© 2023 State Bicycle Co..
A Photo Blog by State Bicycle Co. Sponsored Rider, Thomas Keating (photos shot with Yashica T5D)
The ride got off to a slow start due to lack of sunlight and while introductions were had, everyone started to prepare for the long day ahead.
One of the highlights of the ride was the presence of Professional Cyclings and 2x National Champ, Eric Marcotte (wearing his National Team Kit). Only a select few would be able to hang with Eric for the full duration of the ride.
Just before the ride really started to heat up and get serious, the group was treated to a beautiful Arizona sunrise. The sun started to creep by the seemingly neverending farm fields on the edge of Phoenix.
Over the fence or under the gate? What's your preferred method of taking a leak? While Reiley Pankratz suffered the first of a few flats for the day, Cody Goodman and Mehdi took advantage of the drop in pace in order to take a quick nature break.
Reiley was ready to roll and excited for what lay ahead after Cody and I were finally able to fix her flat.
Mehdi and others waited in the shade for the supplies truck to roll by while Constantin was busy checking on his troops from ASU cycling. At just past the midpoint of the ride, everyone was in high spirits about finishing the ride off strongly. Riley found her twin, so she's stoked.
After the well deserved midpoint stop, everyone rallied around each other and got back on the road. Although it was the hardest portion of the ride (with buffeting headwinds and large rollers) , I ended up being very pleased with my relatively light ratio of 48x16.
For me, as well as the rest of those on the ride, Circle K was a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel. Refreshments and snacks were had by all and as more riders trickled in, others started to embark on the last leg of the ride. While predominantly downhill, there were still a few hills left for riders to suffer up before making it to the finish.
After successfully getting everyone and all the bikes loaded up to Phoenix, I rode over to the hotel in order to get ready to grub at El Charo Cafe. I savored every bit of Mexican food on my plate and headed back to the hotel. Sleep is essentially when you are your own transport back home.
Stay tuned for a write up on the return trip (with less than ideal weather).