OCEANSIDE, CALIFORNIA — Bruce and I achieved the goal — to ride from coast to coast — that we'd made up our minds to accomplish two years ago. It seems like the end arrived too soon.
Fittingly, this was one of the easiest days of the trip. From 2,727 feet, we were coasting down to sea level. Soon after leaving our pace quickened and we had to slow for switchbacks and suddenly we began passing orange groves. It was all so California. We passed a mission, but we didn't stop to investigate. As Lazy Louie would say, all the hills went down and we had the wind to our backs.
Traffic increased as we hit residential areas, and James nearly had a head-on as he sped around us in the van. We were all riding together, and each tried to be the first to spot the ocean. …
Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/07/19/1984-bike-tour-day-68-end-of-the-road/
The last full day on the road ended in warm camaraderie making toasts around a picnic table. But it began much chillier than that for me.
I was slow waking up as I felt totally exhausted from the day before, when I had left everyone else at a cramped motel room in Ocotillo and headed up here on my own. I was finally breaking camp when I heard the crunch of tires on the road leading to the campsite. It was James in the blue van. Everyone was worried about me. They got an early start and would be passing by soon. He offered to carry my gear. No, I brought it this far, I’ll take it the rest of the way….
Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/07/18/1984-bike-tour-day-67-final-toasts-in-the-glow-of-a-coleman-lantern/
ANZA-BORREGO STATE PARK, CALIFORNIA — Too much heat? Not enough water? Too much pedaling through the desert? Too close to the end of the trip? I can't explain it, but I isolated myself from the group today and rode up to a solitary campground in the desert.
Expecting another hot day, we set the alarm for 4:30 but didn't really get going for hours. We all stopped for pictures at the Arizona-California border then cycled on Interstate 8 near the Mexican border through an area aptly named the Imperial Sand Dunes…
Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/07/17/1984-bike-tour-day-66-strange-lights-in-the-desert/
YUMA, ARIZONA — There are days on this cross-country trip that I anticipated from the first time I spread out the maps on the table in my apartment in Annapolis.
One was the climb up to the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia; another was going up and over Monarch Pass in Colorado. Today was another — 80 miles across the desert of southwestern Arizona where nothing was marked on the map except a thin line for Hwy. 95. …
Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/07/16/1984-bicycle-tour-day-65-we-find-an-oasis-in-the-desert/
Looks like most of the residents of Hope, Arizona,
have given up all hope…
I awoke about sunup this morning and … no Bruce.
It had been so hot and dry, we didn't see the need to pitch the tent last night. We threw the tarp down and just slept on that, until, at some point in the night, I realized all kinds of insects were walking around on me. I took my mat and put it on a picnic table and went back to sleep. Jim had already booked the other table.
Bruce woke up later, about 2 a.m., for the same reason I had, discovered the picnic tables already taken, and took off for a ride. He ended up at an all-night cafe where a group of 20 Native American runners showed up. …
Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/07/15/1984-bike-tour-day-64-i-can-feel-the-heat-on-my-eyelids/
AGUILA, ARIZONA — We're camping at the City Park here tonight. We've left all the cool, shady mountains behind us, and we're out where it's dry, sunny and hot. The park doesn't have much; just a picnic shelter and a small building for restrooms.
At the back of his building is a water spigot that drips. In the puddle underneath there sits a toad. I noticed him …
Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/07/14/1984-bike-tour-day-63-the-toad-in-the-desert-puddle-in-aguila/
PRESCOTT, Ariz. — We spent much of today in the small gears, the stump-pullers, the grannies.
We started our climb almost immediately after leaving Dead Horse campground. Jim had already left — we told him we always got a late start — and we gingerly picked our way across that slippery low-water bridge.
The old ghost town of Jerome was only about 4 miles away, but 2,000 feet above us. From the brush along Route 89, we could see the town sitting on the edge of a mountain, with a big white letter “J” adorning a slope above it
Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/07/13/1984-bike-tour-day-62-ghostly-visions-pedaling-uphill/
Cottonwood, Ariz. — We've liked everyone who has crossed our path as we cycle cross-country. Today is the exception. The scenery here has been beautiful, though, and the terrain has been in our favor.
We faced a major chore breaking camp at the Motel 6 — our laundering and bike cleaning resulted in our crap strewn from one of the room to the other.
It was sprinkling when we left (isn't this Arizona, why so wet?) and we headed south on Route 89A….
Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/07/12/bike-tour-1984-day-61-we-find-a-leech-after-crossing-verde-river/
FLAGSTAFF — We stayed here in Flagstaff another day to parcel out our time. We want to meet up with our friends from the UK in a couple of days further down the road.
It's hard to do nothing. We cleaned our bikes, did laundry, sat out by the pool, drank a couple of beers and it started raining. Back inside, the housekeeper slipped us a key to operate the TV — this was a Motel 6 and we hadn't paid the extra few bucks for the feature. …
Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/07/11/1984-bike-tour-day-60-marking-time-in-flagstaff/
FLAGSTAFF, ARIZ. – We rode through hail and back to get to Flagstaff today. Why we left the Grand Canyon, I have no idea. I guess we're just too accustomed to hitting the road everyday.
We awoke at dawn this morning, and took all the gear off our bikes for a ride out to the South Rim for more sunrise pictures. We flew along without the panniers,and I found it difficult to steer the bike straight. Returning to camp, we loaded up to our old sluggish selves and left by 9, stopping at the camp store. …
Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2018/07/10/bike-tour-1984-day-59-through-hail-and-back-to-flagstaff/