Sunday, April 15, 2012

04/13/12 to 04/15/12 MS "Ride the Vortex" Charity Ride Sedona, Arizona

This weekend found Dan and I driving from Phoenix to Sedona, Arizona for the MS charity ride. We've been training for the past few months and have been looking forward to this ride in a beautiful and unique portion of Arizona. My excitement turned to trepidation once realizing the weekend called for 60% chance of rain: Dan and I have low experience riding in the rain... on hills no less! Slick roads, wet tires and down hills could result in disaster if one is not alert!

Regardless, we are soon heading north to check into our hotel and find the campgrounds where the race would start on Saturday Morning, 7 am come rain or shine!

In addition, I chose this event for my first photo project in Brooke Snow's Lifestyle Photography course and will share our story via pictures here!

Dan's bike, loaded up in the back of the truck as we head up north: leaving the sun in the valley to find cloud cover up north.
As we arrive in Sedona, the rocks are a vibrant red against the setting sun. Our arrival into Sedona couldn't be more perfect or spectacular!
After checking into our hotel, we drive to Cottonwood's Campground to check out the start line. The wind is whipping over the tents at the camp grounds and the temperature is dropping fast.
My first shot of our main Character: Dan. At the start line, bundled up with sun shining... for now! What will the day hold? Rain? Shine? Praying we make it through our designated ~45 miles!

Before the start line:
Saturday dawns cool and clear... but with some wicked ominous thunderheads in the distance.
3 hours and 32 miles in... we've seen snow flurries, hail and rain all morning. It's been a tough ride and I've been less than excited about taking off my gloves to dig out my camera to take a picture. The terrain is too dangerous to take pictures while riding. However, our gear is working well: We're still warm (so long as we keep moving and eating!)
4 hours 25 minutes finds us riding in snow that is falling heavier each passing moment. Viability has dropped significantly and concern for our safety on the slick roads with narrow bike lanes and lots of traffic finds us behind a volunteer jeep... Do we keep riding or call the race at ~40 miles in lieu of safety?
We opt for safety and finish our ride: taking advantage of a volunteer who drives us back to our car. Not the ending we imagined or planned, but we live to ride another day. 

We arrive back at the hotel to shower and try to warm up. Then, we seek warm comfort food: gluten free pizza at Piccazo's Restaurant followed by a movie. 
A comparison:
On the left is Saturday pre-ride: note NO SNOW! On the right? Sunday morning post snow!
Sunday dawns snowy and overcast but at least warmer than Saturday ended. Our ride is done, despite the option to do a second day. Today? We'll be heading back to Phoenix.
Once final shot before we drive back to Phoenix. This is one of the first scenic look outs driving into town and about where we ended our ride on Saturday.
We met some amazing inspirational riders and volunteers on our journey... but that will be a story for another post!