Tag: training

preRA: Fountain Hills #4

Off the bike for 5 days in a row this week, playing in a golf tournament.  My partner and I didn’t do too badly, so I made a brief post about it here. [By the way, if you’re into exquisite dining and a way cool celebrity encounter, you should check out a couple other very recent posts on our travel site – start here.] The desert up by Saguaro Lake is always beautiful, and this morning the temperatures were a perfect 75F or so.  Most of the penstemons have waned, but the desert marigolds are in full glory. The other

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preRA: Fountain Hills #3

Another loaded spin up by Saguaro Lake, then down the Beeline to Fountain Hills.  When the weather behaves we get NE winds in the mornings, and it makes the hills out by the lake interesting.   At Beeline and Bush I spied this outrageous orange-red cactus in bloom in the desert and trudged out for a photo. Rolling down the Beeline is almost always fun, and this morning I did so for about 7 miles at 24 mph.  Approaching Fountain Hills, I watched the end of the fountain’s cycle, realizing that it was actually the 9AM cycle I was watching, with

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preRA: Love Those Panniers

This started as a loaded conditioning ride to IHOP and turned into a shopping trip.  Sure is nice to have the panniers.  President Obama needs to learn about these – they could help solve our Middle East oil-related problems (as well as domestic health problems, traffic problems, pollution problems, …) IHOP: Breakfast with Jesse and Gary REI: Bought a touring jersey and a fluffier camp pillow, using a 20% off sale plus credit from last year’s rebate. Landis Cyclery: Bought a new cyclometer for the Surly (the wires pulled out of the last one).  Also, Vanessa suggested I try some

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preRA: Fountain Hills #2

Yet another loaded conditioning ride, same route as my previous ride to Fountain Hills.  I battled some steady 18 mph NE winds out to Saguaro Lake and up to the Beeline – a bunch of work. Jesse and I met at the fountain.  We decided that the breakfast prices in Fountain Hills are not a very good value, and so this time we both brought our own food and drink, and sat and watched the kids, ducks, and fountain for a good 75 minutes or so, discussing our upcoming tour. While we sat, my bike spontaneously toppled over.  When I

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preRA: Bartlett Lake

Solo conditioning ride – loaded down even more than usual.  I anticipated high temperatures and climbing and got plenty of both. Started at Thompson Peak Parkway in North Scottsdale and chugged north up Pima Highway to Cave Creek Road, and eventually out east onto Bartlett Dam Road.  I’d always wanted to try this popular route, knew it was hilly, and figured it’d be a good test for a lot of reasons. It surely was a physical test, with about 4,700 feet of climbing and early afternoon temperatures that hit over 100F.  But in many ways, I thought the ride was

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preRA: Queen Creek

When the alarm bell went off Saturday morning, I just lay there in bed and stared at the ceiling.  Friday’s ride had been a workout for me, and the idea of a spirited chug with the bike club around the foothills of Ahwatukee just did not appeal. However, I decided I’d like to do a little pedaling this weekend, so when Linda set off for golf this morning, I hopped onto the still-loaded Surly and set off south for Queen Creek.  I’d always wanted to explore the passage down there, both by Ironwood Road and by Ellsworth Road, because they

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preRA: Fountain Hills #1

Originally I had a multiday ride scheduled for this weekend, one over in California.  Postponed due to 2 factors:  1) medium winds are forecast for the area (Salton Sea) for all three days of riding, and 2) no one will go on it with me <grin>. This ride was a nice surrogate.  Jesse and I both loaded down our bikes and took off from our respective homes towards Fountain Hills.   Both our routes took us about 35 miles, mine up around Saguaro Lake, his up around Dynamite and Rio Verde and down McDowell Mtn Rd. At the junction of Bush

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preRA: South Mountain

Well, it’s March, and high time for working into final shape for our departure in May.  In my way of thinking, this means doing a number of longer rides, i.e. 60 to 100+ miles, in order to build endurance and toughen the saddle.  And it also means doing a  number of rides that will simulate the daily routine, i.e. fully loaded and in the 50  or 60 mile range. Following last Saturday’s club ride, Gary and Frank discussed plans to do this conditioning ride, and so I ditched my own plan for a century and instead showed up Sunday morning

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Getting Ready: Training

In early May, my new Surly arrived, and I spent the next few weeks riding it with tools in hand, adjusting as best I could for optimal comfort.  The horizontal tube distance on these Long Haul Truckers is unusually long for a given frame size, and I found it a bit difficult to strike a proper balance.  In the end, my handlebar stem looked like the neck of an African tribal wife, but was comfortable for me. Met Jesse repeatedly for weekly breakfast rides, and also started doing all my errands on the Surly.  I began to notice that the

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