News Archive

Eric Mitchell's Cycling Blog-Tuesday, March 29

Cold nights, crazy freeways and kind strangers

3/30/2005 3:11:29 PM

   

Tuesday, March 29

Hello all,

The troupe is in Blythe California today, Tuesday

March 29 at the Destiny Riveria RV Center (very

nice-hot tub, pool, hot water for the showers). We had

a very short ride today (20 miles) as recovery for

Yesterday’s 72 mile hike. This is my first access to a

computer since we left San Diego

An update: First day Friday’s ride was 13 miles of

flat and 29 miles of climb, including a 15 MILE

STRAIGHT UPHILL CLIMB TO ALPINE,CA-AT ONE POINT, I

HAD TO WALK AND I WAS ACTUALLY GAINING DISTANCE ON 2

OTHER RIDERS-we stayed that evening at the Viejas

Indian reservation-got very cold for my first night in

a tent and sleeping bag-this day was the roughest day

of riding ever-it included about 8 miles on

California’s famed freeways (bike paths in the middle

of the road!!!)-very scary-glass metal and all sorts

of trash on the bike paths-can’t Budweiser Miller and

Coors do something about this? Dinner at the Casino on

the reservation-expensive-and a totally pitch black

ride back to the campground

Saturday: much more distance today (62 miles) and

today included 4 climbs-much easier day than Friday

as the legs have worked in a bit-we had a headwind all

day, including a stretch of bike path on the

Interstate Highway Rte 8 (man this was fun-30 mph wind,

1 ½ ft guardrail, and all of the lightweight

bicyclists looking over to a 300 ft drop into a

ravine-very scary day-a good thing at 45 miles it

started a long downhill toward the finish (including

10 on I8 again-3000’ in elevation to 1000’ in 6

miles-lost my mirror on the 45 mph downhill-stayed in

Ocotillo at an RV park-person did not charge us, gave

us a ride 28 miles one way to the grocery, and even

provided beer soda and snacks (seems he likes cross

country cyclists)-yes there are nice people out there

Sunday-long ride today-72 miles-only one serious

climb-saw border patrol arrest 15 people, saw border

partrol helicopters, one member of group had someone

pop out from behind a bush holding a gal of water-near

Jacumba Ca-can see the us/mexican border while

riding-many bikes going west offering encouragement

for the ride-a rider’s best friend at the end of the

day is a hot shower-first rider into the shower had

one-the rest of us did not-I re-awoke at midnight and

got a hot one-

Monday-another long ride today-gas at $3.40 a gallon

in Glamis Ca-we are now in high desert-in full

bloom-cacti, grass flowers bushes trees all ablaze in

color-at least the overage of rain did some good-also

in RV city-they are everywhere and the riders agree-RV

drivers are the scariest-they do not seem to realize

how big their contraptions are-many bike repairs past

4 days-one rider with 3 flats in 2 days-one lost his

chain-RV manager will not charge us for camping as he

claims that anyone who will ride across the country on

a bike “needs all the help he can get”; of course,

camp area is a pit as are the showers-met another nice

person here-took our groceries to the campground,

bought us ice, loaned us a cooler and another camp

stove-I and Alayna made dinner-chicken fajitas,

refried, condiments-came out very well

Tuesday-only a 20 mile ride today-go to the RV center

in 2 hours-a day to catch up-3 of us are here at the

library as I am typing-2 more just left-of course, the

RV center is 3 miles out of town so it is convenient

for car but not so for bike

More updates to come-we’ve now traveled almost 200

miles and tomorrow we enter Arizona

remember-write to the beer companies and get them to

use plastic bottles or to accept deposits-there is a

ton of glass out there



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