Ride Notes for December 9th, 2014

Today was another of my usual rides from my house through Saguaro National Park (SNP) and home again. As I mentioned a few days ago I have been trying to complete the entire ride in less than an hour and circumnavigate SNP in less than 30 minutes. Once again I was very close to both goals; I was 42 seconds over the 30-minute goal for SNP, and a mere 9 seconds over an hour for the whole ride.

2014-12-09

However, today was a really good ride for the most part; I was riding pretty well, and I really should have met both goals today. So the logical question is – what happened? I think I can explain that in one word: cars. Today there were a lot of cars in the park, which required me to have to continuously re-adjust my pace. Of course, the park is for everyone, not just me, so it goes with the territory.

However, there were some particular annoyances with today's car traffic. First of all was the car that I ran into as I approached the very first downhill in the park; I had to back off on my speed, although I was able to pass the car as we made our way uphill on the opposite side. Shortly after that I ran into another car which insisted on stopping in the middle of the road to take photos. (Grr.) While I realize that the park is for everyone, it would be nice if those kinds of people would pull to the side of the road.

There were several other cars who were driving quite slowly through the park, which forced me to slow down time and again. As I approached Javelina Rocks, a large pickup truck was crawling along the road around 5mph with another car following close behind. The truck eventually pulled off the road, so both the car and I passed the truck.

But then I faced the worst automotive transgressor of today's ride: when the car pulled around the truck, he knew that I was behind him, and he positioned himself so that I could not pass. He drove slowly as we headed downhill, thereby intentionally impeding a section of the park where I usually pick up speed and make up for time lost on the big hills. Once we reached the bottom of the hill, he glanced at me as he took off, just to let me know that he was doing it just to be a pain in the butt.

Ride Stats:

  • Primary Statistics:
    • Start Time: 2:52pm
    • Distance: 16.9 miles
    • Duration: 1:00:09
    • Calories Burned: 669 kcal
    • Altitude Gain: 822 feet
  • Speed:
    • Average Speed: 16.8 mph
    • Peak Speed: 31.1 mph
    • Average Cadence: n/a (see notes)
  • Temperature:
    • Average: 66.6 F
    • Minimum: 64.4 F
    • Maximum: 73.4 F
  • Heart Rate:
    • Average: 158 bpm
    • Maximum: 175 bpm
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