The training plan called for two 9-hour training rides on Saturday and Sunday. I selected the Mining Country 130 (this version of the Mining Country is an out and back from Superior to Globe via Winkelman) for Saturday and figured I would ride to Bartlett Lake on Sunday for another 150. I put the word out to the AZRandon and San Tan group lists looking for riding partners and only Marty Liddell was foolish enough to join the fun on Saturday.
Mining Country - Saturday
We left the house at 4 am and were on the bikes heading toward Winkelman at 5am. Its all uphill to the back side of the End-of-the-World climb, but soon we were bombing down the 14% + grade toward the Ray mine and Kelvin. There the road becomes a very pleasant roller all the way to Winkelman. We rolled into the Circle K and reloaded our bottles about 7 am in very cool weather. The next leg is a 25 mile climb to a pass named El Capitan about 11 miles outside of Globe. We each bought extra water bottles and headed out.
|Marty in Winkelman|
|Summit of El Cap!|
|Looking northeast from the summit|
I rolled back into Winkelman hot and frustrated from the wind, but hoping that as I made the harpin turn back toward Superior the wind would be a helper (or at least netural). With the temperature now over 90, I reloaded my bottles, and dumped the first half gallon of cold water over head and down my back to cool off and enjoy some evaporative cooling.
The run from Winkelman to Kearny/Kelvin is normally a pleasant rolling climb through an area with several active open pit copper mines. Today it was a long slog into a hot dry wind. I normally don't stop at Kearney, but today I did to reload my bottles with ice, and dump another half gallon of cold water for the last long climb of the day.
The wind continued to build and felt like it was gusting to 25-30+ miles per hour! The last two miles of the climb to the End-of-the-World has a 10% grade road sign. Marty's Garmin computer indicated 14%! The wind was so strong, and I was so cooked, that on the steepest section I had to dismount about half-way up and walk to stay upright. Even walking, my heart rate continued to increase. After a quarter mile, the road turned slightly and the wind became a cross so I remounted and rode to the top. I stopped at the top and found some shade in a road cut and took a little break to try and recover. Finishing the last of my water (including my spare bottle!) I set off for the last 5-6 miles of downhill riding to Superior.
I rolled into Superior and went straight to the Circle K and bought water, ice, peanuts, and a couple of Mountain Dews. Outside the store I topped off my bottles with the Dew and dumped a gallon of cold water over my head and back. I rolled back to the rest area dripping wet, found some shade to cool off in, and waited for Marty.
|Cooling it with a Dew at the Superior rest area|
Pinnacle Peak - Sunday
After Saturday's extended adventure, I modified my plan for Sunday to cover 7 hours of riding. I would ride the route to Carefree, but turnaround at Pinnacle Peak. I set the alarm for 4 am and was on the bike at 4:30 heading out into a calm cool morning. Rolling out of the house, I was not totally recovered from yesterdays adventure and had that familiar Day 2 feeling! Winds were forecast again today to build throughout the day out of the southwest, so that with this route I knew I would have an additional 'training aid' on the return.
|At the base of 9-Mile hill|
It was, but being mid-morning the temperature was still cool. I rolled into the house about 11:30 am, covering 100 miles in about 7 hours.
With this two-day training block done, I looked forward to an easy recovery ride on Memorial Day!