Oof today was a toughie and another fine example of biting off more than I can chew.
Earlier this week when I saw Robert post this ride my brain went straight to the idea of adding some extra credit. Sure riding from home easily adds 30 miles to any ride starting from Mountains Edge Park. And yes, even going to the top of Potosi would have probably put me close to 70 for the day. I know, I know extending to Lovell Canyon would have taken me to 75. But are those a century? NO! I was riding centuries dang near every weekend before the tour. Hell people would joke, “Elvis you getting 140 in today?” Hey you know if I extend to Tecopa Road I’ll be close to 102 for the day. Yeah baby, that’s the ticket! I shared my intentions on the Adobo Velo Facebook and that I’d start from Anthem Hills Park at 4:00 a.m. blissfully unaware of my own ignorance.
Fast forward to yesterday and things were already going awry. I discovered a pretty big bug in an application I share with my team. It was big enough that if it wasn’t solved we’d have to postpone some rather large changes we had planned for the upcoming semester. It was also complex enough that I felt if I left it over the weekend I’d have a difficult time picking back up tracking down the issue without starting from scratch come Monday. This meant working late and not leaving the office until 6:15. If there was a positive it was that I didn’t ride in. I would have been home even later if that had been the case.
Once I’m home I put together a quick dinner and sit down to read my book. I know that if I fire up the TV or watch YouTube I’m going to be up even later. A nice read should help wind down my brain from all the bug hunting I’d been doing all day. Sadly it didn’t work as well as expected and my head didn’t hit the pillow until 9:00 p.m. or so. Then to make matters worse I kept waking up throughout the night; first at 10:30, then at 11:30, and after that just on an off throughout the rest of the night. Soon enough my alarm was going off at 2:00 a.m. to start the day.
Got up straight away and was actually feeling ok considering the lack of sleep. I started straight away on getting the coffee going. Then I turned my attention to my overnight oats and toast. Everything came together pretty quickly and went down just as fast. I threw on some sunscreen, my kit, and was out the door right on-time at 3:30 a.m. I’m getting pretty good at getting these early rides over to Anthem Hills Park nailed on the timing; an hour and a half to get ready followed by a half hour to get to the park.
I got to the park a few minutes early which was perfectly fine. I would rather be early than late any day. When Joy did roll up she came from the opposite direction than I had expected. She explained it away as she was having too much fun descending Anthem Parkway so she just ripped it to Summit Grove Drive and backtracked to the park. Before we rolled out we sent a “sad” picture to our fellow Anthem Hills Posse member Mark Hyken who is out doing some RAGBRAI thing I guess. Some people’s priorities, right? We took one more “happy” picture and rolled out.
I don’t know what came over us but we set quite the pace. We were going so fast that we stopped at a few shops along the way. It seems that Joy doesn’t pay attention to her computer when it tells her the battery in her power meter is low. Sadly the first two convenience stores didn’t stock CR2032 batteries; however, she got super lucky because the Walgreens on the corner of Southern Highlands and Cactus is a 24-hour location. While she ran inside to buy a battery, I opened up her power meter, and removed the dead one. She was in and out in a flash. We installed the new battery, performed a quick calibration, and off we went.
We continued to make great progress, and after passing Rainbow we realized how early we were so we made a quick u-turn to tack on some extra miles. The loop south on Rainbow, across Starr, and north on Buffalo helped, but not nearly enough. We rolled into Mountains Edge Park at 5:00 and being half an hour early Caleb was the only other rider there. As we hung out chit chatting riders started rolling up. If memory serves John and Anna were first to arrive. Then it was Angela followed by Adrian and I think Lelis, the last one up was Jeff. So we had a decent group show up for this start spot.
In typical Adobo Velo fashion we made good on leaving a few minutes late. First goal was the Terrible’s before starting the climb up Potosi. The group had gone back and forth about whether to stop or not and in the end stopping was the right call. The main reason for stopping was for a bathroom break because the bathrooms at Mountains Edge Park were still locked up so early in the morning. The best reason; however, was that Robert and the other Adobos had left from Red Rock Overlook and the plan was to have both groups meet up there. Would have been more than a little embarrassing if we’d rode on without them!
