So this is what it feels like to ride 100 miles and NOT feel like your ass is on fire at the end?
Whenever we have a big event like Ride to Remember all the locals come out in support which is a beautiful thing, but it also means the heavy hitters come out too. Nothing quite gets the blood flowing and heart racing like rolling out with that crowd.
I reached out to Joy the night before asking about extra credit and she was game. We went back and forth about what we could do without ever really settling on anything. A short time after that conversation she had received some messages from Sommai that she was riding out with Al and meeting him at Horizon Ridge and Valle Verde. I agreed to meet up with Joy near her place at 5:20 and we’d roll together to pick up Al and Sommai before heading over to Camping World.
After the quick ride down to get Joy, we made our way over to meet Sommai and Al. We decided to bite the bullet and take the most direct route over. This meant climbing up Anthem Pkwy and staying with it all the way until Sunridge Heights. Thankfully since it was before 6:00 a.m. the road wasn’t too busy and I think we could count the number of vehicles that passed us on one hand.
After waiting for a few minutes for Sommai to roll up, the now four of us, including Sommai’s friend Kiwi, rolled out. We decided we’d just go back up Horizon Ridge to Green Valley Pkwy/Sunridge Heights and ride that over until St. Rose. As we started south on St. Rose, Joy and I realized we were going to be early and we wanted more miles. We told Sommai and Kiwi that we were going to get some extra miles and left them along St. Rose and made the loop onto Bermuda and Starr. From there we just rode out Via Inspirada all the way until Las Vegas Blvd. Along the way Al bombed off on Via Nobile leaving Joy and I to finish it out, but not before a quick stop at Jack in the Box for a bathroom break.
Joy and I rolled into Camping World and it never ceases to amaze me how many people show up for these big events. I mentioned it before, and I’ll mention it again, but I love that our community comes together to show their support. I made my way around chit chatting with all the different folks who were there. Had a nice quick visit with a few folks and then went searching for the Adobos and an open spot of sun. Riding to the start I was fine, but once I stopped it didn’t take long before I started getting cold. I’d guess we waited around for about 30 minutes before we finally started rolling out.
Once we were moving it didn’t take long to get warmed up. It also didn’t take long before the faster riders got antsy and started moving their way towards the front. For the most part everyone was chill and cautiously overtook other riders up until the full closure at the Sloan off ramp. Once past that and with confidence that the road was closed more and more overtakes started happening. Thankfully I was able to get caught up with a pretty fast group and it didn’t take long before we were motoring.
I was feeling pretty good riding in the pack and even taking an occasional pull. There were a few times I came around just to kick the pace back up a little; however, I knew better than to hang out front too long and was happy to follow some wheels. As we came upon the railroad crossing our leader started falling behind, a group started coming around the left, and I could see a gap opening. Realizing we were about to be dumped I had to strike a match to hope back on the wheel of the last rider of that lead pack. If this were a race and that group had decided to make an attack at that moment I would have been toast. I had to take a few minutes to catch my breath so I was more than happy to sit back and enjoy the pull. I would rotate towards the front, but for the most part once we got lined up we stayed in the same position all the way until Jean.
Rolling in to Jean there was a stop setup for everyone to grab a snack and coffee before heading back. I had a good time just hanging out for a few minutes while riders started rolling in. Soon enough we had a decent sized Adobo group and we started talking about some extra credit. I’d guess we talked about a dozen riders to roll with us down to the quarry and back.
The ride out to the quarry was fun. We got to the end of the road and took a break to regroup and take in the eclipse. Luckily Stu had a cool pair of eclipse glasses and we were able to get a great look. Before he busted those out, I pointed out the eclipse in the shadows being thrown by the holes in the support of a stop sign. It was really good to see the moon taking a bite out of the perfect circle of the sun shining through the holes in the post.
The ride back to Jean went pretty quickly and we were all admiring our “funky” shadows which were the result of the eclipse. Once we were there we made one more stop to check out the peak of the eclipse before riding on back to Camping World.
From Jean to Camping World was a great time. Our group got together and as organized as we could, lined up, and started motoring. I know my limitations and I had no problem hanging back and following wheels until we got to the “summit” near the gun range. As we came over that last climb I came around and pulled to the front to take a pull. I tried to be smooth but also stepped up the pace a little. This is one of my favorite sections of a Jean ride and I love making it fast. In the end for the final 5.5 miles I averaged 33 MPH with a max of 38 MPH. Such a blast.
I’d thought that we’d ride all the way to M Casino as a group, but we decided to roll into Camping World instead to check in with anyone who was still around. There were several riders still mulling about and enjoying the food truck that had rolled up in our absence. Joy and I hung around visiting for a few minutes. We said goodbye as Stu rolled out to head home. A few minutes later Henry was getting ready to head home and Joy and I decided to join him for a portion of the trip.
Joy, Henry, and I rode through Southern Highlands and into Mountains Edge until Rainbow and Mountains Edge Pkwy. At that point Henry continued north for home while Joy and I continued west to Fort Apache. Joy and I started talking and we were thinking we were going to run short on a century and started brainstorming how to get extra miles. The first easy way to add some miles would be to do the two “lumps” as I call them south of Mountains Edge Pkwy. We tackled those easily enough and then set out to bomb down east along Cactus. We snagged a red light at Valley View so we made the turn there to go south to Starr.
As we got out to Las Vegas Blvd my legs were starting to get a little tired. I started thinking about a break at my favorite Green Valley Grocery on the corner of Volunteer. When I asked Joy about it she wanted to roll on through. Not wanting to wimp out I bit the bullet and continued on with her. We decided we’d go south along Las Vegas Blvd again, similarly to a ride a few weeks ago, to tack on some extra miles. Once Joy hit 95 we flipped around and started back toward her place. Thankfully that return stretch was mostly downhill.
We made our way east along Via Inspirada relatively quickly. Thankfully Joy was pulling me along. I was tired and ready to be done for the day to be done. We said our goodbyes at Via Firenze and set off to crawl my way up Democracy, and crawl I did. By the time I hit the round-a-bout at the top I was all but completely cooked. I did check the computer and saw that my average had dipped below 19 MPH so I put in a little effort to bring it back up. When I rolled up to the house and hit stop, Garmin reported a 19 MPH even average. Of course once it hit Strava it was downed to 18.9. Buggers.
Overall great day for a ride despite starting a little chilly. I could have started with arm warmers but it would have been way too much as the ride went on. Always enjoy these big community events and seeing the support for and from the cycling community.
New bike fund: $29.90 (+$0.00)
364 vehicles @ 3.4 per mile, 1 per minute, Speeds: 36.7 mph (avg), 62.9 mph (max) — by MyBikeTraffic.com
Partly cloudy-Sunny, 56°F-73°F, Feels like 57°F-79°F, Humidity 30%-17%, Wind SW 2mph-N 2mph — by Klimat.app
— myWindsock Report —
Weather Impact: 1.8%
Headwind: 60% @ 1.8-7.4mph
Longest Headwind: 54m 8s
Air Speed: 19.2mph
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr
— END —
Max elevation: 3078 ft
Min elevation: 2180 ft
Total climbing: 4633 ft
Total descent: -4691 ft
Average speed: 21.29 mi/h
Total time: 07:42:06