After the week I’ve had I was seriously debating riding to the start. With about 170 miles logged for the week I don’t think anyone would fault me one bit. I’m a glutton for punishment so I sent a text message to Joy late Friday afternoon only containing “6:30?” To which she replied “Yes”. And with that my fate was sealed.
Watching the morning news and checking the weather, I was torn on what to wear today. I certainly didn’t want to go out with the big Adobo Velo jacket again as it just cooks me. It starts great, but once the afternoon rolls around I’m miserable. I went with a mix of the long sleeve thermal jersey combined with some arm warmers under my long sleeve wool base layer. Then I threw on the Adobo Velo vest on top just to keep my core from getting too cold. Overall this setup worked really well. Ultimately, I still ended up sweaty but I was a lot more comfortable than the big jacket. Along the way I kept opening and closing the vest which was a bonus.
The ride started on the chilly side. I kept reminding myself that even though I was cold now I would be warming up shortly, which is exactly what happened. The quick trip down to Joy’s neighborhood went off without a hitch. As I picked her up we made our way over to westbound Bicentennial. She asked, “Which way are we going?”
I replied, “Out towards Speed Vegas is the only way Joy!’
Out along remote Via Inspirada, Joy looked across the desert and saw an odd white light. We briefly discussed what it might be, and I settled on it being the top of the Speed Vegas sign. Unfortunately, by the time we came around the hills between us and the sign the sun had come up enough to cause the lights of the sign to turn off. This is something that will definitely need further investigation, but I’m pretty confident it’s the sign as there is nothing else in that area, or beyond it, that could generate that kind of light.
The ride over to Pedal & Pour went really well. Joy and I had a great time riding and chit chatting when we could. Several sections of our ride over permitted very comfortable side-by-side riding which made our conversations a breeze. I took us over to Gomer instead of staying with Mountains Edge Pkwy because it has an amazing bike lane and avoids the gnarly section of Fort Apache.
We pulled into Pedal & Pour and I was relieved to see Dave Burns’ old bike parked out front. That boy was demoing a Specialized Aethos and proceeded to put us all in a hurt locker being so fast. Last thing we need is that boy on a new bike. We arrived with enough time to use the bathroom and visit for a few minutes while the others arrived. I was kinda bummed to only have a total of five people show up for the “A Group” ride, but we had a great time anyway. Soon enough Henry and Moose showed up and we rolled out.
Our group had a relatively sane ride up Hualapai to Flamingo. Once we made the turn onto west Flamingo, and started up the small climb, I had a harder and harder time holding onto Dave and Henry’s wheel. Soon enough I was well off and with no way of keeping up or getting back on. I resigned myself to just keep pushing as hard as I could without blowing up while knowing I wasn’t going to catch those two monsters anytime soon.
As Moose, Joy, and I made the left onto Charleston/159 I spotted Henry and Dave hanging out at the bus pullout. I really didn’t feel like stopping so I just called out “Rolling” and received a wave and head nod in response. I continued on through and I guess Moose and Joy must have stopped because I didn’t see either of them until the overlook. I can’t say the same for Dave and Henry who both chased me down and went right on by. Try as I might, I couldn’t hold on to Dave’s wheel for an extended length of time. I watched, again, as Henry and Dave rode off into the distance. Once more I focused on riding my ride knowing we’d regroup at the overlook.
After hanging out and regrouping at the overlook the five of us set off for the Late Night Trailhead. Surprisingly our group was able to stay together with all of us taking turns up front until onto Blue Diamond/160 via Avery St. We did have to make a brief stop at the intersection because Henry’s bottle cage had come loose and was dangerously close to coming off entirely. After busting out his tools and tightening everything up he was ready to rock and we rolled on.
Once again, much to my dismay, I watched as Dave, Henry, AND Joy all rolled up up and away towards Late Night. For a while I had Moose with me on my wheel until he came around, but I was able to stay with him until he eventually faded. Solo, I continued the climb doing my best to keep the effort honest while not blowing myself up. Looking at the data I’m pretty happy to have maintained a 240 watt average and the power curve for that segment is damn near perfectly flat. Love it when I can maintain a consistent effort.
I pulled up to the entrance and found Henry, Joy, and Dave all hanging out chatting. After a quick picture, I said I was heading down to do the small loop, or as Dave puts it “Put the cherry on top.” While I was in the parking area I spotted several mountain bikers and other people milling about. It seems that there was some sort of event going on today. One guy watched me go by and even called out asking about Dave and Joy. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a name to share with Dave and Joy to let them know who was asking about them.
