So today was originally supposed to be Mt. Lemmon Day#2. Lou brought up the idea of doing Madera Canyon instead. He had never done this climb, but had heard many of the Tucson Shootout riders continue on and get in 100 miles for the day. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, it will be at least a year before I would possibly get back to do Mt. Lemmon, but also, it is another good climb that would end up testing my limits just as well.
We threw on our kits, and were off by 10:30am for the 45mile trek down to Madera. For the first 30 miles of the route, Lou took us on the Tucson Shootout ride that we will face on Saturday. Lou, Chad and I rode a nice brisk tempo paceline all the way out, averaging about 25mph or so. I knew it would be a hard 100mile/5hr day if we maintained this pace, but it did feel good to work hard. We reached Green Valley, and started the 15mile climb to Madera Canyon. It sure didn't feel like we were climbing, but pushing near threshold and rolling at 16mph said otherwise. Lou probably did the smart thing by skipping some rotations and letting Chad and I do the work. With about 4 miles to the top, Lou put in a little dig and I had no response, I just tried to limit the damage as Lou and Chad moved up the road. The logistics of this climb are 15 miles of 11-12 at 5% and then last 3.5 at roughly 10-12%. I haven't found myself in such oxygen debt for a long time, but it happened, I was sucking in so much oxygen. The road was very nice, but pushing at 8mph is pretty rough after 50 miles of tempo riding. Made it to the top and stopped for a bathroom stop. On the way off the mountain it was clearly evident just how far we climbed and how steap, as I saw Green Valley off in the distance. We rolled downhill and stopped at a coffee shop at the bottom so Lou and Chad could refill. I chose to just have my Cliffbar and H2O, which was probably not smart.
Where we were going!
On the way back home we had a stiff 10mph headwind or so, but that didn't stop Chad from hammering. This guy is rolling so strong this year, I am glad he is on our team, he is going to put the hurt on many people. I haven't had to dig so deep riding in a pace line, with a draft. After we got back to Tucson, we rolled back to Lou's and ended with 98miles for the day, I rolled off in search of those last 2 miles and ended with just over 100 for the day. My second 100mile day of the week. I haven't done a 100mile ride this early in the season, and never outside of the State Road Race. I am hoping this will help later in the year! Lets just say I was totally trashed after this ride, I wasn't seeing straight, my head hurt from a lack of glycogen/glucose to my brain. I had bonked so bad on this ride.
We went out for great authentic Sonoran cuisine last night and probably almost closed to place. 3 bike racers who rode 100miles and had 4000kj and roughly 2000+ RMR for the day can eat to say the least. Another couple days in Tucson and then it is back to the Midwest.
The San Jose River??? Didn't see any water!