Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Day Two - bring on Lemmon!

Day two of camp and we had to make a choice. We had planned on riding Mt. Lemmon later in the week, but the day we planned called for clouds, which could mean interesting weather on top of the mountain, so we scheduled the climb for Monday.

We started the day in Saguaro Park running for an hour on a mix of pavement and trail. The sun was just popping up over the mountains and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Very similar to the weather back in CT yesterday:) The real fun began around 10am. We sent the first group off, then I lead my group out 30 minutes later. Mt. Lemmon is not necessarily steep but it's 26 miles! It wears on you hard. My group split up pretty quick near the bottom and I rode with Carri until about the 11 mile mark and then waited so that I got the chance to ride with most. Steve from Canada, the 64 year old is a stud. As I rode with him, he was telling me he's out of shape currently, yet he was leading the first group! We had the Cannondale demo truck at the hotel and Rick from Alaska took a demo bike and climbed the mountain! Typically, it's about 30 degrees colder at the top of Lemmon, yet today, in the sun on the top, it was still in the 80's. This heat and this mountain is a nice slap in the face on day two of camp, and their salt caked faces at the top showed the effort. Hey, they could have been home shoveling snow! Gus looked dazed and confused as though he'd been tipping back some cocktails - it was great!

We all met up at the cookie corner for some monster size cookies. I had a coke float. No more pie shop at the top of Lemmon for these camps after the witnessing the sloppy fat guy sneezing all over the pies last year. We began to tackle the small ascent out of the little town on top of Lemmon and I jumped out of the saddle on a steeper part of the climb and heard as huge SNAP as my right leg drove down hard and the bike jerked around hard under me. My brand new chain snapped! I was able to not crash somehow, and sat on my ride and let gravity take me back to the cookie corner where Jill was still loading up some bikes from a few who were toasted and concerned about descending. I took Spinners bike and brought the saddle up about two feet and headed off. The descent is amazing, with huge switch backs and sweeping turns overlooking amazing vistas.

Arriving back at the hotel, the campers looked spent but were all in good spirits and dinner was quite fun. Usually it takes three days or so for everyone to loosen up, but not this year! We have a group that is doing exactly what I asked initially of them, to lift their ego's and fears, and embrace each day.

Be sure to check out my home page at http://www.hodska.com/ for the camp mvp write ups, pictures, and a new Straz article.

Heading to the pool now for a swim session and video work so I'll post again later. As they sat down here in Mexico (Arizona is part of Mexico, right?), Vaios Con Dios Mother F'ers!




Anonymous said...

Eric, after 4 ½ years of Spanish I and 3 solid semesters of “Spanish II for the Remedial Learner in You”, I even consulted my Spanglish dictionary for the “Post NAFTA Company Man”. I’m just not seeing “Mother F’ers”. Just to be safe, I’m going to consult the 10 sets of “E-Z to Learn French by Yourself” cassette tapes that I still have on loan from the Stratford Public Library from 14 years ago, when I was trying to impress that chic from Quebec. That worked out pretty well, oui?
Glad the weather is working out,...sounds like a great time. FYI, don't let your guard down of Molson or Gus,..they are sneaky bastards that will stick it to you any chance they can. Trust me, I've seen Gus try to stick it to plenty of guys. But hey, that isn't news to anyone who's met him.

Eric said...

I hear you on Gus and Molson Baker - cant turn your back for a second!