Monday, March 23, 2009

Before I left I thought that long boring days would be a challenge but
each day is different and interesting in its own way

Yesterday started in Thatcher, AZ and most of the day was spent
traversing the San Carlos Apache reservation. Afternoon winds got
quite strong and I had to decide to quit in Miami, AZ after only 80
miles or go up and over Signal Mt pass- another 20 miles. I went for
it and had the hairiest ride of my life (not counting the one that put
me in the hospital for 2 months when I was 14 years old).

The climb up was 7 miles, not too steep, but with the wind it took an
hour and a half. It was Sunday evening and the road was choked with RVs,
boat trailers, etc returning to Phoenix . Worse, the road was in the
midst of repaving and there was no shoulder, just two narrow lanes. No
place for a bike. The wind was buffeting me and once I was blown off
the road into the ditch.

When I got to the top I began a wild descent over rough road, people
passing me sometimes within inches, me just trying to keep it
together. A few miles from the bottom I pulled off and made camp in
the Tonto National Forest.

On the "likely to get clipped" scale I gave it a 9.8 (0 is lying on
your couch watching the Daytona 500 and 10 is rollerblading against
traffic during the Daytona 500).

This morning I waited for daylight to finish the ride down hill to
Superior, AZ. My hands froze, but traffic was lighter and I had a
thrilling ride including a tunnel and a bridge. I could barely glance
away from the road, but the scenery was spectacular I think.

Only a quarter mile after the road leveled off I got a flat; I can't
imagine what that would have been like at 30 mph on the hill!

Now I'm resting in Tempe part of an enormous, all new, suburb
stretching from Apache Junction to Peoria, AZ. It is probably the
world's largest active senior sanctuary so there are bike lanes

Before that last one does you in, whatever it is, recall the merry prankster's bus and think "FURTHER."

When you get to Santa Barbara, the angels and the cloud beings will be smiling.

And so will we, roberta y mateo

if you are getting many flats a day, it means your tires are worn to thin to protect the tubes.. you need new tires!
keep on chuggin!
Douglas M