Today was one of my “Short Days,” meaning that I would ride my usual 17-mile trek from my house through Saguaro National Park and home again. That being said, I did something different today – I have always ridden solo, but today I rode with David, who is an old friend of mine from high school.
I have to mention that the idea of riding with someone else had me worried for two primary reasons:
- What if he rides faster than I do and I can’t keep up with him?
- What if he rides slower than I do and he can’t keep up with me?
The second concern seemed less-likely, but I didn’t want to hold up someone who was way outside my range as a cyclist. As it turns out, my concerns appeared to have been for naught, as we seemed to ride at a similar pace.
There was one great advantage to having someone else with whom to ride: as we rode up the “Widow Maker” hill on the back side of the park, we talked about guitars for a lot of our journey, which helped to take my mind off my normal thoughts for that part of the ride. (Note: I am typically thinking something like, “I hate this!!! Why am I doing this to myself???”)
That being said, as we stopped at the hydration station near the entrance to the park, we met up with several other cyclists who were all lamenting about the infamous hill on the back side of the park. With that in mind, David needed to take a couple of breaks during our ride around the park, which I completely understood; this can be a very taxing course, and I needed to take a few breaks during several of my earlier attempts.
- Distance: 17.0 miles
- Duration: 1:40:00
- Average Speed: 10.2 mph
- Peak Speed: 31.9 mph
- Altitude Gain: 919 feet
- Calories Burned: 909 kcal