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Fulfill the prophecy, build a legacy, manifest destiny

I finally renewed my Century Club membership. I was starting to worry my card was going to be permanently revoked if I didn’t get a century in soon. But dang, I decided to do it the hard way. When it was all said and done I matched my jersey, cracked.

The plan had been to ride over to River Mountain Park in east Henderson to meet up with the Adobo Velo gang to do some picnic ride scouting. I crashed out early and woke up at 3:15 in order to get breakfast done and hit the road while leaving me enough time to get to the start at 6:00. As I sat in my bedroom eating breakfast and watching the Weather Channel my phone goes off and it’s Robert posting on Facebook that the ride was canceled.

Thankfully, Joe Ruggle had hit me up the night before and had mentioned he was going to ride with Josh and a few others starting at 7:00 which worked better for his schedule. So I patiently hung out at the house watching TV until around 5:00 when I finally sent Joe a text to get more details on his ride. He let me know they were meeting at Cornerstone so I hung out at the house for about another hour before finally rolling out to meet them.

As is typical with me I ended up making much better time than I had anticipated. I rolled into Cornerstone park at 6:30! I decided to take the opportunity to just noodle around the park and enjoy the trail system while I waited for Joe and company to show up.

Plodding around I got a text from Moose asking where the ride was this weekend. I shared that the Adobo ride had been canceled and I was riding with another group, but wasn’t sure of the route other than “west”. While I was at the top of the trail nearest Wigwam, I was surprised to see Jared roll up. I wasn’t expecting him to be in town let alone joining us on this adventure. I’m glad he did because he knew we needed to meet up with everyone else down near the bathrooms, so the two of us rolled on down.

When Jared and I rolled up to the restrooms, Joe rolled up around the same time. At that point we were only waiting for Josh to show before we’d roll out. As we talked Jared shared the route plans. We were to make our way over to St. Rose over to Starr and head over to Mountains Edge before making our way to do a Red Rock Loop. Once we finished the loop we would ride over to DFH before heading south to come back, pretty much, the way we came in. It didn’t take long before Josh rolled up and we were off to the races.

We had a nice solid ride over to Mountains Edge park where we picked up Derrick. And for the life of me I can’t remember where exactly we picked up Moose, but he was with us when we stopped. I have to say that everyone was rolling pretty dang fast already. I was certainly feeling good, but wow, rolling with these youngins is tough.

Making our way up Blue Diamond to NV-159 I made the mistake of pulling up in front and taking one of the lead positions in our two columns. With Derrick alongside me I should have known better. The guy was wanting to have a full on chat about my tour while I’m sitting there huffing and puffing trying to keep up with him and pull the train along. I should have realized I was over doing it and fell back to let someone else pull up the climb, but I’m a stubborn old man. What can I say?

Eventually at around the turn off to the gypsum plant I lightened up and pulled in behind the group. It was nice to have some big wheels to follow behind. Difficult choice between following Joe or Moose. They were both nice to follow behind. Then again it didn’t take long for those young legs on the front to start to stretch and even with a friendly wheel to hold on to, it was getting harder and harder to keep up. Heart rate was holding steady around 180 or so as we approached the climbs to the overlook. Eventually my legs had had enough and I watched as everyone pulled away sailing off into the distance.

I pulled into the overlook and was happy to see everyone there. The only person still coming up was Moose. Once he showed up we hung out for a few more minutes catching our collective breaths. While we waited we started talking about how we hadn’t seen a single car leave the scenic loop yet. It was entirely possible that it was closed due to the rains from the day before. Since watching the group pull away I had been telling myself, “I hope the loop is closed.”

We rolled out and made our way over to the entrance station. As we came up to the station we were told that the loop was in fact closed. Joe made the joke that he’d have to come back and pay the guy the $20 he’d promised him over the phone to tell us that so we wouldn’t do the loop. I could help but laugh at that and affirmed that I was also breathing a sigh of relief that we wouldn’t be doing a loop after all. We gathered up and rolled over to the Terrible’s on the corner of DFH and Charleston to refuel and figure out what our next move was.

Hanging out at Terrible’s I took the opportunity to get off my feet to allow my legs to get some proper recovery. Also enjoyed a bottle of Gatorlyte. We had all been sweating bullets with the high humidity. After everyone had had a nice break Moose looks over to me and asks if I’m ready to go yet. I guess being the only guy actually sitting made it my decision on when to get moving.

We started rolling up DFH and I overheard Josh and Derrick talking about cutting over to the beltway trail for a bit before continuing north. I rolled up and told them that DFH continues through all the way to Lake Mead. If we were going that far, we might as well take that instead, which we did and then some. Moose made a stop at the Chevron at the corner of Lone Mountain and Cliff Shadow and decided he’d had enough mileage for the day, turning back. The rest of the group continued north all the way up into Sky Canyon country when we finally stopped at Aspire Coffee House which came highly recommended by Derrick.

After a nice 40 minute break spent enjoying coffees, smoothies, and pastries we rolled out to return the way we came. I found myself pulling up the rear. The cafe break had certainly recharged my legs, but I was still nowhere near the level of everyone else. I fell behind on both the climb up Lone Mountain from the beltway trail as well as the climb up Reverence from Cheyenne. When I did catch up to everyone at the top of Reverence I just kept rolling on through because I had no desire to stop and cool off. Just power through the pain and get it over with sooner.

