There have been a lot of training rides leading up to this point: Serious sufferfests, like repeated climbs of South Mountain, and long boring rides circling South Mountain. But the best rides have been with friends and relatives. And the very best was today when I went riding in scorching heat of the Usery Pass/Bush Highway area with Lisa Stapley Randall Hatch, a lifelong friend.
We started out at the bottom of the hill leading up to Usery Pass and quickly ran into our first of 3 herds of wild horses. On the road toward Saguaro lake we ran into more horses and the very first Coatimundi either of us had ever seen. Then on our way back down to our cars, we pedaled past our very first in-the-road rattlesnake–coiled up and ready to strike. Being the brave girls that we are, we circled back for a photo and had our cameras at the ready when, out of nowhere, a massive pickup truck flew up the road and spoiled our fun. He took aim and ran right over that snake, causing a loud snake explosion that sent the snake flying through the air toward us as we both screamed in horror. As we sped away, I glanced back to see that the snake was still moving. Felt kind of bad leaving it there, but we were traumatized.
Lisa’s summary of our ride was poetic: 28 miles, mostly uphill, 3 packs of wild horses, a raccoon/monkey coatimundi (true, look it up), rattlesnake exploding in front of us cuz it got ran over, and gorgeous scenery–all before 10 am. The day is young, what next?
Can’t wait to ride with her again! Only a few more training rides left before San Diego.