27 December 2008

Chill out!

No, this isn't about anger management. Just a really cold ride.

First day of training camp here in Tucson, AZ, and we rolled out for a 37 mile ride. The first ten or so miles was just rolling through the city towards Mount Lemmon, flat stuff, lots of traffic lights.

Mount Lemmon is a different story. It's a 26-mile climb with over 7,000 vertical feet. I should have known it was going to be bad when a sign said chains or four-wheel-drive was required above mile 8. Notice it says 'above,' not 'after.'

We only did the first five miles of the climb today, and it was all uphill. No flats. No downhills. Up, up, up. But the view was gorgeous. We entered Coronado National Forest, which appeared to be a forest of cacti and scrub brush. In fact, I'm pretty sure I saw five different types of cacti. Nasty stuff.

Honestly, this could be the most beautiful place I've ever been, including Guatemala. Up on the mountain, we could see the silhouettes of other mountains in the distance, and sun glancing off the roofs of houses down in the valley. The mountain is cut all over with canyons, and snowy mountain streams flow out of them.

On the way back down, we stayed between 30 and 35 mph. In the shade and 35 degree temps, it was freezing. It took me a good hour to stop shivering once we got back to base.

Now it's time for a hot shower and a warm bed...


  1. This thread is useless without pictures! :)

  2. I don't need pictures. That's what imagination is for. Glad you're enjoying yourself. DF. Mom