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AZ MS150 Ride Report(3 posts)

AZ MS150 Ride Reportdgangi
Nov 9, 2003 9:47 PM
I participated in the Arizona MS150 ride this weekend. I have only owned my Fuji Team for a few months and this is my first long-distance road bike ride so I was a little worried that either the bike or me would not make it. I am happy to report that both the bike and I made it back without incident.

There were 1200 riders in attendance. I was riding with Team Medtronic, a group of 8 people who work for the company (plus myself, who was the only person who does not work for the company). We all had matching Sugoi jerseys - very sharp.

Saturday 11/8 -- we met at Cezar Chavez high school in west Phoenix. The event started out at 7:30AM. My team left about 20 minutes late because we wanted to hang behind and get a team photo. It was chilly - about 50 degrees (I purchased arm warmers at REI the day before and I was so glad to have them with me!).

From the high school we headed west out of Phoenix and through the dairy farms in Goodyear (I've never seen diary farms before - they are sooooo stinky!!), through Estrella Mtn Park (very beatiful sunrise), and towards Buckeye. After Buckeye we wound around onto the old state highway towards Gila Bend. We skipped the first few rest stops and just cruised in our pace line -- averaging 23MPH! At 9:30AM we briefly stopped at the third rest stop for "lunch" (a bit early but we were all hungry). After chowing down on sandwiches, we hit the road again and cruised once more, sometimes hitting a pace of 28MPH.

The road to Gila Bend was fairly straight and flat, and we continued to maintain a pace above 20MPH. The vistas were just beautiful! There was one large hill that broke apart our pace line, and I ended up hanging out with the 2 fastest riders.

By mile 70, I was still feeling pretty good so I decided to do the "century" loop - an extra 15 miles for a total of 96. By mile 85, however, I really started to bonk. Worse yet, I had a strong head wind. I was struggling to maintain 16MPH. I lost the two faster riders and struggled alone back to the end - a high school in Gila Bend. I was very tired but glad to be done. Average MPH for the 96 miles - 22MPH.

Our team found a nice spot at the high school to camp out. One of the team members's wives drove their Winnebago to Gila Bend and met us with beer and barbeque. It was a fun time, hanging out with the group and talking about our ride.

Sunday 11/9 - we left at 7:30AM and it was a bit chilly. We had a head wind and I was a bit tired from the previous day, so I knew the ride back was going to be a struggle. Our pace line started out averaging 18MPH for the first 20 miles, but then we ended up breaking apart. I was in the "lead" pace line and decided to make a bathroom stop at one of the rest stops and hoped to meet up with the second pace line. Well, I was in the bathroom a bit too long and missed the pace line. So I had to ride by myself for the next 20 miles. Ugh! It was a workout just to maintain 18MPH.

By mile 38 I met up with my team at the third rest stop. We ate lunch and hung out for about 15 minutes (still early - 10AM) and then decided to continue on. But when I jumped on my bike and started pedaling - oh boy! My legs were stiff and tired!

And that's when we started to hit the wall. The head wind got stronger and we were fighting to maintain 15MPH. The road out of Buckeye and back to Phoenix was the worst - a good head wind, bumpy road, and we were tired. It was a workout.

But we endured and picked up another pace line in Estrella Mtn Park. The winds died down and we started to cruise again - 18MPH. By the end of the ride we were back up to 20MPH. When we finished both my legs and my butt were shot!

My total ride distance for the 2 days was about 175 miles. The average pace for both days combined was 19.5MPH. I figured that wasn't too bad for my first long road ride. And I am happy to report that both
Nice effortpedalAZ
Nov 10, 2003 6:48 AM
Riding 175 miles in 2 days is a big step up in distance. Sounds like you rode pretty strong - that's a solid speed average.
Nice effortdgangi
Nov 10, 2003 9:29 AM
Thanks. Unfortunately I am paying for it today. My bum and my hamstrings are both killing me!