For the past 3 years it's eluded me. Something always came up, until now. With several weekends of long rides under my belt I felt I had the legs to give it a go. And why not? I had the time and the weather was in the 70's. I've ridden 100 plus miles on the road more times than I care to recall, but 100 miles on a mountain bike is a little different. The added rolling resistance from the nobbies, different gearing, 'er, scratch that last one, but it's no walk in the park. And throw in one gear to make things a little more interesting!
Just a slight hill thrown in the mix and 8936 ft. of climbing by the end of the day.
I think I have enough stuff... I went thru 200 oz. of water and four large water bottles by the end of the ride. I wanted to ensure that I was properly hydrated and consumed enough calories. Maybe it was too much since my stomach was upset most of the ride from digestion and I stopped probably every 20 minutes to drain. However, this was not the ride to bonk on.
Wake up call came early and unfortunately, Brendan was running a little late. Sure was chilly standing in the dark at 5:30am.
Between Bear Canyon and Windy Point my pedal decided to break. WTF? I was just riding along...Since Brendan didn't have a spare left eggbeater pedal in his pack we made some phone calls and found Dan more than happy to drive thru town and up Mt. Lemmon highway to drop off a new pedal. Now that is a friend!
We continued rolling up the hill where Dan finally passed us and jumped out. Like pit lane in NASCAR, I pulled in, jumped off and handed the bike over for a quick pedal change. A pat on the back and a handshake later, we were rolling on.
Stopped at Palisades for water only to discover that the Forest Service hasn't put the hose nozzle on yet. In the winter they remove it and replace it in the summer months which is a refueling station when riding up.
Quick safety check before committing and dropping in for 29 miles of dirt to the town of Oracle. I knew there was a reason we brought our mountain bikes!
Looking back you can see the highest point on the mountain and where we came from. Still around 50 miles to go.
Brendan's face says it all: ugh. The sun was beating down on us and we were a little tired. Keep pedaling.
Once we turned on Oracle Rd. the spirits lifted. Home was insight, albeit some 40 miles off in the distance.
Spun out with one gear, Brendan provided a nice refuge from the wind and I was able to draft. It definitely helped having a friend along for the ride to share in the sights, jubilation and suffering.
The GPS doesn't lie. Not a bad day on the bike. Now I can add this to my list of "things done once and no desire to do again," right under skydiving.