Day 2 Ride across America

After a 6 am breakfast, we started riding at 7 am, pedaling east through the town of Palm Springs. Lush gardens and gated communities slowly gave way to the amazing agriculture of California exemplified by orchards of date, orange, grapefruit trees and nurseries with hundreds of flowering trees, Palm trees and perennials. After the town of La Quinta we began a slow and steady climb passing through Mecca and entering Box Canyon. See Photo below. Dry and nearly barren of vegetation, it was hard to imagine that last year a rain storm flooded the Canyon and destroyed the only road. A new road was just completed and we were the first traffic on it.

We entered Interstate 10, a busy, noisy and crowded Interstate and rode on the 10 foot shoulder. Fortunately, our first sag stop for water and snacks was a few miles down the road. But, most of the rest of our ride was on I 10, except for the last 11 miles. Frequent pieces of debris on the shoulder made it challenging to navigate. With traffic passing at 80 miles an hour on our left and wind up to 25 miles an hour coming from our right, all our concentration was focused on the shoulder ahead of us.

For the 10 miles leading up to the last sag stop at 108 miles, the Interstate shoulder had significant heaving of the tar from the heat. So, a year ago, the tar peaks were cut down, but the remaining holes were not filled. Thus, we bounced our tires every 4 to 10 feet creating jarring vibration to hand, butt and feet. As a friend would say – ” no extra charge for the fun”

I finished after 5 pm. Fortunately, Blythe, an agricultural center between LA and Phoenix, was a mild mid 80s, not the low 100s of last week. After a shower and a sandwich for dinner, “Rap” by our leaders reviewed today’s activity and discussed tomorrow’s ride to Wickenburg, AZ, our second state of the ride. Honestly, I am exhausted, but feel good about what has been accomplished thus far.

For the record, Todd had 4 flats today, 3 from small thorns and one from a piece of metal. Changing out the punctured inner tube and checking the tire for the cause of the flat can be very time consuming. So, every time I get off the Interstate, I check for wires – today I pulled out 4 – before they could cause a flat.

I want to help readers see a video of the day’s ride = it requires many devices to work and work well together. I hope a video from Day 2 appears below. Please click on Day 2 in the box below.

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Getting Started and Day 1

We met at 1 pm on Sat for the official beginning: introduction of riders and the team from America By Bicycle (ABB) followed by a thorough safety check and description of the ride across America. We were surprised to learn that 3 riders dropped out at the last minute – so only 7 of us will ride cross country.

The other riders include: Jen, a business woman, is from Oak Park, IL. Francois, born and raised in France, has retired from Wall street work. Morten is from Norway – his carbon fiber frame had a crack in it from shipping, so he had to buy a new bike. Mitch, a tax attorney, is the only one from CA. Marco is from the Netherlands. Todd, a businessman from CO says hopes his children may take up biking and ride with him. All the riders have planned for at least 3 years, some for 5 years, to go on the ride.

This morning, the luggage was put in the van by 6:15 and we finished breakfast before 7. Off to the shoreline near Orange street and Pacific Coast Highway for the tire dip and group photo. A bottle of water from the Pacific Ocean was collected to be poured into the Atlantic Ocean at the end.

We started on the Santa Ana waterway, biking for miles, passing the Anaheim and Honda stadiums. That trail lead to bike paths through parks along the river. We went off path and rode through Norco, a bedroom community that allows residents to keep stables and horses. This lead to more parkland trails. Outside the park, we passed Loma Linda University and its sprawling Medical complex. After lunch, we rode past large tree nurseries, orchards of orange trees, cattle and horse ranches. Multiple large lilac trees in full bloom – the size and shape of small oak trees filled the air with their heavenly fragrance. From Beaumont, we descended through city streets with a strong tailwind. That wind carried us onto I 10, the major interstate freeway, then onto Route 111 and into Palm Springs. 117.4 miles today. The legs are tired and the upper back muscles are, well, needing some attention.

Tomorrow is 135 miles to Blythe, CA. We may get off easy with a temp of only 85. Usually, it is in the high 90s. So, keep hydrating!

tire dip in Pacific Ocean

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