Reporting on: Monday, May 18, 2009
Riding Route: From Flagstaff, AZ to Holbrook, AZ
Temp: Varied/Winds: Varied
Temp: Varied/Winds: Varied
Elevation Climb: 3100 Ft
Miles Ridden Today: 96
Today we followed Rt 40 (Historic Rt 66) out of Flagstaff and did a long descent (well, some ups and downs along the way) into Holbrook, AZ. It was 44 degrees when we started our ride at 7 am - and by noon the temperature had risen to 98 degrees. That type of extreme makes it tough to know how to dress in the morning! Arm warmers to arm coolers! The 4 lane road was really good for about 80% of the ride. Then it all fell apart! Lots of debris, (okay, it might be exaggerated just a little, but we really had to keep our eyes on the road at all times)! cracks in the pavement etc. I helped 5 team members change flat tires today...may that be good tire karma for me! Champ (my roommate) had two more flats to make a total of five flat tires since leaving Manhattan Beach! I'm knocking on wood when I tell you I haven't had my first one! We had a good tailwind for about 60 miles which allowed us to average 20+ mph. That was the good news! At mile 70 we had a SAG stop - (at Jack Rabbit Trading Post) and when we looked south we saw HUGE thunder clouds coming our way. Champ and I decided to eat & drink fast and try to get to Holbrook before we were drenched. A few minutes later we had 25-30 mph winds coming from the side and a light rain began coming down. It was all we could do to keep our bikes upright and not be blown into the traffic! The last part of the trip we averaged 9 mph...a far cry from the 20 mph earlier in the day. A real test! But we made it!
We stopped in Winslow today - which some of you will remember because of Jackson Browne's song "Take it Easy" which was made famous by the popular rock group, "The Eagles." In that iconic song there is a line attributed to a hitchhiker who is standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona who sings "…when a girl, my lord, in a flat bed Ford slows down to take a look at me…". (If you know that one - we have some idea of your age)! The city has built a park featuring a six-foot tall bronze sculpture that depicts this fictional character. Yep, in the picture above is Champ and me... "standing on the corner in Winslow, AZ"!
As I said: At mile 70 we had a SAG stop at the Jack Rabbit Trading Post. (Yes, that's me sitting on the famous Jack Rabbit!) You've probably heard of it - but not many of you have been there. Their signs along the road are famous! A little history on our route today: In 1939 John Steinbeck proclaimed Route 66 as the "Mother Road” in his classic novel "The Grapes of Wrath". When the movie was made a year later, it immortalized Route 66 in the American mind. Soon after, more than 200,000 people migrated to California to escape the Dust Bowl of the Midwest, symbolizing the highway as the “road to opportunity.” Now that's probably more than you wanted to know, huh?
Just a couple of things to share with you: All in all I felt very strong riding today! My bike worked perfectly after the repair...and my new shoes felt like slippers on my feet! It was amazing going from Flagstaff, where the pines were thick and the air was cool (reminded me of Lake Tahoe, CA - without the lake) to Holbrook, where it is high desert with lots of scrub brush! While we had 3100 feet of elevation climb today, we actually ended up dropping 2000 feet from Flagstaff (almost 7000 feet) to Holbrook (5000 feet). More tomorrow...on our "ride" to "Gallup" (pun intended)! By the way, all the dehydrated bikers are rehydrated and back on the road!
What animal am I going to come across next?