Two days were spent riding with some very fine folks. Some were local, some were wintering in the state, some visiting with their spouses and one just drove over from Sandy Eggo.
The first day, Friday, was spent up in Scottsdale. A group of nine, which finished as a group of eight, left John H's house at 9am for a sunny spin around the wealthy environs of Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. John decided the route would include Camelback Mountain. I've ridden some of it before, but not the insane 16%-18%(?) pitches that it possessed. I had to stop twice due to a loose cleat on my right shoe. Believe me, that it NOT a place one wants to stop and get started again. Not to mention the lowest gear I had was a 23t. That climb will definitely need to be revisited. After a regroup, we made our way back in a similar fashion back to John's for food and beverages.
On Saturday, we all met again up in Cave Creek at Barry's place. We were minus one from the previous day due to him being in the ER because of an infection that he never quite shook before he arrived in Phoenix, but we gained one as YuriB graced us with his presence. As a group, we all rolled along towards Seven Springs where the group strung out. Many other groups rides were in progress on the same roads, some small, some large, some teams and some individuals. After regrouping at the top of the longish climb out to the end of the pavement we all bombed down to the next meeting spot for continued climbing. This time instead of enjoying mellow climbs, these became short and steep. Very steep. These were fun but definitely took their toll on me (and maybe others). After a decision to head back for food, since we had to drive to Fountain Hills for the festivities, we all rode back in a loose group, some still hammering and some just cruising and chatting.
The BBQ at Jim's place was a great ending to the riding of the past two days. The beer and conversation flowed with the snacks replenishing our caloric deficit while the ribs were cooking on the grill.