Friday, February 29, 2008

Does Weight Lifting Make a Better Athlete?

Yes, yes and yes. Interesting read today. Those that have not added resistance training or weight lifting early during the base season, will find that those that have hit the gym are ahead of them, IMO.

I have seen my efficiency and power output on the bike increase dramatically since I started going to the gym 3-4 times/week. High reps is the key. I chatted with a friend about functional weight lifting, which makes sense to me. Do not do leg extensions, instead do full body squats or power lifts. Sitting down to do curls is not only monotonous but it is not functional... pull-ups are better and the list goes on.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Long days in the saddle tend to force me to eat a large amount of food, more than the average person. I am still trying to understand my eating habits more, what I need more of, less of, etc... So I took the first logical step in writing down what I ate today (friendly reminder, if it is free, it is for me is my motto):

Breakfast 1
cereal and soy milk
cup of OJ
Breakfast 2
3 eggs
2 wheat English muffins
pb bar
Lunch 1
Chipolte Chicken/Guac Burrito
cup of cranberry juice
4 oz chicken breast
1/3 of Pei Wei's chicken and rice (free from friend's leftovers)
cup of OJ
Dinner 1
3 chicken wings and 4 oz of New York Strip (free)
1/2 potato, plain (free)
Dinner 2
Spinach salad, tomato, feta, and cilantro dressing
blueberry juice and some red wine

Gas Prices Soar, Posing a Threat to Family Budget

More reason why I commute to work... how high will gas go until you decided to commute a few days a week?

24 HOP Video

Great video from the event, edited by Cat and Max. There are a few shots of Jeff and me, the most notable is of me with Max helping me to put chap stick on my lips.

Kona 24 hours in the Old Pueblo 2008

Add to My Profile | More Videos

Monday, February 25, 2008

Climb or die?

I died today just below the last climb on Bug Springs. The legs felt great, body was in good condition, but I did not bring my light and the sun was close to setting.

- Stage 1: Ride up Milagrosa to the AZT (4000′)
- Stage 2: Follow AZT over the saddle, descending to Molino Basin. (4800′)
- Stage 3: Continue on AZT, climbing to Prison Camp (4900′)
- Stage 4: Climb Bug Springs Trail to MP ~12, near Bear Canyon Picnic area (6200′)
- Stage 5: Climb Green Mountain Trail to the San Pedro Vista (7200′)
- Stage 6: You ride the highway until the connector between Green Mtn and Butterfly is completed
- Stage 7: Butterfly trail to Mt. Bigelow (8400′)
- Stage 8: Bigelow access road to Catalina Highway, Sunset Trail (?) to Summerhaven
- Stage 9: Aspen Draw to Mt. Lemmon (9100′)

Completion of this renders the rider immediate and irrevocable status as a mountain bike god.

Stats from the ride:
6100 feet of climbing
32 miles

The only real problem was a big gash on my sidewall that occurred; had to use the old hammer gel packet trick to keep the tube from poking out. Here is a shot of the fixed sidewall.

My custom seat is not holding up very well either

Playlist: System of a Down, Cheville


You can check here for updates on this limited supported race.... 350 or 1100 miles in rugged, Alaskan terrain.

Good luck to all the racers....

Quad National-Mormon

Loaded up the bikes for a weekend in Phoenix. I picked up my packet and even went out to the race before deciding that my lungs were not going to be able to hold up during the race, so I decided to go to South Mountain for some mountain biking (Dave and I did Desert Classic coast-to-coast on Saturday).

I stopped by Cactus Bikes to get an extra tube, and rode over from the Safeway to avoid the parking at Pima Canyon, I turned the GPS on at the trailhead and began my fun, technical climb up National. Trails like National make me ponder why I even have a road bike. The trail is surreal in every form, each time I rode it, I dabbed less and less. I had a light pace and did not carry my camelbak, both made me clean more sections than ever before. When I got to the bottom of national again, I decided to do it again. Although this time, I remembered more of the lines. And so began my quest to do the loop 4 times in 2 hours. Passing each hiker was the most memorable part of the loop,

"Back for more?"
"Great day, you just seem to be warming up."
"Nice to see you again."

