Saturday, January 22, 2011

End of Pavement Ride - AZ HWY 88

What: End of Pavement Ride
Where: SR 88 Apache Junction past Canyon Lake
When: Jan 22, 2011
Who: Mike E. and I
Description: 54 mile ride round trip from my home to EOP "End of Pavement" and back. Follows state route 88 from Apache Junction, past Tortilla Flat and Canyon Lake...continuing to, literally the end of pavement

This ride has been on my list for a few years but I never quite had the gumption to take it on by myself. Mike invited my to head out there with him as a good training ride for our 300km Brevet ride next Saturday...hopefully my quads and calves will be ready for it.

Arizona SR 88 heads east from "AJ" Apache Junction and meets up with SR 188 at Roosevelt Dam. It follows the Salt River and is only paved several hilly miles past Tortilla Flat. This road was the main byway from Phoenix to Payson quite a few years makes for some challenging climbs and great descents...and beautiful scenery.

Met Mike at the "Dash-In" at the corner of SR88 and Brown road....we both left a little before sun rise and it was a nippy 36 degrees at 7:30am.

Google Earth view of the EOP ride...compliments of the Garmin Edge 800.

2 personal records today...4100 feet of climbing in 23 miles and descending speed of 51.4mph.

 Speed over distance....moving pretty fast after the turnaround.

 Couple of steep sections made more obvious with this chart...some 10%+ Mike warned me while laughing...the hills up to Canyon Lake are just bumps in the road on the way to the "real" climb to EOP...he wasn't kidding :)

Gorgeous Day! We did have head winds both going out and back...good times.

Very Scenic Ride...will definitely do this one many more times...looking out over Canyon Lake.

More views of Canyon lake...couple of guys bass fishing.

 Single car width bridges...there are 2 of these following the perimeter of the lake.

More detailed route from Google Earth...mapping the road from Canyon lake to EOP.

1/2 way up the climb to EOP...

More detailed view of the route up to EOP.

Lots of desert scenery to enjoy while the legs and lungs are least mine were.

 Finally....End Of Pavement...26 miles and 2 hours 21 minutes...average speed 11.3 mph.

1st times...great climbs & good times...
Mike and his Calfee...titanium couplers and a triple chain ring up front...dirty dog was having way to much fun spinning away beside me as I was grinding it out!

 This descent back to Canyon Lake was a phreaking blast! Great long straight steep section and then lots of corners on good pavement...hit 51.4 mph while following Mike...and still couldn't keep up with him.

Finally found Mike waiting for me at Tortilla Flat. We went in to buy some water and Gatorade...never actually stopped here before but a pretty cool place.

 Little gift store had dollar bill's with peoples names on them on just about every square inch of the building...this wall had $$ from several countries.

 More dollar bills...Mike is getting some ideas for his "bike room" I think...I gave up trying to estimate the amount of dollars on these walls.

Heading out of Tortilla Flat...still quite some climbing to go but then it is all downhill back to the house.

Summary: Living in East Mesa may not be some of the most sought after neighbor hoods in the valley ...but having these rides and mountains practically in my backyard are well worth it. This ride has to be a new favorite that I definitely will do many times...and enjoying it more as I loose a few more lbs and get better at the hills. Highly recommend it!!!

1 comment:

  1. cool beans! Maybe one day i will be tough enough to ride this ride with you! you ROCK my dear ;)