My apologies to the keen blog followers who have been anxiously awaiting each day's installment, only to have them posted late...we have been busy cycling, lounging by the pool and getting massages, so it has been hard to find the time to write. (Petrina's note: I think you're doing an amazing job Sandi!)
Today in the hot tub after our ride we were comparing sunburns. As I write this I am sitting outdoors under a brilliant sun and it is 30 deg. C - remember those days? They will be in Oakville before you know it!
We rode the New River loop today, 100 kms from our hotel and flat. This was a very welcome relief after yesterday's climbing, but many of us are suffering from saddle sores after five days of riding. As we rode along the flats today, in front of me I could see heads bobbing up and down as each woman would stand for relief, then sit again. Then the arms would start, with everyone shaking out tight arms and wrists, it looked at times like a flock of chickens on bikes in front of me.
We worked on our pace line skills and spinning skills ("One gear smaller!" shouts Petrina from somewhere behind..she has a sneaky habit of suddenly appearing behind you and providing coaching- imagine that , coaching on a bike training camp!). This week we have also been working on our descending and ascending skills, signals ("watch out for that cactus jutting onto the road!), how to adjust our speed by changing cadence and the pressure on the pedals, improving our "circles", trusting the riders we are with and enjoying each others company. All the women here have been doing a great job of keeping their lines and learning new skills quickly.
The ride was hot, but we were able to stop a few times for cold water (which did not stay cold for long.) The first place we stopped at was the Road Runner, a saloon style bar.
Over the past day, a lot of the cacti have started to bloom, like the ones below outside the Road Runner. It's too bad we won't be here in another few days when the dessert will be littered with beautiful flowers.
After the ride, some of us headed to Dairy Queen for ice cream which was wonderful and cooling and much deserved treat! Carolyn and Virginia were also on a mad dash for the mall and power shopping. When we met up with them later they had so many bags they had to store them in the restaurant's wine room!
We celebrated Bridget's birthday at Olive and Ivy where everyone enjoyed their meals and few cocktails.
We are already starting to lament the end of the trip, which is coming far too soon. And we are only coming home if the weatherman can promise us no more snow, okay?!!