Cycling/Photography related blog. I race at an elite level for road and track. A good portion of the content is original but I also include material that excites me. If you like bikes and photos, we have something in common.
“Perfecting your time-trial position is something that needs persistent work. It doesn’t get optimized through formulas, but rather through constant re-adjustment and vigilance. It’s critical to experiment before the season starts. You can’t just show up to a race and ride your TT bike without having trained on it.
Travel initially started early at 6:00am on Wednesday from Vancouver after a refreshing stay Accent Inns Richmond. The border crossing was brief without any waiting. Driving through the coastal states was much the same a driving through the mainland of BC. The vegetation was lush while the hills became less pronounced as the van went further south. In typical west coast January fashion, the rain was steady and the van heater was used to keep the group comfortable.
Once we reached California the landscape became noticeably more arid, and infra-structurally dense. Our overnight destination to cap off the 16 hour trip was a hotel outside of Sacremento. The next morning, we drove through the some of the flatter industrial farming regions of California and into Arizona. Gone was the green lushness that we were used to on our temperate coast.
The first day for the athletes rode for three hours at a steady pace to clear the travel weary legs and then a Bikram Yoga Tucson session. The following days were a daily mix of climbing, intensity, volume, and pace line riding drills.
Let’s talk about the important details. Tucson has fantastic warm dry riding weather by Canadian standards; however the road surface conditions are less hospitable at times. In general there is much more debris and pavement is cracked from large daily temperature variance. Thankfully for our Team, Russ Hay’s The Bicycle Shop has us fully supplied with Specialized Bicycles tires and tubes, and our Wheaton Chevrolet Buick Cadillac GMC support van is always close by for repairs. In any event, this shouldn’t dissuade an avid racer from choosing it as a destination for early season base.
In my mind one of the biggest draws to Tucson for cycling would be Mt. Lemmon. The grade is steady and the climb in incessant for 21 miles. On the decent, the corners are steady enough to not brake. Hurricane ridge, Cypress or Mt.Seymour are half the height in comparison. So far the outskirts of the city has offered a good range of terrain from flat to rolling to hills. My guess is that this is the reason that many pros are drawn to the region. Speaking of pros, we watched Team Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda’s Tommy D. do three consecutive ascents up Mt. Lemmon today!