Ride Notes for June 27th, 2015

Despite having ridden in temperatures over 100 degrees (Fahrenheit) in the past, I appear to have failed in learning the important lesson that riding in extreme temperatures really takes a lot out of you. That was abundantly evident during today's 60-mile ride; even though I started early to avoid the hotter temperatures, as the day wore on I found myself suffering through the worst temps of the day, as evidenced by the following photo of my GPS when I approached the 50-mile mark of the ride:


When I'm riding during the hotter times of year, I tend to arrange my rides in something like a cloverleaf pattern, where I am always trying to get back to the entrance of Saguaro National Park (SNP) in order to refill my water bottles. (I try to do that every 15 to 20 miles.) During this ride, however, I was still several miles away from SNP when I realized that I wasn't going to have enough water to get back.

With that in mind, I called Kathleen, and the following conversation transpired:

  • Kathleen: Hello? Where are you?
  • Me: [Panting.] I'm not sure; somewhere way out on east Tanque Verde.
  • Kathleen: Are you okay?
  • Me: I've just realized that I don't have enough water to make it back to my refill location.
  • Kathleen: Okay, I'll come get you.
  • Me: Oh no, I don't want to quit - I just need you to bring me some more water.
  • Kathleen: You realize that you're nuts, right?
  • Me: Yup.

And my darling spouse, being the wonderful person that she is, drove out to meet me and brought me several bottles of water so I could refill and continue my ride for another 10 miles.

Ride Stats:

  • Primary Statistics:
    • Start Time: 9:25am
    • Distance: 60.1 miles
    • Duration: 4:32:22
    • Calories Burned: 2526 kcal
    • Altitude Gain: 2681 feet
  • Speed:
    • Average Speed: 13.4 mph
    • Peak Speed: 33.3 mph
    • Average Cadence: 71.0 rpm
  • Temperature:
    • Average: 99.6 F
    • Minimum: 78.8 F
    • Maximum: 111.2 F
  • Heart Rate:
    • Average: 152 bpm
    • Maximum: 182 bpm

Sunset On This Evening's Ride

Sunset during this evening's 52-mile bicycle ride...

Sunset Over the Desert

Which reminds me, I should point out that there are both good and bad things about heading out for a long ride in the evening; one of the good things is getting to see sunsets like this. However, one of the bad things is when you realize that you're seeing a sunset like this while you're still 15 miles away from your house, which means that in a few minutes you will be plunged into a darkness that will surround you like an encroaching evil, where you are never more than one menacing pothole away from certain death.

Did I mention that the light on my bicycle failed five minutes after I turned it on? It's a good thing that I was once a Boy Scout and I had a backup light; it was better than nothing, but it barely offered enough light to see the road.

Just Before Darkness Fell,
(And I still needed to ride half-way to the far horizon)

That being said, I can see that I have digressed from my original thought... it really was a nice sunset.

Ride Stats:

  • Primary Statistics:
    • Start Time: 5:14pm
    • Distance: 52.5 miles
    • Duration: 3:29:01
    • Calories Burned: 1656 kcal
    • Altitude Gain: 2181 feet
  • Speed:
    • Average Speed: 14.8 mph
    • Peak Speed: 30.8 mph
    • Average Cadence: 76.0 rpm
  • Temperature:
    • Average: 83.7 F
    • Minimum: 78.8 F
    • Maximum: 89.6 F
  • Heart Rate:
    • Average: 144 bpm
    • Maximum: 175 bpm

Ride Notes for January 17, 2015

Once again, I was a weather wimp today. The nice folks at Sabino Cycles had organized an 8am ride for the Northeast side of town, (even going downhill on Freeman Road!). That being said, I looked at the weather forecast last night and saw that the temperature was going to be around 45 degrees at that time, but if I waited a few hours the temperature would be in the 70s. With that in mind, I didn't bother to set my alarm last night and I woke up sometime around 8:30am. Kathleen and I had a bunch of various chores to do around the house, and I wanted to do a small bit of bicycling maintenance before I hit the road, so I made plans to head out sometime in the afternoon.


After taking care of our assorted domestic activities around the house, I managed to get on the road shortly before 3pm. My plan was to ride around Pistol Hill Loop, which is decent metric half-century ride (50K or 31 miles). The weather was gorgeous – 65 degrees, blue skies, and nary a cloud in sight. The first four miles of the ride were fairly routine – it's the same path that I take whether I'm riding to Saguaro National Park or the Pistol Hill Loop.

