Before I comment on today I need to add a few things about yesterday. I was pretty tired and neglected to write a couple of thing. First, I really appreciate all the comments and emails of encouragement. I really am surprised and a little embarrassed because I am doing this ride simply because I wanted to. Of course if you want to contribute to my favorite charity I am not above taking advantage of the situation for them.
There are people riding to raise money for charities. Yesterday I meet a man cycling who has skin cancer so he was riding completely covered. From his ankles to the top of his head was covered. Only his face was uncovered and he was wearing a large hat under his helmet so his face was shaded. It was 100 degrees when I met him. He is 71 and is trying to raise $71,000 for Habitat for Humanities. He has raised $52,000. That is unselfish.
The route for today was changed to add more climbing. I didn't get a vote. I had expected this day to be one of the major challenging rides because of the distance and the climb. I only do one or two rides a year of 100 miles or more with more than 7,000 feet of climbs and they are always hard. Today's ride was 104 miles and 8,500 feet climbing two mountain ranges. But today we had a cool, mostly tailwind and I was not pushed to my limit. Still, this was a difficult ride.
With the ride now out of the desert the pace of the ride is picking up. In the desert it was fine to ride at whatever pace you felt you could maintain. Today the minimum pace was 10mph and for me climbing 8,000 feet that is a brisk ride. Gone are the 20 minute stops. The stops are back to 5-8 minutes and much further apart. The usual group of Lee, John, Donna and I were always on the bubble. Joining us today were a couple on a recumbent tandem. Recumbent tandems are great when you want to ride together and you can't ride a regular tandem but they are beasts to push up hill. I expect to get to know them pretty well before this ride is over.