Friday, July 23, 2010

Big Fry Day Ride

East on Tangerine Rd, and almost to the intersection of Tangerine and Thornydale. Mt. Lemmon in the back ground with clouds--5:30 a.m.

Tucson has had a few days of cooler temps during the day--only in the 90's, mes amis. Nights are cooler too--which means the sunrise is the best! I had to take off Thursday and drive in... I was hurting and exhausted from Wednesday and needed a night to hit the sack early. That means I'm not scrambling to pack and clean up everything the night before the ride.

Making the morning climb, first thing up Tangerine!

Driving Thursday means I get home early and I can cook, feed Callie, make and pack a lunch, and then Callie and I get a walk in at the park to play ball--all this before 7 p.m. Going to bed by 9 o'clock after a cool shower and a chilled glass of milk is the best--but a rare occurrence for the Randonneur.

On the bike path, with Sabino Canyon's Thimble Peak in the background--a Tucson landmark, mes amis.

This Friday I did take the wee bit shorter and fast route down Thornydale, instead of the longer way on Moore and then through Oro Valley. As I got up to the intersection and light, I had a change of heart and mind--and so shot down those 2 miles of pot holes, cracks, and cranky old-farts driving Buick's. In no time I was cruising in the bike lane and making some good speed on River Rd.

Clouds began to dissolve on the ridge, but a blue mist seemed to still sleep on top of Mt. Lemmon. I quick jumped on the bike path for a few miles to Craycroft, then it seemed in no time I was gliding into the home stretch and on campus of the San.

Arrival at my bike locker, 7:10 a.m.

I want to tell you that this Friday morning ride into the office was one of the best. Perfect weather, light traffic, and green lights all the way--Too bad the ride home was so miserable, Gentle Readers of This Blog...

After work looking back to the East--here come the Monsoon clouds.

First of all, it was very hot in the afternoon--and there was this weird wind that was hot and dry. Before I even got clipped into my pedals, I was really sweating.

Carradice Pendal bike bag on the Raleigh Super Grand Prix.

The wind punished me like I was in a mosh pit of something. I'm a big guy, so I was surprised how strong the gusts were. I had to work hard--very hard to get up Swan Ave. Even though the clouds were coming in and it was cooler, the pavement had been baking all day, so the heat was radiating off the pavement. With the wind blowing that hot air around and over the road, it was like I was riding against a giant hair dryer--going up-hill!

Taken from Oro Valley City Hall, where I have an emergency water stop if I need it--today I had to stop mes amis...

Well, the ride home was uneventful until I started to make the climb up and through Oro Valley on La Canada. I began to get a deep and sharp leg cramp in my right thigh. I was barely making any speed up the road--it was getting hard to pedal. I just decided I had to make it to OV City Hall, where I discovered a few years ago an outside drinking fountain. The water is ice-cold. I just made it to the parking lot and had to rest. I took the photo above for you, Gentle Reader. Then limped over to the drinking fountain to fill my bottles.

Under the Oro Valley City Hall Ramada.

I'm not sure why, but I had real need to rest and try to cool down. I lay on a bench under the Ramada for about 10 minutes just to think about what the hell was wrong with me. I had such a great and strong and fast ride into the San--now I was suffering for the ride home.

I ate an orange and power bar--very slowly I started to feel like I could get moving--and it was slow, very slow going until Moore Rd.

Pucsh Ridge.

In the picture above, my office would be on the other side of the ridge. I've ridden up from the valley, and then along the ridge and past the edge, which would be on the right--and then though Oro Valley now on Moore Rd at the base of the Tortolitas (Dog Mtn) I have about six miles or seven miles to ride West until I reach home.

C'est Moi.

I took the fast way into to the office, and now the long way back to Dog Mtn and my place. This has turned out to be a long tough Friday ride, mes amis.

The beauty and solitude of Moore Rd, heading West in the open desert.

The time is almost 7 p.m. and I left the office just before 5 o'clock--so it has taken me two hours to get back tonight!

Just over 50 miles in the saddle today alone--really not that many miles... The were just tough tonight.

Mt. Lemmon behind me...

There are 125 miles to ride from my house, to the top of Mt. Lemmon, and then back home. I'll be doing that ride here in a few weeks, mes amis--stay tuned.

Cheers! Bruce


Big Clyde said...

Sounds like a long day in our hood, Bruce. Glad you came around after the break at the OV City Hall.

Bruce's Bike Blog said...

Hey Big Clyde,

Thanks for stopping by the blog--By Friday, the legs are tired I think. OV always is the last tough section before I get home. One day I'll see you out there on the road! Cheers! Bruce