June 3, 2012
|On the run up to Flagstaff Friday night!|
With Michael's high school graduation, house painting, and floor refinishing behind us, this weekend looked like a great chance to get away for a long ride. The Arizona Randonnuers had a combined 300km/600km event starting in Flagstaff and featuring a tour of the Grand Canyon. With the requisite honey-do chores completed, I signed up for the 300km event. So on Friday after attending a high school graduation party, I loaded up the Mini and headed north to the Flagstaff and the Woodlands Mall Motel 6!
Arriving about 10 pm I checked my Blackberry and saw a post to the AZRandon group from Carlton. After he unpacked and set up his bike at the Motel, he noticed two large rim cracks. He sent out a post hoping someone brought along a spare wheel. Luckily Dan Fallon had not yet left home from Prescott and brought along a spare and Carlton fitted it with his cog set early Saturday morning before we started.
It was a relatively small turnout of riders (12) for both events. The 300km event generally followed the same course for first loop of the 600km so both groups started together. We formed into a nice pace line of about 6 riders and were soon at the first control in Valle AZ. Other than an uncomfortably close pass by some knot-head in a pickup truck (with mountain bike in the back!) traffic was light and the weather was perfect.
|Calton reloads the gear on his ride in Valle|
|Dick using is Jedi magic..."These aren't the riders you are looking for...Move along!'|
|Perfect morning ride!|
|Enjoying the last of the cool weather.|
|Watchtower at Valley View|
There are few services along this stretch of road, and with the Anasazi Inn 'only 8' miles up the road, we passed on refilling in Cameron and headed south. The winds were incredibly strong in this section, mostly cross winds that tried to push us back into traffic. With a narrow shoulder and heavy traffic we both bore the brunt of it and started the grind up Grey Mountain. Pulling into the Anasazi Inn, I think my arms and shoulders were more fatigued that my legs from fighting the cross-wind.
|Shade and shelter from the wind at the Anasazi Inn/Store|
We reached to the top and started the descent back into Flagstaff. The first services were available at a Chevron Station 13 miles from the finish. I pulled in starting to feel better with the dropping temperatures and found Carlton sitting by his bike. He looked up and said " I feel as bad as you looked back there!" We reloaded our bottles, I downed a Frappachino and recommended Chocolate Milk to Carlton. With the sun nearing the horizon we pointed our steeds toward the finish and rolled in to the Motel 6 at 7:55 pm.
It had taken over 5 hours to cover the last 43 miles!
Ryan Guzy was this event's trail boss and he had an awesome spread prepared at room 249! Soup, pasta, and I daresay a craft beer or two. We enjoyed a meal, regaled in tales about the day, and packed up. Just as I was leaving 4 riders on the 600km event rolled in for their half-way check in and meal.
I bid them good luck and headed down the hill toward home. A beautiful full moon was up and part of me wished I was out there with them on the 600, but I must say another part had had enough and was happy to be on my way home!!
Thanks to Ryan and Susan for organizing a great event, and Carlton for putting up with me on another long ride.
|Trail Boss: Ryan Guzy prepared an awesome meal|
|The 600km riders arrive for a quick meal|