After a 10+ hour day in the car (and one super lame speeding ticket for going 65 in a 55 just outside of Jacob Lake that the officer empathetically reduced from 10 over to 1 over so my fine was only $62 instead of $120) I wasn't feeling too energetic when I finally arrived at my brother's house in Arizona. However, he was adament that we do a night ride so at 9:30 PM I found myself riding the Gateway Saddle loop in the nearby McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Unfortunately, this first ride didn't go so well for me. Historically my first couple of rides in Arizona are a bit rough - literally! - as I reaquaint myself with the rocky, rugged terrain that is more technical than what I normally ride. Completing my first ride in the dark, after a long day in the car during which I skipped lunch in favor of pretzels and leftover Halloween candy, didn't make it any easier. In fact, it made it extremely difficult and frustrating as I found myself off the bike hiking quite a bit. Fast forward 15 hours and the identical loop ridden at lunch today was much, much better. It's amazing what a good night's sleep and good visibility does for my riding! Plus, I was able to enjoy the scenery which isn't bad either.
It's been a while since I had a lunch ride that tasted this good!