Today's ride resolved the question of whether I would be able to complete the 75-mile El Tour de Tucson which is rapidly approaching. This was really a two-part ride: I started out the day with a 36-mile group ride from Sabino Cycles, and then I continued on for another 39 miles as a solo rider.
For today's ride I wanted to make sure that I wouldn't be hitting the energy wall, so I made sure to pack lots of Gu and Clif bars for the ride, but I also switched from Gatorade to a drink mix from Cytomax for the ride. This drink mix contains a lot of the same electrolytes as Gatorade – with less sugar – but it also contains carbohydrates, so I'm replacing more of what my body is burning during the ride. Between the three of these items, I kept up my energy levels for the full 75-miles. (Of course, I was in pain from five hours of abuse when the ride was over, but I felt significantly better from nutritional standpoint.)
These past few weeks I have tried to go on the group rides with the good folks from Sabino Cycles; now that their rides start a little later (at 7:00am) I feel more inclined to go. (In the summers they start at 6:00am, which is waaaaay to early for me.) For this week's ride, they were starting from the store and riding west through town to Starr Pass, around the short loop at the resort, and then back to the store.
On our way westward I was the source of temporary entertainment: as we pulled up to a stop sign, I couldn't get my shoe out of the clip, and I fell over. I wasn't hurt – I'm actually pretty good about falling; I simply roll with the fall and I generally come out unscathed. Nevertheless, I laughed loudly at myself as I was lying in the street to let everyone else know that I was okay and that it was okay to laugh along with me.
There's not much else to say about the 36-mile ride: it was at a very slow pace, perhaps 12 mph or so. (I'm not sure why it was so slow, other than lots of stop signs and stop lights.) I met some interesting people along the way: I had a long discussion with a couple of guys who go to Calvary Chapel on the eastside, which is where Kathleen and I went to church for a while. I also met a C-130 pilot from the Air Force who looked to be around the age of my daughter Rachel; Tucson is her first duty station, and I told her that she moved to the perfect town for cycling.
Once the 36-mile ride was over, I stopped briefly at the car to swap out my two depleted water bottles for two more that I had ready-to-go, then I hopped back on the road. I followed something of my same route from last Saturday – I rode north on Sabino Canyon Road to Cloud, then east to Larrea, then north to the Canyon Ranch Estates.
During last week's ride I turned around when I reached the Canyon Ranch Estates, but I had been studying the maps for the upcoming El Tour de Tucson, which indicated a path through the Canyon Ranch Resort. With that in mind, I memorized the area and I rode that during today's journey – sort of. I missed a turn, and as a result I found myself slogging my way up Rockcliff Road, which has one of the worst climbs in the area. (Note: that part of the ride really, really sucked.)
After I had finished my misadventure on Rockcliff Road, I headed north on Sabino Canyon, then west on Sunrise to Swan, then south on Swan to River, and east on River to Craycroft. These past several miles resembled a lot of the previous week's ride, but when I arrived at Craycroft I hopped onto the section of The Loop that runs through Rillito River Park. I rode this trail westward all the way to Interstate 10, which is somewhere around 12 miles, and then I turned around and headed east back to Craycroft. My total time riding along the Rillito River Park was 1½ hours for 24 miles; that averages out to 16 mph, which is perfectly acceptable for that distance even though it is slightly below my average 17 mph pace for short rides.
Once I arrived at Craycroft, I headed east on River to Sabino Canyon Road, then south to the Sabino Cycles shop. When I pulled into the parking lot near the shop, my actual riding time was a few seconds over 5 hours, although my total time from start to finish was just over 5½ hours. (Note: the total time includes stopping for red lights, swapping out water bottles, lying on my side after falling over, etc.)
- Primary Statistics:
- Start Time: 6:49am
- Distance: 75.3 miles
- Duration: 5:00:13
- Calories Burned: 2187 kcal
- Altitude Gain: 2304 feet
- Average Speed: 15.1 mph
- Peak Speed: 29.2 mph
- Average Cadence: 78.0 rpm
- Average: 59.9 F
- Minimum: 44.6 F
- Maximum: 73.4 F
- Heart Rate:
- Average: 142 bpm
- Maximum: 175 bpm