Going out of the saddle is not always faster

This is the second installment of Tuesdays and Thursdays on the Lemmon for 2017.  Tuesday was a great day weatherwise but unfortunately no one joined me for the ride.  On the way up to 7 Cats, I only passed 10 cyclists.  With the rains on the northeast side of Tucson, the water cascading off the mountain was in full glory. As I’m getting ready, I’m hearing the water falls at 7 Cats.

What a great sight and sound from the mountain.  Then I look up only to see an ice rainbow.


As I leave, I notice the wind is in my face.  More often than not at most times of the year, I do feel wind coming down the valley towards the view point.  Anyway I decide to head up the mountain as the 7 AM clock as struck.  Heading out, I decide that today I’ll try to do what I’ve alluded to in earlier posts, I’ll stand a little.  So milepost 10 comes and I stand.  Passing the nice waterfall on the left side of the road.  I don’t stop.  On I go up to 11.  I sit down, relieved once again.  The road lets up in it’s grade from 11 to 12 so I chug along somewhat faster then before.  Around the corner at 12 and 6000 feet in the air, I stand again.  Trudging up to 13, getting relief there again.  I don’t have any more plans for standing today.  Yet, there are stretches that I do stand for short periods of time to stretch and relax. I decide that I should ride up for an hour and see how far that takes me.  Shortly after milepost 16, an hour comes and I see 7.1 miles on the odo.  Well, not bad for a pace for me.

I’m trying to loose weight after the races in San Diego and as of Tuesday I’m down 7 pounds.  I’ve been embracing the hunger and also going on these rides in a fasting state, with no energy drink on the bike.  Something’s working.

On the way back down, I decided to stop at the water fall I passed on the left.  Here’s what I saw.

Thursday’s weather was equally great, but no breeze hitting my face as I went up the canyon from 7 Cats.  I decided, no standing for a mile today.  My goal was to ride to Palisades. I’m not really trying to do any better then Tuesday, but at the end of the hour, I’ve added over a quarter of a mile on the mountain.  I guess standing for me isn’t always faster.  I think what happens is I’m going slower after the standing periods trying to recover which makes me slower overall or it was the breeze pushing me up to Windy Point or the next pound off my frame, who knows.  It’s a guess!

Today, I have 36 other riders on the mountain with me.  I make it up to Palisades, about 3 minutes behind my Garmin Virtual Training Partner, Jim Ostrem.  Perhaps someday I’ll get him.

As I come back down near the HooDoos, who’s coming up the mountain but Penny and Sharon.  I’m starting to feel that this is a usual Thursday ride for them as well.

Again this year, I’m blown away what the rains can do for the vegetation.  Here’s a shot just up from the Molino Basin Campground.


That’s it for this week.