Sunday, March 25, 2012

Funktown - Burned Down

It felt as if the wind had personality, and was angry ... at me.  It whipped me, pushed me, slapped me around for 80 miles today.  I took it, all of it, and never faltered.  I never thought of seeking shelter, calling home for my wife to come get me.  The wind punished me over the 3200 feet of climbing.  Climbing up the second to last big hill the signs warning of a winding road ahead rocked back and forth.  The trees bent steadily to the wind's insistence.  I loved it!  At mile 70, when I finally turned so I had a tailwind, I slammed down the gears, finishing mile 75 in under 3:00 on dead legs. 

Funktown -- burned down! 

I burned that funk to the ground...or, maybe I shouldn't take credit, but it's burned and that's the important part. 

Maybe it is because I had a hard, but yet relaxed ride Thursday, that reset my perspective.  Maybe it's because it's my anniversary and I'm very happy about that.  Yesterday we celebrated, low key, as is our fashion.  We went to the movies, saw The Hunger Games, with our youngest daughter.  Funny, but we've gone out as a family for our anniversary three of the past four years!  We just get along, I guess.

Maybe funktown burned down because of pent-up emotional energy.  This week our dog died unexpectedly (perhaps an owl got her).  My oldest daughter joined the National Guard (they can provide an avenue by which she can be a veterinarian), and has her first drill this weekend.  My wife had an upper GI scope done Monday and luckily her gal bladder is fine and she just has an ulcer.  

Anyhow, because of a stiff back and a very humbling route planned today (I love and hate this ride), I took yesterday off from all exercise.  I checked the weather last night and the forecast called for headwinds both ways of an out-and-back 80 miler.  Seriously.  Fifteen mph winds with gusts up to 20 heading east until 10 am, then from the south for a short time, then from the west from 11 on, all day the speed picking up.  Wow!

Maybe the funk is busted because I mentally focused last night, running through a check list of goals, items of focus and especially steeling my nerves for what lay ahead today.

Regardless, my average pace was very slow, 16 mph, but my effort and focus were as good as I've ever had on a ride.  I'm pretty charged up!

I did manage to take a few pictures today.  You can see them all here.  

The picture above is one of my favorite stretches of road.  It's on Arizona State Highway 82, just west of Patagonia, Arizona.

And old stone home I always love looking at.  It was built long before the two-lane highway existed.  How upset do you think they must've been when the route went right THERE!?

Yup, there's wine in Arizona...even a 5K that the wineries host where you get to sample various wines after the race!

An old abandoned ranch house north of Nogales, Arizona.

Some of the wild life!
The Santa Cruz River.  Not much water this time of year.

The picture above is taken just before an OSOM stretch of road, when headed this direction.  It's about 4 miles of down hill....think 40 mph on a bicycle down hill. 

The picture below is Mt. Wrightson, which my brother-in-law and I will be climbing on May 5th.  I'm super-excited about that!  I've been wanting to climb that thing my entire life, just never have.

Here's how I set up the display on my Garmin 405 for riding.  A lot of cyclists apparently hate it, but this shows me what I need, HR, cadence, and speed.  A HR of 108 means I'm obviously not working real hard while taking pictures! 

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