Distance – 44 miles.
A short ride today meant a bonus of a 2 hour lie in giving a 09:00 start – whether that was a good thing or not I am not sure as it tended to throw me out of my daily routine. Nevertheless it was nice to have a low mileage day although, once again, it was a day of climbing.
The first 15 miles were basically downhill and Kevin T and I rode together and made good time. Taking the 89A north to Cottonwood we then embarked on a 12 mile climb with several false flats. Kevin likes to ride in 15 minute segments when climbing – I like to take my time and take every opportunity to stop and take photo’s. After 27.0 miles we reached the summit of Mingus Mountain where the SAG was waiting for us. It was a long hard climb but I felt good and was pleased to see that I was 4th to arrive.
After leaving the SAG, the good news was that the remaining 17 miles were all downhil – fantastic. As we descended we could se the red rocks of Sedona in the distance and the zig zag of the road below us. I made full use of the downhill section, taking my time and making frequent stops to take photo’s. We stopped at Jerome, a small village halfway down the mountain that overlooked the valley below and had burger and chips at the Haunted Hamburger, a restaurant that had been recommended to us. The final ride into Cottonwood was fast and furious before arriving at the Best Western.