Such comments were in part due to my asking everybody about their day, doing track stands to let them pass, or asking if they wanted me to go first. It was an all-around great day on the bike, despite tons of people on the trail. Plan is to see how far I can climb the Lemmon tomorrow by way of Milagrosa-Molino-Prison-Bug-Greenie.

I did the national-mormon loop 4 times, here are the stats:

18.9 miles
3100 feet of climbing
Playlist: the Doors and Mozart

Friday, February 22, 2008


Dec 2005, Oaxaca, Mexico, Walmart Bike with tennis shoes/flats.... My first real mountain bike that I took off-roading. It even had "shocks." This is where I started to mountain bike on a weekly basis.
"Epic" rides that lasted 2-3 hours, Santiago Apoala, March 2006. Looks like I upgraded to a discovery jersey, same sweet walmart bike. We rode on goat paths through the brush without slime tubes, making our own singletrack and backcountry trails. Those were the days.

Riding in Sedona of the first time, May 2004. Not sure why I am not wearing a helmet, I think Josh is using it.
Josh and I in Sedona with the Walmart bike and a sweet Motiv from Costco with disc brakes! May 2004My first team 24-hour race Feb 2007 and my 2nd bike, 2004 Rocky Mountain Vertex. I had to change from flats and work on clipping in and out, disc brakes, and shocks that somewhat work (same bike I have to this day).

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Urban Assualt Night Ride

I hit the urban assault loop tonight with the camera to make it a little more enjoyable and slower. The wheezing that I had in my lungs has all but disappeared, so I figured my little sickness might be short lived. Very few sections of road in the loop

One of my favorite rocky ascents that meanders up a big hill
The bike, running the hardtail since the fs still needs a chain
The lights, the nite rider trinewt LED and the arc ion light in motion HID
Bike pathway along CDO wash
PCC at night along the bike path
Some more double track
I rode for about 1.5 hours with only 14 miles to show for... I was in smaller rings the entire time, enjoying the full moon and trying not to make my lungs worse.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Night Ride

Headed out for a some easy spinning... I feel a little better tonight.

Oh, and you know you are riding solo at a 24 Hour race when...
the camera guy gets you stuffing down PB&J on the way into the tent.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tour de California

A good field of athletes this year.

24 Hour Lap #10 and Bronchitis

Around 230am I came back to my camp to find that everyone was out cold in their tents, people in solo alley were all sleeping, and I was on my 9th lap, a little under 150 miles completed. I was feeling good but I started to notice a bit of a cough forming in my lungs. I grabbed my secret weapon, more clif shot blocks and headed to the check in tent.

The announcer asked me to sing "Eye of the Tiger" while I was trying to warm up and eat some snicker bars. I sang a bit before giving up..... looked over in an adrenaline-rushing gaze over at the line of riders to see if anyone would call out my name, heard nothing, so I clipped in and rode off. The gaze is just a quick glance b/c you know you have to leave the warm tent and begin to ride another lap around the same course, the course that you have practically memorized.

This was by far my hardest lap, both mentally and physically b/c as I started to "hammer" up the bitches, I started to cough more and more. I made a grave mistake by not using my Ipod up until my final laps. I wish I would have grabbed it then. More people passing me; me thinking to myself, do they even know that I am solo, do they know how many laps I have done? Silly thoughts, right? That is what you think of when ride for long periods of time, your mind wanders. Who cares how many laps you have or have not done. I had to put that aside and tell myself that I was at here to ride , and ride alone is what I do best. Focus, focus, Chad. People would pass me going up the bitches, but then I would pass them going down. More yo-yoing. Ride up, crouch down into a draft position to conserve energy on the way down.

Finally, the guys at Bravo Company ahead.... the guys I have been chatting with every time I go by. As I get closer, I realize that one of the cars is gone, the other diesel has stopped running. I can see someone inside though. Another human that is not suffering, that is a good sign. I can see the lights of the singletrack off to my left with some more howling of the coyotes (flashback to the AZT solo ride that I did a few weeks ago, at least they are not waking me up). Uplifting, very uplifting. I have been here before and have rode through the night in this very area before.

