So happy were we, the 16, as we stood, prepared to shove off. Although, were those forced smiles considering the elements? I sure as heck was not smiling.
How bout that? Crazy George came out too! He said he has only ridden 3 times but I also know he spends most days sitting on an exercise bike at a fitness center watching TV so that counts for something and he rode very well. The carbon fiber bike that is broken cause he accidently sat on it at a place on which it should not be sat, will be shipped off soon for replacement. Meantime, he is burdened by that heavy Serotta.
Larry P, Lisa, Jon Morgan, Steve P and Lori N also came out. Lori is joining a small group in May to trail run/hike from the south rim of the Grand Canyon, down to the Colorado River, then up North Kaibab trail to the north rim, turning around and retracing the route to the south rim. All in one day. Should be a fun experience as long as the rattlers are avoided.
We head out into the gloom and cold. Above, Steve Fields, Eva, Larry and Woody pause for the light to change. Our original route of 106 miles, which I had no intention of completing....
....got whittled down as we paused at the slowest coffee shop in the US on River Road. If you enter the door for a glass of water, you will not exit for a long time. The cold had gotten to Marty Sedluk as we passed south of Alexandria so he was not there to enforce the non lingering rule. Four to five of us shivered outside and finally, our will power sapped, we went in....
,,,and most were huddled inside, warm and readying themselves for some route trimming. We exited the "coffee shop of late return", got on our bikes and headed out. A moment of clarity had hit we early on, the 20 mile climbs at 6% grade are helpful while in AZ but the short, steep climbs around here are killer. I was freakin beat when we hit Jones Road and lagged behind most, then that Welsh Hills climb....I almost got off and pushed the machine up that one! What an adjustment. Gus and Peggy Cook, me (of course), Eva, George, Larry & Lisa cut the route short for 62 miles, others did a 76 mile route and none other than Ken Buddell, stuck to the plan and did the 106 route.