Butt(kick)erfield Canyon Ride

Evidently doing a hard climb after having diarrhea the previous day doesn't result in a good performance.

Mark, Warren, Todd, JE and myself set out for a ride up Butterfield Canyon. The pace was pretty quick just getting to the canyon and on the mellow stuff in the canyon. I didn't feel too bad, but that changed quickly. When we hit the steep stuff (probably a 12-13% grade with spots of solid 16%) I started OK, but faded fast and had several gut cramps. I couldn't go straight up so I started weaving to make it easier. JE was close behind me and on a really steep spot he told me he was stopping. I wasn't sure if he was just stopping for a rest or turning around. When I got to the top of the steepest section I called back to him that he didn't have much to go, but it seems he'd gone back down. It was his first time up Butterfield and he's a big guy (big as in tall, not fat)- the harsh facts of physics means climbing is hard on big guys. Next time he'll do better.

After the steepest section I went straight again, but it's still tough at 9-10% average with some 12-13% spots along the way. My back hurt bad and my kidneys ached. At one point my back got so tight I felt it would soon cramp so I stopped and stretched it out then continued on. I plugged along and finally made the top. It felt like I was going incredibly slow and I'm surprised the others waited for me at the top.

About to make the summit (photo by Warren)

Zoom in on the face - pretty much says it all.

Descending Butterfield is not a joy ride. It's fun, but it's steep, has rocks strewn across the road in places, and it has several sharp turns. If you don't pay attention, it could get ugly. After the really steep stuff we flew down mostly in a group. I hit 40 at least once. I did a pull, but tired quickly.

Riding back to Mark's house the pace was hot and after a while dropped - I was running low. I rejoined Mark and Todd (Warren had peeled off headed for his house) and finished with them.

This was my worst Butterfield ride, but I should have known it wouldn't be good. It was still fun, in a strange, masochistic way. I made it to the top, so that's something. I felt like quitting, but I didn't. But there's no getting around the fact that on the toughest parts, I caved and wanted to do better. Well, next time.

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