We got an early start this morning to take on a 104 mile day over three mountains. The map doesn’t look that bad.
But the profile did. 8000ft of climbing – as tough as the B2VT ride in New England, but much, much hotter.
The worst parts were not the mountains themselves, but the “false flats” that lead up to the steep parts. It felt like a normal road but we couldn’t go over 10mph. You can see the road going up to the right.
The first climb was gradual with a great view of the valley below. One of the Tour leaders, Lon is taking a photo of the valley we just came up.
The road eventually went around the corner, winding up the back of the mountain.
Here is Team Flat at the little store at the start of the second climb, with me, Jim Miller, Jim Salvie, Lynn, Greg, and Eddy in the middle.
Eddy and I took off on the hill, pausing only for photos. This spared the rest of the team from my songs and bad jokes. He told me to look like I was creating the philosophy of the 21st century, with the road in the background.
The last climb was up Mt. Mingus, the steepest of the day, topping out over 7000 ft.
You can see the tiny cars heading up, a few hundred feet below us.
The downhill on the other side was spectacular. Nearly a 3000 foot drop in a few miles. You can see the road way down in the valley. We ended up in Jerome which is built on the side of the mountain, with lots of funky shops, an insane asylum that has been turned into a hotel, and The House of Joy (do your own research). A convention of VW camper vans was headed into town so we dropped another 1000 feet down to our hotel for the night.
Tim, a long time friend from Synopsys, came to our hotel driving a … VW camper van! He is not quite the hippie crew but knows a good reason to get out of Phoenix for the weekend.
Please support my ride to raise money for the Pan Mass Challenge and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
P.S. Check out Jim’s blog