This Saturday was El Tour de Tucson. I didnít have any time goals other
than to enjoy the ride with a few cycling friends. Below is the ride
report I sent my coach. I thought you might enjoy reading it. If you
donít want to get these, let me know and Iíll pull you off the listÖ
Elliot said it, Dottie, Joe and Karen all seconded him and I learned yesterday that itís true. On a ride event, I canít go slow. I can go slow on training rides, Iíve done it, so I know. But if there are cyclists ahead of me or passing me, I tend to go fast. Even on training rides. My plan was to start with the TNT group and take it easy. But at the bike expo I ran into Joe and Karen and they mentioned that Karen was going for a womenís platinum time, so I offered to help. Elliot seemed to be ok with that after he finished giving me a hard time about it. Anyway, Saturday morning we got to the start line a little late and they had already closed off the Gold starting section, so we missed Karen and Joe and went back to plan A Ė ride with the TNT group. There was some confusion at the beginning because they over-flowed the Gold rider group and it got mixed with some of the TNT teams, including Team Arizona. So when the race started, we actually left with the Gold group, not behind Bronze like expected. I forgot to start my Polar and lost the first mile or so of data on the ride.
About 5 Ė 10 minutes after the start, I realized I needed to pee. I knew the first river crossing wasnít too far from the start, so I increased my speed to around 23-25ish. Elliot didnít complain, so I kept that until we passed Joe and Karen, then slowed down and rode with them to the crossing. I found a good bush and relieved myself, then joined the rest at the other end of the crossing. Joe and Karen had a couple other TNT people with them looking to get a good time. I pulled for a while, but had to slow down a number of times or I would have dropped them. We passed some large groups and Elliot and I lost contact with the TNT group. By then Elliot had to pee, so we stopped briefly at a SAG so Elliot could go. We waited a minute or so and didnít see the group, so we left. We kept a good fun pace, but didnít really push our speed until we hit the descent on Freeman road. There are a couple of big climbs before the descent and I hit them kind of hard. Hard enough for Elliot to tell me to take it easy. I turned some heads when I replied ďI MUST ATTACK THE HILL!Ē Anyway, we were going over 40 when we passed Joe and Karenís group (they had passed us at that SAG after all), but we were having some fun and figured we would wait for them after the second crossing. We flew down freeman and hit some small rollers at the end that were just a lot of fun to go over at relatively high speed (I felt the dips in my stomach like you do in a car Ė cool). The crossing was backed up, so we had to walk it. I saw one guy try to ride around people and he went down. Duh.
We filled our bottles at the SAG at the crossing and waited for Joeís group. We all rode together to the steepest climb and I dropped into my granny and spun over it. Elliot was the first over and told me I was a ďbad, bad man.Ē He and I waited on the far side for the group to go by and then went to the front again. I was taking it relatively easy going up the hills to Sunrise, but apparently it was too fast and we dropped the group. There was a really nice tail wind on Sunrise and Skyline, so I took advantage of it and kept a pretty fast pace. Elliot and I rode up Oracle together. We stopped at the SAG on Rancho Vistoso Boulevard to fill our bottles and waited for Joeís group. They really werenít that far back, so we had a relatively short wait. Joe was doing a great job pulling his group. I tried to be better at staying with the group, but I kept pulling ahead. There was a strong headwind going down Tangerine, but Elliot said it was ok to push the pace, so I maintained 32-34 going down. Elliot took a pull, but that wind was hard and our pace dropped under 30, so I moved to the front again. I didnít know it, but Joe and Karen dropped off. We did have two of the TNT people with us at the bottom. We crossed the freeway onto the frontage road and slowed down for Joe and Karen. The two TNT riders said they wanted to try for a good time, so they left. We pulled off and waited for a minute or two before a big group with Joe and Karen came by. I moved to the front of that group and picked up the pace a little, but the group broke in half. Joe, Karen and Elliot were in the back half, so I dropped back to ride with them.
We did great keeping together once we got onto Silverbell and made pretty good time. Joe ran out of water and we knew time was going to be close, so I gave him my second bottle, which was still full. He called me his domestique! Elliot took over pulling for the last 7 or 8 miles, I was feeling pretty wiped by then. I looked at my watch as we came to the finish and it was 12:51 Ė 5 hours, 51 minutes! Karen made her goal with 9 minutes to spare! I had several people come up to me after the ride to shake my hand and say thanks. That kind of recognition is just too cool. Elliot and my actual ride time was 5:20. We would not have had a problem getting a platinum time if that had been our goal, but it wasnít. So, I started with the Arizona TNT team just like I said I would, but I wound up riding the course pretty quickly. It was a good day on the bike!
Copyright © 2005 by Mike Enfield. All rights
Revised: 04/06/09 11:29:49 -0700.