I turn off the gasline onto the singletrack. "Rider back" and "Can I pass you when you get time" seem to be happening a lot less. After the corral, I fly through the cholla section and onto the double track, one of the places where I drink some water and eat. The frost is coming down on the cacuts and small grass, there is one flat area right before you start climbing on Rattlesnake trail that is uber flat; this is one of the coolest areas where the dew is most prevalent. Ahhhhh, what a site. I ride without any body for a few miles before I get to golf.... "Good morning.... we left the light on for you," some guy utters out. One last gasline-hill, granny gear...hammer, hammer, hammer. Ahhhhhhh....more relief.

This is the longest lap of the day. His/hers trail is the perfect remedy, but wait, why is John Wayne bent over? The frost. The divets and potholes on his/hers trail seem to get harder, but worse. The nice guys at the Hotel area still have their fire blazing. Nobody is in site. Junebug trail is a quick fix to anybody that needs some more singletrack. Cross the road and begin to climb and climb back to 24 hour town. Lee the Spam-man (what a guy!) is sleeping...

Lee, how are you doing?
Who is that?
It's me Chad.
Ohhhhhhh chad. Goooo. Rideeee!

I ride off, climbing more and more, I gotta love that man, out here in the thick of it all, on the side of the trail! Coughing begins to get worse as I near my camp. Stephanie from my pit crew is up, I ask her for advice, to which she replies in her motherly tone, "you sound bad, it might be better to warm up in your tent for a bit." I succumb to pressure and head to the tent after eating some more clif shot blocks. I slept for about an hour and started to cough up flem for 20-30 minutes, before getting up to get warm around the fire. The inevitable putting-the-clothes-pack-on hit me at about 630am when Max made me some coffee.

Today, I got home from urgent care with bronchitis. Bummer.

AZ Spring Fling

The AZ Spring Fling 2008 is fast approaching, I am hoping to find some more volunteers (leaders and sweepers) in the next few weeks and finalize schwag, beer, party times and demo days. Check the website for ride dates and more information.

I should know by tomorrow if Rocky Mountain will be demoing along with Yeti.

Night rider

If I had my way, I think I would ride the bike more often at night. On my commute to work everyday, I usually get the chance to test out some lights and trails, but I am feeling the urge to do some more night riding, post-24 hour race. So this week I am hoping to get a few night rides in this week to test out my battery setups (minewt, bi, and trinewt) and to do full moon ride (86 the lights). Tomorrow, I will be riding out at 50-year trail (assuming my lungs continue to get better) with SunDog and some other friends.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Riding in Circles

The AZ Star had a good summary of the 24 hours of the Old Pueblo, although they are still quoting the mileage as 17 instead of 16 for each lap. There is a database that you can use to search the results also.

Looks Dave C. did pretty good up in Moab with a time of 7:46. Congrats! Still waiting to here some info on Scott's vacation (I think he was taking his bike).

Thanks again to Yuri for cheering me on and volunteering at the 24 HOP. And Tom, great job on your your solo riding, see you in March.

24 HOP Results

The unofficial results have been posted for the men's solo. I managed to crank out 13 laps for 7th place, mostly with the help of my amazing pit crew (Stephanie especially, but Brett, Max, Kevin and Cat also) and friends/family watching the live results online. Thanks to everyone for my 1st successful 24 hour solo race.

I did succumb to sleeping at 430am after finishing lap 10, party due to a cough (that I still have). I slept for about an hour and coughed up mucus for another hour before mustering up courage to get back on the bike for another 3 laps. I rolled in at about 11:50am, 10 minutes before the cut off and opted to call it a day instead of doing one more lap. It was great riding with everyone that came out, Brett, Jeff, Max, Toby, Kevin, and Mike.

