Michele McGuinness - Looking Forward

Sitting Still (Trying)

Sitting still is not my strong suit.

I tried.

First, I cleaned the kitchen, did a couple loads of laundry, wiped down my bike, mounted my new lights, and lifted weights. Then I tried to sit still, to rest.

Because tomorrow and Saturday are big days. I am sampling two days of my cross country bike tour. Two of the roughest days. Day 9 and 10 on the tour. I pre-road the route from San Diego where we start all the way to Globe, Arizona. So perhaps I should say instead, I think it is the hardest two days of the first ten.

I know this route. We drive up the road to Globe from Fountain Hills, Arizona all the time. It is the road to the prettiest lake and around some of the most beautiful mountains in Arizona. The trip will be awesome, we get to bike around Four Peaks (the mountains pictured above).

This time, with some spousal support for water and food, it's time to go all the way.

By the time most of you read this, I will hopefully be uphill. I am climbing from my home in Fountain Hills to Tonto Basin, Arizona. It is 66 miles and almost 7000 feet of elevation gain. Much of it at 6%. Which is like climbing a wall. Or at least it feels that way to me.

During the tour, day 9 leaves from Mesa, Arizona and climbs Usery Pass before turning and making the climb up 87, the Beeline highway. If you are not familiar with the west, anytime a road has “Pass” in the name, think climbing. I’m leaving from home, so this time, I’ll miss the pass. I climbed it last week, and it doesn’t scare me.

I know some of the women coming on the tour are reading this and probably freaking out. I almost didn't write this because I don't want to scare anyone. But, it is what it is.

From my house, I will bike 12 miles uphill at 2% or 3% grade to get to the junction where the route runs, then the fun starts.

I'm happy to say I will have company. A couple of fast, little women climbers from Colorado who have been training with me the last few weeks. Really, they are little, they weigh like 2/3 of what I do. One seems to glide uphill. I'm watching and learning. When I climb or ride next to her, I feel like Lurch from the Addams family. These are active women in their sixties who laugh, talk and tell stories as we go along. And even though they are faster uphill, I'm faster downhill. It seems to work out. A tribe is forming.

Friday when we are done, the guys will pick us up, drive us the 66 miles home, and then Saturday we will drive up and start where we left off. We will bike another 50 miles, with 4000 feet or so of elevation gain. Saturday has one hill that my coach says leads to the top of the world.

So I tried to rest. But I packed and repacked my bike bag. I picked and repacked my food.

I'll let you know how it goes. And I'll tweet some photos along the way.


Author image
About MJM
The adventure begins. I'm preparing to bike across the United States. 3100 miles in 50 riding days. Come along with me...while I train, wander and search for chocolate.