Sunday, January 18, 2015

End of Pavement 200km Brevet

Pre-Ride Report
January 17, 2015

Carlton van Leuven (Arizona RUSA Brevet Administrator) and I pre-rode this course the Friday before the actual event. Since we both worked Friday morning, we decided to start our adventure in the afternoon. The course starts in Chandler at Walmart at Pecos Road and Arizona Avenue. This one of several 'minimal support' (none) brevets on the Arizona calendar this year. These events allow a variety of new routes, and the ability of the organizers to ride with the main event. Because of scheduling challenges, Carl and I pre-rode the event to check out the course.

We rolled out at 1:17 pm and headed north on Arizona Avenue. Lot's of traffic and a few rude drivers for the first 10 miles of city riding!

Early afternoon traffic in Historic Downtown Chandler!

Soon we cleared the Chandler/Mesa afternoon traffic and were making great time up the Beeline Highway! We rolled into the first checkpoint about an hour and 22 minutes into the ride, after a quick reload we were back on the AZ 87. This section has a gentle upgrade, but we had a gentle tailwind all the way to the Saguaro Lake Turnoff.
The Beeline with Four Peaks
Turning south toward the lake, its a narrow shoulder, rough pavement descent all the way to the Salt River. Traffic was light and we soon found ourselves at the Salt River Recreation site, turning left and up Usery Pass Road.
On the Usury Pass Climb
We covered the climb in about 20 minutes and soon were descending toward Mesa. We headed east on Brown road toward the next control at the Dash Inn bar and convenience store. We reloaded and headed up the Apache Trail toward Tortilla Flats and the End of Pavement.
Next hobby?

All the girls at the check point!
It is a series of climbs and descents to the final objective, the End of Pavement some 5 miles past Tortilla Flats. We were hoping to make the top in daylight, but darkness descended as we climbed the last 5 miles to the EOP.
Sunset at the EOP

The End of Pavement (EOP)!
We rolled through Tortilla flats, and should have stopped to refill Carl's water bottles. He ran out somewhere on the climb out of Canyon Lake, so when we rolled back into Apache Junction, we stopped at the Dash Inn. Now the store was closed, so we went into the bar to see if we could get our bottles topped off.
Back at the Dash Inn
The bar was packed and it seemed all the cowboys and cowgirls in Apache Junction were there, 2 deep at the bar, and wall to wall on the dance floor. I was waiting for someone to say, "we don't serve your kind in here!" We finally were able to get a waitress to fill our bottles and get out of there.

It is only a few miles back to Ellsworth road and civilization. With a full bonk setting in, we decided to stop at the Subway and have a leisurely dinner.

We covered the last 23 miles, in cool temperatures and light traffic and rolled past the Walmart about 9 hours after we started. With 6000 feet of climbing, and some of the best scenery in the Phoenix area, this was an awesome ride, even if much of it was after dark!

Thanks to Carlton and Mike Sturgill for putting this one on the Brevet calendar this year!

Steve Atkins

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