The ride almost didn't start out so well since I got a block away before I realized I didn't put my freshly filled water bottles on my bike. Problem solved, I headed out. With my home base in Gilbert, AZ I decided to head south a bit then North towards the Superstition Mountains. Since it was friday, I figured traffic would be reasonable and scenery awesome.
I was right. The roughly 90 minutes to get to Apache Junction was a great warm-up and I even found a coffee shop 45 minutes into the ride to top off my caffeine stores for the long day ahead. The beauty of caffeine is also one of headache medicine. With as much coffee as I pretend to drink, many of you think I could pound a cup before bed and fall fast asleep in 5 minutes but the truth of the matter is I usually have no more than 3 cups in a day. Factor in no pop (or soda as you from Da Region say) and that's not THAT much caffeine.
Anyway, back to my headache. It was holding fast and not letting go. After about 2 hours, I hit a point in the road where it started to have a consistent grade up so I pried off my helmet. Chap my ass if you want for removing said helmet but I noticed when I removed it at an earlier stop that my headache went away. Eureka! no helmet = no headache. Given the helmet was brand new to my noggin (and let's face it, I have a big head) I just wasn't used to the pressure points.
Along the way, I passed Canyon Lake and snapped a few pics that don't come close to doing it justice.
The last two are on the road past Tortilla Flats - simply amazing. Best part? February 6th, and I was wearing a short sleeve jersey, wind vest and bib shorts...No arm or knee warmers.
Only after about 3 or so hours did my legs start to feel the effort which puts me much farther along in my training than I've been in years past in February. Even better was that I didn't crack, just had the same sensations for the last two hours of the ride. All said and done, I got 90 miles in in just under 5 hours. Just the ride I wanted.
That evening Todd, Heather and I went to dinner at an 'old town Gilbert' establishment, the Liberty Market, that is owned by some cat named Joe. I say cat because even though he looked to be in his 50s he looked like a guy who wished to be referred to as a cool cat - Tommy Bahama type button down silk shirt (that was not gaudy) and a straw fedora that oozed cool. It didn't hurt that he had imported a Faema espresso machine from Italy that was rumored to be from the mid-1950s.Regardless, it pulled a tasty shot!
It was also a nice treat to have an Espresso Stout from Japan during dinner.
It's a Kiuchi Brewery beer, more info here
yet another novel-like post, so part 3 will wrap it all up