As I hit the bottom of Jeremy Wash and rode past the Rincon Valley Market, I had been riding for almost a half-hour, and I could tell that my pace felt just slightly behind normal. (Looking at my ride statistics later in the day showed that I was 1.5 minutes behind my normal pace for the 15-mile loop from the Rincon Valley Market around the Pistol Hill Loop and back. Hmm… I can tell when I'm going to be a minute off for a whole hour?) With that in mind, I decided that I should hit some of my energy snacks. I usually use the Gu gels, but Kathleen had picked up some of the Gu Chomps energy chews for me, which are somewhat like Gummi Bears:


They were pretty good, but eating something solid like an energy chew while riding uphill is a little more difficult than ingesting a gel; I had to be extra careful not to inhale something by accident while I rode (and thereby I avoided choking to death).

There's not much to say about my ride around the Pistol Hill Loop; it's much easier for me than it used to be, but that doesn't mean that it still doesn't suck. Nevertheless, I saw lots of other cyclists on the road, and we all waved cordially to each other as we passed on opposite sides of the road.

I had been riding for 1.5 hours by the time I completed my way around the loop past the Rincon Valley Market and started my way up the steep hills on the north side of Jeremy Wash. The next few miles were pretty much all uphill, and I could really feel the impact of not having ridden earlier in the week. (By way of explanation, I was slammed at work this week, so I was forced to skip my normal Tuesday and Thursday rides.)

Needless to say, I was pretty tired by the time that I was approaching Saguaro National Park. And even though it wasn't on my original plan, I decided to turn into the park and add its 8-mile loop to my ride. (Although the whole time my brain was screaming, "I don't want to do this! I don't want to do this!")

Unfortunately I entered the park behind a very slow-moving vehicle that wanted to negotiate all of the initial hills around 5mph, and the road was too narrow so there was no way for me to pass. I was really frustrated by this predicament – not just because I was forced to ride 20 mph slower than normal, but also because it meant that I couldn't pick up any speed during my descents to use when ascending the next hill. After an extremely slow first mile or so, I was finally able to pass the slowpoke, who never pulled to the side of the road despite clearly seeing me in their driver-side mirror. (Grr.) Needless to say, this really hurt my ride time around the park.

On the straightaway between the 2nd and 3rd miles, I was hitting my energy snacks again as another cyclist passed by me. That probably wouldn't have happened on a normal day, but I was riding a few mph slower at that precise moment while I was consuming a few more Gu chews. Once I was done, I resumed my normal pace, and I stayed a couple of hundred yards behind the other cyclist for the next mile or so as we approached the steepest part of the climb up Riparian Ridge.

As we both climbed the ridge for the next half-mile or so, I was steadily gaining on the other cyclist, but he crested each hill before me (since he was a hundred yards ahead of me by this point), and he took better advantage of his descents to widen the gap between us. (You may remember from previous blogs that my overwhelming Fear of Mortality on a bicycle kicks in around the 30 mph mark, and the other guy obviously does not suffer from a similar sense of fear.)

Anyway, the gap between us grew to a sufficient-enough distance that I would not be able to catch up, but I tried my best to keep a decent pace for the rest of the ride through the park and all the way home. I arrived at our house right around 5:30pm, with just a tenth of a mile under 40-miles for the total distance. That's not too bad for my only ride this week.

Ride Stats:

  • Primary Statistics:
    • Start Time: 2:57pm
    • Distance: 39.9 miles
    • Duration: 2:33:18
    • Calories Burned: 1708 kcal
    • Altitude Gain: 1808 feet
  • Speed:
    • Average Speed: 15.6 mph
    • Peak Speed: 31.2 mph
    • Average Cadence: 77.0 rpm
  • Temperature:
    • Average: 63.7 F
    • Minimum: 59.0 F
    • Maximum: 66.2 F
  • Heart Rate:
    • Average: 158 bpm
    • Maximum: 174 bpm

Ride Notes for January 10, 2015

Today was a fairly easy ride, although I had planned to ride more. The folks from Sabino Cycles had a ride scheduled for 8am this morning, but I had stayed up way too late the night before and decided against going out that early. I got up around 9am, but I had a lot of household work items to do, and as you may recall from earlier blog posts I needed to change out my flat tire.

