Today’s ride was from Gila Bend AZ to Globe AZ. The ride began with a long, steady climb from the desert floor up to the high desert, which was more scenic. The day began with the winds out of the south, but by late morning it had shifted to the west, making for more favorable conditions. Most of the middle of today’s ride was flat, but then, approaching Globe there was a long, steep climb of over 3000 feet. I rode 145 miles today in exactly 9 hours. While I was the 4th rider in today, Marc Pattinson has established himself as a truly elite rider. He arrived here 45 minutes before I did. My legs are a little sore, but so far, I believe that I’m riding at a pace I can sustain for the tour. While tomorrow is our toughest climbing day with over 11,000 feet of climbing, I’m looking forward to it because we leave the desert for awhile and will get into some pine forests.
I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned it yet, but Lon and Susan, the tour directors – as well as the entire crew, are simply fantastic. Everything is so well organized and I feel well taken care of. Yesterday, Tom, one of the crew members who I has spoken to about why I was doing this ride, said to me – “Good job on the ride today Richard, your buddy would have been really proud of you.” I was very touched. Charles’ spirit is out here with me always.