I was initially signed up to do the TriShark triathlon this weekend. However, a couple of months ago, an opportunity for me to get down to ride the Ironman Arizona course came up, so I sold my triathlon entry in lieu of going down to see what it’s like to ride on the Beeline Highway. I’ve since found out that they CANCELLED the swim at the TriShark and made it a duathlon, so I definitely made the right choice in skipping that race this year!
I headed out on Saturday morning and arrived in Phoenix around 11am their time. The temperature had already climbed up to about 98 degrees. After a big fiasco in helping my partner in crime, SH, rent a bike, we hooked up with my brother who just moved to AZ last month for a short, easy early evening ride. Now it was about 102 degrees. We loaded up with all sorts of fluids and the ride was short but sweet. We were saving our efforts for the next day…the Ironman course.
The morning came all too quickly and we met up at the start of where the bike portion of the Ironman was to take place. Initially, I wanted to put in the full 112 miles, but the heat was a consideration as was the fact that this race is still pretty far away. So we headed out around 7:30am to log in some good, solid, steady-paced miles. The thermometer was reading about 82 degrees at the start of the ride. I could give you all the details, but let me just sum it up that the heat rose to about 102 again this day. We rode until about 3pm with the sun baking on our backs as we pedaled along. There is absolutely NO SHADE on all of this bike course. And I have to say, I loved every minute of it. 102 in AZ does NOT feel like 102 in Chicago. Heck, even 85 feels hotter here in Chicago. So I guess it’s true, the whole “dry heat” thing takes much less of a toll on athletes. I fully expected to be wiped out after the ride, but that really didn’t happen. I had much more to give and it felt great.
I love the Beeline Highway!