Day 10 – “Tuff Enuff” The Fabulous Thunderbirds

Gold Canyon/Apache Junction to Globe, AZ

49 Miles

Some days, the song titles announce themselves to me.  I had not had this song on my list, but somewhere along the road, this song entered my brain, and rattled around in it for hours.

So the question of the day?  Was I “Tuff Enuff?”

The first 12 miles found me rolling out with the big dogs, well, at least I could keep them in my line of sight for the first 10 miles.  And that reinforced to me that I was starting to feel stronger.  The two previous days had not sucked the life out of me, and I was heading to Globe feeling confident.  Strength and confidence was what I would need to get through this day.  The maps, showed several climbs and a 3800 ft elevation gain.  Our map meeting last night provided a bit more food for thought.  A challenging ride was ahead which included multiple climbs, a tunnel, limited or no shoulder and potential for lots of traffic and whizzing cars and trucks aplenty.   A trip not for the faint of heart.

Ok, so there were options if we wanted to ride partially and take a bump.  I was committed to give it a shot, and make my way through the ride, one milestone at a time.  I am happy to say that I did make the entire 49 miles.  BUT, I will also say that it was not without fear, uncertainty and doubt.  (Wendy – FUD Factor works in Sales, as well as this adventure..)

There were 3 miles, that if the devil had presented himself to me with an offer of a ride for my soul — I likely would have taken the offer.  Mile 27 would not, for what seemed like an eternity turn to Mile 28.   There were times that I was stopping not every mile, not every half mile, but every quarter mile just to slog ahead.  Truly a difficult ride.  Thanks to Tonya, my riding buddy who helped me through the 3 miles, and then the final 15 – still no cakewalk – but we churned our way through.

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The scenery was absolutely breathtaking (and not just my huffing and puffing up the climbs).  The benefit of going slow is that you can stop and take photos, which cover up for trying to regain strenngh.   There were these pretty cool white trees amongst the rocks.    We also went through the Tonto National Forest .  We went through the town of Miami, which is home to a large copper mine

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I feel accomplished and exhausted.  I am trying not to look to far ahead – but I know that New Mexico is beckoning and there are several hard rides to come.

Tomorrow is a 78 mile day, but should be a bit kinder…. before.. well.. time for bed…Today, I was tuff enuff .

Day 9- “Bicycle Race” Queen

Phoenix to Gold Canyon

58 Miles

” Bicycle, Bicycle, Bicycle,

I want to ride my bicycle, bicycle, bicycle…”

Today was a spectacular day for a ride, and in the fantasy world that I live in, I would have liked this day to be one of the first of this trip.  58 miles of even terrain, no huge climbs,….ahh..  Lots of urban cycling, so we had to navigate through traffic, and construction, but that was not so bad.  We left Phoenix and winded our way through Paradise Valley and Scottsdale. Spending a bit of time off the main roads and in several residential neighborhoods.  And some of them were quite high end – Wow, there are some beautiful homes in this area.

In Paradise Valley there were tons of people strolling or biking through their neighborhoods on this early Saturday morning.   We continued on through Mesa, where there was a ton of road construction happening – and we had to be on the look out for construction debris – nails, wires etc.

We stopped in a Subway to grab a sandwich and I was able to connect with Helga Parker – who jumped in her car and met us.  I have not seen Helga in many years, but we easily chatted and caught up. She was able to speak a bit of German with one of my traveling companions.  Yesterday was so nostalgic for me, and today with Helga brought it back again.  But what was clear to me, was that although my Mom has been gone for 7 years, she is still ever present through the relationships that she had and the person that she was.  Audrey and Helga, both spoke about Mom, and said that they missed her very much.  These people came out to see me, yes – but they were there because of my Mom.   And for that, again, I am grateful.

Wonderful day – great ride!  First day that my quads were not smoking and I finished as strong as I started.   We are in the midst of  eight days of consecutive riding- with a few hard days to come.  I will take today and enjoy the moment!!

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