Thursday, March 23, 2006

Adventures on Mt Lemmon

Wow...what a ride. A long day in the saddle, just over 4hrs of total riding today.
We rode over to the base of Mt Lemmon in two groups, most of the girls went at 10:30, and the guys and Mel McQuiad went at 11:00. This would make it easier for the coaches to provide support high up on the mountain.

Our group consisted of Simon, Kyle, Jordan,Nick, James, Mel, David-James, and myself. I knew I wasn't going to be able to climb with all these guys, so I basically let them go, and rode my own ride with the I-Pod for 2hrs. I rode just off the back of the main group until 3 miles, when Simon et all pulled away. Once we rode through 5000 ft (started at roughly 3000 ft) it was noticeably cooler. There was snow on the ground at 5000 ft, and as we went further up, there was a LOT of snow on the ground. You could not see grass or dirt on the sides of the road at all. There were a lot of cars pulled over with people out playing in the snow, I guess that's what you do when you don't get snow down low.
I caught back up to Mel at about 13 miles or so, other than that, I didnt see any one until the cookie shop at the top.

At around 20 miles, there was a 3 min descent which was absolutely freezing!! At that point we were over 7000 ft elevation, I was tired, needing water, and cold. The remaining couple of miles of climbing warmed me up a bit, but the hot chocolate and big cookie waiting at the top was even better. Thanks to Craig and Joel and TriCan for getting all of us the cookies and hot chocolate.

Climb Stats:
Start Elevation: approx 2900 ft
Top Elevation: just over 8000 ft
Total Distance: just over 24 miles
Climb Time: 2 hr 3 min

From what I hear, it was quite the ride at the front of the group. Simon has written a great report of the ride here. Simon and Kyle were 1 hr 48 min, with James about a min back, while Jordan had a monster climb as well cresting in 1hr 53 min. Looks like I got some climbing work to do!! Next Wed is the epic end to the camp, a TT up Mt Lemmon. Hopefully I'll be able to hang in on that climb for a while.

After the rest at the top, we all doned our warm gear (Hat, gloves, leg warmers, booties, jackets) for the 24 mile descent back to Tucson. The descent was a lot more enjoyable than the climb!! Craig and Joel met us at the bottom to take all of our warm gear back. We then spun back to the condos, where I had a nice long hot tub.

All in all, the day had a 3.5km swim in the morning, 116.5 km ride (4hr 16') and most of the group did 40-60' run later after the ride, but I stayed off the knee today.

No comments: