Monday, October 3, 2016

Tour de Tonopah Ride Report

October 1, 2016
Tonopah Arizona
Rider Check-In
About 50 riders lined up for this fund raiser ride sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Buckeye and Goodyear White Tanks. There were several distances to select from : 100km, 65km, and 20km. Somehow metric distances seem more impressive, but since the metric system has been associated with New World Order types in this part of the country, no one really knew how far we actually rode!
Raffle prize?
The cagey Rotary members offered this additional prize to supplement their fund raising efforts for the day. That and some sketchy looking post ride spaghetti that had been incubating in crock pots all morning were available to enhance the fund raiser. With a trip to NYC already booked as part of my day job and following my general rule to avoid parking lot cuisine, I passed on both.

Registration opened at 7 am, with an open start after that. I planned to arrive at 7 and get this one done before it got hot, but ADOT decided this would be a good weekend to do maintenance work on the I-10 Saturday morning. I arrived about a half-hour later than planned, but was on the road at 7:30am. Only 30 or so riders signed up for the 100km ride, I saw a few riders at the start, then none for the rest of the ride!
I-10 T/A Truck Stop
The first notable landmark was the T/A Truck Stop on the I-10, just past the first major climb of the day (the first of 4 freeway overpasses!). As it turned out, this was a lush oasis compared to the remainder of the route!
Easy to follow route markings
In addition to the cue sheet, a download of the route on my Garmin GPS, the very thoughtful Rotarians painted directional arrows at each turn so there was no getting lost on this ride. Next up on the scenic tour was the Hickman Egg Farm.

Hickman Egg Farms
From a distance, the Egg factory looked like long loading docks. As I neared the facility, with a gentle breeze blowing from left to right, the odor was nearly unbearable!
That smell!!!

Desert Mountains
Once past the egg farm, the route headed west, with the Sonoran Desert National Monument in the distance to the south, and the largest nuclear powered electric generating station in the United States to the West.
Units 1,2 &3 of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station
1,300 Megawatts of power are generated from each of the 3 Units at Palo Verde. I wonder how many people realize those electric cars in the car pool lane are nuclear powered!
Nice mountains near Wintersburg
Two friendly and helpful Rotarians manned a water/snack stop near Wintersburg about 2/3rds through the ride. I topped off the bottles and grabbed some snacks. About this time, the familiar bonk feeling (dead legs, sore neck, empty stomach) started to set in. Thinking this would be an easy flat ride, I made my recurring mistake of going out too hard and not eating enough early in the ride!
At the top of the third climb of the day (I-10 overpass)
Stunning views of another spectacular climb as I fought through the bonk!
Happy to see this sign, even had a nice tailwind for the last 7 miles of this one!
Thank you for supporting Summit Adventure!
Thank you to my support team, even though we missed the big event in Lone Pine California, we have raised $12,725 for Summit Adventure 'in lieu of' the Whitney Classic!!!

Steve Atkins

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

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