Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dateland to Gila Bend

Our 6th day. We have come about 330 miles, a tenth of the way.
Today, 51 miles, quite a bit on a bad road ( old Highway 80). I spent most of the initial 11 miles of bad road thinking about how to describe it for the blog. Sentences like weaving from side to side seeking out something that vaguely resembled pavement. I was actually glad that some of it had deteriorated to gravel since that was easier to ride on. Periodically there were 50 to 100 foot stretches that were tarred. I could see no rhyme nor reason to it so I decided that the construction workers had a spitting contest and the road was tarred to the winning distance...if you've ever biked on a road like that you'll have a vivid picture of it. I must say it wasn't as bad as the four miles after the "Center of the World", but that sets the bar so low that there are a lot of roads that are pretty bad to bike on here in southern Arizona where they have 120 days a year above 100 degrees. The roads don't stand a chance against the sun.
Then to add insult to injury, one rider desperate to get off the road noticed that here in this county the signs on the interstate only say bicycles ride on shoulder. So apparently the powers that be have now decided that Hwy. 80 isn't really a viable alternate road to I8.
The rest of the day was spent on I8. Not much scenery in the immediate area but dodging blown out retreads kept my attention on the road. The next set of mountains seem to be closer. They ring the area. We'll be seeing them more closely in the next few days.
We had an interesting speaker tonight who spoke about the geology and water sources in the state.
The clouds moved closer and we could see rain but the air is so dry and hot that it never reached the ground. We did get a rainbow though and a beautiful sunset. I eill need to post the pictures sometime tomorrow though since they are on my phone which is charging overnight.
Long day tomorrow. 74 miles with 1000 feet of climbing. I'm getting stronger but also have some soreness in my calves and shoulder that I iced tonight after getting a massage to loosen the muscles. Sure don't want Achilles Tendonitis like Dave got last summer on our bike tour.

We were quite glad to see this sign (Dead End). Notice the condition of the raod.
We have one tandem couple on the tour. Colleen and Randy. Colleen is the captain. Gordon I'd behind them They are from Naples, FL. They have jerseys that say "born to be mild", Heck's Angels"
Their blog is on They call it four wheels, six cheeks!
Road sign on the Interstate. Makes us feel good. Our mileage is longer due to the back roads we bike on.

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