I tried an experiment for my new inner tube: I bought a Slime Smart Tube, which is touted as a "self-healing tube," meaning that it contains a compound that should automatically plug small holes when they occur. (And Arizona is a state with no shortage of sharp, pointy things that try to kill your tires.) Reviews for Slime tubes are mixed, but I have known some people who love them. I knew that they would weigh more than a normal tube, so I decided to weigh a tube before installing it on my bicycle. A normal tube that I use weighed 84 grams (2.96 ounces), whereas the Slime tube weighed 176 grams (6.21 ounces). That shouldn't be enough of a difference to weigh me down all that much; and it's much better than a solid tube.


After finishing some routine maintenance on my bicycle, I was able to get on the road shortly after 4pm. I made good time to Saguaro National Park, where I got into a conversation about Fat Bikes with another cyclist who was leaving the park and one of the Park Rangers. I had been researching that style of bike earlier in the week, so I was able to discuss the merits of owning one. (I'm still not sure if I would get one, though.)

There were a few cars in the park, but for the most part the traffic wasn't too bad. I felt like I was making good time for the entire ride, and I completed the full distance from my house through Saguaro National Park and home again in a few seconds over an hour, so I was incredibly close to my one-hour goal. That being said, my time around the park loop was a little over two minutes slower than my best time, so had I completed the loop around the park a little closer to my 30-minute goal for that course, I would have beat my one-hour goal for the total distance.

There's always next time.

Ride Stats:

  • Primary Statistics:
    • Start Time: 4:14am
    • Distance: 16.8 miles
    • Duration: 1:00:16
    • Calories Burned: 745 kcal
    • Altitude Gain: 3173 feet
  • Speed:
    • Average Speed: 16.7 mph
    • Peak Speed: 32.3 mph
    • Average Cadence: 71.0 rpm
  • Temperature:
    • Average: 58.0 F
    • Minimum: 55.4 F
    • Maximum: 69.8 F
  • Heart Rate:
    • Average: 162 bpm
    • Maximum: 175 bpm

Ride Notes for January 7th, 2015

Well, today's ride didn't start as planned, and as a result, the rest of the ride didn't go as planned, either. If you read my last blog post, you would remember that my rear tire was flat from the other day. I had a spare inner tube, so I budgeted time to replace the tube before heading out for a ride. It took a while to remove the old tube, and after I had the new tube in place, I started to pump up the new tire. I had barely got the air pressure up to 40 PSI when the tube exploded – quite loudly. (It really scared our puppy who was resting nearby.)

This left me with two options: 1) ride my hybrid bicycle, or 2) don't ride. The second option was totally undesirable, so I decided to ride my hybrid. I hadn't ridden that bicycle to Saguaro National Park in a few months, so I was slightly curious how badly that would impact my ride. (Not too much, as it turns out.)


My cadence meter is mounted on my road bike, so I wasn't able to track my cadence; that meant that I simply judged my speed based on miles-per-hour. There were a couple of other things that impacted my ride time: 1) my hybrid is about 15 pounds heavier than my road bike, and 2) the pedals on my hybrid bike are not configured for cleats, so I lost a great deal of pedaling power. Nevertheless, I completed the whole ride around four minutes slower than normal.

There isn't much else to say about the ride; my attempts at repairing my flat tire meant that I left home later than I intended, so the sun was setting as completed my loop around Saguaro National Park. With that in mind, I was extremely happy that I had re-attached my good riding light to my hybrid.

Ride Stats:

  • Primary Statistics:
    • Start Time: 4:44pm
    • Distance: 16.9 miles
    • Duration: 1:06:39
    • Calories Burned: 727 kcal
    • Altitude Gain: 823 feet
  • Speed:
    • Average Speed: 15.2 mph
    • Peak Speed: 31.4 mph
    • Average Cadence: n/a
  • Temperature:
    • Average: 63.9 F
    • Minimum: 60.8 F
    • Maximum: 71.6 F
  • Heart Rate:
    • Average: 160 bpm
    • Maximum: 177 bpm

Ride Notes for January 4th, 2015

It has been a couple of weeks since my last ride; I had been out of town, and then we had a spate of really, really cold weather. (Below freezing at night, and in the low-40s during the day.) With all of these factors in mind, I hadn't ridden in a while. Sunday isn't my normal day, but I decided that I really needed to get back on the bike.


