The camp is filled with tired faces and bodies. It’s been a fun but taxing few days. And the ride today really pushed most of us to our limits in terms of training stress. The first 40k of the ride was mostly downhill, including a really fun and fast straightaway where we pushed along at 50km/h for 15k or so. But every bit of descending is countered with an equal amount of climbing. Into the town of Fountain Hills the route changed from gentle rollers to punchy climbs. The “highlight” being an 18% wall that really sucked the life out of the legs.
The rest of the ride was a gradual uphill climb. 40k at 2 – 4% weaving through Scottsdale and back to Carefree for lunch.
Our lunch stop for the day was The Grotto Café. Another great spot. Ryan and Sara have really got the lunch spots dialed in.
As our ride took longer than expected our schedule for the afternoon was a bit scrambled. However we had time for Mike and I to get a Compex massage, and to relax for a while.
For dinner we went to El Encanto: a local Mexican restaurant with a cool open air dining area. The food and service was excellent. Continuing the trend of my travelling companions spilling drinks, Bjug dumped a pitcher of frozen margarita on the table. (For those keeping score, Steve spilled multiple drinks on our trip in 2012 to Le Tour.)
Post-dinner Bjug, Mike and I hit up the hotel bar for a little wind down at the end of a long day.