I put on the sunscreen this morning, mes amis!
Alan and I did a very fast-paced 40 mile loop up to Saddlebrooke and back, Gentler Readers of This Blog. I have never been in the back-way to Saddlebrooke, and I was told that its a scenic, less traffic rural route. There's a stop just in the center of the huge complex so we can get water.
Today Alan wanted me to practice riding right on his wheel. I'm trying to get used to the idea of riding fast in a pace line, and shoulder to shoulder with other riders. We also did some sprints as part of our workout this morning too. All I can tell you is that the first sprint and my heart rate went way up--felt like my lungs were gonna rip outta of my chest! So right from the start we were riding fast--not too much time for pictures. We're in the drops, and pushing with everything we've got.
Mt. Lemmon still has snow.
The photo up there is what is looks like over your shoulder as you're starting the hard part of the climb.
The Boss--he's pushing me hard--we are riding fast and not letting up on the pace.
It was a bit windy but that was okay--mainly there's a ton of pollen in the air, and I like to think that the exertion I'm putting out will keep that stuff from sticking in my lungs, eyes and nose. The minute you stop pedaling, you start sneezing!
When we arrived at the little store and gas station there in Saddlebrook, we ran into a group of about 20 riders--we think from Germany or Belgium, as I thought I heard French spoken--for sure German. Alan I believe they were a group of tourists, very wealthy tourists indeed. The bikes they had were the kind you only see in those rags like Velo News--beautifully and obscenely expensive. I seen what the rich Tucson boys ride around here, and these bikes were way beyond that. But they were fit, having a great time, and said hello and waved warmly to us as they pulled out in a tight squadron of men and titanium.
Today on the drive home by car, I saw the same group on River Rd, my commute route. They were stopped as a rider had a flat. This was in busy afternoon rush hour too.
By the Gods! The Realm of the Cyclemasters!
The Cyclemasters of Saddlebrooke are some of the best riders around--I believe you have to be at least 60 years old to ride with these guys. They are strong and fit--and this is their turf. All the residents out here know the Cyclemasters--they know someone who rides with them. Gerry Goode of Randonneuring fame is one of them--they are like the bike Gods that live in the mountains--and sometimes they play golf.
Actually a pretty nice place--
Alan and I leave Saddlebrooke and pretty much hammer all the way down to Oracle Rd and Ina. There the Sunday traffic has caught up to us and we have to maneuver just one tricky left turn to make the climb back up to Alan's place. After all that fast riding, its nice to just cool down and relax.
Alan has really made me realize that in order to get the fast time we both want for a ride like El Tour de Tucson, for example, we are going to have to be able to get in a pack, and stay there. Got to start to lose the weight and watch what I eat. I'm also thinking about doing the Cochise County Cycling Classic, or Cochise, or the 252 what ever you want to call it. The heat will be here soon enough and that will mean the 6 a.m. start times for riding--or starting even earlier!