After a wonderful going away party at Mi Tierre Mexican Restaurant with family and friends on Wednesday night, Tom and I jumped on our loaded bicycles at 5 am Thursday and headed north toward Chandler AZ.
The temperatures at 5am started out at 64 degrees and dipped down as low as 62 degrees which was absolutely wonderful to ride in. The sky was beginning to brighten up, and there was very little wind. More on the temperature will follow.
The desert certainly has its beauty. Cacti of all types, sizes, and shapes were growing right up to the road edge. Up to this point we have not ridden through areas filled with Suguaro cacti but about 15 miles out they began showing up all over the place. One thing I discovered is how easy it is to brush your foot (keep in mind I am wearing biking sandals) against low lying cacti and get the spines stuck in your socks and how easy it is for the prickly spines to poke holes in your fingers while pulling them out of your socks. Note to self: watch were I step in the future.
In one area we passed an old motel that nature has begun to reclaim. I don’t know how long it has been closed, but grass, cacti, and other plants have begun taking over the landscape while seasonal changes have begun reducing the concrete and metal structures. We have seen quite a few abandoned businesses and homes out in the middle of no where; I often wonder what dreams or hopes people had for locating in some of these places.
Somewhere along the road to Florence AZ we ran across a monument to the silent film cowboy actor Tom Mix. Actually, the monument is located where Tom Mix was killed, at age 60, in an automobile accident. He was quite the rounder and lived a most interesting life, making over 300 films in the process. Some person, or group, attends to the monument because there is a sign in book, there are Xerox printed handouts free for the taking, and there are laminated photographs to look at. All in all it was one of those serendipity things that we sort of stumbled in to.
We arrived in Florence in pretty decent time ( 43 miles in 4 hours, which included stops). Just a few miles outside Florence is an RV park with some beautiful gardens; When we stopped at the Burger King for a rest break it was 93 degrees. When we left it was 98 degrees: more on the temperature later.
The run to Chandler AZ went well, also, and by 2:00 pm we had clicked off 82 miles. By this time the temperature was up to 107 degrees, and we were drinking substantial quantities of liquids. A stop at Mickey Ds for food and drink was certainly enjoyed.
At this point we decided to go ahead and try to put in another 20 or so miles in inorder to reduce the mileage for tomorrow. Even though the temperatures were quite hot we continued to travel against a small head wind which tended to keep us cooled off and the constant intake of liquid kept us reasonably refreshed.
All totaled up for the day I consumed 5 bicycle water bottles ( 24 ounce each), 2 32 ounce root beers at Burger King, 4 32 ounce Coke Zeros at Mickey Ds, and 4 16 ounce diet Dr. Peppers at 3 different Circle K Stops.
Speaking of Circle K’s . . . . . While we were stopped at the last one Michael came up to talk with us. He has never driven a car and uses a bicycle for all of his transportation. My guess is he is 60-ish but when he was 19 he and a buddy started in Seattle on bicycles and wandered around for over 3,000 miles before arriving back in Tempe AZ.
Michael shared many interesting stories about his life and then pedaled off just as quickly as he arrived.
We ended up in Tempe AZ at the Super 8 Motel for the night after pedaling 101 miles for the day. The high temperature for the day was 111 degrees in the northern part of Chandler. There was very little hill climbing today (604 feet) which made things even more enjoyable.
It was a long day but an enjoyable day. We wimped out and ordered a delivery from a Chinese Restaurant which arrived just as we had each finished cleaning up and washing the clothes from today’s ride. Wow! It is hard to believe that we did 100+ miles in 111 degree temperatures and lived to tell about it. Well, 5 am is going to come awfully early so it is off to bed for this little bronc buster.
Talk at ya’ later . . . . . . . God bless . . . . .