Good morning good readers. The saga of our quest for El Tour de Tucson's 40 mile ride continues with a few new twists! It's funny how there really is no good time to train sometimes. Our Saturday today has the kids doing something throughout the day. Next week will be just as bad for me. So the early bird must get the worm before he gets too busy.
The boys were amazingly easy to wake up just before dawn. Usually during the week it is really tough to get them up. We had a really busy time of it getting everything together and also installing one of my speedometers on my youngest son's bike. I promised him I would do it in the hopes it would motivate him. It did mostly.
When we finally got to Walgreens it was around 7 and I knew we would need to do this loop in under 2 hours if we were to get my boys to their first gig this morning at the church. I kind of figured at this point the chances of being late were pretty high but moved forward hoping it would work out.
My youngest son took great relish in calling out how far we had gone as we began our 6 mile climb up to Usery Pass. I am proud to say we stopped a lot less this time and there was zero whining. We saw several packs of riders cruise through as we neared the top of the pass one guy smiled and made a crack about child abuse which was funny because they were a lot more jazzed this week.
Near the top my youngest gave me his coat again. Not too long after I snapped the above picture I dropped his coat. I told them to keep going (since they were only going about 20 mph I figured I'd catch up quick). After retrieving the coat I peddled like a madman and had almost caught them when my pump came loose. So, after retrieving the pump, I peddled like a maniac again, and this time I caught up much to my son's amazement.
My oldest son conquers King Kong
We didn't have a glorious tailwind this week on the back side unfortunately. Still the boys did good as they were looking forward to dropping down Little Kong. We managed about 10-12 mph most of the way and stopped at the bottom of big Kong to shift them into their granny gears and down some cookies and gatorade. Then we attacked the hill (which holds 9% for a good stretch). I told the boys to go as far as they could and they could walk from there.
My first son was a ways ahead of us when I started out with the younger one. I told him I'd be happy if they made it past the stop sign since that's where the first one stopped to walk last week. I was amazed to see my boy ahead pass the stop sign and keep pushing strongly up the hill. I talked to my nearest son about setting intermediate goals on this hill. Mentally telling yourself you'll make it to the stop sign, then the next power pole, then the speed limit sign, and after that..... the top. I stared on in amazement as they passed each mark and kept going. Just before the top we caught the front son and I was just able to get far enough ahead of him to snap a picture as he hit the canal bridge at the top. But wait, there's more.
I kept up with the congratulations and atta boys as we moved down the road and then a few of the riders that had been approaching from behind caught up to us and asked me how old they were. I confess I about burst my jersey zipper with pride as I said they were 8. This led to an interesting conversation. Turns out one of them was a cycling coach and had a junior cycling team. He said the age cutoff was 10 years old for racing but they were welcome to come train with them if they wanted to in the meantime. Interesting... I might have to mull that one over. My only issue is we don't ride on Sundays and a lot of races are on Sunday. I guess we have a few years before we have to worry about that though huh?