Things I learned from my first solo 24 race:
  • Buy new shorts, my new Pearl Ultra Sensors were amazing, I did not wear chamosis (nor have I ever) and walked away with no butt problems after 22 hours in the saddle. Using the paper race bib for toilet paper works when you have to go in the middle of the course
  • Drink coffee early and often, I only had one cup of it in the morning... I needed to drink more
  • Find support. Pit crews are priceless. Friends and family online, anything to keep you going. Tell them your lofty goal so you are accountable to walk the talk
  • Carry some quick links with you so when you chain breaks, you do not have to limp back to camp
  • Cliff shot blocks are the key to nutrition. In an earlier post, I toted the love of Hammer Gel, nothing is further from the truth when doing a 24 hour race. Shot blocks are oh so yummy and are square gummy works, plus they are easier to eat and the wrapper is not all gross when you put it in your back pocket. I must have ate about 15 packets of shot blocks.
  • Eat plenty of Spam. One of the most classic memories was riding by Lee every night lap. He was on the side of the trail with a campfire, cooking Spam and handing it out to fatigued riders like myself from a stick. He is one hellova guy for being out there with weather in the 20s..
  • Changing gloves, shorts, jerseys, shoes is not necessary, just do what you do best... ride and ride. I rode 200+ miles with the same everything, just had to change my bike since my full suspension's chain broke and lights/batteries
  • You cannot drink beer after you ride 200 miles if you are sick, you have to suck on melted, old cough drops that have been in Max's truck for weeks

Friday, February 15, 2008

Snow on 24 Hour Course

Taken this morning at the starting line of 24 hours of Old Pueblo, a friend of my Mom's sent this photo to her. I am still packing and plan on heading out this evening to the course.

24 Hour Race in the Old Pueblo

Picture from Tom, my neighbor at 24 Town this weekend

It is raining here in Tucson today and I have still not had a chance to fully pack my gear and go set up camp for tomorrow's race. My solo effort will start at (enter western music) high noon on Saturday and end at high noon on Sunday. The plan is to ride the entire time. This roughly equals around 200+ miles, assuming I can stay at roughly the same pace.

For those making it out, here is a link of the map.

We will be camped on Granite Constuction Rd, close to the big rock drop that everyone rides down. As you start to make the turn right, we are on the left side of the road. Look for my benz if you plan on going out. If you do come out, they usually charge $5 or canned food for parking (since it is on AZ Trust Land).

Any friends and family that are out-of-state, you can check up on race results by going here. Knowing that a few of you out there in cyberspace are watching the results or dreaming of watching me at 3am when I want to go to bed might help me to do one more lap until the sun comes up.

I am finishing packing and repacking things today, a few of the items:
  • 4 Red Bulls
  • 4 Double Espresso Shots
  • Coffee
  • Bags of fruit
  • Enough hammer gel/HEED to live on the Space Station for 3 weeks
  • Camping gear
  • 6 pack of 1554 and 3 large Trader Joe's Vintage Ale 1.5 pints
  • New Ultra Sensor bibs (Cat hooked me up down at Performance with a huge discount)
  • Warm clothes and more warm clothes, booties
  • Rain clothes
  • Picture of Lance to tape on my tent/bed as a reminder not to stop until its over or I collapse.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mmmmm..... Hammer Gel

A view of yesterday's ride
I hit the mtn bike today for a 2 hour easy ride in my suburban loop. I have to admit that I have grown fond of hammer gel lately, the stuff seems to propel me farther than other stuff I used to eat (clif, granola bars, etc). I usually roll with a banana and a few hammer gels, along with Nuun in the water bottle since it has been a little hotter the past few days. It was a brick day today, so I immediately ran for 30 minutes right as I finished the bike.

Did some weightlifting early this morning, saw my Dad pumping iron also before he was going to work. The man can sure lift, I always feel like I am not holding my weight when I see him start doing should shrugs with tons of weight.

The 24 hour race was in the AZ Daily Star today. Good read. I have to buy some more biking shorts, some reflective tape, and some Gold Bond before the big day this Saturday. Everything else is slowly coming together, now the only question I have to ask myself is can I ride 24 hours?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Downtown Tucson on the road bike

Headed out today on the road bike for a quick 2.5 hour jaunt near 4th Avenue and the university. Here are a few pictures from the day.