With the band all back together we had to organize based on how far everyone was going. There were several cut offs for the return: the Late Night Trailhead, the Potosi summit, Lovell Canyon Road, and Tecopa Road. It was cool to have options for the different fitness levels. Maybe next time I’ll take note.
As we started up, Joy and I were bringing up the rear. Before long though we decided to come around the group and head off. We’d initially spotted Dave off in the distance and before we knew it both him and Jeff were GONE. The two of us hung out for much of the climb, and I let Joy know that if she wanted to she was more than welcome to head on up the road without me. I know my limitations and climbing comes with the territory of being 6’1″ while lugging around an extra 15 post-tour pounds. Soon enough Joy started pulling away and I couldn’t hold on. Before long Caleb muscled on by followed by John and Anna, and Kevin was right on my wheel as we pulled into the fire station in Mountain Springs.
We hung out and chatted while waiting for more riders to make the summit. While we waited Dave calls me over, “Hey Elvis I’ve got something for ya.” I make my way over, he gives me that ‘follow my eyes’ look and looks down on the asphalt. I look down and there is a pile of change sitting there. We’re talking a little of everything; quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies. Of the $1.88 that made its way into the new bike fund today, I’m guessing $1.70 came from that one spot alone. Dave got a GREAT picture of me with a stupid grin on my face. It’s absolutely hilarious. And you’re damned right I picked up each and every coin and into the fund it went when I got home.
While we stood around chatting it became obvious that all the riders who had planned on pressing on to Tecopa were accounted for. I hollered, “Those going for Tecopa we’re rolling out” and off we went. We lined up and started flying. I’ll be honest I was being somewhat cautious with the high speeds, deep wheels, and threat of a big truck flying by. There was one huge moving fan that went by and shortly after I got a serious shove by the wake it left behind. I was perfectly content to follow Caleb’s wheel, but Dave came around and I couldn’t pass up. Ultimately, from the top to Tecopa Road took about 30 minutes and we averaged closed to 30 mph. That is the power of the Dave train.
Of course once we came to the turnaround point, Dave, Joy, and I, like a bunch of tourists, stopped to snap a couple pictures with the Tecopa sign. While we were busy getting our pics Kevin and Caleb rolled through, made the u-turn, and started the return leg back up. With our pictures in the can we followed suite and started our return as well.
As we started back I was feeling pretty good. I was able to hang onto Dave’s wheel while battling a minor head wind. Soon enough I could tell there was no way I was going to stick with them. I knew Dave rides with a mirror and will hang back to keep the group together so I let the both of them know to not wait up for me. Similarly to the east-to-west section this was a climb and I’m a little fluffy. I was surprised to catch up to and pass Kevin after a bit, but it wouldn’t last long as he came back around me.
I want to say it wasn’t too long after that that things started going downhill. All I can say is that I had emptied the tank and was running on fumes. My heart rate climbed and stayed elevated while my power continued to drop. For example, Robert called to check in on our group. Right before stopping I was at 176 bpm and 176 watts. I talked with Robert for just shy of five minutes and immediately after getting back into the saddle my heart rate was at 167 bpm for the same amount of watts. The last 40 minutes of the ride, after that phone call, I averaged less than 8 mph, 142 watts, and 167 bpm on a 3.2% average grade. I think saying I was cracked is an understatement.
2.5 miles from the top I sent Joy a message telling her, and the rest of the group to not wait for me. I honestly thought if they weren’t already at the top they’d be waiting for me for quite a while regardless. Three quarters of a mile later I flat out stopped. At first I thought I just needed a little rest to get the heart rate down and a little recharge, but then I decided I was done and sent messages to the family for a pick-up.
As I stood there on the shoulder over my bike with my head resting on my handle bars I hear, “Hey man you ok? You hurting? Need some water? Some AC?”
At first I reply, without looking up, “Nah man I’m good just need to rest for a bit and recharge.”
I lift my head and I see a cyclist in hit with a bike on the back of their Subaru. As we make eye contact he says, “Hey, it’s Elvis right?”
“Yeah?” I reply.
