The End of the Beginning
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Climbed through Oak Ridge Canyon and Sedona
Well here we are at the end of the first riding period so a short period of reflection.
This is the toughest of the riding periods and we have come through it in good spirits. Tomorrow is a day off and we are sharing a hire car to go and visit the Grand Canyon. So far we have ridden around 500 miles, ascended about 20,000ft and peaked above 7,000ft. The bikes are running well and have been given a good clean and lubrication in anticipation of the next riding period that takes us to Santa Fe. Penny has had one puncture, strangely from a thorn rather than one of the slivers of wire that are the usual culprits. Physically we are both in top condition and could ride on without any problem which is nice given the distances of the next section across the high Arizona and New Mexico Desert. If any of you have thought "I would like to loose weight but....", I would recommend this trip. We are burning around 3,500 - 5,000 calories / day and it is difficult to eat enough just to break even
Today started at 3,500ft at Cottonwood and descended 1,000ft to Sedona and ended at 7,000ft at Flagstaff. The climb was up Oak Ridge Canyon between the red rock walls that make Sedona famous. Eventually after a stiff (and I do mean 'stiff') 5 mile climb we stopped at a view point and the support vehicles and looked back over the winding road we had just traversed and spotted fellow cyclists still labouring their way up the switch backs. We had a good break at the view point and then sped along the rolling road and the final 10 miles into Flagstaff, "Sped" because Penny was going very well along this section tracking towards a snow topped San Fransisco mountain framed between pine forests with a blue sky background. The temperature was just about perfect for Brits and there was a slight tailwind.
Flagstaff is a nice town in a spectacular location. Our next destination is Holbrook.
Now some notes from the female side. I have of course been reading what C has written and agree with everything he's said. What may not have come across is, seriously, how wonderful it is! I wasn't sure that enjoyment would be my main emotion (well, let's be honest, I hadn't even thought of THAT as my main feeling at the end of the first section) but I'm really having a super time
Keep pedalling on!
Chris and Penny
PS; for my Wills Wheelers friends, Penny has put $5 on the table for anyone who thinks they can beat her up Swires Head from a even start. CJY