Faster Fondo | Winds and Hills

Today was the Faster Fondo. Kristi and I signed up to do the 65-miler with a few hills in North Scottsdale.

The day started early. It was cool out with a hint of breeze. Kristi showed up at my place just before 7AM. She had some mechanical issues with her rear wheel but they were fixed easily. We rode our bikes to Faster and reached a few minutes before the start.

Promptly at 7:30AM the 100-milers started. We ran into Missy and Michelle at the starting line. They were thinking of doing the 100-miler but started with us to do the 65-miler. The ride started pretty smoothly going East on Bell before going North on up the hill right past my house. Missy and Kristi were in front and set somewhat of a blazing pace. We passed a bunch of riders as we climbed the hill on Thompson Peak and took a right to go North on Pima.

Missy, Kristi, me, Michelle (left to right)

Missy and Michelle picked up the pace as Kristi and I slowed down to pace ourselves. Good thing too as I saw my heart-rate rising into level 3 zones this early into the ride. As Missy and Michelle left us in the dust, we settled into a smooth cadence and pace up Pima Road. After passing the usual cross streets (Happy Valley, Jomax, Dynamite, Dixileta, Lone Mountain), we took a right on Legend Trail and went up the hill for the first rest area.

We were about 20 miles into the ride and had reached the Pinnacle of the ride. There were still a few hills to go, but I felt pretty good. As we rode on after taking a quick breather at the support station, we came down the hill at 35+ MPH down Cave Creek Road into the town of Carefree. Another right turn on to School House Road (I think) gave us a few undulating hills before circling back on to Cave Creek Road around Black Mountain headed south towards Carefree Highway.

The wind had picked up and we were riding against it now going East on Happy Valley. About 40 miles in, the ride got tough. Kristi wasn’t her normal peppy self today. She was a bit lethargic and digging deep to conquer all the hills in the wind. We climbed Happy Valley all the way to Jomax and stopped at the rest area to fill up our water bottles. From this point on, it was pretty much downhill and pretty fast all the way back to Faster.

We had done about 70 miles and I decided to call it a day. My back was just a bit stiff and I didn’t want any aggravation. Tomorrow, taper begins. 

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