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Sometimes you gotta roll the hard six.

You all can thank me for the rain this afternoon. I didn’t mount the fenders before leaving this morning because I didn’t want to be looking like a commute dork on the unofficial Lifetime Friday ride. Instead I just looked like a normal tail end of the group dork.

I’d been looking forward to riding with Lifetime today since I rode with them a few weeks back. I know that in order to get better I need to push myself just that little bit more. I was really bummed when I saw that summer Fridays are done until next year. I also planned on riding with Joe and then having breakfast afterwards. Not to be discouraged, I offered the idea of doing the Lifetime route despite not being hosted by Lifetime. Joe was up for it and he’d already wrangled Jon and Joy into coming along as well. I sent Mark a late night text and he was in too. Just to throw it out there I posted it on the Adobo Velo Facebook page as well. I know there are a few riders in the group who live in Henderson who also like doing Lifetime so I figured why not.

Naturally I rode down to the start but not before picking up Mark as he was circling Del Webb Middle School. I came around a corner and spotted his trademark super bright tail light and knew it was him immediately. We made a brief stop at the restroom before continuing on to Lifetime.

I have to say that I was impressed with our group today. I was kinda worried that we might end up taking it a little easier than your typical Lifetime ride, but Jon, Joe, and Joy were really on it. I was doing ok hanging with them along the flats, but once we passed Seven Hills and started climbing I started having a harder and harder time keeping up. Soon enough I was well off any wheel and huffing and puffing. I stuck it out and completed the full loop and caught up with them at the regular regroup at Grand Hills.

Riding along Grand Hills I don’t know how I ended up in front. I’m pretty sure I heard Jon say, “Let’s slow roll for a bit.” so that may explain it. I was feeling pretty good all along Grand Hills, around Anthem Village, up through Fieldbrook, along Sun City Anthem, and across Sebring Hills. Once we crossed Sun City Anthem and started climbing again I was surprised how good I continued to feel. Maybe the couple extra weeks of commuting helped? Either way I’ll take it, and honestly felt pretty decent for the remainder of the climbing.

We bombed down Anthem Pkwy and along Reunion. It was there I caught onto the back of a pickup and had a nice cruise. I was bummed when they turned left onto Cadence leaving me to do hard work. Didn’t take long before Jon just blew past me like I was sitting still. He would say later that he enjoyed running me down.

We went through Anthem Hills Park and I asked to stop at the bottom before joining Sandy Ridge. We waited for just a few seconds until Mark rolled up and we all said our goodbyes to him. He already had morning plans of going to the gym with his wife and couldn’t join us for breakfast. I gave him a pass on not joining since he joined me last week.

We made a quick ride down Sandy Ridge. I made the left onto the sidewalk on Horizon Ridge to take the connector trail to Coronado Center. Unfortunately, no one else picked up on it. Joe and Jon continued on along Horizon Ridge. Joy stopped dead in her tracks and picked Thelma up and joined me on the trail/sidewalk. I couldn’t help but laugh a little.

Eventually we all would end up at Scrambled. Sorry it is just one of those things that is my Friday tradition. I was thrilled to have three friendly faces to share a table with though that is for certain. We had a great time visiting and eating breakfast. Soon enough though it was time to leave and for me to get on to work.

We set out along St. Rose northbound. I told everyone that I kinda had to go that way in order to get to work and that I’d be riding St. Rose/Pecos all the way to Harmon. Joe broke off at Paseo Verde. Jon and Joy hung with me until Warm Springs. I did slow up and wait for the two of them to catch me at one point because they caught the light at Wigwam red. Tearing off into the distance and leaving them without saying goodbye just didn’t sit right with me.

After Warm Springs it was just my typical run up Pecos. Things went great and I had no trouble with traffic. Avoided the rain until around McLeod, but even then it wasn’t anything more than a few drops here and there. Once I got to campus and the entrance to my office it had started raining just enough to make all the sidewalks wet.

As the day got long, the weather started getting worse and worse. There were a couple good bands of heavy rain that passed through town and campus as well. I had a brief blackout in my office. Thankfully the power came back on less than a minute later. The kiddo sent me a message offering to come pick me up if I wanted. I declined saying I wanted to hold out until later in the afternoon to see if the weather would hold out.

