If I was forced to choose one word to describe today's ride, that word would be "wet."
By way of explanation, it rained during today's ride. It rained a lot. The weather forecast predicted a 60% chance of rain, and I guess that I was fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to encounter several rounds of that 60%. Nevertheless, I pushed on and rode a little over 50 miles.
Today didn't start as planned, though. I had intended to go out with the folks from Sabino Cycles again, who had planned to ride out to Starr Pass on the west side of town. That being said, I usually drive to the bike shop and head out from there, but today Kathleen needed our car, (we only have one), so I decided to ride my bike to the shop. As Kathleen aptly pointed out, I am usually looking to add extra mileage to my Saturday rides, so it made logical sense to ride the 6 miles to the shop to start the ride. Along the way I noticed that my cadence was not being tracked my GPS, which is the second time that has happened to me, so I will have to investigate that later.
The ride was scheduled to start at 7:30am, and I knew that it would take me around 20 minutes or so to make the 6-mile journey from my house to the shop. With that in mind, I wanted to leave our house as close to 7am as possible, but my departure was delayed by two factors: I tried to figure out a good way to bring my rain gear with me, and I had to remove my dual-water-bottle cage from my seat post because it was falling apart. (Yet again.) I eventually decided that it would be too difficult to bring my rain gear, and I got on the road at 7:15am.
I knew that I was running late, but I knew from previous excursions which route the Sabino Cycles folks would take to Starr Pass, so I figured that I could just catch up with them if I missed the start of the ride. I made good time the whole way to the shop, and even though I was a few minutes behind schedule I was sticking to my plan. That is, until I noticed a bunch of riders from Sabino Cycles headed in the opposite direction as I rode down Tanque Verde; my guess was that the rain on the far west side of town forced the group to reconsider the originally-scheduled ride and head east away from the rain. But I had no idea where they were headed, and by the time that I would be able to make a U-turn in traffic on Tanque Verde, the group would have been long gone.
Because of this predicament, I decided to go on my own ride. I chose to start my ride with a route that I have used before: north on Sabino Canyon to Cloud, then east to Larrea, then north to Canyon Ranch, then west on Snyder to Sabino Canyon, then north to Sunrise, and then west to Swan. (Side note: the big hill on Sunrise near Ventana Canyon was much easier for me this time around than on previous rides; either I'm more in shape or I simply wasn't paying attention.)
I decided to change up my route by riding south on Swan to Rillito River Park, which I rode westward all the way until it dead-ended at I-10. Somewhere around the 25-mile mark it began to rain, which grew progressively harder as I continued to ride. I could have turned around or stopped under a bridge or pulled into a store somewhere, but the truth is – I've been in much worse situations during my time in the military, so I just pressed on. (As did several other cyclists and joggers along the trail who looked equally as determined to stick to their respective workouts.) That being said, it didn't take long before everything that I was wearing was soaked through. The temperature was around 50 F for most of the ride, so thankfully my soggy condition was not compounded by cold temperatures.
I turned around when I reached I-10, and then I rode east all the way to Craycroft. As I rode along the Rillito River Park, I mulled over which way would be the best route home. I knew that I would have somewhere around 50 miles for the day, so distance was not a contributing factor in my decision-making process. I eventually decided to ride north on Craycroft to River, then east to Sabino Canyon, and then retrace something of the same route back to our neighborhood. The rest of the ride was uneventful, for the most part, but my bicycle was incredibly filthy from all the mud and other assorted road grime, so I spent a fair bit of time cleaning off my bicycle when I got home. (And then I took a long, hot shower to warm back up.)
- Primary Statistics:
- Start Time: 7:16am
- Distance: 52.3 miles
- Duration: 3:14:50
- Calories Burned: 1589 kcal
- Altitude Gain: 1536 feet
- Average Speed: 16.1 mph
- Peak Speed: 29.3 mph
- Average Cadence: n/a (see notes)
- Average: 50.2 F
- Minimum: 48.2 F
- Maximum: 59.0 F
- Heart Rate:
- Average: 146 bpm
- Maximum: 172 bpm