Tucson Day One

What a great day! The weather here is beautiful and there is not a single cloud in the sky. We woke early and had breakfast at the hotel, which was fine with the exception of the coffee. I guess I am truly addicted to Starbucks. After breakfast Michelle and Ben and Scott got to work setting up their bikes, which they had shipped in boxes, while I paced anxiously for my rental to arrive. I half expected a big Kmart bike with streamers on the handlebars and a big basket. Thankfully, the bike arrived and it was completely respectable. Respectable, that is, until I put my yellow saddle on, and the purple pedals from Paul’s bike, which he lent to me when my own would not budge. Michelle has now started calling me Princess Andrea, and the Clown Bike.We were all itching to go for a ride, and Bob and Jim (friends who are here with their wives Margaret and Sophie) came to join us for a short ride. We rode through town to Saguaro National Park, famous for the Saguaro cacti that grow here (and only here). They are enormous, which is incredible considering how slowly they grow. Many of the big ones must be hundreds of years old. They are the cool cacti of western movies and Roadrunner cartoons.Our ride started later than we wanted, but we needed to get back to hit a triathlon store before the rider meeting back at the hotel. It was a great store with tons of awesome bikes. There was a small “expo” being held outside, and Ben and I were checking out some Felt bikes being rep’d by one of Lance’s old mechanics from the old days. Awesome. Too bad neither of us had $7000 to spend on a bike today.
We piled into Bob’s car and headed back to the hotel for the rider meeting, where Lon, one of the owners of PAC Tours laid down the law and let us know what to expect for the next week. Which is apparently bleeding, sunburned lips and very, very sore legs. It felt like the first day of school, when you are so overwhelmed with logistics and details you feel like a total retard. There are a million little things that could get lost or forgotten, and I just need to trust it will all start to make sense once we get going. Tomorrow we leave early in the morning for Tombsone, an 85 mile ride and will climb 4,000 feet. Apparently the hardest ride of the week. He cautioned to take it easy, being the first day and all, and I plan on doing just that. It could be a very long week if I go too hard tomorrow.

After the meeting we had a bit of time to relax in our rooms, then Bob/Margaret and Jim/Sophie picked us up to go to a Mexican restaurant for dinner. The one they had picked was downtown and was full, so we went to a different one farther away. The food was great and the conversation lively. Tired now and hoping for a better sleep than last night. Tomorrow will be a big day.