Very nice trash can art

And the great bike pathway art
It was a pretty slow ride, I was just out to get the legs spinning before this weekend. Here are the stats:
37 miles
2.5 hours

I swam super early this morning and the plan is to do some stretching and lifting this evening after work, assuming we do not party for Carl's birthday at OPG of Fox.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Santa Rita Mountains

Picture from Scott's blog... for more pictures, visit him here.

Scott, Dave, Max and I rode out from the Madera/Box Canyon intersection at 6:35am as planned yesterday with the intent of riding around the Santa Rita Mountains. Scott's post highlights most of the trip: Elephant Head, Bull Springs, Josephine Canyon, Temporal, the highway, AZT, Box Canyon, Madera Canyon road.

The weather was a little cold, but as we rode up Box Canyon, at each passing bend, more sunlight began to warm up the weather. I managed to change my glasses (from regular to prescription sunglasses), but not before dropping my headset into my back cassette. The group moved on, unaware of the incident. I stopped and untangled the headset and miraculously they still played music, sort of. I had to listen to background voices and music (no singing) during most of trip.

We rolled to the first section of AZT, awaiting the first section of singletrack and climbing (my feet and hands are a little cold from the Box Canyon ride up). The sun combined with the relentless uphill was perfect. Before I knew it, we were passing Kentucky Camp and riding more singletrack. A little after Kentucky Camp, Max jokingly asserted that my back skewer was loose from a barbed wire that I had hit. I thought he was joking, so I did not take heed to the comment. A little later, my bike popped out and I immediately hit the brakes, which forced my hydraulic pads to lock. Nice, very nice. Good thing it was on a hike-a-bike section. Max helped me push the pads apart and continued to descend and climb.

Later, Scott commented on the 2,000 foot, rocky climb that awaited us. I am going to have to say that I for one am not a very solid rider when it comes to ascending rocky, steep trail and the fact that it was abnormally hot did not help. Scott and Max managed to fair the best on this section, while Dave had a quick bout with his chain. For most of the ride, we had been joking and laughing, although when it came time to ride strong, I think we focused and rode. The entire was a combination of the typical fun group ride combined with a fast pace, the kind of pace to get the job done in time.

We filtered some water at the end of the trail and rerouted to sections of the AZT 300 Race. I knew most of the trail from here to the car, so it seemed like we would finish roughly at 7ish. My HEED in the water bottle and a few Hammer Gels every hour helped me survive up to this point in the ride, but my stomach was starting to get very hungry. I downed 2 gels and the rest of my HEED to quickly solve that problem. I am amazed at how such "nutrition" during a ride can add resilience to my mood and ability to pedal.

The sections of Elephant Head we did in the fading light, by far, it was the best time to be on a bike. We rode onto Madera Canyon with headlamps (I flatted once on the doubletrack near Madera and Dave helped me change the tire). As planned we sped down to the cars, although it was a little later than planned, 7:30.

As always, it was great to host Dave and the fam. Good luck next week.

Approx mileage: 70
Time: a little under 13 hours
Elevation Gain: 12-13k

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Base Training

After a few weeks working on the tri training plan, I think I nailed it down finally. For example, today, I will be doing 75 minutes in the pool 15-20 x 100 meters, 20 second rests, laps being 1-2 seconds below my 1500 meter time (all this morning), 105 minutes of aerobic riding on the mtn bike, and 60 minutes of strengthening (12-15 reps) in the evening after work. No running today as I did 1hour yesterday.

First tri/duathlon is the 24th of February.

Desert Classic Duathlon
Run 3.5 miles - smooth desert trail
Bike 21 miles - road bike course
Run 2.7 miles - to the finish

Sunday, February 03, 2008

AZ Trail Solo Ride

I rarely write about epic trips to the extent of this AZT report. Most of the time, I start to write about a ride and I realize that the story might not be very reader-friendly, so I end up writing some quick, lame report. This one (I hope) is different. This is a ride that any intermediate-advanced mountain biker could do, given a GPS, time (some might need more than others), and a little love for the outdoors.

