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Just had to get off the couch

I really need to stop having zero weeks. Zero weeks are the work weeks in which I don’t commute at least once. This week had nothing but bad weather in the form of big winds which put a damper on things.

Saturday’s Adobo Velo ride was canceled due to forecasted wind and rain. Imagine everyone’s disappointment when the wind and rain didn’t show up until the late afternoon. The weather would have been near perfect for the time we would have been out on the ride. Better to err on the side of caution.

I saw that Adrian posted this ride on the GVC page and it piqued my interest. I checked in with the wife about shuffling our breakfast date around. When she gave me the green light I registered for the ride and spread the word over to the Adobo Velo Facebook page. I figured those who missed out on Saturday might have been itching for some miles like I was.

Rolled down to the start after meeting up with Mark, Mike, and Kenny at Anthem Hills Park. Along our ride down to Pebble Marketplace we spotted Joy flying by at the corner of Sandy Ridge and Sunridge Heights. We caught up to her at the corner of Green Valley Pkwy and Horizon Ridge. I rolled up and started giving her grief about not even taking the time to wave as she blew by.

Arrived at the Starbucks to find everyone gathered and about ready to roll. Lots of familiar and some newer, by GVC standards, faces. We were all freezing our tails off and complaining about doing so. Shortly before the scheduled start I got a text message from Adrian that he would be running late and that John Griever would pick up lead duties until we met up en route. Naturally a few minutes later I got a phone call from John stating that he was running around 10-15 minutes late. It wasn’t really that big of an inconvenience. It gave everyone more time to visit and use the restroom before rolling out.

Once John and Anna arrived it wasn’t long before we were moving. Everyone was chilly and knew the sooner we were moving the sooner we would be warm. And things certainly got off to a spicey start. At first I was up front rolling at a leisurely pace with Dave Burns. After crossing Pecos, good ole Trimble fired it up and came around both Dave and I. Naturally Burns wasn’t going to just let it go, and I figured what the hell and went with him. Blew right past Adrian who was hanging out on the side of the road at the corner of Pebble and Pollock, and without even thinking we’re on our way to a 20 MPH average just to get to Las Vegas Blvd.

Turning onto Las Vegas Blvd I wound up in front and led the group all the way to St. Rose Pkwy. What a slog that was. That segment would start what was a gnarly headwind which persisted all the way to Jean. Looking back through MyWindsock this segment had a 7 MPH headwind, but once we cleared St. Rose it bumped up to closer to 11 MPH and I’m sure the gusts were well north of that. I was feeling pretty good and strong up front. My performance even elicited a few comments from the peanut gallery asking what I’d had for breakfast.

As we started out past the M Casino, a few of the other guys came around to take the lead. I’m not going to pass up a free wheel so I jumped on the opportunity. I mentioned before the winds stiffened up and we were all doing our best to stay out of the wind. Unfortunately, to get the best relief from the wind required us to do a pretty wide chevron taking up almost the entire travel lane. That wasn’t sustainable and thankfully as we came around the small bend near the RV dealership the winds were more straight on. This allowed us to line up tip-to-tail and start trying to rotate through. I’d say we were doing an okay job of rotating. Could have been better, but for not having really discussed it beforehand I’d say it was a solid A for effort.

As I was rotating off the back I looked forward and expected Burns to come around me to start working toward the front. I was quite surprised when I looked around and saw he was nowhere to be found! I rolled up to Trimble and let him know I was falling back to find Dave and for the rest of the group to roll on. I started falling back and for the life of me I couldn’t see Dave back behind me. Eventually I swung around to double back fearing that he’d flatted and we missed it or worse. I finally spotted him coming and had to flip back around much earlier than I liked; however, if I hadn’t I would have wound up well behind Dave which wasn’t the point. I soft pedaled for a bit until Dave was on my wheel and then I slowly started bumping up the pace. Seems Dave had over extended himself the day before and was paying for it now. The big pull he’d taken around the Sloan interchange sure hadn’t helped things either. Regardless it was my pleasure to fall back to make sure he was safe and to help pull him all the way to Jean. Lord knows he’s pulled me for countless miles.

