So little riding this year means that today’s modest ride gets a blog entry. Ah well.
Isam and I took off around 6:30 this morning up Bush Highway. Already 90F – gonna be a hot one. But oh so beautiful overlooking the Salt River coming down King Kong. It was great to see so much regrowth of foliage after the big ‘Cactus’ fire in the salt cedars last year.
North through one of my favorite sections, the rollers past Usery Moutain Road. We stopped at the Pebble Beach rec area to splash water on our heads and generally look around, spying a few kayakers and an early morning SUP.
The next piece is clearly the hardest, with two moderate climbs at Saguaro Lake followed by a 4 mile lesser climb to the Beeline Higheway, with temperatures increasing by the minute of course. I was very pleased to see signs of bike lane widening all the way out, accomplished piece-meal so far. While that probably means they are done for the time being, it is certainly an improvement from past years.
The climb’s reward is worth it. Almost nine miles of downhill on the Beeline. We stopped at the Verde River overpass to watched 6 or 7 smart cows wade into the river and find a shady spot. Blue herons swooped about and big carp rippled the waters. Sure, it was likely over 105F by now, but still quite fine.
Unfortunately, we just about ran out of water approaching Shea Boulevard, despite having brought 5 full bottles. I faltered along for the last 3 or 4 miles to breakfast, feeling light headed and supremely thirsty while closely monitoring myself. Isam seemed less affected than me.
Breakfast of ice water, coffee, egg plates. Isam topped it off with chocolate-caramel cheesecake and we finally shared a lovely glass of Franziskaner. Isam and I agree it is one of the finest tasting beers on the planet.
No chance of riding home from there, the thermometer was up over 110F already. Linda picked us up after a nearby round of golf. Wonderful ride – thank you Isam! It’s going to take me a day or more to fully recover, not from the miles but the heat.
Total: 33 miles, about 1300 feet of climbing