Arizona, you have broken my heart twice now. I was "mishap prepared" this time around and ready to ITT last Tuesday. I was mostly just craving the solitude of simply being out on my bike for three days. I felt very little fatigue on Rainier and my legs were stronger than I thought they would be when riding in Seattle afterwards. My shuttle rides came together at the last minute and then someone started a huge fire affecting the Canelo Hills and access to the start. The report put the fire at 10,000 acres and 0% contained late Tuesday. Parker Canyon Lake was scheduled to be closed until June 1st. I learned of this as I was on my way to the airport, packed and ready to fly out. I froze up for a minute and took the nearest exit off I-70. I pulled into a parking lot and just sat in complete disbelief for a couple of minutes. I was cognizant of, but really did not expect a fire to jack up my week.
I had around thirty minutes to make a decision whether or not to go ride anyway and just skip the first 31 miles of the route. I went back and forth. Why was I going? Let’s not beat around the bush. If you have read any of my blog, or know me, it is no secret I was going for a run at the women’s record. I didn’t want to do the AZ 270, I wanted the full AZ 300 to finish. A short conversation with my good friend and racing partner, Erick, really helped me look at it from a few different perspectives.
Thus, going to Tucson would be just to train and I really have zero desire to ride in the desert heat for no real reason. Since I live minutes from a fantastic trail system in Jefferson County on which to train, I slowly turned around and started heading west back home. Melancholy and introspective on the way home, I really wanted to spend my birthday finishing the AZT 300, but began reckoning with the notion that this year it was just not to be…
Talk about all dressed up and no place to go L
Time to shift my focus and newly acquired bikepacking experience to the big dance in August!