What a beautiful day for a ride, with a solid group, and a fun but challenging route.
I hit up Mark Hyken early Friday morning asking what his plans were for Saturday’s Adobo Velo ride. He shared that he wasn’t planning on doing the Saturday ride due to weather, but knew a few other riders would be doing a century on Labor Day and invited me to come along. I have to admit I wasn’t looking forward to waking up at 3:00 a.m. to roll to the scheduled start at 5:00; however, at the last minute the start was pushed to 6:00 and I was thrilled. Mark and I agreed to meet at Anthem Hills Park around 5:45 and we’d roll to Pebble Marketplace from there.
The morning started as it usually does before a big ride. Started with my usual breakfast of overnight oats, toast, and coffee. So dead simple, but seems to really hit the spot. I left the house around 5:10 which is about five minutes earlier than I needed to, but, considering the century I rode on Saturday, I wanted to be certain I had enough time to get to Anthem Hills Park without killing myself to do it.
As I was cruising along Anthem Pkwy I spotted an all too familiar tail light flashing up ahead. I put in a few extra watts to catch up to ole Mark right after he made the turn onto Reunion. As I pulled up alongside we started chit chatting from there until we got to Pebble Marketplace. We kept a nice leisurely pace which I was thankful for.
We rolled up to Pebble Marketplace and found John and Anna getting themselves ready for the ride. I’m not entirely sure if Adrian rolled up a short time later or was already milling about getting warmed up or not. Regardless, we all hung out while waiting for Joy and Frank to make their appearances. It wasn’t much later when the both of them rolled up; Joy on her bike and Frank in his truck. After some more chit chat, including last minute changes to the route due to possible poor road conditions along the Red Rock Canyon loop, we were off to the races.
The ride started out easily enough. I was completely content to hang out in the back and tail gun for the entire ride. I honestly didn’t expect too much from the legs after Saturday’s killer ride. However, as the ride got started I started feeling better and better. We cruised across Pebble to Las Vegas Blvd and made decent time. Just past South Point we had to make a stop for Mark’s flat. The tube swap took a little longer than usual owing to the fact this was Mark’s first flat on the new bike. Sometimes wrestling a new tire onto a wheel can be quite the challenge. After Mark struggled with it, I gave it a try with no success, and eventually John had to use some special tire levers that Adrian had brought along to get the job done. After nearly 20 minutes he was all buttoned up and we rolled on.
Of course now that we were 20 minutes late the ladies needed a restroom break. We’d planned on riding to at least Mountains Edge Park before stopping, but the flat repair delay threw those plans right out the window. We opted to make a quick stop at a convenience store on the corner of Dean Martin and Cactus for bathroom breaks. It was a quick stop and we were rolling again in no time.
It was after this quick stop that my legs started coming to life. I don’t know how or why or what, but I was feeling really good. I still had some tightness in my left calf, but other than that I was feeling pretty good. I even started to take pulls up front. Again and again I found myself up front. I took the lead up the climb to NV-159, and again all the way to DFH and Charleston. On more than one occasion I told everyone, “Ok guys I’ll see you later” as we approached a climb I thought I would fall behind on. I was pleasantly surprised when that never happened.
We stopped at the Terrible’s at DFH and Charleston for a regroup and refuel before making our way over to Villa Ridge. I took the opportunity to down a big bottle of Gatorade and eat the store’s last banana while hanging out with Mark, Joy, and Anna. The four of us had a nice break while waiting for the others to roll in.
Once we were all back together and well rested we set out for Villa Ridge. I had a vague idea of where I was going, but it seems everyone has a different way to get there. One day it’s DFH to Far Hills and down and around. The next it’s all the way to Lake Mead before going down. Same with coming back. Up Lake Mead immediately before riding down DFH, or going all the way back to Anasazi before riding up Far Hills. Makes it very confusing for a Henderson country bumpkin who isn’t used to the west side of town. Ultimately, we made our way over to Villa Ridge, I got my one loop in before everyone showed up, and we rode back to the corner of DFH and Charleson.
Along the way back Anna decided it was cafe time so instead of stopping at the Terrible’s we rode over to the Dunkin so her and Joy could get themselves some coffee. As the ladies went inside for their drinks and snacks I hung out at one of the tables to get off my feet. Mark came out a short time later and joined me, and a few minutes later the ladies did as well. Soon enough John, Adrian, and Frank rolled over and said they were going to go ahead and get a head start over to the Terrible’s at 159/160. Shortly after they left, Joy said, “I don’t think we’ll catch up to them.” I replied, “Oh yeah we will.”
Once the ladies finished up their coffees we rolled out for the 159/160 Terrible’s. I was feeling a little tired so I was happy to take some wheels as we started the climb towards the overlook. Mark took up the lead from the start and hung out up front until Anna came around him. I stayed with her until just past the overlook. During that time Joy had sprouted a wild hair and tore off ahead of us but still within eye shot. After the descent following the overlook, going south, I came around Anna and started pulling along. Coming up the short descent afterwards we caught up to Joy and she jumped on to our little train. I looked up and saw the three boys out there within striking distance. I kept looking back waiting for Anna and Mark to be on, and when it looked like they were I put my head down and started motoring. As we crested the final climb I could see the three guys just ahead of us and then I really poured it on. We barrelled past them at 30+ MPH and never looked back. Coming up to the 159/160 intersection I was surprised that Joy was the only one with me. I could have sworn that Anna and Mark had jumped on to our wheels. It wasn’t but a few moments later that the rest of the group rolled up.
