Thanksgiving Roundup

It’s been quite a week. Enduring fatigue from trail surveying (not to mention all the riding before it!) started things out on the low energy side. And things only went down from there. No complaints here though. Excess energy is wasted energy, right?

11/25, 8am – Left from home, en route to meet Chad, who was already in progress on the TMP Rock n’ Road Challenge loop. We had switched plans to the TMP epic on a last minute whim.

photo by Chad Brown

It was a good choice. This is an incredibly fun loop. I’ve raced it hard twice this year, so it was nice to keep a more reasonable pace, getting a better feel for the flow of the route.

I’m not sure I’ve seen Chad as broken as he was rolling into the Saguaro NP visitor center. Not even during the Grand Loop. I thought he might cry when the coke machine didn’t even try to take our dollar bills.

Chad has an uncanny ability to knock out back-to-back endurance races/rides, but it was good to see that he is human after all (he was fresh off a 2nd place at the McDowell Monstercross just a few days earlier). Everyone has their days though, and he struggled a bit with a ~crash, some SS gear issues and a buckle that refused to stay on his shoe.

photo by Chad Brown

Since we started and ended at different spots, and this season’s record on the TMP loop is up for grabs, the current record holder would be determined by who rode the ‘solo’ portion of the loop fastest. Chad gets bonus points for trying to trick me into thinking he rode it slowly (I had no way of telling), and it almost worked.

I had an ailing car and injured cat to attend to at home, plus the December sun was dropping like a bullet. Plenty of motivation to dig into the pedals on the gasline. A subtle change in this year’s route was the sucker punch of the day. Nothing like cresting a hill expecting to see pavement, but instead finding yourself staring stupid at a likely unrideable monster hill. Awesome.

I rolled back home just before dark, with 77 miles on the GPS. We were going to drive to Utah after Paula’s race the next morning, but the car, cat and imminent exhaustion made that seem all but impossible.

11/26 – 7:30a – Paula calls from the race. She left her race number (#1) at home. Good thing I hadn’t left yet. I was expecting a nice mellow cruise through Tucson’s neighborhoods to get to the race. Recovery ride, right? Instead I was mashing pedals on the basket bike, making sure I made it to the race with time to spare. Luckily it was Thanksgiving, one of three mornings of the year when the city is empty and silent. I rode straight down Country Club, a road I would never cycle on any other day.

The Thanksgiving XC classic is my favorite second favorite* Tucson running race, and it’s getting to be a big race. Paula has won it five times and has the course record.

* My new favorite is soon to be Paula’s own race, the Sub 4 Pedestrian Mile which is coming right up — Dec 19th.

jumping paula

Hay bales, water jumps, multi-loop, it’s a dream for a guy on a bike following his girl gunning for the win. Paula did end up second to a UA runner who nearly beat the course record. It was a good race.

Once home we were both wiped out. No way St. George was going to happen that day, and perhaps not at all. My parents had a clear vision though, and Paula’s mom was around to watch over the injured Noseman. We flew to Vegas and shuttled to St. George the next morning.


St. George is one of my favorite places to ride. Even if it’s on a 26″, too small bike (one of my Dad’s). Just a bit of additional challenge. That’s my Dad in the pic above, still riding strong despite his youth! He rocks.

Beautiful colors and dynamic conditions. Paula had no problem keeping up with us on the ride. Definitely a sign of her speed, but also a sign that we were riding a good trail. Took me a good hour to wake up and feel alive, so that might have been part of it too…


in multiple directions. Rock in all directions. I’m so jealous of this terrain!

The rest of my available energy went into playing with the kiddos — my brother’s kids. They really are too much fun, and I wish I could see them more often.

11/29 – Riding with dos epicanos.

Luckily Dave and Lynda were happy to ride a few extra hours before I joined them. I knew my legs were not ready for a long ride with them.

Lynda is all smiles,

and Dave is full of surprises. Didn’t know the boy could wheelie like a king?!

It’s hard to stay with and take pictures of these two, but with sufficient zoom, you might get some good shots.

They showed me a really neato trail behind Barrel Roll and Rim Rock trails, dropping into a slot canyon down to the Santa Clara river. I love seeing new terrain, and gaining a better understanding of old terrain.

Dave jumped into the river crossing, shoes, leg warmers and all. His pics from the ride are here.

We grabbed Paula and met up for post ride (post workout for Paula) giant burritos. It was great to catch up with them, but unfortunately my burrito would never get digested. I caught a bug from the kiddos and spent the night being sick and generally wasting away. Getting back to Tucson in that state was rough, but luckily my family rallied to change our shuttle/flight plans so I could regain a bit of myself before leaving (thanks again guys!).

I had a day’s convalescence at home before a planned and not-to-be-canceled all day ride, but my appetite was nil and caloric consumption minimal. Doubts were high, but the show must go on…

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