Wickeburg, AZ to Cottonwood, AZ
Mileage: 104.75 miles
Riding Time: 9:17 Riding Speed 11.3 mph
Total Time: 10:41
Climbing: 8385 ft.
The hardest climbing day is now behind me. Wow, was it a long day.
There is one big difference between 8485 feet of climbing at home and in Arizona. There is shade at home; there is none in Arizona.
The second difference is that I had never, ever, climbed a 7% grade into a 30mph headwind. Fortunately, after awhile the mountain blocked the wind, or I would still be out there. We hit 7,000 feet elevation and then had a 4,000 foot howling descent. I stopped half way down to take pictures of the incredible view of red and white cliffs, and also because I had to nurse my numb hands back to life; the road was very bumpy.
But everyone made it. Four of us were a little slower than the rest, but I was NOT the last one in (not counting the guys who stopped for hamburgers in the very cool town of Jerome, an old copper mining town hugging the cliffs).
But my foot was no problem until the third and hardest climb; I stopped at the top to take care of it before the hair raising descent.
Tomorrow, we go through the beautiful town of Sedona, on the way to our motel in Winslow (I don’t have the map yet, but I am sure it is on a corner that I can stand on). The rule of thumb is that if you can make it to Albuquerque, you can make it all the way; and I am half way to Albuquerque. To make the last 2,000 feet of climbing, though, I needed to mentally break it down to twenty 100 foot climbs. Every once in awhile my brain has said “time to quit” and I’ve told it to shut up.
You’ll notice that these entries are getting shorter. Maybe I will have more time after the 80 mile days in Kansas, but I need to return my borrowed computer, shower and get to the session where I learn about tomorrow. And, lest I forget, I need to eat too.