Ride Notes for October 7th, 2014

As with most Tuesday and Thursday rides, today was another ride from my house to Saguaro National Park, completing a single loop around the park, and then heading home. I left a little early for this ride because a storm was fast approaching, and I wanted to get out and back before it hit.


The ride to the park was mostly-uneventful; the only bad part to it was that a construction project had traffic backed up along Old Spanish Trail, which added to my ride time. When I arrived at the park, the gate guard knew me (as most of them do) and we chatted briefly before I headed off into the park.

As I was entering the park, I passed another cyclist who appeared to be completing his first loop around the park and starting on his second time around, (although I found out later that he was on his first pass, too). I passed him near the first big drop that is only a few hundred yards into the park, and I didn't seem him again until several miles later. There were several cars making their way through the park, and I carefully passed them all as I completed the first half of the loop. As I made my slow ascent up Riparian Ridge, a few of those same cars passed me, only for me to pass them when they pulled off the road at the Riparian Overlook, and then they leapfrogged past me as we all headed to the Rincon Mountains Overlook.

The cyclist who I had seen near the entrance caught up to me as I was cresting the big hill of Riparian Ridge, and we rode together for the next mile or so as we discussed how the ridge is always difficult no matter how well you feel like you are riding. As we approached the Rincon Mountains Overlook, he was clearly riding at a slightly faster pace than me. I tried to keep his pace for a while, but I eventually fell behind. That's okay - perhaps I'll keep up with him some other day.

That being said, I was consciously trying to negotiate every part of the ride as fast as possible, with the hopes the I would finally hit one of my two primary goals for this route - either to complete the park loop in less than 30 minutes, or to complete the entire ride in less than an hour. For the most part I was riding strong for the day, and as I completed my loop around the park I thought that there might be a chance that I could exceed one or the other goal.

Unfortunately for me, by the time I made it to my exit off Old Spanish Trail near my house, the traffic was a mess and I couldn't cross the two lanes of cars near our neighborhood. With that in mind, I was forced to continue down Old Spanish Trail. As I reached the intersection with 22nd Street, I still couldn't cross traffic, so I had to ride through the intersection, pull off to the side of the road, wait for traffic to pass, cross the road into the local shopping center, then ride around it and into our neighborhood from the opposite direction.

When I arrived home and looked at my ride statistics, I had completed the entire ride in less than a minute over the 1-hour mark, so I clearly would have arrived home in less than an hour if I had not run into the traffic problems on Old Spanish Trail. That being said, when I looked at my time for the park loop, I had missed the 30-minute mark by ten measly seconds. Darn, darn, darn. I missed both goals by just a few seconds, so perhaps I'll hit one the next time.

Ride Stats:

  • Primary Statistics:
    • Start Time: 4:35pm
    • Distance: 17.0 miles
    • Duration: 1:00:56
    • Calories Burned: 612 kcal
    • Altitude Gain: 824 feet
  • Speed:
    • Average Speed: 16.7 mph
    • Peak Speed: 31.7 mph
    • Average Cadence: 63.0 rpm
  • Temperature:
    • Average: 75.8 F
    • Minimum: 73.4 F
    • Maximum: 78.8 F
  • Heart Rate:
    • Average: 152 bpm
    • Maximum: 173 bpm
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