Thursday, April 3, 2008

On The Road Again

After a nice day off, it's back on the seat and we headed towards our next destination, the town of Superior, 60 miles away climbing from 1200 feet to 2800 feet elevation the last part of the day's ride. As we rode along Highway 60 through high desert terrain, we became surrounded by beautiful wildflowers.

Unfortunately, Jeff, one of my co-riders, had a medical situation and was not able to ride with the group as we left Tempe. To give him time to rest up, Jeff hitched a ride and is waiting for us at Black Range Lodge in New Mexico where he will join back in on the tour.

Upon our arrival in Superior, Tom and I headed over to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum which is around an oasis. Camping at a higher elevation allowed me to enjoy a sky of stars.

Today's 43 mile ride to the town of Globe was with long climbs at 6-7% grade, roads with no bike lane and heavy traffic taking us back into the mountains east of Phoenix. The climbs took us up to 4600 feet, then dropping back down to 1200 then back up to 3300, where Globe resides. The route included riding through a narrow tunnel (150-200 yards) sharing the road with traffic. Five of the tour members opted not to chance it through the tunnel, so our ride leader made arrangements to have them driven through.

After stopping for a delicious and inexpensive Mexican lunch in a little town called Miami, Tom and I rode into Globe around 1:30. It's my turn as cook tonight. Pizza and salad sounds good. Thank goodness there are several pizza parlors in town. Five extra large pizzas, please and can you deliver them as well???? No complaints from the troop. All five were gobbled up.

It'll be a cold chilly night being at 3300 ft. Need to bundle up.... good night for now.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Walk-about Tempe

Today people spent their time resting, visiting downtown Tempe, washing cloth, shopping at REI, cleaning their bikes, swimming in the pool, and visiting local attractions. Tom and I make it to downtown for lunch and a walk about near ASU. I thought the architecture of the buildings and structures was interesting and worked well with arid landscape.

Relaxing by the Poolside at the Motel 6

First Rest Day

Today is our first rest day after 8 days and 400 plus miles of riding. I've been looking forward to this day for some time now. This is also the first chance I have to actually update the blog directly. Kay has been doing a great job updating this site with the previous posts.

Yesterday, we rode 69 miles rather than the 55 shown on our schedules. It always seems that the distances are a little farther than shown. However, we are all getting used to the daily riding, so it's getting easier and yesterday's terrain was mostly flat. The ride to Tempe started off on quiet highways, but ended with 35 miles of mostly city riding through Surprise and Phoenix. Along the way, we stopped at the Performance bike shop so people could get their bikes adjusted and buy needed gear. More weight was the last thing I wanted. The traffic was heavy through the city, but we all made safely to the Motel 6 in Tempe. I'm sharing my room with Jeff who is one of my daily riding partners along with Tom. Our pace is very similar so we make a good team on the road.

I can hardly believe how far we've already ridden and the time is going by fast. I will have to conclude that touring with ACA is very nice because we don't need to be concerned about our overnight accommodations and food. Andy does the arrangements and has the strategy for food each day. All we need to do is ride and enjoy the ever changing landscape. Also, Andy's laid back attitude and humor is perfect for us newbies on this cross country tour.

It's time to go check the college area of Tempe. More later!

Our Motel in Tempe

The gang having dinner at a fast food Chinese restaurant

More Pictures

When in the west... in Wickenburg

Tom looking forward to his ice cream

The reptiles are big in AZ

More Pictures

Tom, Jeff and I stop for breakfast in Wenden

Shirl riding along I-60 out of Wenden

Shirl having her first taste of peanut butter and jam sandwich

Riding along I-60 out of Aguila

Dee, Shirl and Jan enjoying the town of Wickenburg

Monday, March 31, 2008

More Pictures

Shirl riding along with the trucks on I-10 out of Blythe

We finally enter AZ

The long long straight roads on I-60

Jeff preparing our paste dinner in Harcuvar

Leaving Harcuvar on I-60

More Pictures

Jeff at the Foster Freeze ordering a shake in Blythe

Steve and Dee enjoying the pools.

Shirl preparig the lentils and rice dinner

My dinner

The gang at dinner in Blythe

More Pictures

Aede and Matty waiting for us at the store in Palo Verde

Steve fixing his flat tire at camp

Map meeting after dinner to discuss the next day's route

Leaving Palo Verde

The town of Blythe

More Pictures

At Glamis during a break at the store

Jan riding through the sand dunes.

Tom boiling eggs for breakfast

Taking a break in Jacumba

National Cementary in San Diego

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Made It Into AZ

The ride from Brawley to Palo Verde on Thursday was a long day leaving at 7am, finishing up at 3:30pm, fighting 15mph head wind the last half of the ride. Our young British who has been riding with an 'older' gentleman rolled into camp at 12:30 despite the head winds. Amazing, such strong riders. We're still in desert terrain with rolling climbs passing more ATVers on the sandy dunes with their toy haulers but starting to see flowering Ocotillos, cactus plants and palo verde trees. The only negative part of today's ride was having to share the road with alot truckers.

Our short ride of only 21 miles to Blythe on Friday gave us an opportunity to relax in the afternoon. Staying at the KOA, we definitely took advantage of the swimming pool and jacuzzi after touring the town and downing burgers and shakes at Foster Freeze. Our delicious dinner of tomato based lentil and rice with veggie and flavored with curry was prepared by the two British. I'll have to try preparing that for Kay upon my return home.

Saturday morning we headed off to ride into Arizona passing Quartzsite still parked with alot of snowbirds. Our route basically followed Highway 60, a long hilly road with no end in sight climbing 2000 ft elevation with a scenery of saguro cactus and mesa plateaus. After sleeping on soft grass at the KOA, tonight we are back on a dry hardpack campground in small town 4 miles east of the town of Hope. Oh my poor back! But at least we did have another great pasta dinner. (Hey Geno, no mac and cheese yet!)

We will be arriving in Phoenix on the 31st, and having our first layover day on the 1st. So I'm hoping I'll get some pictures loaded up on that day.