Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Saguaro Lake 200km Brevet

You should have seen them on Maderia the next day!
It’s that time of year when a few Speed Theory members, friends and family head to Arizona and put their very early fitness to a test with the hard men and women of the Arizona Randonneurs.  I arrived in Tucson Boxing-Day 2013 with Paul and Trev showing up on December 31st just in time to party for New Years.  It just so happened that my three daughters and wife Elaine were in town which lead to a much more aggressive New Year’s Eve celebration than originally planned.  Let’s just say that we could confidently out ride the three twenty-year-old girls but we were no match on the party front.  This made for a very tough 120km ride to Maderia Canyon the next day.  We felt better on the 100km Kitts peak ride the following day and had fully recovered for out Gates/Star pass ride on the Friday before we headed up to Scottsdale. 

Packed for the trip to Scottsdale

After a big breakfast we headed over to the start and were welcomed by Carlton and Mike at sign-in. I had the great pleasure of riding with Mike on my Ontario 1200km brevet last year and have ridden with Carlton, one tough bastard, on a number of the AZ events in the past.  Unfortunately they had pre-road the course and were the key organizers on the event and therefore would not be riding with us.   It was warmer than expected; no long gloves required and we headed off with the other sixty riders at 7:30AM sharp.

There were a number of familiar faces from previous AZ Rando rides; Steve Atkins, Roger Peskett, Dick Wiss and Tom Baker but to name a few.  Another Canadian rider from Vancouver, Steve Barbauk introduced himself at the start-line and looked like another welcome addition to the Canadian train although a mix-up at the first control had him chasing all day.  There was another Canadian connection at the start; we noticed a rider on a bike made by local Calgary company Cycles Toussaint the rider was from the Sedona Arizona area.  

Stephen and Trev cruising down Dynamite Rd.
The pace was fairly reasonable off the start with fifteen or so riders separating from the main group.  With the first hills on Dynamite road the intensity went up or I should say Trev brought the intensity up and things came apart.  As we came to the first control we were waved into the Shell station to have our card signed while unbeknownst to us others had their card signed by the volunteer on the road.  We were in and out of the control in a heartbeat with young Daniele joining us but no Steve B.  Apparently Steve got mixed up in a group of riders that weren’t in the event and we were long gone by the time he realized his mistake.   To our surprise we could see three riders down the road. We thought that we had gotten sloppy at the control and missed rolling out with these guys.   We worked hard and it took quite some time to bridge.  Not surprising, as Steve A. and Roger were in the group with Kurt (the bulldog) Smith a new rider to us who would garner our respect through out the ride.   Trev rolled right by the riders with a few pleasantries then we were off with Kurt leaving his group and jumping in with us.  

As we hit the longer hills in the Saguaro Lake area young Daniel dropped off and even though we would drop Kurt on the hills he always turned up a short time later.  Kurt had local knowledge as he trained in this area and was able to give us local colour commentary.  We thoroughly enjoyed the scenery in and around this part of the ride.  Although we had coupons for lunch at the Subway Control we elected to skip the wait and keep rolling.  Trev had one of his hardest pulls after this control and I looked forward to my turn up front so I could rest.  I believe I also muttered a few unkind words.    We then hit my kind of hills, long and steady, so up front I went where I stayed for the duration of the major remaining climbs.  Trev then did another massive pull on the downhill and through a number of rollers, which saw Paul flagging a little from poor nutrition.   We weren’t far from the last control and once Paul was fueled up (V8 juice, who would have thought) he was back and bad.  We would see Kurt the last time at this control as he rolled in just as we were leaving.  We pounded back to the finish having to keep a keen eye on the navigation and unfortunately stop at a lot of stoplights.  We couldn’t buy a green light. 

We rolled into the finish in 6:57 having travel 206 km’s, climbed 1,863 meters at an average moving speed of 31.6km/h with 26 minutes off the bike or stopped.  All of this under beautiful Arizona blue skies on a well-organized brevet.

Just because we could we put in another 90km day out to Bartlett Lake and back the following day.  Very beautiful ride with lots of climbing, legs are officially baked.

This was the first event organized by Carlton van Leuven as the RUSA Regional Brevet Administrator and it came off flawlessly.  It appears that the mantle has been passed from Susan Plonsky into very capable hands. 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Did you ever upload the GoPro video?

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