I packed my stuff on Thursday. I had originally packed my fleece sleeping bag, the one that did not keep me cold on top of Mt Lemon during the AZT 300 race, consequently I bailed at the same time. This time I brought my zero degree sleeping bag tied on the handlebars (which worked out fairly well). Also, I brought a stove (thanks Mom!) and cooking pot.

Approx view of route (note: this is not 100% accurate as my GPS was off most of the trip)

I started from my house early and headed up Mt Lemmon via Redington and Molino/Prison Camp. More road to the top of the Control Road, where I got my first encounter of snow/ice:

Oracle Ridge trailhead in the nice sunlight... there was no snow here. It looks save to do the traverse of death...

Or so I thought... there was a bit more patches of snow and ice than I thought. I stayed the course in order to find how Oracle Ridge trail is fairing these days. Can you find the trail in this picture?

A look back at some icy sections that I had to bike/try to walk across.

I was cursing myself for doing Oracle Ridge when I could have taken the Mt Lemon Control Rd down. The snow patches were a little dicey in some sections, but the fallen trees in addition to the snow patches were making it more difficult. Looking back, the combination of snow and trees were more of a nuisance than anything.

After about an hour of constant half-riding and pushing through overgrown brush, I was in need of some sweet singletrack. Frankly, I needed to get into to some fun singletrack to lift up my spirits. Cody Trail was another 3-4 miles of bushwacking, and man do I mean bushwacking. Rocks, trees, and shrubbery (... we have brought your shrubbery, may we go now?) lined most of the next 3-4 miles; constant hike-a-bike was the only answer to the trail now. Finally, I got to some fun singletrack above Cody Trail.

As I was descending Cody Trail and #9, a huge stick rolled up into my fork and tire and I immediately flew over my handlebars. It was pretty amazing how I went from fast to oh-my-gosh-I-am-flying-over-the-handlebar moment. I immediately thought of Paul B.'s thread on crashing. Luckily, the ground was pretty soft, so I just took out the stick and continued on. I started flying down Cody when a drop of took me by surprise, another flying over the handlebar moment. I couldn't believe it. Again, there was mostly dirt on mylanding, so no bad injuries. More shots of Oracle Ridge.

Headed into Oracle for some Mexican food at Casa Rivera and coffee at Circle K (the Station was closed) before jumping back on the AZT toward Superior. There is something to be said when a mountain biker relishes the sight of pavement, man was I happy for some pavement and a trip to get some coffee. Truthfully though, I grew up around Oracle, my grandparents owned land here up until the late 90s, it is just one of those places that you have to relish, especially the small town restaurants (Casa Rivera, De Marco) and cafes (the Station).

As night was quickly closing in, I needed to make some ground. This was some of my hardest riding since I had been on the bike for 15 hours. I switched on the Ipod and began to go into a daze, the mtn bike daze where you know you just need to keep peddling despite what your body is saying. I have to be honest here and say that I am horrible at mountain biking with a LED light, especially on some of these sections of the AZT, where a killer switchback is around every corner. These are switchbacks I cannot even do in the daytime, so you can imagine how they are with my little LED light.

Not sure what time it was when I went to bed, but sometime later, a herd of cows started to make some moooing noises. Cows sleep, don't they was my immediate thought, it cannot be a cow was my second. I thought I was hearing things at first, but then I realized that I was not. So I did what any tired person would do: get up out of that warm sleeping bag and run them off with rocks and yelling. This was not one of my finest moments during the trip, as I am sure I looked stupid flailing my hands and yelling at cows, although flying over the handlebars was not any better.

That must have got my adrenaline going because when I got back to my camp, I could not go to sleep. It started to get colder around 1ish, so I decided to make a little fire and relax out of the bag. If bringing the stove was not evidence that I was in fact riding at slower than race-pace, taking the time to build a campfire was enough evidence.

