I'mmmmmm baaaccckkkkk... from PacTour Women's Cycling Camp

Sierra Vista, Arizona. Home for a week.

Pact Tour Women's Week in Arizona.

Just got back from Arizona. Went as a coach for Pac Tour's Women's Week. A week long, awesome cycling get together for women to learn more about riding their bikes. The week begins and ends in Tucson Arizona, with 4 days of riding around Sierra Vistas, Bisbee, and Tombstone, in between. The ride lengths can vary for all levels of riders. Most women rode around 450 miles.

The first day we all arrive the tour leaders, Lon and Susan, have tools out ready for us to put the bikes together and ready to ride. day number one is optional as women are arriving at all times during the day. Several of us elected to ride a 40 mile ride to and around The Monument.

One of the best things about this ride was to see so many different kinds of vegitation all in one area. Many different kinds of cacti.

Day 2 is the first "real" day of camp and we head out around 7 AM to ride to Sierra Vista. It's not a hard day but is one of the longer days of riding. It's about 84 miles. There are some hills and for some the first hills they've been riding on since last year.

We were very lucky on the first day and, actually, all week. We never had very hot temperatures and one day never made it past 65 degrees.

Pac Tour camps are so well organized and the staff is always there to help us all. it's always nice to see the vans up ahead and have food and drink ready to go.

Day 3 was a ride from Sierra Vista to Bisbee, from the south, and then back to the hotel. After lunch we took groups of women and taught them the basics of a pace line and double pace line riding. All of the women did such a great job.

Bisbee soda shop. Yummy pie and shakes.

One of the women that came to camp this year, Karla, had just started to ride last year. For someone that is this new to the sport, she is an incredibly strong rider.
The other coaches that were on hand to offer support and riding techniques, were Terri and George. They put on a race event in Oregon every year called Race Across Oregon. Terri, pictured above, has a 17 month old, and I don't know how she has time to do everything she does. Still, she was out there riding with everyone ,as if she never had any time off her bike.

Most afternoons and evenings we all got together and talked about coaching topics like how to descend and climb on the bikes, how to prepare for training events, nutrition, and mechanical skills.

We also saw a great movie about Graeme Obree; The Flying Scotsman: Cycling to Triumph Through My Darkest Hours. What an incredible story.
Day 4 was a day of riding through the wine country of Elgin and back to our hotel. Not quite Napa Valley but beautiful rolling hills and a few wine vineyards here and there. This day was quite cold.

Day 5 was a ride to the top of Mule Pass and around to Tombstone. many of the women walked around the historic town of Tombstone.

Day 6 was a ride up to Coronado and a good day for the women to get coaching drills from George with his video camera.

we were very lucky on our last day, the ride from Sierra Vista back to Tucson. We had a very strong tail wind and a rolling descent the whole day. IN fact, our average speeds were around 19 mph and my HR was in the low 100s. Now that' a great way to end a long week of riding.
Once we arrived back to the Tucson Hotel, we all put our bikes together and ready to ship home (or take on the plane).

A special thanks goes out to all of the camp women, the staff, Lon and Susan of Pac Tour http://www.pactour.com/desert.
Also I would like to thank Justin's Nut Butter (www.justinsnutbutter.com)
They sent us packets of Peeanut Butter to sample and eat during the rides. They rock! Also, a company called nubutte http://www.nubutte.com/.
They sent us samples of the best chamois cream I've ever used.

Look on the Pac Tour web site for more information on other great camps and riding tours.