Pat and I set out this morning in wind 21mph gusting to 26, for what we intended to be a 60-mile ride, our first increase over last week's 48.
So we rode out 30 miles. Well, 29.9. We came to an intersection that seemed like a logical turnaround spot. I said, "29.9, that's close enough." And Pat said, "Why don't we turn right and take this road? It says 11 miles to Coolidge, and then it should loop back around to Florence and from there it's just 16 miles home." OK, I'm game.
Except the loop to Coolidge back around to Florence added 15 miles. And whereas turning west to Coolidge put the wind behind us (we were coasting at 16mph), on the way back to Florence, logically, we had the same wind against us. Remember it was 26mph at 8:30a.m..... 3 hours later with increased heat revving it up... we were crunching dust in our teeth, since we are now on Day 111 without rain. Against the wind we couldn't manage more than about 9mph. Plus it was close to 80*F. 100% Arizona sun. And the road back to Florence.... Argghhh. You know those regularly-spaced cracks that they fill with tar? Yeah, those. Ba-dump. Ba-dump. Ba-dump. It was my new Fizik Arione Wing-Flex saddle's maiden voyage and while it's a great saddle and I can tell already I love it, it was still a long way in a new saddle, especially inasmuch as this one doesn't have one of those strategically-placed cutouts in the middle of it. I wore regular bike shorts instead of my thinner tri-shorts, thinking they'd be more protection on the new saddle, but I think they made it worse, for the reason I don't like regular bike shorts in the first place. The pad is too thick, it wads up and rubs. Anyway, the moral here is don't take a new saddle, that's architectually different from your old one, 75 miles on its first time out, in shorts you're not used to either.
Other than that it was a great ride and I'm pleased as punch. Pat was complaining of fatigue the last 6 or 7 miles, and needed rest stops every couple miles. We had stopped for about half an hour at a Subway around Mile 45, once more at a Dollar Store because I wanted more water, and once briefly while I took a visit behind a bush because I'd drank so much water. (Yes, I was also replacing sodium, 600mg per hour via Succeed capsules, plus a bag of chips, a packet of peanut butter crackers, and a Payday Bar.) Pat said everything she had was aching by the time we got back. I felt great except for my shorts issue.
Now I've had a shower and a hamburger and a couple glasses of Bloody Mary mix w/o the vodka (I love the tang, way better than pedestrian V8 juice), a Corona, and I'm happier than a bee in a garbage can. Didn't intend to go that far but I'm glad we did! Here's our route... zoom in by sliding the slider up if you want more detail, since at the scale I've shown, it doesn't show either Florence or Coolidge (which implies how big Florence and Coolidge are.)
Did I say, back in November, I didn't have anything in common with anyone in this campground? Thank God for Pat.... Pat's training for some 200-mile ride in CA the middle of May and is glad we did the extra miles, as well, although it took more out of her. I was astonished to find out this is only her third road ride since November. She mountain-bikes, though. Still.... at 65, she's smokin'!!!!
Oh, and click on my "Bike America" link under my sidebar title, "Training-Fantasy Maps" for how far I'd have gotten since the first of the year if I were biking from Florence, OR to Panama City Beach, FL, which I hope to do by IMFL on Nov. 4 (something like 2292 miles, I forget exactly.)