100.83 miles, 2,815 feet of climbing
One of the worst things you can do is get behind on your nutrition. Eating a recovery meal within the first 30 minutes of ending a stage ride like this is critical. Two days ago, my prepacked meals went bad. Yesterday, we stayed with my grandma, and I made my favorite recovery meal: two slices of avocado toast with eggs. Unfortunately, but the time I got there and made this, a couple of hours had gone by.
My point is, that I messed up the recovery for two days. Today I was dragging. It had also rained in the morning so it was hot and humid. But for the first half of the ride, I had plenty of cloud cover so it kept the temperature down some.
I started the ride in Tempe, near Arizona State University. It was a very urban ride. There was a very nice bike lane as I started and through Mesa, but as I continued east, it disappeared. The pavement had cracks and swells in it and my bike was bucking around like a small rowboat on a choppy lake.
Today had no climbs of note, but it was a steady uphill grind for the first two and a half hours, then there was a slight descent for the next hour, then a long incline for three and a half hours. I was grateful for the slight crosswind because it cooled me down some.
After I left the Phoenix metro area behind, I was in the desert. Saguaro, mesquite, and a weird tree that looks like a cactus and a tree had a baby surrounded the road.
I passed a Tom Mix memorial, noting the location where the cowboy movie star died.
Just before getting to Oracle Junction, the road started descending and I picked up my speed for the last eight miles.
I had planned to stop at Oracle Junction, but I did some figuring and continued to Catalina, so tomorrow’s ride will be 89 miles. I thought it would be a nice way to finish my bicycle tour of 89.
After I finished, we ran down and visited Saguaro National Park. The seventh of the route.
I have really enjoyed the opportunity to explore Highway 89, but I am looking forward to finishing this and getting some rest. I wake up early, start riding, finish, recover, get ready for the next day’s ride, and sleep the best I can. This last is difficult, because I spend so much time eating and drinking that I’m up several times using the bathroom each evening.
Lessons from a bicycle
Some days are hot and hard. Just put your head down and pedal through them.