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2024 Saguaro Lake 200K Brevet


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Last Saturday , January 20, I rode the Saguaro Lake 200K brevet.  I had ridden it a number of times, and was looking forward to it for a couple of reasons.  The main reason was to help determine my level of fitness to ride another California Triple Crown double century in March. 

The temps predicted were pretty nice.  Most of the time it is pretty chilly for this ride, especially crossing the Verde River during the first 10 miles, the lowest elevation on the route.  The ride starts and ends in Fountain Hills, AZ, just east of Scottsdale.  The first loop , 100K, runs to the east and south, past Saguaro Lake and up Usery Pass before looping back to Fountain Hills.  You can have lunch at the start point, then start on the 2nd loop, which runs to the west to Scottsdale, then north to Cave Creek, then back south and east to Fountain Hills. There were 10 of us riding the 200K brevet (and another 10 riding the 100K).

It was warmer at the start, in the upper 40s.  It dropped to 38 crossing the Verde River, but then an 8 mile climb started, which helped to warm me up.  Passing Saguaro Lake there are several climbs and descents, and a 3-4 mile climb up Usery Pass.  I was feeling pretty good.  A few had passed me on the 8 mile climb up the Beeline Hwy.  The first control was at the top of Usery Pass, and 2 women from Calgary (who had passed me before) settled in behind me.  They rode with me for a while, until I stopped to take off some of my warm kit as the weather was warming up.  I met them again at lunch. 

The start of the second 100K was a 3 mile climb with some 8-10 % grades.  After a nice downhill there was a long, 15 mile climb to Cave Creek AZ.  The grades were not steep, but, just a long 1-2% slog.  There was another control at Cave Creek, and I saw one rider there, and the 2 women arrived a few minutes later.  There was another flat and downhill section before the last big climb of the day, 3 miles with a couple of 8% grades.  The nice thing was that climb was followed by a 9 mile downhill (know locally as 9 mile hill….).  I only had 10 miles to go at the bottom of 9 mile hill, and I still felt good. 

I finished in 9 hours 44 minutes, which was a few minutes ahead of my 10 hour goal.  I talked with a couple of other riders who were there for a few minutes before I loaded up my bike to head home.

I felt good, and only had one cramp later in the evening.  I would had done an easy ride on Sunday, but, it rained most of the day. 

My conclusion…… I think I can ride the Spring Solvang double century in March.





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