Day 9(April 27): Phoenix, AZ to Gold Canyon, AZ–41 miles
April 28, 2011 § Leave a comment
I am not sure where to start with today’s description. I suppose it started with Joe waking up at 2:15 am and discovering a flat tire on my bike. So at 5am the day really begins with Bicycle Mechanics 101. For some reason my tires are more difficult to remove from the rim and therefore the whole process takes twice as long and uses twice as much energy.
At the next bike shop we find, we will look into thorn resistant tubes and Schwalbe Marathon tires– this is not fun. Furthermore, upon examination of the tire, we did not find a culprit for the flat!
Nonetheless, we are on the road by 6:30am and navigating again through Phoenix. We soon discover that the winds have changed and we have a continuous 10 mph headwind from the East,very unusual–again not fun.
Our route has detours due to roadwork; after the third sign stating “Road Closed Local Traffic Only” and my continuing to tell Joe, “It’s OK, we can get through.”. He replies, “Famous last words.”
Lucky for me, they even had an open sign for bikes after the overkill of road closed signs. I was getting worried we would have to retrace our route, something we avoid at all possible costs.
In Mesa we randomly pass by Fitch Field, the winter home of the Chicago Cubs. Joe patiently poses for the obligatory picture.
As we continue this journey, Joe and I have become “connoisseurs”,so to speak, of roadside shoulders; as our day ended we encountered the worst of all variations– a narrow shoulder in terrible disrepair, marred by patches, potholes and tar lined heat heaves made even less functional for a bicyclist by an extra wide rumble strip. The only “safe” place to ride was the solid white line(the better to see debris with, I hope). Hopefully, the conditions will improve as we progress eastwards on Route 60.
The day is heating up; the headwind continues and I am not willing to push to the next town 25 uphill miles away. We stop in Gold Canyon for the night, clean up and regroup for our dawn start, seemingly a few short hours from now.
The bikes are, as always, in the room with us(today courtesy of the elevator) and I just checked the tires; they are fully inflated and with luck we will have an uneventful and boring morning.
So much for boring; the hotel fire alarm is going off….Joe suggests going to the Rodeo Lounge attached to the hotel to see if it’s quieter there. We arrive and the alarm continues…