D-Tour 2007: Glendale, AZ to Del Rio, TX

Sixty Mile day AND two flats!

I had today off because we were supposed to go to Las Vegas. That was canceled because we couldn’t get child care for an overnight trip that included a weekday. Anyway, I figured it was for the best – I miss my friends and really wish I could have gone to see them- but money is tight and I need the training time. So back to the title of my post –

I left the house today at 5:30am – I had a blast! It was cooler and I stayed in the canals for over 20 miles. I jumped out of the canals and headed up cave creek rd. I stopped after 30 miles for a short break. I had steady inclines for over five miles – but no real climbs. I was really having a lot of fun. Then it happened- my bike starting riding funny, pulling to the right. I look down and you know it – my front tire was flat. I was completely in the middle of nowhere! I had pasted a gas station like 8 miles back and I knew there was nothing for over 10 miles in front of me. I wasn’t bright enough to carry a spare tube or the tire tool I needed to change my tire, so I called Stephanie.

After walking over 3 miles (I wasn’t going to just sit there by the side of the road to wait) a guy in a truck pulls over and asks if I need help. I told him “Thank you” but said my wife was on her way. He replied, “Are you sure? I have everything you need right here in the truck, tubes, pumps – I’m on my way to a race.” I said “Wow, thanks”. Stephanie pulled up while we were changing the tire. She forgot the tire tool – but brought the replacement tube and pump. This kind gentleman only had road tubes – I needed a hybrid tube, so we used his tools to open the tire, and my tube to fix the flat.

It was getting hot – the temp was hitting 105, but I still felt good, so I opted to stay on the road despite my wife’s requests to join her for lunch. About ten miles later – you guessed it – another flat, this time I had picked up a nail in the back tire. I had Stephanie pick me up this time. I realized a couple of things on this trip today:

  • Take all the tools you need to fix a flat
  • Leave early in morning and get my riding done by noon

I still can’t believe I had two flats in one ride…

D-Tour 2007: Glendale, AZ to Del Rio, TX

What Am I Thinking?!?!?!?

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.

D-Tour 2007: Glendale, AZ to Del Rio, TX myThoughts

Up late

Well, it’s 2:40 am as I write this. I was asleep, but between a sick wife and a three year old kid that still doesn’t know what it means when he feels pain in his belly at night (he had to pee), I’m up. Now most of the time when this happens I just go back to bed, but I thought to myself:

Self, someone out there is waiting to get the latest blog entry from the Sackrider world.

So here I am. I only have three weeks left before I embark on my 1000 mile adventure. And considering that this weekend is all but shot, I only have two weekends left to train — and one of those I’m supposed to be in Vegas with a group of my Columbus friends. Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!!!

I’m frustrated with my training (or lack of it). Friday I got up early and went about 25 miles before work. I rode 19 miles home despite the fact that I didn’t leave work until just before 9pm. Leaving late was my fault however – I got in early and you know what they say: if you come in early, you have to leave late to make up.

I got home around 11pm. I was riding in the dark going as slow as 7-8 miles an hour at times due to a strong head wind. I felt like I was flying. The wind was whipping through my hair and I was pedaling at a cadence around 90 rpm (normal for me is more like 75 – 80). Anyway, I broke two spokes on my rear wheel. That’s right, two! I have been breaking a lot of spokes lately and thought to myself:

Self, it might be time for a new wheel!

So, Saturday morning when I was supposed to be riding, I was at home waiting on the bike shop to open. I bought a new wheel, a new tire, a new carriage (the gears in the back of the bike), and a new chain. It all needed to be done before my bike ride anyway, but my bike won’t be ready until noon today (Sunday). That’s right folks, my weekend of training is all but shot! My wife tells me that she has a bridal shower next weekend and as you know, Vegas is the weekend after that. This isn’t going well.

I’m going on this 1000 mile tour no matter what! If I don’t get a long ride in before then, oh well. I would rather attempt a 1000 mile ride, hoping to average around 85 miles a day – and only get 40 or 50 miles a day, run out of time before my two weeks are up having only ridden 600, 500, even 400 miles than to simply not try.