Mmmm. Bacon, Eggs, do I catch a whiff of Sausage? Yes, definitely sausage. Smells assault me as I ride down baseline road. Yes, I could afford the calories but I would be feeding elsewhere this morning. Out before the sun I make my 26 mile approach to the mountain, yes, the same mountain I climbed last week. This week I am out a little earlier. I am more rested this week as well. Tomorrow is a busy day but that matters little now. I continue the ride down Baseline until I am at last turning onto Central Ave. The lady at the park entrance tells me they are filming up on San Juan road so that road is closed but the towers are OK. Apparently the towers are being closed tomorrow for a time trial.
I pass the guy that was visiting with the girl before I drove up and he lets me know my blinky is still on. Soon I see the helicopter flying all over the valley with it's camera bubble on the front. At the junction with San Juan a guy in a shiny black car sits. I think he is the guard to keep people from riding down the road and goofing up the filming. On I press up the hill. About now there is probably some big film producer looking at the footage saying "Hey, wait a minute! What is that little yellow and blue speck there in the background? Blow it up. Wow, look at the physique on that guy, we need to make him a star!". Soon I would be looking eye to eye with the helicopter as I climbed further up the hill. Just before I turn the corner to the saddle I see the helicopter in hot pursuit of the black car heading down to the park entrance. It must not have been a guard after all. Soon the copter is gone. Must be off for some more gas. On I climb.
7-8 years ago I climbed south mountain by bike for the first time on a GABA ride. I remember thinking how terrible breakfast would taste after it came up in the last section of the first major climb before reaching the dobbins lookout road. I remember thinking that I was at the top at dobbins lookout road and that the radio towers were just a quick hop skip and jump over a few rollers. I remember trudging along having blown myself up on the first hill and then turning onto the radio towers road and beating myself more over the rollers and thinking I was almost there when I saw the towers loom overhead. Then I turned the corner and saw the 13% grade just under the towers. I thought my heart would pound right out of my rib cage as I stood and hammered, breathing oaths not to stop until the top. I made it but I had to lean on the bars and heave my lungs in and out for a good 4 or 5 minutes. The road surface was rougher than many dirt roads I have ridden on and on the way down my frame pump was jarred loose and broke on the pavement. It was a long weak ride back to the parking lot among the slower group on their way back from San Juan that I caught on the way back. That ride came in at 35 miles or so. I was spent for the rest of the day.
Today I pass the dobbins lookout road pedalling strong and climb up the radio towers road without even getting my heartrate into the 80% range. I am starting to breath a little but not super hard when I get to the top and give the garbage can a victory slap. Were it not for the hazy cloud of the valley I could probably pick out the area my house is in to the east. Today I would have to just settle for seeing the mountains that are around my house off in the distance.
On the way down I have some extra time so I head down San Juan road as I have never been out there. I am surprised to see that it goes down right off the bat. I risk 2 miles of descent down the road and decide I am out of time and that if I am to get to work I need to turn around now. Apparently I had a few more miles to go. The climb back up is not too bad. I think I am a little slower just due to the fact I climbed the towers just before this. At the road junction the helicopter is back and filming the landscape around here. Down in the roadside parking area the filmcrew is sitting outside their cars as I whiz through eyeing the police officer and trying not to whiz too whizzy if you know what I mean.
Soon I am on Dobbins and heading back into this little burg we call Phoenix. The smells of breakfast are gone. Which is ok as the time to eat breakfast is gone too so I will make due with the raisin bran that awaits me in my desk. Breakfast of Champions.