Rested and refueled again we set our sights on Potosi. As we started up Anna and I were leading the group. Before we passed by Late Night, Joy came around the both of us and took off. Joy would continue to grow smaller and smaller and smaller as the gap between her and the rest of us grew ever wider. I’m not sure when, other than after Late Night, but Anna ended up falling back and John decided to roll back with her. That left Mark and I together to make the climb. The two of us stayed together all the way to the firehouse. Once there we found Joy hanging out relaxing and enjoying a piece of shade. It wasn’t long after that we got a call from John that he and Anna weren’t going to make the summit and would meet us at the 159/160 Terrible’s. This left the three of us with a decision to make. Continue on to the Lovell Canyon entrance as originally planned or cut our losses and head back directly. We opted for the latter and rolled out.
We were just about to start the descent when I would spy Frank coming up the other direction. He hollered over wondering where he was supposed to turn around and I yelled back the directions. I decided to simply stop and wait for Frank to make the turn around. While I waited for Frank I sent Mark a text that I was ok, waiting for Frank, to continue to the Terrible’s without me, and I would meet them there. It didn’t take Frank long to finish up the climb and circle back to start the descent. Once he came up we set off down the hill together.
I have to say the descent was pretty dang sketchy. I’ve gone down Democracy faster and felt more confident. How anyone is ramping up to 50+ MPH on that highway while dealing with traffic is beyond me. I was getting buffeted around by something as small as a Kia all the way up to an 18-wheeler. No matter as I wasn’t going to be rushed and I’d rather get down and ride again than never make it down at all.
About a half mile from the Terrible’s Shadow started riding all funky and rough. I looked down and sure enough the rear was flat. I pulled off and briefly considered just riding the flat the half mile to be with the group. I did the smart thing and started working to swap the tube where I was. Shortly after starting Frank rolled up and asked if I needed any help. I told him I was good and to ride on and let everyone else know I’d be along shortly. At nearly the same time a guy on a dirt bike came over asking if we needed an air compressor to fill the tire. I thanked him for the offer, but said the valves on our tires most likely wouldn’t work with his compressor. All in all it took me maybe ten minutes to get everything swapped and back to rolling.
After another nice break at the Terrible’s we set off for home. Mark, Joy, and I had all discussed how we would be peeling off from the group around Cactus and Torrey Pines. From there we would work our way through Southern Highlands. I’m not entirely sure what got into us, but we were motoring. As we rode along Blue Diamond I hear this crazy woman screaming in my ear only to look back and see it’s Joy. After she goes by I jump on her wheel for a short bit, before going around and pulling her all the way to Fort Apache. We made the turn and continued riding like our hair was on fire until we made the turn onto Torrey Pines. At that point I conceded that I was done and to put a fork in me.
The three of us chilled out, relatively speaking, for the rest of the ride home. At some point both Mark and I were either cramping or experiencing pre-cramps. While crossing over I-15, I asked Mark if he wanted to make a stop at the Green Valley Grocery on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Volunteer before pressing on for home. He admitted he wouldn’t object to the idea so that’s what we did. We rolled up along the north side of the building to enjoy some shade while enjoying some cold drinks.
After 20 or so minutes we rolled out for home. The three of us would all make the Hampton climb; however Joy and I would peel off on Pine Prairie. The two of us made our way over and up Alyssa Jade to Sun City Anthem. As we made the right, Joy and I said our goodbyes as she continued on and I made the left onto Somersworth. From there it was a little climb, followed by a flat, nice descent, and final climb home.
Overall, again it was a great day for a great ride. I can’t count how many times I said, either out loud or to myself, “Wow that breeze feels so nice.” I have to say there was definitely a hint of autumn in the air despite the weatherman forecasting 100+ degree days later this week. I hope we have a nice fall to enjoy before I’m busting out my winter gear again.
New bike fund: $26.64 (+$0.91)
5.52 new miles — From Wandrer.earth
583 vehicles @ 4.9 per mile, 1.3 per minute, Speeds: 45.6 mph (avg), 97.6 mph (max) – MyBikeTraffic.com
Give your activities the names they deserve. — by Bandok.com
Clear-Sunny, 72°F-87°F, Feels like 70°F-93°F, Humidity 43%-19%, Wind WSW 4mph-N 4mph — by Klimat.app
— myWindsock Report —
Weather Impact: -1.2%
Headwind: 51% @ 2.7-27.7mph
Longest Headwind: 01h 9m 9s
Air Speed: 16.8mph
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr
— END —
Max elevation: 5350 ft
Min elevation: 2125 ft
Total climbing: 7464 ft
Total descent: -7467 ft
Average speed: 19.61 mi/h
Average cadence: 73 RPM
Average heart rate: 140 BPM
Average temperature: 80.42 °F
Total time: 09:58:25