Made it! 3553ft of climbing and 6677ft of descent and I’m on the far outskirts of the Phoenix metro area.
I anticipated a tough day and it was actually not as difficult as I expected. Two things that probably also helped is there was no wind and the warmer parts of the day I had some high thin clouds so it really didn’t get much above 90F (32C). I had enough water but if one is riding this in hotter temperatures makes sense to bring even more as there weren’t places to refill.
I started early not far from this “Indian bread” truck. Unlike a lot of other places, “Indian” here means native American, not south-Asian.
The route was pretty much a four lane divide highway all day. The first four miles had no shoulder but after that good shoulders all day long.
I started close to 5000ft and at the five mile mark started a good descent that eventually ended up about 3000ft not far from a place known as Rye. Rye didn’t seem to have any services other than ATV rentals. After this a lot of up and down between the 12 mile mark and the 30 mile mark. Up to 3800ft, down to 3400ft, up to 4500ft, etc. I’m glad I had started not long after sunrise as this meant the climbs weren’t yet too hot.
Above is a representative photo of one of those descents followed by climbs.
The road topped out a little above 4500ft as I crossed into Maricopa County. After this a good descent into Sunflower and over the next climb, I saw my first saguaro cacti.
I went from no saguaro to them being everywhere.
Look up on the hill and you can see them all the way up.
There were still some good solid climbs and descents and this one at 45 miles I walked a portion. It wasn’t too steep to ride but was also nice to exercise different muscles for a change. After topping out at 2400ft, the last 12 miles were mostly a gentle downhill. Certainly a nice change as riding was easy and it wasn’t so steep that I needed to worry about braking.
Got in not too late into Fountain Hills. Some of my route today was on the Adventure Cycling Southern Tier route and now time to sort out how I follow this route through the Phoenix metro area and then further west.