I know a lot of you don’t care about my power numbers or even know what I’m talking about when I say I did X amount of watts today. But for those of you who do find it interesting, I’ve got some good numbers for today’s ride that completely kick ass. Tony and I rode out to Kitt Peak today. The wind was gusting into us at 2o + mph on the way out. Tony tucked behind me and made himself as small as possible while I did the same thing in the front. Semi trucks rushed by us going the opposite direction, thrusting dump truck loads of wind at us, making our bikes shutter across the road. At two hours in, Tony dropped back by himself. He went on to the base of Kitt, then turned around. I continued without him to the climb. A half hour later I made the left turn off Ajo highway onto Kitt Peak. Swirly, thick white clouds thickened the back drop behind the ominous, cold dark rock mountain. I was now heading straight into the wind in my smallest gear, cranking up to the base of Kitt Peak as the grade gradually turned skyward. The white astronomy observatory scopes clung to the top of the mountain, overlooking thousand-foot granite wall cliffs. The scene reminded me of Dr. Frankenstein’s mansion, precariously perched seven thousand feet up in the cold mountain air.
My plan was to climb half way up, decsend, and then go half way up again to avoid the coldest section at the top. But I ended up only doing one of these intervals. The wind was keeping my speed at around five miles an hour, and my legs were starting to feel the hard miles of road behind them. I made a U-ee (not sure how to spell that) and began screaming back to Tucson with the wind behind me.
I blew by the border patrol screening gates ten miles later, thinking the cops were waving at me to go faster. They yelled at me as I got up out of the saddle to sprint by their stop sign. I screeched to a stop twenty meters later. “HEY. There’s a stop sign here for a reason!” one of them yelled. “Yeah, what for?” I replied. “Come back here please,” he said. I turned around and rode up to them. “Are you a US citizen?” he asked. “Si, si si, mi amigo. Vivo en Tucson. Y no tengo drogas o imigrantes illegales en mi bosillos,” I said. (Actually I just said ‘what do you think? Of course.’ “OK, go ahead,” he angrily replied. I snickered at him and rode off. Good job there champ. I’m glad to see you’re earning your pay check by doing a valuable service to the country. NOT.
I caught up to Tony as he was exiting a gas station with a cup of High Rev Mocha a few minutes later. We went back in and I got one too. Back on the road and full of sugar and caffeine, I hauled ass for another hour as Tony drafted. I began tiring and Tony started taking pulls when we got into town. We were both extremely tired when we had 20 minutes to go and we started taking 30 to 40 second all out pulls. It felt like we were doing 600 watts, but we were barely pushing 350 into the wind. The last ten minutes were pain. At one point, Tony accelerated by me when we got to a tiny little rise and he dropped me. I was standing up going all out and I couldn’t catch up. I yelled at him over the wind and traffic to slow down and I got back on his wheel.
I had nothing left in me after I hammered by Tony one last time with a minute more to go. Then at five hours, we began our cool down through campus. We were completely done. Done I say. I averaged 284 watts for 5 hours ( 290 watts for 4.5 hours–I really started dying in that last 30 minutes). Tony had a very hard ride too, averaging 216 watts for five hours which is a PR for him. We congratulated each other and soft pedaled home in sheer exhaustion.
Time to go borrow some cookies from Aaron’s cabinet.