The temperature was pretty good considering the time of year; the rest of the country is embroiled in the throes of winter storms, and I was treated to sunny, 60-degree riding weather. (Times like this remind me of why I like Arizona.)

For the most part the ride was going well; my pace was around normal, and what little traffic was driving around the loop was easily passed. That being said, I had a couple of little mishaps as I was exiting the park: 1) I was pulled over by the park rangers, and 2) my bicycle got a flat tire.

Here's the story:

As everyone completes the loop, there is a posted stop sign for both cars and bicycles, although I usually treat it as yield sign. My reasoning is simple: I can easily see when there are no cars in the area, so I'm well-aware when there are no safety issues, and it's easier to ride through the stop sign rather than come to a complete stop. (Plus I'm riding for time.) But today I saw a park vehicle near the end of the loop with flashing lights, and as I rode by it, one of the park rangers gestured for me to stop. He asked if I had come to a complete stop at the sign. I replied honestly and said that I had not, so he mentioned that they were writing tickets for cyclists who weren't stopping. He took my driver's license and called that in, and we continued to talk. He explained why they were giving tickets, which was to increase safety near the park entrance, and I explained that I usually treat it as a yield sign. (I'm an honest guy, even when faced with a possible ticket.) For some reason the ranger decided to let me go with a verbal warning, but after he had done so, we got into a discussion about our respective military careers. We chatted for ten minutes or so, and then we both needed to head off to our respective destinations.

As I got back on my bicycle, I had ridden perhaps 100 yards or so when I noticed that the ride was quite bumpy. By the time I had ridden another 100 yards I realized that my rear tire was completely flat. I hopped off the bike, and I tried to call Kathleen. She didn't answer her phone, so I walked my bicycle back to the shack near the park entrance where I re-inflated my rear tire with my pump. I climbed back on the bike and started to ride toward home, but I barely made it 100 yards before the tire was flat again. At that point, my only choice was to try and call Kathleen again. This time she answered, and we arranged for her to come pick me up.

In the end, I lost a little over four miles for today's ride because of the flat. Just the same, I was very glad that Kathleen was available to pick me up. If this had been a weekday and she was working… I would have had a long walk home.

Ride Stats:

  • Primary Statistics:
    • Start Time: 3:32pm
    • Distance: 12.6 miles
    • Duration: 0:50:45
    • Calories Burned: 595 kcal
    • Altitude Gain: 819 feet
  • Speed:
    • Average Speed: 14.9 mph
    • Peak Speed: 31.4 mph
    • Average Cadence: 72.0 rpm
  • Temperature:
    • Average: 60.1 F
    • Minimum: 59.0 F
    • Maximum: 62.6 F
  • Heart Rate:
    • Average: 165 bpm
    • Maximum: 176 bpm

Ride Notes for December 20th, 2014

OK - I have to admit, today I wimped out. Twice, actually. Oh sure, I went on a ride, but it wasn't the ride that I had planned to do. Perhaps I should explain...

Today the folks from Sabino Cycles were going to do their foothills route starting from their store. Because the weather is much colder than normal, they scheduled the start time for the ride at 8:00am. With that in mind, I got up at 7:00am and I started getting ready to go. However, when I looked at the outside temperature, it was 39 degrees Fahrenheit, so I said to myself, "There's no way that I'm riding in temperatures that cold."

I knew that the temperature was supposed to warm up to 60 F degrees, so I decided to wait until the temperature was at least 50 F degrees or so before starting out. Several hours later the temperature was in the mid-50s, so I got my things together and headed out into the desert. (Although I paused briefly before I left the house to re-pair my cadence tracking hardware with my Gamin.)


I hadn't ridden the Pistol Hill Loop in a while, so I thought that would make a good trek for the day. I contemplated doing the loop twice, which would be a 50-mile ride, but I decided against that while I was on the ride. (I'll explain why later.)

The first 4.5 miles of the ride is the same route that I travel when I am riding to Saguaro National Park; it's a gradual uphill, but nothing too bad. After that, the next couple of miles are mostly downhill to the bottom-most point in Jeremy Wash. Once you hit that point, then you start the long, uphill ride for the next seven miles. As I mentioned before, it had been a few months since I had ridden this course, and overall the climbing was much easier than I recalled. (The hills haven't gotten any better, of course; I'm simply riding a little stronger.)

