Sunday, October 18, 2009


It is hard to quantify how hard the Rock y Road 50/50 is on a normal October day in Tucson; add some 99-degree weather into the mix and you have a good recipe for pain and possible dehydration.

Picture courtesy of Scott

We had 9 starters this year head out at 6am up Reddington. We were quickly met with a pleasant surprise, Scott Morris. He had decided to venture up early to take some pictures of the race as we slowly worked our way up Reddington. What a nice guy!

Chuck and I played leap frog for most of the mtb portion of the race. He was faster on some of the hilly sections, while I was faster on the technical section. It worked out pretty well as we were chatting a bit when the riding would allow. We continued this for much of the AZT, before reaching Scott again (he had zoomed up the road while we rode out near Chiva). His photo wizardry was at work again:

Picture courtesy of Scott

In fact, I encourage you to look over at the other pictures he took of the race. Milagrosa and the AZ Trail in this area is a special place, as conveyed in these remarkable pictures. Thank you again Scott for the support and pictures.

At La Milagrosa, we ran across a Nimbus rider. At first I mistook him for a 50/50 racer and friend Jim Kirk, who also races for Nimbus. It was Russ Scott, who opted for the mountain bike portion and late start option. Chuck, Russ and I rode down Milagrosa. Mr. Dave Harris can I appreciate what happened next. At the tequila tree, we stopped for a shot of Jose.

Chad: "Alright, who is going to have some [Jose Cuervo]
Russ: "Not me, no thanks,"
Chad: "Chuck, it is mandatory to take a shot if you are going to ride with me."
Chuck: "Okay, alright."

Good move. That tequila tree has helped many a person to complete the technical riding required to complete La Milagrosa. Today was not without exception. We zoomed along to the end of Milagrosa. Amazing trail, quite possibly the best trail in Arizona.

As Chuck and I hit Snyder Rd on the mountain bikes, he kindly waited around as I was spinning my brains out on the SS. "It's sometimes better to ride in company," he commented. Well said. It probably should be said that Mr. (Chuck) Hess was my 7th grade P.E. teacher. Pretty funny, eh? He made me run miles, now I am putting on a century ride that is, as he put it when he finished "the hardest thing I have ever done."

As Chuck and I were readying our gear for some the 50 miles of road bike, Ryan came into the transition area. Chuck was first to leave, although I was not too far behind him. I had decided to complete the "SS Finish" by riding my mountain bike up to Palisades instead of my geared road bike. I had to question this numerous times during the mtb portion, but alas I decided to just go for it.

I lost a lot of ground between Chuck/Ryan on the flat section to the base of Lemmon. That lasted until the Mt Lemmon pay station, where I slowly crept on Ryan. I reckon it was probably 95 degrees as we were heading up Molino on the road. Painfully hot. I started getting into a rhythm and later passed Chuck, although that did not last very long. We played leap from again for most of the rest of the ride up to Palisades.

After reaching Palisades, I hydrated for a few minutes, I wet my shirt and head, before beginning the fast descent to the finish. Both Chuck and Ryan sped past during the descent, leaving me to a glorious 3rd place finish. Congratulation to all the finishers this year.

Results are available here from the 50/50
Scott's Pictures are here


Russ S said...

You and other have commented about how Milagrosa might be our best trail. I always question that sanity of such a remark, at least from the perspective of an old, more cross-country oriented, rider. However, I do indeed love riding around Reddington (AZ trail, high Chiva, atv track on the northside of the road). I just feel a little too humiliated and lucky-to-have-survived whenever I finish Milagrosa.

-Russ S.

Chad said...

Russ, it was good to ride with/meet you last week. I think Milagrosa is an acquired taste for XC riders like us. It used to scare, now it pushes me to really be on my game.


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