Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Desert Wasn’t So Bad and Phoenix was Great!

With Jacob Ride supporters showing my Maryland colors.
Seems like a lot has happened since I left California. It took four days to get to Phoenix from Anaheim. It wasn't as hot as we warned. In fact, I was rained on the first day and the second day was very humid, not scorching hot. There was a great river trail out of Anaheim -- the Santa Ana River Trail that took up almost 50% of my first day. We made it just about to Palm Springs. We had problems with the Indian roads and then unpaved roads. We ended up having to illegally bike on the Interstate for a few exits, and cut the day "short" at 102 miles as the sun set.

The original route had us on a lot of side roads until Blythe, CA. At that point, we would get on Interstate 10 (legally) to Phoenix. I used to like the riding on the interstate because the first time we did it (Rt 5 in Northern CA), I was able to go so fast. Since then, the interstate has been more like regular roads but with more flats due to the debris.

After spending the night in Palm Springs, we kept on going the next day and went through Joshua Tree and 29 Palms. Two very big hills before each of those towns followed by shallow up and downs. At this point, I was a bit disappointed not getting any tailwinds. We're heading east now, and tailwinds should be the rule.

The next two days were pretty basic -- I rode, and Jack drove. We got on 10 west of Blythe for the final day. We met our awesome host home that night, Rob and Kari. They were great for two days and three nights.

This ride has been a life changing experience for me and meeting so many great people has definitely been the best part. For three nights and two days, we were treated to great food, and as much beer or wine as we would like. It was so fun to just hang out with Rob and Kari and talk about the ride, sports, and life in general. Almost from the moment we came inside, it felt more like we were staying at an old friend's house.

There was a great meet and greet type at the ballpark put on by AB. Met a few old faces and quite a few new ones. My Uncle Larry and Aunt Linda came, driving 7 hour from Las Crues, NM -- always great to see family!  Have to say I got some satisfaction seeing Kevin Gregg blow a save for the Cubs. I have seen him three times during this trip, and I still resent him for his poor performance as an Oriole.

Something fun about the Phoenix Diamondback’s game… because I wore my Maryland flag arm warmers onto the field during the "Special Guest" on field introduction, a lot of people recognized me during the game as I navigated the ballpark. It was really great to be able to talk about the cause and my ride with baseball fans.

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