatted and he told me a spot to watch for deer because they were almost alway there watching him run--probably with the same awe as I was.

So lap one was just a warm up and I enjoyed the sun coming over the Rincons.

I might also mention Phil at Pima bikes sold me an excellent set of Continental tires called Gator skins. They cost almost $90 but and Bev kind of got upset when she realized how much I spent. I told her, as a joke, that they were the kind Lance used--she was not amused. "If Lance wore ladies underware would you wear that too?" "Yes. Yes I would." was my reply. "But they were out of stock--and my order was on it's way direct from Paris."

Dave put me through some interval drills the next two laps, then we were joined by Jan. Dave ran her through some intervals and I have to say, they road fast--I was trying to keep up but needed to recover from my own intervals the lap before. On the down hill second part of the 9 mile loop, I got in the bars and caught up with them at the Ranger Gate.

We did lap 5 pretty tight together until the downhill (after the 1/2 mile climb) Jan and I road together and Dave took off to flex his legs for the last lap.

At the Ramada, we met a young woman from Chicago. She was doing a three week class for some special training at UofA. She had bought an old three-speed girls bike, and road it up to the Park. She had done a lap on that bike too! That would be like wearing high-heels to the beach--all us cyclists in our spandex with our spiffy bikes were pretty impressed.

I'd like to mention that I also saw my friend Warwick--he was by with his wife and I think Sister-in-Law. Warwick was looking strong as ever. He road El Tour in just under 6 hours last year as he had trained very hard to reach that goal.

John Heller, Warwick, and Dave Glasgow on the John Farr course last year.

Allure Libre, mes amis!

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