Wednesday, May 5, 2010
I wish I had a stillsuit
Today was a record Breaking day for all 3 of us. We each topped our miles ridden in a single day by riding 92 miles. Not only did we ride 92 miles, but we rode them in almost 100 degree weather. Shit was insanely hot.
We knew we had a long way to go today so we tried to get out the door around 8am. However, we had to prepare ourselves for our 62 mile stretch of straight up dessert with no civilization or places to get water, so we stopped at the be all end all of survival stores, the dollar store, and stocked up on water and such. Due to us having to go 62 miles with nowhere to stop, we each had to carry 2 or more gallons of water. This may not sound like that big of a deal, but a gallon of water is damn heavy. So try strapping a gallon++ extra water to your already loaded down bike then go ride it in the 100 degree burning sun for like 10 hours or something.
As for the actual ride, things went well I would say. No real mechanical problems other than zachs toe clip kept coming off for some reason. We think it was expanding from the heat. The first half of the day was a gradual hill climb for about 43 miles or something which had us averaging about 10 mph. Along that first stretch we passed through glamis which I thought was one of the coolest areas we have seen this entire trip. Nothing but smooth sand as far as the eye could see. Zach and I walked out in to the nothingness for a little ways and found a huge dropoff that Zach went down to the bottom of. It was pretty amazing.
Shortly after that we got back in to the Boring part of the dessert that has like shitty dried up bushes and shit. We stopped for lunch under some thorn bush that gave us a little bit of shade. It was a bit cooler under the bush, but it was still scorching hot. None of us really felt like eating much because we were so ubcomfortable. We sat under the bush for about an hour before hitting the road again. There was a lot more nothing, we hit a border check, then around 4pm we all started feeling the affects of not having a proper lunch portion. Also, we were feeling weak from being blasted by the sun for hours and hours.
Luckily we finally got to a gas station in palo verde where we were so stoked to drink cold Gatorade and gorge ourselves on chips and salsa. We were also happy to be inside and out of the sun. We chilled there for about an hour petting puppies and meeting legitimately nice people. A heads up to other bicycle tourists, palo verde has free camping, showers and bathrooms at the rear of their trailer park. Unfortunately, we had to get moving and go another 20 miles to Blythe.
I would say we were feeling much better after our break and the last 20 miles were pretty easy. The only thing that sucked was when I got attacked by 2 dogs and had to pedal my ass off as they chased me for about a mile. I was chugging at 25 mph on flat road to get away from those shit sacks.
After getting our ass kicked by the sun today, we are going to try out some new hours tomorrow. We are going to try to Leave at 6am, take a break between 1pm and 5pm and finished up the day 5 to 7. Hopefully this will get us out of the hottest hours of the day and the ride won't be so grueling.
All right, time to hit the sack to try and get some sleep before that 5am wake up! Shit!!!!