“Hey it’s Brian Ridgway! I rode in with you from Jean a couple weekends back. You sure you don’t want some water or AC? Need a ride?”
Brian walks over, grabs Shadow, and says, “Here man I’ll get this mounted up. There is a water bottle in the passenger seat help yourself and enjoy the AC.” Of course before I could let him get Shadow put away I had to stop and save my ride. Rules are rules you know.
With Shadow secured Brian joined me in the AC and we set off for town. I guess he had been scouting some gravel, had finished up himself, and was heading home. He asked where the rest of the group was and I relayed they were at the summit waiting for me, but should have started down. As we neared the summit we spotted bikes at the fire station and pulled in to let Dave, Joy, and Kevin know that I was done, but more importantly safe. I said I would see them at the Terrible’s at the bottom and Brian and I left.
During our drive I mentioned to Brian that, “I think Vegas and Nevada has quite possibly the best cycling community.” I seriously mean that. I get more waves from my fellow cyclists in the valley than I did during my tour. There were a few times during the tour that I wanted to just give up waving because it felt pointless, but anyway. Brian going out of his way to stop for a cyclist who, I’m sure, clearly looked like they were hurting goes to show what kind of class act he is. He’s an honest to God testament to our cycling community. The world could sure use more Brians.
As we approached the Terrible’s, Brian asks if he wants a ride deeper into town to save the wife from having to come so far (OMG this guy right?). I politely decline and seeing Caleb sitting on the side of the building in the shade sealed it. We pulled in, I got out, and Brian unloaded Shadow and handed him off to me. I put him into the bike rack and set down all my gear. We all talked for a bit longer before I went inside for a big ass Coke and a couple of Gatorades. With refreshments in hand I pulled up a piece of sidewalk next to Caleb and we hung out while waiting for the rest of the group to make the descent.
While we waited Robert pulled in. He had rode back to his SUV and came back to give us some refreshments including water and ice. He looked down at me and said, “Brother you look like a salt lick.” He wasn’t wrong.
Not too long later the rest of the crew rolled in. They all seemed to be doing well, but Kevin mentioned he was having some cramping issues as well. It’s nice to know that you aren’t the only one suffering. Up to this point I was already feeling shitty about the situation. I’m the one whose stupid idea it was to roll all the way to Tecopa, and here I ‘m getting a pick up. Ugh.
After the three late comers had sufficiently recharged their batteries they rolled out. Joy had mentioned, wisely, that they should get rolling before it got even hotter. I was bummed to see them go and let them know if they needed anything to not hesitate to reach out. It wasn’t too much later that the wife rolled up with the truck, I loaded Shadow and I up, and we went home.
Today was another perfect example of my brain thinking I’m in better shape than I really am. After last week’s ride, my lack of fitness should have been more obvious. I can hear you now, “But Elvis you just got back from riding 2,400+ miles with 100k+ elevation you should be in the shape of your life!” I think that may be true when it comes to cardio, but having the ability to tackle longer sustained efforts is going to take time. I need to reset and rebuild similarly to last year when I got back on after my shoulder healed up. Back then it took nearly two months before I was riding centuries again. I’ll get there eventually. I just need to be wise in the short term for the long term gain.
New bike fund: $24.33 (+$1.88)
37.06 new miles — From Wandrer.earth
615 vehicles @ 9.8 per mile, 2.3 per minute, Speeds: 64.4 mph (avg), 104.6 mph (max) — by MyBikeTraffic.com
Give your activities the names they deserve. — by Bandok.com
Mostly cloudy-Sunny, 95°F-90°F, Feels like 93°F-93°F, Humidity 18%-17%, Wind WSW 3mph-NNE 3mph — by Klimat.app
— myWindsock Report —
Weather Impact: -1%
Headwind: 60% @ 2.2-13mph
Longest Headwind: 02h 23m 1s
Air Speed: 14.8mph
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr
— END —
Max elevation: 5222 ft
Min elevation: 2308 ft
Total climbing: 5190 ft
Total descent: -3333 ft
Average speed: 17.83 mi/h
Average cadence: 73 RPM
Average heart rate: 151 BPM
Average temperature: 92.12 °F
Total time: 06:16:53