The unofficial world championships of Tucson is the "Shootout". It is the Saturday group ride that starts at 7:30 a.m. at the University of Arizona. I love the shootout. When you go from the wingnut ride in Harrisonburg that the last one had just two of us, to the Shootout with over 200 people its mind blowing. I get to see all of my Tucson friends from over the years and always make one or two more on the ride.
Its so cool rolling down the road with that many other cyclists all trying to get in there workout or mainly just trying to hang with the group to the bridge. I remember the first time I made it past the bridge with the group. It gave me a lot of confidence and showed that I was on the right track with my training. Of course I also realized it doesn't get easier once you make it past the bridge. To me that is the crux...the minutes after the bridge.
Today's shootout was by my standards fairly easy especially considering the shape that I am in. The pack was so huge that is was like a good motorpace session. No matter how many times I do the shootout, it still seems like I never know if I'll be able to hang or not. And certainly taking a pull is not much of a possibility.
The really shocking thing was how many people rolled out to Maderia Canyon. The couple times that I have done Maderia it has been a very small group. This time it was about 40 people. It made it pretty nice for doing the long, long false flat towards the base of the climb. I thought I was having it pretty easy until the pace ever so slightly ramped up and I noticed I was hurting. My old nemesis, my left leg, was rearing its weak ugly head, as well. I dropped back and took it easy up the climb, stopping for a coke at the little store on the way up. It just made me realize all the work that I need to do and that is the reason why I am out here in Tucson training.
It was about 96 miles in less than 5 hours. It would be hard to do that alone and that includes a ton of stoplights.
I haven't heard from Tim to know if the floors are done at home yet. I hope so! Dogwood could use getting back to some normalcy. And looking at White Grass's site I see the WV is finally in Nordic Heaven with great conditions.
I'll get some pics up soon of AZ.