Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tucson '09 -- Jose's perspective

The book is officially closed on the first ever Bluesky cycling camp in Tucson, AZ. What a very cool time it was. Some old friends, lots of new faces. The end result.....good friends and stronger cyclists.

Day -1: Barry and Mike Dancel arrive and set off camp with an 80 mile ride. Things were mostly Ok except that Barry forgot sunscreen and Mike forgot who he was riding with.

Day 0: Jose joins the fun. With Tucson being such a huge sprawling town, there are few options for us so we choose to preview Mt. Lemmon since Barry won't make the actual Mt. Lemmon day. 20 mile climb with 6000ft of climbing in that stretch. How was it? It all depends on who you talk to. Barry: blistered the pavement with his pace. Jose: not too bad...just a 5% grade climb (and I didn't do the previous day's ride). Mike: back sore, legs sore after previous day's ride...hate climbing! But he stuck it out and did a darn good job. Day's mileage: 50 miles.

At this point, a trend is starting: wake up, bike, back around noon, shower, eat lunch, nap, eat dinner, hang out a bit, sleep, repeat. A hard life!
Later that night, the Abraham/Dancy/Scroeger wagon arrives with killer trailer and bikes on hand. Now camp really starts:

Day 1: This was supposed to be a day for the travelling folk to loosen their legs.

Let's go!!

Today we went to Saguaro National Park. It was an easy ride. Here, some people are missing. I'm taking the picture, Mike is getting water, Paul hadn't met up with us yet. But where's Barry? Barry had a bit of a mishap. He woke up not feeling well, but still tried to ride. He made it 10 miles from the hotel and turned around. Something about a fever or something? I don't know. I don't know why he didn't shake it off. What's a 101deg fever? Certainly can still ride with that! Oh well. He missed out on all that saguaro cactus and Kevin doing his Will Farrell skits for us. 'Snowcone, Snowcone?' Day's mileage: 50 miles

Day 2: So we have some photos of the moment before the ride, but none for the ride since we were planning to do a local group ride. Today was to be the 'Shootout' Ride. I should add that at this point, Kevin and Isaac are not at the hotel. They are in some house with 3 kids, 2 wives and a big happy family. The point here is they have to ride to the hotel to meet us. The shootout starts in downtown Tucson--about 8 miles away--at 7:00AM. Kevin and Isaac show up at 6:45. Do you think we made it to the group ride? I should say we tried, but it was not to be. That was not gonna stop us from riding the shootout route.

Jim: ready to rumble!

Mike: let me at 'em!

Paul: (yawn) Give me a break

Never Fear....Scroeger is here!!

Some mean hombres lookin' fur uh fight!

So what actually happened? Well, we miss the shootout by minutes!!!! But we soldier on and take on that route anyway. Along the way, the remains of the main group are coming off. As they come off, they turn around and just go straight back. We keep truckin' but never see the group. We are nearly in Mexico where the course finally turns back toward Tucson. We are now on the Nogales Highway heading north and motoring like a well-oiled paceline should. We get back to Tucson in no time and then the real challenge to cross the sprawl that is Tucson. Our hotel is in the North eastern most corner of town and we are now at the south central tip of Tucson. we recognize any street names? Well, we could go due east and work our way around that way. We know the area from yesterday. But that's a long way around town. If we do that, we will surely do a century for the day, which was not the plan. Well, needless to say we had a few dead ends and turn arounds along the way. We eventually find a road we KNOW goes straight north and has a bike lane. Day's mileage: 80!!!!! And all remaining souls finished the whole thing.

Day 3: Mt. Lemmon...take 2! This time it's for real and it's personal. No pictures, no stories. Just 20 miles with 6000ft of climbing. There was some word that there was some town at the top where you could get pie. Did I get pie? No. Did Kevin or Isaac get pie? No. One of us did though and he totally earned it. Way to go Eric!!!! Day's mileage: 60 miles

Day 4: Recovery day through Saguaro National Park....Snowcone, Snowcone? Snowcone anyone? Day's mileage: 50 miles

Day 5: Out west through the other Saguaro National Park.

What's going on in the real world?

Need food....and sleep

I didn't get any naps this whole time!! last time kidz!

Today's ride had a 'little' bump in the road. Here are some pics of that....

After a few flats and a long hot day out west of Tucson, we head back to the hotel. Day's mileage: 65 miles.

Whose legs are fried? Who is sunburnt? Who is over trained? Who had fun? Who would do it again?

Later that night, we pack up the trailer and call it a camp!!

A job well done everyone! Many Thanks to Coach Kevin (or Captain Abraham) for coordinating such a great camp. Everything went so well. And EXTRA SPECIAL THANKS to Nola, Derrick, and Jennifer. We really do appreciate it.

3/18 update:
Here are some pics of how feverish Barry really was:


Marty said...

Jose, thanks for a great write-up! That looks rockin'. You guys are now officially ready to open the proverbial can of whoop-ass.

Turkey Dave said...

Truly awesome!
I'm so jealous.

So, whats the skinny? Who's fit now ??? Why did you let Scroger win the pie?? :-)

Barry are you ok?

Thanks for letting me live vicariously through you guys!!!

jasonod said...

Great write-up Jose! Maybe I'll get to join you guys in 2010.

Jose said...


Dancel and Jennings and McGarry really benefited the most from this. I could see the difference in their abilities from start to finish.

No one LET Scrog take it. He just rode away from us one by one, people stopped responding. We were so tired and frustrated that we never made it to the pie place!!! Scroeger was up there by himself! HA!

I think Barry is feeling much better now.

We missed all ya'll. I do recommend and hope to see more of you next year

Aharmon said...

That's it. I'm committing to cross nationals '09, Blue Sky training camp, and Gila. I can't miss anymore of these awesome trips with you guys.