Night 80- Benson, Arizona
38 miles or 85? Let’s check the conditions. . . 38 it is.
Can’t have tail winds every day. Back to 23 mph head winds. Now featuring a bit of climbing. And to spice it up, the greatest winds will be during your descent so you still have to pedal…
Okay, so I think I found the best way to explain headwinds to non-cyclist. Imagine you are walking in a neck deep creek. There is a slight current. Standing still takes a little effort. Moving up stream takes decent effort and you can’t really go too fast. If you want to go faster, you just kind of wriggle a little more, use way more energy, and don’t really move much faster.
Now let’s talk about these pretty mountains and why we had to pedal to go down hill. We had a rest stop at the top of a hill. Nearly 30 miles of just climbing between and over hills. Some were still holding on to their snow from the other day, but most of them had shed it in the 60 degree afternoon sun.
Arizona definitely has a special beauty. While my legs don’t enjoy how tightly packed the peaks are to one another, my brain does. Now when a peak comes into view we are only staring at/approaching it for 1 hour instead of 3 hours. Only so long you can stare at the same pile of rocks. So today was a nice change of pace.
After our lunch, we took off over the last main peak of our day. Suddenly the rocks transformed. Now we were surrounded in wind shaped boulders. Some balancing precariously on one another. If I could have taken a picture of every single one, I would. But for the sake of time and traffic whizzing by, I only took pictures of every other rock.
Once the wonder faded, the reality set in. We had 7 miles of down hill ahead of us, which is usually a glorious thing, but as soon as we rounded the boulder field the wind stopped us. Rolling down the side of the mountain and we had to pedal through the current to make progress down the slope. Wild.
It wasn’t all bad. It was a pretty warm day. A novelty that only lasts until you start soaking the cold weather layers you had with sweat because it’s been windy and in the 30s and 40s for the last week. Not too bad though. I just really like flying down really long slopes.
Wind aside, 38 miles still isn’t too far so we found ourselves in Benson and the Red Barn RV park before 4 pm. Grab some morning snacks at the gas station and set up for the night. We had a little rain and wind at night, but nothing we haven’t seen before. I’m just glad we were already set up before the storm.
Here’s to riding into Tucson and better weather for tomorrow’s forecast. I hope the day was nice for everyone else. I’ll see you all tomorrow.
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