At the end of the Ripsey day I had crawled into my sleeping bag shivering and with a belly bulging with food. It took me a while to fall asleep with my heart beating fast. I woke up in the middle of the night with a dry mouth and with a full bladder.
In the morning I felt worked. Legs stiff and tired, eyes puffy, brain thick and foggy. We loaded up and rolled back down the Freeman Road, crossed back over the San Pedro River and hit highway 77 back toward Oracle.
On the way back south, I called AdventureLee because we had been talking about making another attempt to ride together Tuesday. Gary and I had already agreed that neither of us felt strong enough to do anything remotely epic, but we were into doing something light, and wanted Lee to be there if he could. He told me that he really had some important work that he could do, and the 2 hour round trip just for a short ride didn't seem like a great bargain. He told us to call and let him know what we decided to do, but that he'd probably stay home and work. Then he told me about a good restaurant in Oracle. I had eaten some cold cereal before we left, but a real hot breakfast sounded heavenly.
After breakfast we went to my friend Jake's house in Oro Valley. Jake and his wife Tracy live in Salida during the months when our weather is good, and Tucson when their weather is good. Doesn't that sound like a good idea?
I had brought Jake's singlespeed from Salida, and it had ridden on the rack on the back of the tPOD through two significant wet weather systems. I delivered the bike, and Gary and I accepted an invitation to stay for the night. Then we got in touch with Scott Morris and worked out a plan to go ride a fun place, Sweetwater, which is a Pima County resource designed by Mark Flint (yep, there's that name again).
Gary and I rode over there with Jake, met Scott, and had a blast. It was just about exactly as much as my legs had energy for. And it was really fun. The weather was sweet, but just like Saturday night, that didn't mean that there wasn't crappy weather on the way.
The Wednesday rain system made itself known at dawn. It wasn't raining exactly, but the sky was gray and the smell of rain was there. Gary talked to Scott, and he suggested that we could ride, Starr Pass being mentioned as a good idea. But I was feeling even more worked over than Tuesday morning. As most of us endurance ride junkies know, the morning after the morning after is when the real extent of one's tiredness and pain is felt. Riding, especially a ride that might be interrupted by a big 'ol rain storm, just didn't sound good to me.
My next destination was southern California to visit my parents and do a century ride on Saturday. I had promised them that I would be there by nightfall (5 hour drive from Tucson). Gary was going to head home as soon as we wrapped up our riding.
So that was that. Jake fed us one tasty waffle after another, then Gary headed out, east on I-10. I yakked with Jake for a few hours, then headed out, west on I-10. 25 miles out of Tucson I rode into torrential rain. It was the 3rd big, wet weather system I'd been subjected to in the last 7 days.
I made the folks place by dinnertime. Road Trip Part II began.