Saturday, February 17, 2007

Wupatki Crater Ride

Wupatki Crater Scenery

Taking a quick pit stop in the crater

Descending into Wupatki Crater

Passing Sunset Canyon

The boys starting the climb back up

Today was our long ride day. A 50' run in the morning, then get ready for the ride at 11:45am. Since the roads up in Flag were dry, we decided to ride up here today, rather than Sedona. Simon led us out towards Wupatki Crater.

Here are a good link, that describes the beauty of the crater.

This link here shows the route that we rode to get to the bottom of the crater. We entered from Flagstaff on the bottom of the map, and rode past the Bonito Lava Flow, and then all the way down Loop Road to the visitor center at the bottom (4900 ft).

It was at this point that we stopped to re-fuel, and get ready for the climb back up. During the climb back up, we had a little duel going on, with points available at the Visitor Center at the top, as well as the final parking lot just before the highway.

The pace on the climb was pretty consistent until we caught up to Will and Natasha. At this point, Jordan started to pick the pace up. Will continued to climb with us, as the pace quickened. At one point (with Doctor Jones dictating the pace on the front) I got dropped by 25m, and it took all I had to bridge the gap (hammer a slight downhill, and TT back into the group).

At this point I think I got a 2nd wind, and felt good again. I soon realized that we were close to the visitor gate house, as we crested a short steep climb. I made a bit of an early lead out for Kyle and Colin, with Will and Simon taking the top two spots through check-point #1.

Kyle and Colin though got retribution for our team as they took the top two spots up to the parking lot. We climbed a little over 2000 ft in 30km, in a total time of 67'. My average power for the climb was 270W.

From there, it was another 30km back into Flag and home. Grand total for the day was 4hrs 15' in the saddle, 130km in total.

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