Ok – so this weekend was the ‘dry run’ for the 1000 mile tour. The plan was to start at 6am on Saturday, ride all day, find a place to stay the night, then come home the next day. Wait — Sunday is Mother’s Day! Stephanie was feeling like we weren’t spending a lot of time together already. She knew I needed this weekend’s ride, but I have been home late for the last several nights between riding the bike and just working late. So… We went to the drive in Friday night. We got home about 2am. So much for a 6am start. I didn’t get on the rode until 2pm!
I took the same route as my tour. It starts at ASU in Tempe. The high for the day was 103 but that is in the shade and away from traffic and black asphalt – I was neither in the shade nor away from the traffic heat. For over an hour of my ride the temperature on my bike was 120 degrees! Stephanie stayed close by to help with refilling my water and bringing me gatoraid. We did stop at a Walmart for a little while – getting out of the heat was nice. After four hours of 115-120 degree heat – I had gone 40 miles. The ride was harder (and hotter) than I had expected. Several miles of the trip were on rough pavement with fast traffic. It was now 6pm and with the sun was going down, it was time to find a place for the night.
Stephanie suggested we go on a head to Miami or Globe (where I had hoped to get to if I had started at 6am). This way, I would ride home from there. Well, the ride up was steeper than anything I have done yet. We stopped at a free camp ground only to realize that there was no water services — I needed a shower — so we heading on to look for a hotel.
Day Two – After taking longer to find a place to rest for the night I had a hard time getting up. I still got a much earlier start than day one — 8:30am. It was already 90 degrees when I hit the road, but for the first five miles it was all down hill. At one point I actually was cruising at about 45 miles an hour! Then I got to the hill. I thought it would never end! I had to get off the bike several times and walk it up the hills — much tougher than the two or three small hills I climb on my way to work every day. I may have walked my bike over 5 miles in all. I stopped to have lunch with Stephanie and take an hour or so break. After that, I scaled down the mountain back into the twenty mile flat that I stopped at the day before. It was 117 degrees and I was having a hard time. Stephanie offered to pick me up and bring me off that stretch of road. I had only gone 40 miles but it was already 3pm. I knew that once I got in the car I was done. We came home and my 150-200 mile weekend was 80 miles.
I do 40 miles a day when I ride my bike to work, but never during the hottest part of the day and never with the climbs I took on day two. It was hard – and at one point I really started to doubt my 1000 mile tour. But I’m still on board for the tour — I’m not in shape for it, I’m not sure how many of those 1000 miles I will spend walking the bike instead of on it — or worst in the car — but I am going.