Day 8 Bike Ride
March 23, 2015
Rode 57 miles
Rode approx. 6.19 hr
The nice gentlemen from yesterday gave me two more Nestle Quiks that morning, he saw me down them all the day before. We talked while I was packing, he was a really nice guy, he cycled a lot but never across the country, it on his bucket list. I left Apache Junction and started what I knew was going to be a hard day, there was a lot of elevation gain in my future.
I got another flat, everything pokey, sharp and pointy is conspiring against me. I knew for sure at this point. I was ready, however, this time. The day before when I made it to the bike shop, I bought an over abundance of spare parts for these just incase scenarios. The walk to the gas station just a few days ago had made me paranoid that I would break down again. In this arsenal of parts were the two heavy duty spare tubes. I had planned to put them on last night whenever I had gotten to camp or I got a flat on the way to the KOA, whichever occurred first. Since I am lazy, I mean supper efficient, I never switched the tube at camp but now I had my chance flat tube and all. Mission accomplished, on my way yet again. My pannier zipper closed easier after I put the heavy duty tube on the bike, yep it took up a lot of space. They better be bullet proof.
I stopped at a Mexican restaurant to eat lunch and take a break. A group of cowboys sat beside me and started talking to me. They ask what, “we were doing?” I was obviously biking from my attire minus the tight shorts. I had to wear a pair of shorts over the tights. One day I might actually be a cyclist if I could just wear
these tights without covering them up. They saw a lot of cyclist come through the area. I told them about the maps that Adventure Cycling published and this was on the route for the Southern Tier. They warned me about the coming climb with the narrow road and heavy semi traffic due to copper mines. We talked all through my lunch, they were mostly ranchers at one point in their lives or doing that currently. Most had also worked in a pit mine at one point in their lives. Every third or fourth sentence blamed Obama for something, mostly relating to the hardships they had in finding work. They told me a story about a cyclist that was killed on my upcoming climb a few years ago. On my way out they reminded me again to be careful, wished me luck, and mentioned that it would be safer if we all went up the coming mountain at the same time. It was like they thought I could organize everyone cycling across the U.S. into a group. I found that humorous since I had only met a few cyclists so far and I was by myself.
After saying good bye and thanking them for the conversation I headed up the supper sketchy road past Superior. It consisted of a huge climb with no berms and then I had to go thru a tunnel. It was a heart pounding experience, people kept honking to hear it echo in the tunnel. This only added to my dread. I could see the light on the other side but could not get there quick enough. Hoooooonk,-hoooonk-woooosh,-hoonk. The cars were extremely close when they passed me, the honks were deafening.
When I came out of the tunnel, I noticed that I was “number one” in a lot of people’s minds they kept showing me one finger. I decided to walk since the road was so narrow and there were a lot of semis and barely enough room for two of them to pass. I would pedal looking behind me all the time my head on a swivel back and forth. I would hop off when a semi was approaching, they weren’t going very fast because of the steep incline, and walk until the last second then jump over the guard rail leaving only my bike on the road side of the guard rail hugged against it. This climb took a while
I finally got to Globe and another guy talked to me for a long time.
Slept in a park up against a wall in Globe.