Fantastic Fourth

Tuesday night, I sat around feeling disappointed about the weather. I had planned a 50 mile ride with two friends for Wednesday morning, and monsoon season was bringing some serious rain and thunderstorms to the area.

I woke up to a cloudy, but dry day. One riding buddy cancelled, and one called to tell me to was absolutely pouring on the west side. I live pretty central, but our ride was going to head Northwest. Oh well.

I donned my sweet Rev3 Cycling kit from Pearl Izumi, thoroughly applied TriSlide to all of the important areas, stocked the bento box with PowerBar gels, and was ready to roll.

She met me at my house, and we changed our plans to ride east. I was a little disappointed about this change in route. The route we were going to do is a hilly, winding, course that I frankly don’t get to ride often. The route we decided on to avoid the rain was one that I do fairly often, and is basically uphill headed out, and downhill home. Oh well, it wasn’t raining and I was going riding, so I sucked it up!

Julie is wonderful company. We got through the boring part of the ride – leaving Tucson city limits – and she was counting down stoplights! 9 miles in, and stoplight free, we cruised up Old Spanish Trail. At one point, I heard rustling in the bushes next to me and saw something move. I panicked a little, rode faster, and asked Julie if she saw it. She looked back, and a coyote was following us! I’m still not comfortable around Tucson wildlife, so we just pedaled harder. Eventually, two other cyclists came up behind the coyote and spooked him off the road. Whew!

Because of the humidity – yes, in Tucson – there were little bugs everywhere! Our legs and arms were covered – and as I discovered when I got home, a large number ended up inside my sports bra. Yuck.

We got to the crest of Pistol Hill, and were greeted with this view:

Awesome, right? It was a beautiful, perfect day to be riding outside.

We turned around and pushed it to Saguaro National Park, where we stopped to fill up water bottles. I showed off my sweet ride from Blue.

About a mile from home, it started lightly sprinkling. It was the perfect end to what had turned out to be a nearly perfect ride. I cooked eggs, and Julie cut up toast so we could sample 4 different flavors of peanut butter! Yes, four.

I grabbed a quick nap, then I was off to Master’s practice. I was a little concerned that it was going to be a junk workout, like “Happy 4th! Time for 40x100s!” but Jim at Ford Aquatics did not disappoint. We had a solid sprint workout, with some sets with fins and paddles thrown in. Despite some threatening clouds, Mother Nature allowed us to get the full working in. It was awesome. I’ll gush more about Ford Aquatics later, I promise.

I got home, finished cleaning up, and we had a nice, big 4th of July party! The rain stayed away, for the most part – there was good company, good food, fireworks… even the dog was (mostly) well-behaved! It was a fantastic day.


One response to “Fantastic Fourth

  1. Wow! What fantastic photos! Sounds like a great run – way to rebound after a change in plans!

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