This post could just as easily be titled “A Farewell to Wickenburg”, because it’s definitely getting toasty here, and higher altitudes beckon. So, today I hope to be packing up, hitching up, and reluctantly moving on.
I’ll miss this area not only for it’s beauty and equine orientation, but I’ll even miss that long climb from downtown up the four miles to camp. Kinda, anyway. Whatever day I’d bike on an errand to town, I’d see at least one cyclist on a road bike working their way uphill. They use this thing to keep in shape. Naturally, they weren’t inching up in low-low, teetering left and right as they wheezed along. They were making good time, and smoothly. Once a valve blows or something else brings your show to a close, it’s somehow comforting to see other people still carrying on and enjoying the physical challenge and feedback. Sounds weird, but there’s just something about pouring yourself into those pedals at a carefully-metered maximum in order to cover the most ground in the least time. That sensation of digging deep to go just a little faster this time without burning through your reserve. That performance sensation requires everything to be working at least decently, but I did note that my return times were inching downward trip by trip. The feeling is no longer there and can’t be, but it’s nice to maintain pace where breaks to recover once ruled.
So very cool Doug, especially the hawk. What a treat to get to watch that. I know what you mean about gradual improvement in one’s fitness level. I have broken a barrier this week myself, in finally reaching my training heart rate and beginning to sweat again. I can’t remember the last time I would sweat with a slight workout… it was just too slight to impact my body. But since leaving Q, I have lost almost 20 pounds and my training program for the AZ Trail is well underway. My near goal is to work out for four hours a day… eventually over the next six months get it up to eight hours a day. At first it will not be for speed or distance, just endurance… since I will be walking at least eight hours a day on the trail. I’m ironing the kinks out of my body… and building muscle along my spine and in my right shoulder has almost gotten rid of pain I did have. I am beginning to get excited about the new challenges I am facing, kayaking Hawaii next month, and then hiking the Arizona Trail in 2015. Glad to see you continuing to push yourself on the bike and I continue to love your photos.
Thanks, Swankster, and wow! Twenty pounds!?! Your determination is sobering. Very, very impressive! I no longer have a “training heart rate” myself, but try to hit some discomfort point around a pathetic 132-ish and stick with it for awhile. My heart’s now inefficient enough with a bad valve that a more appropriate peak heart rate for my age group will send it into full race way early, dropping efficiency from like 65% to 15% – and suddenly you’re getting a good look at the ground textures. But really, when you’re muscles are in bad enough shape, they’ll die long before even that, so that’s where my own creeping improvements are coming from – that and altering my diet for more energy. Keep going, and remind me never to disagree with whatever you say!
OK, I’ll hold you to that… never disagreeing with me. I like that. I, myself, and astonished at the changes in just five weeks even. Not hard to make this diet changes when you can see such an amazing change in your body, that fast. Keep up the good work youself.
Nice pictures. It appears to be a trained bird.
Thanks, JR. I was astonished when I saw the lead, and kept thinking, “That CAN’T be! Nobody actually does that any more!” Wrong!