We rolled through Jean and crossed under the highway and spotted the lead crew hanging around the fancy new Starbucks. Started chatting with the fellas and it was agreed that the climb to Goodsprings was out of the question. We were convinced the temperature was 10 or more degrees cooler than when we’d left Las Vegas. Personally I didn’t mind the temperature too much, but I didn’t want to be fighting a stiff cross breeze during the descent. Just seemed like asking for trouble. Eventually we all wandered inside to warm up while waiting for the rest of the group to show up. We watched the others roll into the Terrible’s across the street, but they eventually came over and we hung out a little while longer for the final riders to come in.

After everyone had had the opportunity to warm up we begrudgingly decided it was time to roll out. The small group of us who had been up front fell back a little to allow the others to get a lead on us. Once we came around the corner to go north things really picked up. With a now awesome tailwind and recharged legs we were all feeling spicy and really picked up the pace. At first we were hanging on to Trimble’s wheel, but eventually the gap started opening and kept getting wider and wider. Eventually we realized that holding on to him was a lost cause. The few three of us who remained did our best to rotate through all the way back. In hindsight we should have altered our rotation to take longer pulls on the front, but live and learn.

I was particularly happy with my performance in not only keeping up and taking my share of pulls, but also managing to fix a dropped chain. As we were flying back and riding hard I made the mistake of dead stopping my pedals and physics is a bitch. I waved the boys past me and had to drop back to try to deal with it. Thankfully I didn’t lose my head and calmly soft pedaled both forward and back and eventually managed to get the chain back on. I hooted and hollered in excitement and rolled on. I didn’t think there was any way I would catch back up but then the cycling gods graced me with a beautiful red Jeep. Shortly after the chain was fixed this red Jeep passed me by, but they’d slowed for me as well as the boys just ahead. I jumped at the opportunity, got low and fast, and rode right behind him as best I could. That Jeep pulled me all the way back to the group and as I caught up I yelled, “Coming in hot!” so they wouldn’t come over and I could roll past them. They hopped on and we were back rotating again until M.

We did our standard regroup on the west side of the M Casino. Had to say goodbye to Mark, Mike and Kenny as they’d decided they were going to roll back home instead of continuing on to Pebble Marketplace and then home. Unfortunately, most of the group had rolled out and by the time I was paying attention and able to roll I hit the red light with Joy at St. Rose. This left the two of us to roll together all the way back to Pebble Marketplace. Our luck would continue to sour as we hit dang near EVERY red light along Pebble. We rolled into the Starbucks as several others were rolling out to head home.

Joy and I got some time to visit with Dave, John, and Anna before everyone needed to get going and tackle the rest of their days. Joy and I backtracked to Valle Verde to get to Paseo Verde and on to Green Valley Pkwy. I’m not very fond of the section of Green Valley Pkwy near the 215 interchange, especially after the lane reconfiguration to accommodate the Dollar Loan Center. Anyway, Joy and I had a solid ride back up to and through Anthem. I hung with her until nearly her front door. She’d had a pretty high mileage week and wasn’t feeling quite up to her normal self. She peeled off along Via Firenze and I continued south to Democracy and up the big climb home.

Another great ride despite the crap headwind down to Jean. Not being on the bike all week meant I was certainly well rested and I want to say it showed. I had hoped to have the ride to Jean be a little easier so I could use the climb up to Goodsprings as a kind of FTP test, but with some many heavy hitters and the weather that, of course, didn’t happen.

The remainder of the afternoon was uneventful and I hung out relaxing and chowing down. Looking forward to the next one.

0.16 new miles — From
Give your activities the names they deserve. – by
Sunny-Mostly sunny, 44°F-53°F, Feels like 40°F-58°F, Humidity 53%-35%, Wind SW 7mph-SSW 6mph – by
myWindsock Report —
Weather Impact: 4.8%
Headwind: 61% @ 9.8-17.4mph
Longest Headwind: 01h 40m 48s
Air Speed: 18.7mph
Temp: 35-47.8°F
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr
— END —

Total distance: 77.76 mi
Max elevation: 3116 ft
Min elevation: 1972 ft
Total climbing: 3584 ft
Total descent: -3563 ft
Total time: 06:22:36

Published inCyclingGreen Valley Cyclists

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