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Tour de Phoenix 65 Miles (Arizona)
Strange how circumstances repeat. When
i was at my last Tour de Phoenix in 2000, i didn't think that being late would
come in handy in the future. Now, I was able to find and park at the same spot
as last time -- a little side road in residential area. From there i saw the first
few waves of riders pass as i was preparing. At 7:15 i was ready to join the gang
-- a gang at least 700 strong.
We left city of Mesa behind and entered
Phoenix and Scottsdale. The blue uniforms of Mesa cops were replaced by gray outfits
of the frequent motorcycle cops. As we rode on the normally busy McClintock Rd
during the morning hours, we had the traffic blocked for us at every single intersection.
We never stopped. The coolest thing was police car parked diagonally right in
front of the traffic from the right -- now that's a real roadblock. Further on
in Scottsdale, one cop had his hand inside the traffic-lights control box -- different.
Up until the 10mile mark, we rode fast
and 20mph was constantly showing on my speedometer. M average speed was 20.9mph
- wow. At SLEDGE, we passed next to a lady cop, and someone must have asked her
how she's doing, because i heard her say "Alright" in a tough-cop way.
We had already 20miles behind us, and i was starting to have trouble keeping up
with the crowd. I glanced at my GPS -- we're going uphill slightly. So it's not
just me. I slowed down to more my pace because i was getting worn out. Then i
slowed down more and more as the hill kept on rising. I sank as low as riding
at 5.3mph. Ouch!
I saw a dude ahead with a hand-cycle
-- he did all the work with his arms. "Good job" i told him as i passed.
It's one thing on the flats, but uphill must be hard for him. Little did i know
that 5minutes later he'd be passing me and i'd never see him again. Finally, at
TOP OF HILL 1 there was an end to the uphill battle. For at least 2 minutes i
didn't paddle at all as i enjoyed the downhill stride reaching 35mph for max.
As the downhill flattened out more and i was pedalling at 20mph at MAN DOWN, i
heard a noise behind me while someone else passed me from the right. As i glanced
back, I saw a guy sliding with his bike on asphalt -- ouch. At the least he must
have bent his front wheel. At most he had one bad road-rash, something broken
and broken bike frame. Since the dude that passed turned around, maybe he had
something to do with the fall. He might have been zig-zagging and cut-off the
Within 1 mile of MAN DOWN we turned left
onto highway 87. We were out of civilization and heading for the scenic Bush Highway
-- Saguaro Lake area. At STRUGGLE i couldn't wait to reach the half way point.
My body was stressed and i wasn't catching my breath properly. I was anxiously
awaiting a break on downhill -- any downhill at all. And where is that turn towards
Bush Highway? Finally 35 MILE MARK and finally the turn. And then my desired downhill.
Then real downhill -- WOOO-HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I just sat up, and let the gravity
do its thing. I have no idea what was interesting about points 032 033 034 --
it would be nice to have a voice recorder with me. We passed by Saguaro Lake,
then we approached huge cliffs on the left and right -- the mornings have definately
At CIVILIZATION we passed the scenery
behind and i started looking for the finish point on my GPS. The road was now
flat, and at 22.5 MPH and 25 MPH i was impressing myself. I was alone for a long
time, not enough energy to catch anyone and whoever passed me -- well not enough
energy to follow them either. I just held on til the finish. Shortly before FANS,
i heard a motorcycle cop on a built-in loudspeaker -- he was talking to me, telling
me to go to left lane and turn at the signal. He blocked the lane behind me as
i rode in the fast lane for several hundred yards. At TURN RIGHT i was just heading
straight when another cop in the middle of the intersection started screaming
"TURN RIGHT. TURN RIGHT." Okkkkkkkk, you could have signalled buddy.
I made a quick right without braking much. And then there was FINISH. But they
didn't have sliced whole oranges this time -- bad guys, i was dreaming of them
for the last half hour.
The day's statistics were:
|Distance: 64.2 miles
||Time: 3h 56min
||Max: 34.9 mph
||Total Odometer: 2269.0mi
I wasn't as wasted at the end as i like to be. For some reason my heart
wasn't in it today. Maybe 5hours of sleep had impact on it.
Link to PBAA bike events: www.pbaa.com
El Tour 2003 Top finishers
: nuts! top finishers had average 27.3mph in 2h 34min!!! last person in 7h 7min; 690 finishers, my position: 524 in 4h 9min