The day started early for some keen tri-athletes with an outdoor swim at the local YMCA, with the rest of us all snug in our beds until later. In yet another unexpected twist of weather, we had rain all night and into the morning, despite the weatherman's 0% chance of rain prediction. The day's ride started off pretty cold, making those of us who did not bring our knee warmers envy those who did!
Here's Donna, Jo, Christine, and Kathy having some fun before the swim.
Today we did the urban Scottsdale route, Rio Verde, and we were all impressed by the presence of cycling lanes throughout most of the ride today. Our guest rider today was Alan, a local bike coach and mechanic from the Bicycle Ranch. The lack of 80 kph winds made the ride somewhat easier, but the distance of our ride, 110 kilometres, was quite the challenge for early season.
As usual, Petrina had some hidden "gems" up her sleeve for us, including an 18% grade hill which we had to climb before lunch. As we compared notes afterwards, all of us were gasping for air big time while climbing and appearing to weave all over the road as we neared the top. Fait accompli for all!
Lunch was planned for 90 kms into our ride, so before the ride we were all stuffing our jersey pockets with as many power foods as we would need to get us to lunch! We quickly learned to appreciate those jerseys with THREE pockets in the back instead of two....
Lunch was at "That's Amore Gelato", where we had a hearty sandwich followed by delicious gelato. Annie commented that the gelato was so good that "if I throw up on the way home it was worth it". Most of us bike to eat, don't you know??!! Some of the group members attempted to bribe Petrina to go get the van to take us back to the resort, but she stood firm telling us that all this training is for our own good! (Petrina's note: I offered to pick them up for 1 million dollars, but no one paid up.)
We had a quick flat change, first one of the ride, before starting our ride home.
We set off for the final 20 kms amidst complaints of sore butts, shoulders, tired legs and other assorted pains, all of us looking forward to Athena's massages and the resort jacuzzi. We are also very much looking forward to dinner tonight, hosted at Petrina's Arizona home and put on by members of her family.
Last but not least, this writer has been urged by group members to include certain events and stories that have happened off the bikes, but it's probably best that "...what happens in Arizona, stays in Arizona"
Tomorrow we are off to Sedona for a day off from the bike