Saturday, May 8, 2010

Yo. Where is Charles Barkley?

We made it to phoenix! Wooo. I believe this marks about 1/3 of this leg or something? I could be wrong on that because I honestly don't remember how many days this leg is. 

Since we made it to Phoenix with only losing 1 emergency day, we have decided to take our planned day off here. I think we all are definitely ready for a day off after the last few days of trial and error. We also need to take care of some lose ends and Lenora wants to visit some family that she has in the area. Luckily, my good friend anne schwartz is living here so we have a comfortable place to stay with air conditioning and a pool. 

The ride yesterday, I would say, was pretty right on for the most part. We left a little later than we planned, but it all worked out just fine. We got up and biked 25 miles to wickenburg where we too our first break aroud 10am. As usual this first part of the day was up hill. For some reason my phone thought we had hit a time change though and was reading 11 and I was like "what the fuck? Are we really that slow?". The thing is we didn't even hit a time change and I still don't know why my phone lied to me. 

We hung out for about an hour before hitting it again. For the most part yesterday was a fairly uneventful ride. No problems, nothing special. We stopped again just outside of surprise around 1 and took naps / ate until 4:30 as we waited for the tperatures to cool. We then blasted our way towards Phoenix on route 60. 

So our bike map advised us to take a completely different route once we got in to surprise. It wanted us to get off 60 and zig zag our way through the city. However, it never quite zigged or zagged anywhere near anne's house where as the 60 drops off right at her door step. Seeing how we had been riding on 60 for the past few days we saw no reason why we couldn't just stay on it all the way in to Phoenix. Unfortunately, we had to find out the hard way why our bike map didn't want us on it. 

As soon as we entered surprise 60 became under construction for MILES. At first it was no big deal because we were just riding on the fresh paved areas behind the cones, but the closer we got to Phoenix we had to get more creative by riding on sidewalks and through parking lots until neither of those things existed anymore and we were sometimes even rising through dirt or in the highway lanes themselves with cars wizzing past us at like 70 mph. I personally was having fun and enjoyed was enjoying this stretch because it was challenging and broke up the monotony of riding on regular streets all day. However, it was expressed to me that Zach and Lenora were not quite as enthused about this leg. Upon realizing they weren't pleased I got pretty stressed too becuase there really was no other option other than go like 30 miles out of our way to re-route. The issue was that Phoenix is basically a perfect grid in which the 60 slices right down the center diagonally. This situation is actually kind of awesome if you are in a car. However, if you can't take the 60 on say, your bike, you have to figure out some other bullshit way to get downtown.

At the point where everyone was getting stressed the re-route would have totally screwed us. So to compromise we toughed it out on 60 as long as we could until it was basically way too dangerous to continue. Fortunately, this got us to a point where we only had to ride about 10 extra miles instead of 30. 

As always, riding through cities fully loaded blows. It is slow and starteing and stopping all the time for lights is quite exhausting with all of that weight on your bike. We rolled up to anne's place probably around 8:30 which isn't so bad. All in all we rode 90 miles which was a bit more than we had planned, but whatevs. 

Though we were all pretty stressed during that last stretch, once we got to anne's and could relax all was good again. I am happy to see this group is making it through a lot of tough situations laughing and having a good time when all is said and done. We all get pretty cranky at different points of the day for various reasons, but it seems like as soon as we get off our bikes and chill for a minute we are instantly laughing it up again and put our issues from the day behind us.

Anyway, it's time to party in Phoenix! 

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