Having learned the route and survived the menacing golf carts I felt pretty confident on Day 3 of spring training camp in Phoenix, AZ. Training camp was about to turn into boot camp - I just did not know it yet.
I got an earlier start, with temps in the 50s making me feel more at home and ready for anything. Warm-up out to the White Tank Mountains felt good and then rolling out past Buckeye was one of my best mornings.
I felt strong and fast at the 20 mile mark which is where I should have turned-around. I had a slight tailwind and a big headwind brewing. Today, I wanted to see where the road intersected I-10 to the south (don't ask me why).
After my usual turn spot the road got rougher and less scenic but onward I rode. I hit I-10 almost right at 35 miles - so flip a U-turn and spin back to the folk's place in Surprise - sounds easy. No such doing. The heat was rising quickly, and the wind began to howl. Next 30 miles were brutal of slow, just grind-it-out pedaling.
I stopped at the convenience store to replenish my depleted water supply a few miles from home and asked the clerk about the wind. "is the wind always like this?" I asked, the old fellow thought for a bit and replied "oh no, it is not - most times its worse" and had a hearty chuckle at my expense.
I rolled-out and endured the last 15 miles of heat and headwind home totaling a 4 hour ride and 70 miles.
Day 4 - Avoid mistakes and do a little recovery - 51 miles out and back at tempo pace. No snakes, witty store clerks or gale force winds. Just tempo pace for the whole ride.
Total miles: 241
The next installment will cover my final 2 days of spring training camp and some thoughts about equipment and riding in the southwest.
Two Wheel Transit - Cycling for Life