Day 6 Ride across America

This is why I am riding. To raise money for Growing Through Grief :

“I always look forward to grief group. Even if it’s a week when there are a lot of students who are sad and crying it feels so good to be with people where we all understand the pain of having someone we love die.  I not only like receiving support from the group, I like giving support, too.” – GTG Student

We started the day early with a 5 am breakfast and a 6 am start for Jen, Judy and myself. With temps in the 40’s, I wore a jacket, ear band and full fingered gloves. At mile 17, we were loaded into the van for a short drive past road construction.

Our first rest stop was at 38 miles, the Hopi Travel Plaza. There, a couple from Texas asking about our ride with America by Bicycle, heard about the Growing Through Grief program and gave me $5 for it. “It is an important cause”, the wife said.

After I spoke with the couple, I went back to my bike and found the rear tire was flat – I had picked up a piece of wire that punctured the inner tube. The tire was thoroughly checked for other wires and glass and then, with a new inner tube, put back on the wheel and inflated.

As we drew closer to Gallop, the scenery began to change – see photos in video – with beautiful hills and caves carved into the stone from indigenous peoples. Soon after our second sag stop, we entered New Mexico. A few minutes later, Jen had a flat and a problem with her chain, so our arrival into Gallop was delayed until 6:15. New Mexico is an hour later than Arizona during Daylight savings time. So, total time en route was 11 1/2 hours and we covered 131.5 miles. Again, a problem with the odometer will a show a shorter distance than we covered..

Those personal contact points with the bike have been taking a beating. I have bandages on the hands for blisters and the feet are sore, especially the toes. The bottom, well, it needs attention. Ointment tonight and, in addition to chamois cream, I’ll start wearing two biking shorts tomorrow. I don’t want skin breakdown to interfere with the trip.

5 am breakfast and a 6 am luggage load in the morning. I hope this hotel is not as noisy as last night in Winslow!