Around 4:30 the wife sent me a message asking if it was raining on campus and I had to admit I hadn’t the slightest clue if it was or not. My office has no windows and is located centrally to the building so I rarely hear any rain. I took a break and went outside and it was mostly dry and clearish. When I reported that to her, her response was “Run”. I didn’t run, but I did wrap up a few things, got ready to ride, and rolled out straight up at 5.

Making my way through campus I could tell it had certainly rained, but the paths through campus were mostly dry. As I came around the corner to start riding south I saw the dark gray skies and realized I needed to get a move on in hopes of beating the weather. Right out of the gate after crossing Tropicana, Wilbur was a complete disaster. The southbound lanes were flooded for a couple blocks. I just shook my head and laughed as I left the sidewalk, where I had thought I would be safe, and had to wade through a puddle deep enough to come up over my deep carbon wheels. I had to dodge puddles all the way down Hacienda, and ford a decent sized one on McLeod just before Patrick.

After Patrick things were pretty chill. The roads were wet and there was some debris here and there, but nothing terrible at all. It would stay this way almost all the way home.

As I left Anthem Hills Park it started raining. Riding through the park I had briefly thought of stopping and calling my daughter to come pick me up. But it wasn’t really coming down yet, just a couple few good sized drops here and there. Nothing to worry about. I made it to Cadence before it really started coming down. By the time I hit Anthem Pkwy it was a torrential downpour with a stiff headwind to match. Honestly it was pretty gnarly. Up until this point I’d been really pushing myself trying to beat the weather home. Now I was more focused on getting home so I dialed it back a few notches. The lightning firing off certainly didn’t inspire confidence. Hindsight is 20/20 and I should have stopped and called for the sag.

Nearly home I started the descent down Solera Sky and the winds really started kicking up coming around the hill. Relatively speaking I crawled myself down that hill before making the turn onto Jada. Last time I’d been out in the rain and tried to make a turn with a head full of steam I felt the rear start to slide out on me twice. I wasn’t going to have a repeat of that.

Rolled up to the house and couldn’t be happier. I got into the garage, took a couple pictures, got everything on chargers, and then went inside. As I was getting stuff out of my backpack I looked down and saw little puddles of water everywhere. I pick up a foot to see where it is coming from and watch as water just pours out of my shoe. I crack up and then proceed out to my back patio to take off my shoes and socks before I track water all through the house. I laughed even more as I wrung out my socks and saw the color of the water, jet black. I then went into the bathroom to get out of my wet kit. I hung up my bibs and almost immediately they started dripping on the shower floor, also black. I may have to burn that kit.

Overall today was great. I know that may sound crazy with the awful weather on the way home, but it’s one of the hazards of commuting. You don’t always get bright blue skies. I do wish I had my fenders on, but really I would have still ended up soaked to the bone; however, my kit may not have been subjected to so much road grime. Live and learn.

Finally, I swear Shadow may have been either a mountain bike, jet ski, or pack mule in a previous life. First he handles my 2,400 mile tour without batting an eye. We forded a river along Wilbur. At one point I look down and you would swear I had just done 20 miles of gravel. Lastly, after making the turn onto Anthem Pkwy and going headstrong into driving rain he just kept trucking. Somewhere along Anthem Pkwy I even said, “Come on buddy we’ve got this. We’re almost home.” Kudos to him for getting my home safe and sound this afternoon. He handled this afternoon’s weather like a champ.

New bike fund: $25.30 (+$0.13)
0.13 new miles — From
305 vehicles @ 5.3 per mile, 1.5 per minute, Speeds: 33.6 mph (avg), 62.7 mph (max) —
Give your activities the names they deserve. — by
Cloudy-Thunderstorm, 92°F-88°F, Feels like 90°F-81°F, Humidity 15%-37%, Wind ESE 5mph-NNE 5mph — by
myWindsock Report —
Weather Impact: -5.7%
Headwind: 43% @ 4.9-11.5mph
Longest Headwind: 50m 30s
Air Speed: 17.2mph
Temp: 81.8-89.3°F
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr
— END —

Total distance: 57.19 mi
Max elevation: 3019 ft
Min elevation: 1941 ft
Total climbing: 3198 ft
Total descent: -3128 ft
Total time: 13:24:02
Published inAdobo VeloCommuteCycling

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