In any event, the last push uphill to the high point on Pistol Hill Road was still difficult, but I was riding much better than I had in the past. (And my ride time shows that; I completed the entire Pistol Hill Loop in 20 minutes less than my previous ride.)

The temperature had warmed up nicely, and it was over 62 F degrees by the time that I reached the high point on Pistol Hill Road. Unfortunately, the sun went behind some clouds, and the temperature dropped amazingly fast. Within a few minutes the temperature had dropped almost 10 degrees to 53 F, which feels like a lot more when you're on a bicycle. This made me very uncomfortable as I rode downhill from Pistol Hill Road along Camino Loma Alta and back to Old Spanish Trail.

When I ride around the Pistol Hill Loop twice, I always turn around at Saguaro National Park to begin my second pass rather than riding all the way home. But as I rode up the hills toward Saguaro National Park, the temperature was still hovering in the low-50s. Since it wasn't getting any warmer, and it was already around 3pm, I decided that I would just do the loop once and head home. This would give me a metric half-century for the day instead of an imperial half-century, but I was pretty cold so I didn't care.

Ride Stats:

  • Primary Statistics:
    • Start Time: 1:23pm
    • Distance: 31.6 miles
    • Duration: 1:54:57
    • Calories Burned: 1136 kcal
    • Altitude Gain: 1280 feet
  • Speed:
    • Average Speed: 16.5 mph
    • Peak Speed: 30.6 mph
    • Average Cadence: 78.0 rpm
  • Temperature:
    • Average: 57.7 F
    • Minimum: 53.6 F
    • Maximum: 62.6 F
  • Heart Rate:
    • Average: 156 bpm
    • Maximum: 171 bpm

Ride Notes for December 13th, 2014

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.)

Ride Stats:

  • Primary Statistics:
    • Start Time: 7:16am
    • Distance: 52.3 miles
    • Duration: 3:14:50
    • Calories Burned: 1589 kcal
    • Altitude Gain: 1536 feet
  • Speed:
    • Average Speed: 16.1 mph
    • Peak Speed: 29.3 mph
    • Average Cadence: n/a (see notes)
  • Temperature:
    • Average: 50.2 F
    • Minimum: 48.2 F
    • Maximum: 59.0 F
  • Heart Rate:
    • Average: 146 bpm
    • Maximum: 172 bpm

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.


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

Ride Notes for December 6th, 2014

Today was an okay distance ride; it wasn't one of my best from a speed perspective, but that wasn't really my fault. By way of explanation, I rode with the nice folks from Sabino Cycles again, which is becoming my normal Saturday morning ride. I like going on their rides because my normal courses were getting more than a little repetitive, and I need to continue working on my group riding skills.


That being said, the ride started at the Sabino Cycles shop at 7:30am, which is a much better time for me. I rode the first 30 miles with the group, then 3 miles with another rider, and then the next 12 miles alone. The ride with the group was good; I had done this route with them before, and the ride uphill on Freeman is nowhere near as bad as it was when I first started distance riding. (I still hate riding down Houghton, though; that road will be great when it's repaved, but not soon enough.)

I struck up conversation during the ride with one of the other riders; he's originally from Detroit and loves the Arizona weather. (But who doesn't?) He's retired, and he's only been riding for a few years. Once we were done with the group ride, the two of us went for a short ride around the Tucson Country Club; I hadn't been there in three decades – it was kind of weird.

After we rode back the shop, he and I parted ways; he went home, and I set off on another ride. I followed a route that I had taken before: I rode east on Cloud to Larrea, then north to Canyon Ranch, west on Snyder to Sabino Canyon, north to Sunrise, then south on Kolb and Sabino Canyon to the shop. That being said, I don't think that I'll ride Kolb again; it had no shoulder, so I was forced to ride with traffic, and it was an incredibly rough endeavor since the road was so worn.

Ride Stats:

  • Primary Statistics:
    • Start Time: 7:36am
    • Distance: 45.4 miles
    • Duration: 2:52:10
    • Calories Burned: 1429 kcal
    • Altitude Gain: 1631 feet
  • Speed:
    • Average Speed: 15.8 mph
    • Peak Speed: 31.8 mph
    • Average Cadence: 68.0 rpm
  • Temperature:
    • Average: 51.2 F
    • Minimum: 44.6 F
    • Maximum: 55.4 F
  • Heart Rate:
    • Average: 143 bpm
    • Maximum: 171 bpm