It was nice to be out of the sleeping bag and around a camp fire. It was classic, the cows had left, the starry sky was gleaming over head, and I had created a fire. Scenes from Dances with Wolves and Tom Hank's Cast Away immediately went through my head. I got back in my sleeping bag on top of the fake mattress, a silver window visor from the Benz, and went back to bed. No sooner had I dozed off, I heard at least 8 coyotes running through the sticks and begin howling like crazy (I assume around 8 because there was a lot of howling going around really close to my camp, sounded if they were biting each other while they were howling). I immediately sat up to look for them in the shadows of the dwindling fire, I saw nothing. I listened as they kept howling; then, they slowly ran out of range, howling with each passing moment. I went back to bed. At some points during the night, I would wake up or I would think I would wake up and I would have to question myself, did I really fall asleep?

I was glad when the sun came up because then came the hot tea and oatmeal/raisins. I packed up and headed for Antelope Peak, seen here from the Kelvin/Florence section of the AZT.

The Antelope Peak Challenge had some great singletrack, but it left me wondering about the singletrack after AP... my camera died after I took this picture (Error 30... What does that mean? Like a paper jam from Office Space), so I do not have any pictures of the Sierra Anchas/Area 52 in the background of this fun singletrack. I passed a few old ranches/windmills, always thinking of m great grandfather, who had a ranch out here called Diamond A during the early 1900s. The bottom line is wherever you go, there is usually some kind of history. If you know the history to the places, I am sure you will come to appreciate the area more, especially in this section of the Sonoran Desert.

Somewhere in my head, I had concluded that finishing the AZT300 was necessary, it was in fact a race that I had quit due to my own unwillingness to battle the elements of nature and fatigue. During the course of this ride, I thought about this and concluded that I was out here to have fun, so when my water went about half way, I would turn around and head back to Tucson instead of going into Florence for food and water. And that is what I did. I turned around at the Gila. I was glad to have saved most of the battery for the Ipod until then; I rode most of the way back to Tucson with it on.

Turned around and headed back to Freeman/Willow, finishing off on Junebug and later Highway 77. Somewhere on Willow, but shorts quit doing their job and my butt started to hurt a little. I have never worn chamosis, although it is still in the pack in case of emergency. I continued on riding, ignoring the chaffing. As I was riding back on Willow, cars and cars of 24 hour riders were coming out to "test" the course out. I probably looked a little odd with a sleeping bag on the front of my bike and an old reflective window visor on the side of my camelbak. Highway 77 had a pretty big head wind, 5-10 mph. I mostly stayed on the electric dirt line on the right side of the road to avoid the cars and bike lane.

On the way back into town from Catalina, I caught up with a roadie and drafted for awhile. We had an interesting conversation when he saw all my gear:

Roadie: "You doing that 24 Hour Challenge in a few weeks."
Chad: "Yeah, I'll be riding in circles."
Roadie: "Does that get boring?"
Chad: [thinking] "yeah, yeah it does. But there is beer, people and a camp fire"
Roadie: "Well, good luck man."

I started to think about doing a 24 hour race or an overnighter on the bike with some friends. Which one would I rather do? A few cars drove by with mtn bikes on top of their cars drove by, apparently out riding the course. Assuming I was in the company of some friends (Max, Dave, Jeff, Scott, Lee, etc...), I would choose an epic, overnighter over any 24 hour race.

My mind went back to food and beer, put my head down and started to hammer home.

I almost went over to Nico's for a breakfast burrito, but opted for my suburbia route back to my house. Lentils, peanut butter and crackers, 2 bananas, more pb and crackers, followed by carrots, and topped off with some salmon, crackers, and cheese. Mmmmm.

The GPS was off and on during the trip (to save the rechargeable batteries that last around 7 hours), but I estimate I rode 160ish miles with about 16,000 feet of climbing in 2 days. I saw nobody on any of the trails that I rode, although I frequently saw cars along stretches of Willow on my way back to 77.

Friday, February 01, 2008

775 miles logged

Mileage to date for 2008, not too bad.

Biggest rides to date:
  • APC Pre-Ride
  • APC
  • AZ Trail Ride
  • SSAZ08
  • Round da Ritas
  • Picacho Peak (road)
This week, the plan is to continue on swimming, running, and biking up til Thursday, resting Friday before 24 Hours of the Old Pueblo. Tomorrow is a light day, mostly strength and stretching, and recovery from riding 12 hours on Saturday.


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