Nearly 4 years ago to the date, my friend and I began the idea of offering free, grassroots endurance racing. We started this first race, the Rock y Road 50/50 at this time. Is was this past weekend here in Tucson.
We started riding up the road to Reddington with predicted temperatures in the mid-80s. The night before when I checked the weather, I was tempted to only do the mountain biking portion. When more people (that I assumed) had arrived to the parking lot, I decided to do both sections of the route, the Rock and the Road portions.
I was slow on the start having done plenty of technical rides this week. I normally take the day off before a race, even drive into work that day. Seems like a good idea, no? I chose to not only commute, but I did a quick 1-hour technical climb on Friday.
Veryyyyyyyy bad idea. I barely caught Chris C. at Italian Trap (shown above).
Chris, Dave and I rode as a group for most of the first ~30 miles. Chris had to eat some food, ergo he dropped behind us for a little bit.
Dave and I continued on to Milagrosa, although toward the bottom near the first gate, I noticed that Dave was no longer with me. For those that are not familiar with Milagrosa, it is one of the hardest trails in Arizona.
I pulled into the transition zone about 20 minutes before Dave. The thought of riding my mountain bike to Palisades (I had done it twice on a road bike, once on a ss mtb) was very unappealing. I had already made up my mind not to ride the road portion since I did not have a working road bike.
Despite this, Dave rallied me to head up Lemmon. He was prepared with a road bike and immediately left me.
As I rode up (I even passed a tandem heading up Lemmon?!), I even stopped to take a picture of Milagrosa.
This got me thinking about the possibility of doing Milagrosa twice in one day, not shuttling of course.
Which is dumber: riding your mountain bike to Palisades only to head back down or doing Milagrosa twice in one day?
The real question was...which would be more enjoyable? I rode to Prison and jammed down, climbed Molino and enjoyed the view at the top.
The weather was perfect and, well, Milagrosa was going to be re-visited by me.
It's safe to say I could look at this view for hours. Something about this rugged, off-the-map trail screams out to my wild side. I can't explain it. I consider Tuesday a training day of sorts, Milagrosa is where I put that training to action.
I have passed this tree many rides and kept going...not today. Celebration comes in many forms, even a nice little drink and a simple thought..."Today has been a good day on the bike, a first for me....two times on Milagrosa."