Wednesday, June 13, 2007

June 13, 2007 (Day 4)

Today's ride was from Globe AZ to Springerville, AZ. Phew!!! A tough day. It was all about climbing, climbing and more climbing. We began the day at 3700 feet in elevation and climbed to 6500 feet in the first 24 miles. We then descended into Salt River Canyon. It's incredibly beautiful - sort of like a mini Grand Canyon. Of course, when you ride to the bottom of a canyon, you have to climb out! So, over the next 25 miles we went back up 3500 feet. Lunch was great today - I don't know how they do it but we had grilled cheese sandwiches! After lunch, still more climbing all the way up to 9230 feet. It was hard work, but the scenery was well worth the effort. Most of the afternoon I was riding through Ponderosa Pine forests, and even got up into the Aspens.

The pay-off today was at the end of the ride, as there was an easy, 15 mile descent into Springerville at 7000 feet. Once again I was the 3rd rider in today - which I must admit I am very proud of because I've worked very hard at my climbing. Tomorrow morning, after about 15 miles, we cross into New Mexico and ride to Socorro. I'm looking forward to the end of the ride, as my mom and dad will be there to meet me for dinner.

Some unfortunate news to report. Fred Metheny and Ed Pavelka of were riding together yesterday when Ed's front wheel touched Fred's rear wheel and Big Ed went down. It turns out he broke his hip and will need hip replacement surgery. I had dinner with Fred this evening and he said Ed is doing just fine - but terribly disappointed that he'll miss the rest of this tour and the cycling season. We heard the news at breakfast this morning and all the riders and crew here on the Elite tour are wishing Ed a speedy recovery.