Sunday, December 30, 2007

Nice day for riding a convertible

Woke up at 5 am, decided to read and write a little bit, before Jon got up at 6 am. We had a hearty breakfast of cooked oatmeal and about a gallon of coffee. We met with the South West Hand Cycling Team (Jo and Jons team) at La Buzz, at Catalina Highway and Tanque Verde. It was bitterly cold and I wore nearly all my clothes. Jon assured me it would soon be warm, but doubts were had... It turned out he was right, as todays riding were on the beautiful slopes of Mt Lemmon. This mountain is just unbeatable in terms of climate, vistas, smells, length, sensible grades and road surface conditions. No wonder you could count hundreds of cyclists heading up Catalina Highway, to enjoy this natural wonder. The climb is 25 miles long to the small group of houses called Summerhaven. You´ve got mile markers the whole way and for every 1000 feet there´s signs - good for reality checks. The bottom half mile is probably the steepest, but quickly turns into a very gradual incline, that´ll allow you to spin your legs once in a while, so you don´t have to grind away for a full two hours. You´ll pass through 6-7 climate zones, starting with desert scrub (Majestic Saguaro Cactus) and ending in alpine vegetation (Pine and Aspen) - you can actually tell the different smell of the vegetation on your way up. At mile 20 the road goes downhill and youll loose some altitude before the final ascent to Summerhaven - but relax, you´ll get to ascent the little piece on your way back down the mountain. Summerhaven is at 9500 feet (2650 m) and it can get pretty cold on the way down. This time of year, watch out for ice on the road, as melting snow running across the road will freeze at night and make for an exciting descent...
Wrap up: everybody who´s fond of cycling should give themselves the opportunity to experience this magnificent scenery and physical challenge.
So, after peeling and peeing at mile zero we went up to mile 9. I wanted to go steady to mile 5 and decide to stay around 200 watts. Maybe I´m in bad shape or the SRM is badly calibrated, cause me and Dean didn´t go slower than 20 km/h and my heart rate rose til 170 in the final two minutes. I gotta have a Peter Riis (great SRM troubleshooter) give me some advice on how to get the readings back to normal, or I should get a wheelchair instead... I got dropped seriously on the descent, which was surprisingly warm. I think Jon led the group screaming through the turns, while I was getting used to the somehow light front end of my Specialized bike. Next time I´ll try and do a better job following the group.
We all ended up at the very nice coffee shop La Buzz, got some seriously huge cups of coffee and sat outside in the warm sunshine - isn´t that what life´s about?
I broke up a little earlier to get in another 90 minutes and decided to ride to mile 7,5 in the warm sun. I wish everybody I know could be here to share this experience, it´s amazing. Back home again Jon, Cole and me drove to Howard and Susy´s place in Jons black convertible Porche Targa - that was an interesting ride, especially with Jon at the steering wheel...
Perfect weather and surroundings for a cruise in an outstanding car.
Back home I skipped the planned pm run and ate the most delicious turkey soup you would find south of the Catalina mountains - really nourishing. If I don´t fall asleep, I´ll watch the NFL game, Colts vs Titans, in the final round in the regular season. Next week is wildcard weekend, then it´s divisional play offs, a rest week and then finally Superbowl XLIII in Phoenix, AZ on the 3rd of February.
This weeks numbers:

Run 42 km 3.02 hrs

Cycling 286 km 10.44 hrs

Flying 10.000 km 18.00 hrs

Weight 160 lbs

Smiles a lot!

1 comment:

Dan said...


Lækker bil. I hygger jer da rigtigt. Har du fået købt en hometrainer?