Thursday, October 21, 2010

Red Rock Canyon Loop

When my friend Kaelin asked me if I have ever ridden the Red Rock Canyon loop I responded "no, I haven't!".  I have driven it but have never gone through on a bike.  Then I was wary and wondered if I should even ride the scenic route in the first place and would I want to take the same route again if I had done so previously after hearing that there are some climbs (not my favorite activity).  But the adventurous spirit in me couldn't resist exploring new territory on two wheels and though I was in Red Rock for the Goldilocks ride the day before I so wanted to see the beautiful dessert again.
Early Saturday morning, my team met at the Dunkin' Donuts on Charleston. I grabbed a French cruller (sp?) and coffee for some courage. Then we rode off.

I prepared myself mentally after we entered the fee station and soon after we started ascending.  I knew I had to pace myself, not knowing how steep the hills would get.  Let's see...five miles at an incline and speed of X miles per hour--yeah, it was going to take me a while.  I remember at one point I was pedaling 5 miles per hour and I nearly came to a stop.  I wanted to steer left and roll downhill, LOL but my teammate Monique encouraged me on.

Finally there was relief, downhill for several yards and I saw the rest of my teammates waiting at High Point Overlook and I knew the peak was there!  All of a sudden I caught a second wind and found the strength to pedal up hill, a big smile on my face as I reached the top.  I DID IT!!  It was all downhill from there (except for a little kicker of a hill).  The rest was so freakin' fun and by the time the ride was over, I had all but forgotten about the grueling ride up.  We had ridden just over 40 miles.

It was nice to hear one of my teammates voice the same thoughts I had during the really challenging moments riding to the top of the Red Rock Canyon Loop.  He shared a quote about cycling which is also one of John's favorite quotes by Greg Lemond who said, "It never gets easier, you just go faster."  Perhaps one day I will not be the last!
I got a flat tire just after Blue Diamond.  My teammate Chris helped me change the tube and then we met up with everyone at a quick mart.  I saw a "Found Dog" post that was funny.  It reads, "Looks like Papilla...Small...(I can't read the next line but the following was too funny)...4 legs + 1 Tail..." and I thought, that must not be a given thing around here!!  How about a coat color ... or?  Well, I hope the owner reunites with their pet.

Later in the day I saw the sun's rays through a dense cloud and took this photo.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Way to go Daly. That is a tough ride! The loop at Red Rock is one of my favorite places to run. Either forwards or backwards it is 15 miles of punishment. It never get easier but it so beautiful that it makes it worth it. I usually do this run about two weeks before a marathon to boost my confidence. I can run it but, i couldn't imagine doing that on a bike. You rock!