I have to admit I was worried about doing this event when I caught my daughter's cold Monday night. By Tuesday it completly laid me out. I'd close my eyes for a minute and hours would go by. My new manager was flying into Phoenix on Wednesday and I really wanted to meet him, so I got by with Tylonal Severe cold and hoped for the best. On Thursday I wasn't feeling much better. The fever seemed to be gone, but it felt like the cold was starting to move into my chest. Not good. I have a 400k brevet (254 miles) next weekend and I really needed this ride to be ready. My brother Leo also committed to be my companion for the trip and we always have a good time.
I had a work meeting at 10am on Friday followed by two conference calls. Wow. That would make getting out of Pheonix in time for the ride packet pickup in St George, Utah hard. I was able to get the car packed before the confernce calls started and Leo arrived while I was on the phone. He would drive to Flagstaff so I could focus on my calls and get a bit more work done. Thanks Leo!
Since we were headed to Utah, we made a pit stop in Flagstaff for some nightly embibments. I took over the driving in Flagstaff because my leadfoot would get us to St George with sufficient time to get to there before packet pickup closed. Short story, we made it.
Weather.com predicted mid 40's for the start and they were right on. I opted not to wear a vest or jacket, but did have a base layer on. That was exactly right. I also chose glove liners and a "beanie" cap for the start which kept me perfectly comfortable for the temperature. I noticed my heart rate was pretty elevated when I turned on my Garmin. Could have been the head cold or the elevation, but it stayed kind of high the entire ride. Usually when I'm stopped it will drop into the 70s or 80s. This ride it only dropped to 99 once. I waited a minute or so after the official start and watched a bunch of people head out before leaving myself. Then I kept a very slow 15-17 mph pace when we got onto the bike path at the start. I was steadily passing riders and it wasn't very long before I found myself in no man's land between the fast people and the other riders. I wound up riding the majority of the ride solo, which was just fine with me since I have that 400k next week -- good training.
The Bay to Bay tour was extremely scenic since a lot of the ride was
along the pacific coast highway. But this ride was a close second
with majestic mesas through out. In fact, I'd have to say I
preferred this ride due to the low traffic along the course combined
with stunning scenery. It's an awesome course and rates high in my
all time favorites. I'll be back for this one!
The wind really picked up about 40 miles into the ride, and of course, it was a direct head wind. I was on my Trek 5.9SL, so I dropped into my aerobars and just kept a steady 15-20mph pace (dictacted by wind). It was a slow, scenic ride to the turn-around at the Zion National Park entrance. I saw maybe 20-25 fast guys who had already gotten to the turn around by the time I go there. Then I had an absolutely awesome tail-wind. I used that for about 3 miles to the lunch stop, but got there before lunch did! I ate a banana, a moon pie and was just about to leave when the Subway sandwiches arrived! I ate a foot long ham sandwich and felt re-energized! I got back on the road and was flying again! 28-34 mph for 10-15 miles! Wow, that was fast!
I planned this as a base miles event and with that head/chest cold I expected it would be some slow base miles. My form appears to be better than I thought, even with the cold. I finished the 107 miles in about 6 hours, 20 minutes. It was a good ride. The finish was about 3 miles from my hotel and we took the freeway to get there in the morning. Leo was visiting with some relatives and I only had a general idea of how to get back to the hotel, but with my Garmin 705, I have on-bike navigation! So I typed in the hotel's address, checked avoid freeways and let it direct me back. Dang. The hardest hills for this entire event were the three miles from the finish back to the hotel. A couple were over 15%. That made me suffer a bit! There were two times that I could visually see an easier route, but went with the Garmin. Fool! I should have gone with my instinct and let the Garmin re-direct!
Overall, it was a great ride and I highly recommend it! If
you click on the picture of the Garmin Edge 705 in the upper left,
you'll be taken to the Garmin recording of the ride. There is a
"player" that will show you my ride and ride statistics in motion.
If you click on the picture of the Garmin Edge 705 in the upper left, you'll be taken to the Garmin recording of the ride. There is a "player" that will show you my ride and ride statistics in motion. Cool.
Copyright © 2009 by Mike Enfield. All rights
Revised: 04/24/09 22:17:35 -0700.