My bride and I completed the 45 mile stretch of the Taylor House ride on Saturday. We've been riding again for several months and had worked our way up to 40 mile Saturday morning rides around Winslow. They were not adequate preparation for me to face the 1,000+ foot climb up to Wupatki, starting at about 6,000 ft.
My bride, who is 6 years my junior and in much better physical shape, had no real difficulty. I thought I would die. Then I was afraid I wouldn't. The only reason I didn't get off and walk, is because I was going too slowly and I was too tired to be sure I could unclip and dismount without falling over. When we turned around the downhill went really quickly - then after it leveled out, there was a swift headwind all the way back to Flag. When we returned they had a very nice lunch waiting for us. I was so tired it took me an hour to eat a sandwich and a bowl of fruit.
We will continue to ride and train. We plan to ride the Tour of Tucson later this year. At least there will be oxygen!