Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day 4 - Time to Climb

Wednesday, Sept 2
Tour of Southern Utah with Planet Ultra
Escalante to Torrey and Capitol Reef
6240' climbing

Once again, I start off early knowing that the gang will catch up soon. A few people leave earlier than I do. Like most of the trip, the roads are essentially free of automobiles. Today's ride involves about 45 miles of climbing but at a gradual incline (6% with a few steep bits). The photo above is around 6200 feet.

This section took my breath away. It was like the last bit of Mt. Ventoux. Shortly afterwards, The BF caught up to me. We ride together. We pee together. Yes, what a way to keep the romance alive.... :) It becomes a running joke with other riders that I have no issue pulling down my panties to take bathroom breaks anywhere I see fit. I am a wateraholic and this trip demands that I drink a lot. It is so dry and hot that often we show no signs of sweating.

I am no longer a dough boy! The swelling and rash have gone. Five minutes after this photo, I got a flat! No, you say, on your Specialized Armadillo tank tires! I was so lucky to have The BF with me to change it. What a way to keep the romance alive .... Of course, this delay means everyone catches up to me. Sigh. [p.s., the good looking retired married man from Los Altos has Continental tires. He never got a flat on the trip]. We head off on another climb and my chain slips. The BF, unaware of this mishap, keeps going and leaves me in the dust. What a way to keep the romance alive .... It took me 15 minutes to get it back on and on top of that, my hands were covered in grease and my water bottles tumbled down to the river. Let us just say I was not a happy camper.

Around mile 28, I slow down considerably and stop on the side of the road (yes, you figured correctly, another blood sugar dip). I meet some motorcyclists from Canada. Naturally I use the time wisely by flirting. Next up, the aspen forest but more climbing and I'm feeling a bit pooped. Suddenly, I hear a loud crackling rumble. Lightening strikes. The sky is black. I am frightened. I say to myself, "Yo Bitch, get a move on." Can we talk self-preservation! Before long, I see the cyclists who started before me! Wow, I caught up to them. This is around mile 40. I pick them off, one by one.

At the summit! It's cold and windy. Get this, the faster riders (as I learned later) were rained and hailed upon. Sometimes, being a slow rider has its advantages..... We descend but encounter only a few sprinkles.

The last 20 miles is mostly descending. The scenery changes again as I make my way towards Torrey and Capitol Reef.

The BF and a few others who still had some climb in them went into Capitol Reef. Me, I was just happy to get to the Rim Rock Inn in one piece. The photo above is just one of many of our views from the Inn.
66 miles
36.5 max
10.1 mph avg
6 hrs 35 min.

1 comment:

Alison Chaiken said...

Speaking of lucky timing, last winter I went on the "Burgers at the Junction" ride which traveled to the bar-and-grill in the San Antonio Valley by way of Mt. Hamilton. After lunch, I ascended the backside of Ham in baking sun, then descended the frontside in a drenching downpour with sheets of water sliding across the steep upper section of roadway. My slower friends ascended the backside in what they termed "a pleasant sprinkle" and then descended in post-shower sunshine: the jerks!