Mileage – 59 miles.
After yesterday’s longest ride of the tour the thought of a short 59 miles sounds quite rewarding. However, those 59 miles would see us climbing out of Wickenburg at 2,090′ to Prescott at a height of 5,346′. The first few miles I struggled to find my rhythm and at the first opportunity I stopped at a fuel station for a strawberry milk, a drink that would become my staple diet that day. After the stop, we hit the first long climb, 7.3 miles that could be clearly seen from a distance. It was steep but manageable but it seemed to go on and on and at every turn you thought you had reached the summit only to find it climbing again. I eventually reached the SAG at a little cafe after 24.3 miles and at 4,850′. The next few miles dragged and I felt tired but came across two New Zealand cyclist carrying panniers and tents and the thought of having to cycle with all that extra weight made me feel a lot better. After 42.6 miles we hit a small store where I found several riders making good use of the facilities. Here I consumed another 2 strawberry milks and felt much improved.
Leaving the store we continued to climb and climb, zig zagging our may up the mountain to Prescott. CrossRoads support is fantastic and when you are feeling tired and drained there is nothing better than finding one of their support vehicles sat on the roadside with their staff ready and willing to fill your water bottles or tip cups of icy cold water over you.
The final few miles into Prescott were all downhill and it was just great to coast into the town and find the Springhill Suites by Marriott. That evening 11 of us ate at the local brewery restaurant, sharing our experiences of the tour so far.