Day 3 - 123 Miles of Suffering

Trip Start Dec 13, 2008
Trip End Dec 16, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dear Family, Friends and Co-workers

(MAKE SURE TO WATCH THE VIDEO BECAUSE IT REALLY ROCKS!)  Note to self ... don't run a marathon and then attempt a bike ride from San Diego to Tucson one week later.   What was I thinking???   I keep imagining that I have small people in my head managing my decisions.   There is the thinking boss, let's call him Lester who is responsible for making all for the key management decisions.   He's the big cheese and you can tell that he's somewhat arrogant because he pays little attention to the advice of his co-workers.  Then there's Joe.  Joes is responsible for the nervous system and bodily functions.  I believe they have a love-hate relationship and if you could hear them talking it would sound something like this .....

The headquarter phone rings and when Lester picks it up, Joe is on the other end screaming, "What in heaven's name do you think you're doing on a bicycle?   In case you don't remember, we had a train wreck down in the leg's department a week ago on Sunday and we're still cleaning up the wreckage.   You never even answered our emails on the subject so I'm assuming that you just moved them to the waste basket like you normally do.   We need rest and reconstructive surgery.  We have muscle tissue dying by the truck load!" 

Lester responds in a tone that indicates a complete lack of concern, "You are always exaggerating and I simply know that you are capable of delivering more than you think you can.   Get a grip and just keep peddling."

With rising frustration Joe yells back, "listen moron, keep this up and I'll just start shutting off certain body functions and turning on others.   That will ruin your day in ways you can't imagine."

I think you get the point, but having come this far down the commitment path, Joe is just going to have to meet my unreasonable demands. Today's demands turned out to be a very painfull123 miles from just outside Yuma to about 30 miles shy of Casa Grande, but more on the pain factor later.  We managed to start pretty early with everyone up by 6:00am and after a quick continental breakfast and a very large cup of Starbucks coffee, we headed to where we left off the day before (Telegraph Pass which is 15 miles east of town). When we piled out of the van, the outside temperature proved to be something of a rude shock.    With overcast skies and rain in the forecast, we bundled up to the max which proved to be very wise because the day never got warmer.
When we finally got started, it was an immediate steep descent down Telegraph pass at speeds of near 40 mph.   We spread out to avoid crashes and I started to notice a mild vibration in my frame.   I started to brake but the vibration rapidly increased to the point that I was certain a crash was eminent.    When the bike leapt into the traffic lane, I suddenly recalled reading an article in the biking magazine on this very problem.  Apparently it's a form of oscillation like a tuning fork and it can be eliminated by pressing your knees against the frame.   I immediately tried this and was rewarded with a return of control.   With trembling knees I stopped at the bottom of the pass to change my shorts and say a quick prayer of thanks. 

Left aligned photo tag: Beyond this point, the remainder of the ride was relatively mild, although substantially more uncomfortable.   By the end of the ride, I was convinced that someone had ignited napalm on my bike seat and added a nail strip for good measure.  I'm truly dreading having to remount the bike in the morning.

Jason was again the star of the show today and managed to do a vast majority of the pulling, although   
I did my fair share.   Even with the work load, both Jason and I complete the entire 123 miles while Lawrence and Adam road 105 miles having taken one minor break each due to leg cramps and fatigue.    Jim on the other hand, only road 70 miles, but he worked incredibly hard resulting in some of the fastest sections of the entire route.  

The hardest part of ride was naturally the last 22 miles, but not just because it was the end of the ride, but rather, because there was a 16.5 mile section of continuous uphill (1,056 feet of elevation gain).   To make matters worse, beginning with mile 8 of that uphill, I kept promising the team that the top was in sight, only to find a false summit.  My credibility has now diminished to the point that I'm not trusted to comment on any aspect of life.

So tomorrow is the last day of the ride and we have at least 100 miles ahead of us (assuming that we take a more direct route into town).    There isn't going to be an easy mile in the whole bunch considering the condition of my rear end, and the forecast for rain.   It should be interesting.


Kerry (and Team Tolero)    
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