Wild Mustangs, Indians, Girls on Bikes and Gu Chomps

7 Oct

Well, the original plan was to meet at “The Gas Station” on McDowell and Beeline Hwy. at about 06:30. My friend L is training for IMAZ (Ironman Arizona), and started her training ride at 04:30. Before I arrived I got a phone call that they were at the Chevron Station about 20 miles up the road and would be there in about an hour. UGGGHHH!

That is what I desperately HATE about “group” rides. That, and people try to talk to you and you can’t really hear because the wind is whistling in your ears, and, on this particular route, multiple semi’s, trucks with 4×4 tires (snow tires) hauling boats, ATV’s, motorcycles etc. oh, and speaking of which, the lovely “biker dudes” on their Sunday ride to the lake or beyond. Let me back up, I say “group ride” because we had a 3rd cyclist, K. I hadn’t met her before, and I’m always skittish around new riders. She proved to be well seasoned and actually took on the brunt of the wind for L.

Beeline is the route that most IMAZ cyclists take. It’s easy to do multiple loops, or like us, take it out to Bush Hwy. and wind around Saguaro Lake and down into Mesa and back into Tempe where the IM route actually starts.

This is what I LOVE about this ride: It’s mostly on the  Fort McDowell-Yavapai Indian Reservation (as I am told). Which is mostly open land with stately saguaro cactus, the beautiful “Red Mountain” standing watch over Beeline. Oh, and of course the lovely Land Fill. If you’re lucky it’s still cool when you ride by and the wind is still. Which is pretty much never. Beeline is known for the wind. It’s what we refer to as our “second coach”. I prefer the wind to be coming from the Northeast. That means wind on the uphill. It’s only a 1% grade, but it’s long. If the wind is from the Southwest it means you’re using tons of energy going up the “hill” and even more coming down when you can usually “spin” out the lactic acid. I’m getting of the true subject here: the beauty of the ride. The best part is in about 28 miles of riding there are 2 stop lights, otherwise it’s a wide open road with a shoulder for cyclists that you can easily ride two abreast.

As we passed the monument to the “Pony Express” I looked up and to the right, just into the desert a bit. I saw a small amount of dust rising. “Hey, L!!!  Look!” I pointed to the right, ahead about 25 yards. “Oh my God! K! Look to your right! Wild Mustangs!” It was a beautiful sight! The  horses stopped and looked at us as if to say “Hey! Chestnut! Look out there, Girls On Bikes! Ain’t that cool?!”

And of course, there’s the gorgeous Verde River that we pass over. It meanders along until it reaches the small dam at Tempe Town Lake where many a triathlon, splash and dash, and of course, Ironman Arizona begin.

I must figure out a way to carry my camera on my bike/bike jersey. There are some fantastic photo op’s that I’ve missed, but then again, I might have missed something even more wonderful trying to get the picture. Life’s a learning curve!

I turned off of Beeline and L and K continued on. This was my second day of riding and I am realizing how unconditioned I am aerobically.  On my longer rides I am keeping a cadence of 85-95, which taxes me aerobically. I think it’s supposed to since I’m not running to keep up the aerobic end of things.

After making the turn around, I ripped open my bag of GU Chomps. I popped one in my mouth. “Oh yeah!” I thought. A soft little bite with the nice fresh taste of watermelon.  I’m not advertising, but I have to say that GU products really have kept me going through many a marathon and multiple Ironman races. They sit well in my gut and, for “gel” products, don’t taste too bad either and they don’t require a lot of water to cross the intestinal barrier and enter the blood stream.

After getting lost yesterday, this was a pretty nice ride!

Until next time, keep the rubber side down!


One Response to “Wild Mustangs, Indians, Girls on Bikes and Gu Chomps”

  1. Todd Benefiel October 11, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    I did a group ride…once. I’ll have to tell you about it at work, since there’s nowhere near enough space here to describe the experience in its entirety.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: