Friday, March 13, 2009

Phlying to Phoenix

After a fantastic lasagna dinner last night in Wickenburg and my first good night's sleep on the trip, it was time to pack up and head to Phoenix today. Passed Lake Pleasant, created by one of those infernal dams designed to retain water for the Central Arizona Project (for my Serial Set friends). It seemed very bizarre to see signs for marinas in the middle of a field of cactus.

Speaking of cactus, one of my fellow bicyclists arrived unusually early and without her usual riding partners. She was asked if she thought she was getting into really good condition, hence her early arrival, to which she replied, "there are only so many pictures you can take of f------ cactus!!!" So, no pictures of cactus today. And, since about half of the ride was in relatively heavy traffic and strip malls, I didn't take many pictures myself.

How does a typical day go? I am one of the early birds (surprise, surprise). By 6 a.m. I'm packed and ready to go. If our hotel has a breakfast offering, we usually partake of it (most hotels don't start that until 6:30). If the hotel offering is limited or nonexistent, Linda makes a breakfast of eggs and oatmeal, along with bread, cereal, fruit. They tell us we can't start riding until the sun rises, so the early birds scan the surrounding hills for the first sunlight of the day. When it appears, we tell the day's sag driver we're off, and start riding.

The first sag stop is usually about 20 miles into the ride. The sag driver waits until the last rider leaves the hotel parking lot, then travels out past the lead rider to that point. There are occasional places where we can stop for early lunch/late breakfast before the second sag stop. So far we haven't had more than two sag stops. One day the sag stops were broken up by Linda and the van having a lunch stop in the middle of the ride (there weren't any other options).

Riders arrive at the hotel-du-jour and check in at the front desk, take bike and bags to the room, and then do whatever they want until around 6 p.m. dinner. We have a trailer which hauls luggage and has a kitchen in the back. Linda and Lois will make dinner, and we sit in those ubiquitous white resin chairs (which are stored in the luggage area) while we eat. After we eat, Michelle hands out the next day's cue sheet (lists of places where we turn and distances between turns) and talks about the route. After dinner people chat or go to their rooms for the night. And then it starts all over again.

I know many people have asked questions in their comments. I'll try to answer them in my March 19 entry. That is our next layover day and I'll have more time to read the comments and answer questions.

Tomorrow we head to Apache Junction.

Hey, Kak, are you keeping up? (My sister said she will ride her stationary bike 10% of the miles I do each day.)

Today's stats: 66.94 miles; riding time 5 hrs. 8 minutes; total miles: 324.
Food so far today: Two slices of french toast, small bowl of Special K cereal with milk, two small cups of OJ, coffee, chicken sandwich, lemonade, banana, grilled ham and cheese sandwich, fries. Will go light at dinner tonight!


Thom Kelley said...

Get real, Nancy. Kak is still trying to clear all the laundry, books, and knick knacks off her bicycle! She's going to have some serious catching up to do with you. Does anything hurt yet?
Can't wait to see you in Kerrville! I'm sure it seems like an eternity away, but you'll be here before you know it!
Lots of aloha blowing at you from behind!

kak said...

Gosh, you people have no faith in me. The bike has been cleared off for ages (Bill tries to place his clothes on them but off they come). I have some catch up to do (already??) but it's getting done. Have about 18 miles to go but can do that and catch up pretty quickly. I tried the ceiling fan to get that windblown look but am too short to benefit. Have tried to watch tv while doing it but that scenery is a lot worse than the blooming desert. So, am reading. Like duh, what else would a librarian do. Am so glad you're doing the blog - it's like your emails! Love you, little sis. Kak