We started charging along west Summerlin and hit some very light sprinkles before Charleston. I told Joe that it was very similar to the rains I experienced on my tour. Nothing too heavy just enough to start getting everything wet. Thankfully we outraced it and soon we were back in the dry and flying along. I again chimed in that we should continue straight onto Tropicana and make the right onto Hualapai to avoid the construction on Town Center. Everyone was pretty happy with that decision when we completed the turn and found an entire lane of brand new fresh asphalt to ourselves.

I was doing pretty good sticking with the guys until the bump on Hualapai after the round-a-bout. My legs and heart were going soft and didn’t want to keep up. I let the boys go figuring I’d catch them after the down hill near Pedal & Pour. The boys must have slowed up waiting for me to make sure I was still around because I did eventually catch them. However, I was disappointed as they went right by pedal & Pour. I guess only one cafe stop per ride with these fellas. Honestly I wanted another chance to recharge my legs in order to finish.

We rounded the corner onto Fort Apache and I was cooked. My legs weren’t up for any more climbing and my stomach had started flip flopping along Maule as well. I started falling more and more behind. I would look up and catch Joe back with me occasionally doing a shoulder check and I told him that he didn’t need to wait up for me. He holler back that he was pretty cooked as well and asked about stopping at the PTs for a break and ice water. I certainly wasn’t going to pass up that offer. The boys had stopped at the light to wait for us thankfully, but we rolled up and told them to go on without us as we were smoked. We said our goodbyes and turned around to head back to the PTs.

Joe and I parked our bikes and Joe ran inside to get our bottles filled. While he was doing that I looked over and saw a nice patch of shade with a curb in the parking lot and pulled up a seat. A short time later Joe emerged with our bottles and I hollered over to have him come join me in the shade. We dead ass sat down on the parking lot asphalt and leaned back against the curb as it was the most comfortable way to sit. We joked about how we may end up sitting there forever, but looking over our shoulders we could see the forecast rain was getting ready to make an appearance. We hung out for about 20 minutes before rolling out to make our way home.

Thankfully we only had a short little climb before the road would turn mostly downhill until at least Las Vegas Blvd. As we rode along Fort Apache I looked over to the right at the wash crossing and saw that water, albeit only a stream’s worth, was starting to flow through. We caught a nice tail wind along Mountains Edge Pkwy, and as we passed the flood control channel on Buffalo I looked over to see that it was full of water from edge to edge. The rain must have been coming down pretty good just to the west of where we were.

The tailwind continued to push us all the way along Cactus. We were cruising along at a pretty good clip for not really putting in any work. We made the right onto Las Vegas Blvd and rode south for a few blocks to continue west along Starr. Once again a nice tailwind all the way to St. Rose when Joe and I would be forced to part ways. Joe would hang a left to continue on to his place and I continued straight to make my way into Inspirada and on to home.

It was shortly after the Raiders practice facility that I found some new bike money, a big fat quarter. You can hardly make out Washington’s face on it. Approaching Volunteer I was still feeling pretty good and figured I would continue on to at least the Bicentennial round-a-bout. When I made it there I was still feeling ok and chose to continue on Via Inspirada to Avenida Brancusi and eventually Democracy. It wasn’t until I made the left onto Democracy that I realized I shouldn’t have tacked on the extra mileage.

I coasted down every hill I could and crawled up each incline. By the time I hit the main Democracy climb after Anthem Highlands I had downshifted as far as I could go and was begging for more gears. I was limping along and ended up averaging a mere 5 MPH for the entire climb. As I passed the trail crossing it started to sprinkle. Halfway between there and the round-a-bout it started raining. I was so relieved to make the left onto Canyon Retreat and the brief descent in the soaking rain. I soft pedaled myself the rest of the way home.

I rolled up to the garage and got Shadow all parked. I hurriedly shut down all the lights and went inside. Once there I went into my bedroom and plopped myself down on the floor and tried my best not to throw up. My stomach was feeling queasy and the only thing that helped was laying on my back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. I was on fire, but I was so tired I couldn’t muster the energy to get all my kit off. I slipped in and out of consciousness laying there. One time my legs had finally had enough and both of my hamstrings cramped up simultaneously. I sat straight up gripping and massaging both to get them to stop. Once they subsided, and since I was now sitting up and in a position to do so, I peeled off what was left of my kit and passed back out on the floor. I would guess I laid there in a heap on the floor for close to an hour before I felt I could get up without the threat of losing the contents of my stomach.

It may not sound like it, but I had a really good time today. Solid Type 2 Fun. I gave Joe a ribbing, more than once, about inviting me out to this slaughter fest. I mean us two rubber mallets hanging out in the hammer bin. What were we thinking? However, I’ve said many times, “Pain is where the growth lies.” Hitting the gym and feeling sore the next day is a sign you’re building muscle. Our bodies will only adapt when we put them into different or, in the case of exercise, uncomfortable situations. The same holds true for cycling. How can I expect to get better if I don’t push myself beyond my comfort zone?

New bike fund: $25.73 (+$0.25)
5.84 new miles — From
480 vehicles @ 4.3 per mile, 1.2 per minute, Speeds: 37.6 mph (avg), 69.7 mph (max) —
Give your activities the names they deserve. — by
Cloudy-Cloudy, 72°F-84°F, Feels like 73°F-87°F, Humidity 79%-55%, Wind E 2mph-ENE 6mph — by
myWindsock Report —
Weather Impact: -3.2%
Headwind: 31% @ 5-19.4mph
Longest Headwind: 55m 50s
Air Speed: 17.1mph
Temp: 68.3-80.9°F
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr
— END —

Total distance: 113.54 mi
Max elevation: 3787 ft
Min elevation: 1918 ft
Total climbing: 5795 ft
Total descent: -5600 ft
Total time: 08:26:21
Published inCycling

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