Tales From Tucson By James Weekes
Well we just finish what is called the Tuesday ride here in Tucson, this is when a great number of cyclist here decide to hit the road from about 6:15 am and go for a very fast pace ride. This ride takes us along the highway and into some not so busy streets with rolling hills and eventually lead to a long climb that ends at the top of a hill where the cyclist will regroup and continue downtown where we would have a well deserve cup of coffee, total distance was something like 55 miles with a head count of on or around 100 cyclist. Our objective was to see how long we could hold on to this ever charging group of riders where the pace was just two speeds, fast and faster, with an average speed of about 28 mph. So it was a constant push to the summit, not something we are accustomed to but we are getting there day by day. There was someone calling out to Reggie and I all the time during the ride but we had no idea who he was, it was only when we got to the coffee shop we realize it was Gord Fraser, wonderful experience riding with men of that caliber. We all sat around the coffee table and reacquainted ourselves with each other and soon it was time to head out for another 10 mile bike back home. Great day in the saddle with Kathryn and Reggie, George had to go in to work today poor thing or good for him to escape the ever charging peloton.
We are back at ground zero now did our stretches and getting ready to feed the beast within then we just might head out again for another episode of bike till you drop.
Today was another wonderful day. Reggie and I did another ride called the Wednesday ride with a group of about 20 riders. We left home about 5:45am to meet the group at 6:00am reason being they assembled 10 miles away from where we were to start the ride.
George came along with us to make sure we got hooked up with the group and to make sure we got an idea of the journey back home. as he would have to go in to work.
When we got to the specified meeting point we were the first there. then the rest soon came rolling in one by one. Soon we were all there and the ride began. It was not before long that Reggie ran into a median divider in the middle of the road that the group had to ride through. he had to give another rider room. miscalculated and collided with the concrete post right in front of me. He went tumbling and I came along and almost ran him over. but just stopped in time but I couldn’t get out of my cleats quick enough and fell right on him. He got minor cuts and bruises and maybe a sprained finger but he’ll live. After a couple of minutes of checking to see if all organs and limbs were still attached and in the right places we were off again. At mile 20 he got the base of Mt Lemon, now this climb is 25 miles long and no area where one could stop pedaling so it was just up and more up. By this time the group was split so riders were all scattered as we climbed the beast of a mountain. Every mile was marked and numbered as we climb; these were the longest mile I’ve ever seen. it seemed like the next marker kept moving forward. Many of the riders turned back early into the climb but we wanted to press on a little more to torture ourselves even more. We eventually called it a day when we got to mile 8 or 5000ft in altitude because the plan was to conquer the entire thing in a couple of days. so we tried to get an early introduction and what a day it was.
We started our long journey back home with help from one of George’s friends as a chaperon. as he called himself. The ride 20 mile back home felt even harder as starvation began to set in and the roads seem like they would never end. We soon got to familiar territory and he bid us farewell after giving us some fig newtons and cliff bars. It was just Reggie and I as we made our way home, not long after we arrived Reggie was fast asleep snoring like a dragon while I was making some coffee that he requested before he was taken over by a hard 4hrs 17 min ride, all 109.5 miles of it, you would too if you had faced that beast.