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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Clarkdale, AZ
    Posts
    146

    My first bike tour

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    Well, in preparation for our fist century together, Adam and I did a 3 day supported tour in the white mountains of AZ and NM. This ride happened on Memorial weekend and the weather was quite interesting.

    Normally here in AZ, the weather is well into the 100's by this time. When we left Friday night to head east towards New Mexico, we got rained and snowed on. It continued to snow/rain off and on all night for our initial night in Springerville, AZ. Luckily we were in motel and so were our bikes and gear. Next morning we woke up and checked the weather on our laptop. Rain throughout all of central AZ. We were 13 miles from NM and we were not going to see any of the rain. We hoped.

    We drove to the safeway parking lot where we were to load our luggage and leave our truck for the next 3 days. After much debate about what to wear in the 43 degree overcast day, I settled on base layers and no jacket. I am used to riding in the cold and it doesn't bother me. We headed out on the bikes due east towards NM on US hwy 60. It was full of ups and downs but nothing really long or steep. (bummer) The last 8 miles were all down hill into the small town (if you could call it that) of Quemado, NM.

    The ride went great and I have no complaints. We did 48 miles and spent 3:15 in the saddle. In Quemado, we had access to the high school gym and football field for sleeping and showers. We opted to forgo the wind outside and set up camp inside, as most everyone did. It was kinda weird, everyone just putting their beds on the floor and sleeping in one big room. At least we had access to a bathroom during the night, and so did 75 other people!

    The next day was the day everyone who has previously done this ride was looking forward to. It was 55 miles long and the first 15 were a very gradual easy uphill, with the last 40 being downhill. Yeah right! Easy until you throw in a 20 mph headwind. We had a severe headwind the whole way!! I am not a power rider and I was sore after that day. Even going downhill was a chore. Our supposed 40 miles of downhill was shattered by the brutal wind. We were heading due south and had no shelter from the wind all day. Did I mention it was windy?

    We arrived in Reserve, NM and had access to the community center, a park, and a few hotel rooms for showers. The community center was located on the top of a very steep hill and I was not about to ride down it to use the showers. I took a very nice sponge bath in the bathroom in the community center where we slept. That evening I got the start of a pretty good stomach ache after dinner. That morning I woke up with a really bad stomach ache.

    The last day was to be the "hardest" day of the tour. 63 miles and a lot of climbing. I like climbing and did not want to miss this day, tummy ache or not! After much debate about wether to ride or not, I set off and figured if my tummy was gonna hurt, I might as well be pedaling. The first 15 miles were straight up. Just what I like. Despite not eating much (a few bites of eggs) and feeling like I wanted to puke
    every 5 minutes, I loved the first 15 miles. Then we went downhill, fast! LOVED it. Then we climbed again, awesome. Then went down again, faster. We had lunch at Luna Lake (I ate a few bites of a PB&J) then headed out to climb to the highest point of the ride. 8023ft I believe. Then an incredible decent that went on forever, powered by a massive tailwind. I ate a few browny bites at the last rest stop and we only had a short steep hill between us and the end of the ride. Problem was, the hill went in a direction that caused us to have a severe sidewind. After almost getting blown over, I had a sag truck take me to the top about 1/4 mile away. I didn't want to chance crashing after the way I felt. It was another downhill into town and the end of our ride.

    I really had a blast and the last day was for sure my favorite day. I had tummy pains the whole way, but at least it took my mind off my legs!! We are ready for our century, now we just gotta figure out which one (or two) to do. Thanks to GABA Tuscon for an awesome ride.

    Brenda

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    VA / DC Metro Area
    Posts
    624
    You are my hero for loving those hills. I think hills will be something I will always love to hate. I do love the descent though definitely. Sorry to hear that you had tummy problems. You're totally ready for that century! Thanks for sharing your tour story!
    "She who succeeds in gaining the master of the bicycle will gain the mastery of life." -Frances E. Willard
    My Cycling Blog | Requisite Bike Pics | Join the Team Estrogen group at Velog.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    Congrats on a great (first) tour. Sorry about your upset stomach, but you pushed through and finished strong. Way to go!! Sounds like a dreadful tour to me (hills and I have not made friends yet), but I love your spirit and your love of the hills. I hope to grow to love them one day like you do.
    Great job!!!
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    627
    Great ride report. I hate hills, but I will do them. I am glad someone likes them. You didn't eat any tomatoes did you to cause your tummy ache ?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Clarkdale, AZ
    Posts
    146
    No tomatoes for me! In fact I do not eat fruits or vegetables. I think I may have strained all of my stomach muscles on day 2 with having to pound thru the wind. I never had any "bathroom" issues if you know what I mean. I was still feeling it two days after the ride.

    Brenda

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    818
    You and I sound like we have the same stomach. Most fruit and many vegetables always gives me a gut ache.

    Good for you powering through it all to enjoy those hills. Like sbctwin said, Im glad someone likes em too. bikerHen

 

 

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