Yesterday's ride to Cave Creek and Carefree could not have been more perfect. Vickie and I headed off super early so we could enjoy the cool weather, and it was a little chilly when we started!
I should probably back up just a little. The thing about the Nelson's is...if you want a push, they will push! If you want your butt kicked, they will gladly serve your ass on a platter... If you want a nice easy ride, they are totally on board...they are SO EASY to be around that I can't help but call them about once a month for a ride. I can also gauge my progress riding with them so it's an extra bonus.
Back to the start...I told Vickie right away that I wanted to really push my speed. It's something I need to focus on with distance so I expected to be tired and I expected to really push my mental limits. (If I want to play with the big girls, I HAVE to work hard....there are no short cuts.) The last time I did this loop the Nelson's were chasing me (a little game we played) and what took me an hour about 2 months ago took me 45 minutes yesterday...I was REALLY glad to see that 15 minutes gone!
The Carefree hwy delivers a climb (from our starting point) and nice down hill followed by another nice incline to Cave Creek Rd...so you get a little of everything here. My quads were swollen from the first 12 miles we did so I was getting worried about the ride through Cave Creek and Carefree from the start...it's a pretty steady uphill climb that never fails to test my mental endurance. I kept my focus on Vickie's bike (it was just her and I yesterday) and keeping little distance between the two of us. I tried NOT to draft, so I stayed to the left of her tire for what seemed like most of our ride (where the road would allow it too).
We got passed by this dude who was SO TALL that his seat sat about where Vickie's head height was..holy smokes we could not believe how tall this guy was. At any rate, the ride down Pima Rd was a beautiful reprieve for my quads.
Riding back to Vickie's was still challenging. We kept a great 19-20 mph pace up most of Union Hills but I had made a huge mistake in not getting more water 10 miles from her house. Here is a huge lesson. Just because you are 10 miles from home does not mean you stop drinking and eating. I bottomed out fast...meaning I went from a good speed to a slow speed with nothing between. I should have gotten water...I had been eating all day and once I stopped, my legs gave out about 4 miles from home. I just couldn't get a good push to start my speed after that.
What a great time. Thanks Vickie for pushing me over some humps and offering a great workout..total time was 3 hrs 2o min with 53 miles.