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
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