I arrived back at the entrance just as Moose was pulling up. We all talked for a little bit longer, ate some food, and then set off to catch the “B Group” who we had seen descending while we were on the way up. The descent went really well and we did pretty good sticking together. Unfortunately, at one point Moose and Henry came around me a little too hot and try as I might I couldn’t stitch us back together. I watched as the two of them rolled on up the road while my legs were on fire. I pulled off to the right some to allow Dave and Joy to come around so they could bridge up while I finished exploding. I apologized to Dave as he went by and he said it was no big deal. Thankfully as he went by I was able to latch on and the three of us rolled together to the Fort Apache intersection where we spotted Henry and Moose just ahead of the car which was in front of us.
The trip up Fort Apache was a quick one. We would lose Henry at the red at Sherwood Greens Drive. I think he blew through it while the rest of us erred on the side of caution and waited. As we waited we wondered aloud if we were going to catch Henry or Robert, who we’d seen bring up the rear of the “B Group”. I figured we might catch Robert if we’re lucky, but seriously doubted we’d catch the entire group.
Finally with the green we were back on our way only to get stopped again at Warm Springs. Thankfully it wasn’t that long and we were off again. As we were flying down the hill coming up on Maule imagine our surprise when we spotted Henry and Robert waiting to make the left. Then we got lucky when the left arrow went green right as we rolled up behind the two. I yelled a solid “Aadddoooobbbbboooooo” as we blew past the pair. I never got to see their reaction, but I know it left a smile on my face as I rolled back into the Pedal & Pour parking lot.
Inside Pedal & Pour we were greeted with several friendly faces from the “B Group”. I ordered my seasonal regular coffee (Peppermint Mocha), a cinnamon roll, and bottled Coke. I pulled up a chair and proceeded to sit back and relax some while visiting with some great people. Had a really great time chatting with everyone. As usually it wasn’t nearly long enough and before long everyone started packing up to leave.
As we were getting ready I think Joy and I were planning on rolling with Henry at least partially home. Unfortunately, he rolled out well before us because the two of us were busy playing with all our clothes. I was fighting with my gloves and she was fighting with her beanie try to get it over her ears. Soon enough we were all put together and rolling out.
I decided to mix things up today and decided to make a straight shot along Cactus to work our way home from the north. Even took the opportunity to spin up a new segment for the entirety of Cactus from west to east. We had a great spin and even spotted Mindy Bennett twice! First time was near the Von’s at Eastern and Grand Hills Dr and then again in deep south Inspirada.
While at Pedal & Pour I had mapped this portion of the route and when Joy told me she had fewer miles than I thought I had to call an audible. I had planned on continuing south into Inspirada, but since we were short we went out Volunteer. Once we were onto Las Vegas Blvd I pulled over near the M to drum up another quick route to find us our miles. Satisfied with our route we set off.
Overall ended the day feeling surprisingly good. When I think about the efforts I’d put in earlier in the day trying to keep up with Dave, Henry, and Moose I’m pleasantly surprised I didn’t feel like absolute garbage at the end of it all. Rolling out of Pedal & Pour I mentioned to Joy how heavy my legs felt. At some point, I don’t know where, they really came back to life and I was feeling amazing. Not sure if it’s increased fitness, the efforts were as hard as last weeks, or the Gu Roctane I had in my first bottle. Either way I’m happy that I ended the day feeling great and wanting to ride more. Maybe it bodes well for my future double century aspirations?
New bike fund: $38.29 (+$0.06)
726 vehicles @ 6.7 per mile, 2 per minute, Speeds: 42.8 mph (avg), 77.3 mph (max) — by MyBikeTraffic.com
Give your activities the names they deserve. — by Bandok.com
Clear-Sunny, 31°F-52°F, Feels like 34°F-59°F, Humidity 56%-26%, Wind WSW 2mph-ENE 3mph — by Klimat.app
— myWindsock Report —
Weather Impact: 5%
Headwind: 60% @ 1.3-7.5mph
Longest Headwind: 32m 25s
Air Speed: 18.2mph
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr
— END —
Max elevation: 4004 ft
Min elevation: 2270 ft
Total climbing: 5552 ft
Total descent: -5407 ft
Average speed: 20.43 mi/h
Total time: 07:51:58