I did not cycle nearly as many miles as I should have in the beginning of my training for Wildflower. I was getting out, but many of my longer rides I had to cut short. I tried to compensate for my lack of outdoor miles by jumping on the indoor bike, doing some spinning classes etc.
I have started racking up some decent "outdoor" miles on my bike this past month. My latest long ride was Sunday. Adrian had this ridiculously long run with a group of other ultrarunners on the very eastside of town. That area of Tucson near Saguaro National Park and Colossal Cave has some wonderful scenery and is popular with cyclists.
Adrian started his 27-mile "fun run" up to the top of Mica Mountain and back at 6:30 a.m. It was chilly, so I drove back a ways into town and grabbed some coffee, before returning to the trailhead.
I feel more comfortable on the bike than ever before. My clipless pedals aren't so scary anymore. I knew how to shift before, but now I am using the bike more efficiently. I took a meandering tour eventually getting on Old Spanish Trail Road, an awesome cycling road for any of you who ever get out to Tucson. I road past Colossal Cave, where the Colossal Cave stage race was being held. I stopped and chatted with some other accomplished cyclists and triathletes - I swear they are everywhere here - and watched the bike race for awhile.
I started back only to have the cycling couple/triathletes I had left behind 15 minutes before come racing up behind me and of course pass me. The woman called out, 'Jump on board' and for a little while I did. I couldn't maintain their pace for longer than 15 minutes though and eventually fell about 50 feet behind.
I think training would be much easier if I had someone, who was better than me, to ride with regularly. Until then, I'm going have to keep poaching rides with random strangers.