Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Riding the Vortex
So I have a few pictures to post of the fun from this past weekend's MS Ride The Vortex event in the Cottonwood/Sedona area. Unfortunately, my camera spent most of its time wrapped in plastic.
The Friday night forecast called for rain all night, but Saturday morning it was cold but the streets were dry. The clouds tumbling over Mingus Mountain looked a bit frightening, but hey it was dry! So we started out hopeful on the 65 mile Sedona loop.
Sometime after the first rest stop, it began to lightly rain. Very fine mist actually. A Seattle-kind of rain. Then came the sleet. Oh joy.
Sometime before Oak Creek, the sleet changed to hail. At least, that's what we called it based on the fact that even though it looked like large sleet, the particles were bouncing on the pavement (don't know if that's the legal definition of hail, but it sounds good to me).
At the rest stop in Oak Creek, the ride organizers put a hold on anyone proceeding any further until a snow squall passing through Sedona eased up. So we stood around a bike store warming up for about 30 minutes until the course was reopened, and discussed how good an idea this ride sounded back in January.
We pedaled out of Oak Creek in a snow shower, and then in Sedona we made the turn south into the wind for the first time. Now it's pretty much downhill from Sedona to Cottonwood, but you wouldn't have known that Saturday. If you stopped pedaling downhill, the wind stopped you. The snow did ease up as we made the decent.
So eight hours after leaving the Verde Valley Fairgrounds, we completed the 65 miles. What a day. But at least there were no volcanoes erupting...