Thank you Hannah Clarke

Thank you Hannah Clarke

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mt. Lemmon

Today I decided to take the challenge of going up the longest climb around; Mt. Lemmon. Lemmon is one of the more legendary climbs in the states, and has apparently been ranked 395th globally (stats here). Once upon a time Lance Armstrong-you may have heard of him in the news lately as the celebrity who confessed it all -
  lived in a cabin at the top and spent his winter training there. As the first link says, the mountain climb itself is about 52km long, and the vertical gain is around 2km. It was a cloudy day here, but I didn`t realize what consequences that means for the top of the climb...

The climb was a long steady one, and the terrain was beyond what I even thought it could be. I started out in the desert, with a temperature of 23C, and as I climbed higher I passed through a pine forest, then back to a snowy scrubland. The whole way up rock formations were amazing, and watching the road swirl down the mountain behind me made me pretty excited to go downhill. I had never been on a mountain large enough    that I needed to put layers on while climbing! The climb got more and more interesting as I slowly ascended into the clouds from the desert below. I knew that I was getting pretty high in altitude when my glasses started fogging up for no reason, and snow became apparent along the sides of the road. Probably the most exciting part of the ascent was my discovery of where the saying “leaping lizards” came from. This is how it happened:

I was minding my own business thinking about how far it is till I hit the clouds when BAM! A lizard just jumped off a rock beside the road. Dumbfounded, i just said...leaping lizards? Because what else can you say?

Summerhaven at the top, because that's the only place of acceptable temperatures here in the summer!

notice the amazing wind erosion structure, and the rock climbing ties in

Looking back...

It was cold at the top of the mountain in the clouds

22 miles of downhill, the real test isn't the climb, it's the freezing descent!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Arizona update

Well the trip was long, and so have been the rides since I got here in the Desert. Life in Tucson is simple; we wake up, eat, play The Settlers of Catan, ride, eat, and play again. Every day. There are 6 of us total in a 3 bedroom 1 floor house; me and a bunch of pro road guys. Living with the guys has taught me several things about riding, training, and focus. Tucson is awesome, it’s a city right in between several mountain ranges, and surround in cactuses. Temperature here is pretty crazy – it’s arid so you don’t realize that you’re sweating, and the temperature fluctuates more than 20C between day and night. Riding temperatures are always beautiful, but the wind plays tricks on me and my jersey tan is getting bad. I’ve spent over 30 hours on the bike since last Tuesday (check out my new gadget on the right to see where I’ve been. I have seen a lot of interesting things here – cactuses, lizards, road runners, cactuses, eagles, quails, and of course Brandon Spencer.
Here are a few of my favourite pictures so far.

Snowstorm in New Mexico
Flying Dinosaurs in the State of Arizona

Made it!
Burrito place not 100m from the house, living pretty close to Mexico

Cactuses and mountains

Anton, always classy.

Brandon(white helmet) causing problems

Off days at the coffee shop

Real live picture of a road runner, I swear.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Dusting off the blog and my car!

Since I last blogged, I've finished my degree in Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph, I've acquired a vehicle, and Christmas has happened. Now that I've graduated, it's time for adventure! And what's adventure without a bike, and a far off destination? I've been lucky enough to procure an invite to a place in Arizona for a few months, so I'm loading up the car and heading out with some guys down south! I have two travel buddies - 
Anton the Manton...
Who loves the beach, 
Enjoys fine champagne,
Pizza Parties
Roll playing,
And, of course, winning. all of the time.

The second guy in the car is a bit of a mystery at the moment, his name is Yuri, but I'm sure he's going to be a good time. More to come of the trip soon!