Paul Zak's Strava activities

Thursday, September 24, 2015

One order of WiFi please, hold the bedbugs

I added a 10 mile loop to today's 65 mile ride for a total of 75. I just missed a turn and would up in Chandler. Then I had to work my way back to the proper course. All in all it probably only added an hour to the day's ride.

It's been particularly hot out here, certainly over 100°F but it's hard to say how much. Once the road heats up you're pretty much in an oven.

The goal has been to get out as early as possible but Adventure Cycling has a rule about not riding in the dark. We are warned daily that this is contrary to the rules, but there is little choice but to ride. I was on the road at 5:08 this morning and pulled in to Superior AZ about 1:30 pm. That's something on the order of 11 miles per hour which is about right for me on this bike, loaded.

The country is beautiful, but we climbed quite a bit in the last 10 miles, at the hottest part of the ride. Those last 3 miles were hard. I drink water continually but when I rolled into town I drank another 3 x 36 oz cold drinks. I am continually amazed by how much water it takes to stay hydrated in the desert.

I was able to get a private room at today's stop. Bunking with 8 other guys is a serious plain in the ass. I've had my fill of the homophobic shit, the farting and what ever else passes for bunkhouse humor. I'd have thought the presence of three women would tone it down a bit but it doesn't seem to be working that way on this trip.

This motel was a last minute replacement because the campground we were to stay in closed. Because this is a high class outfit, the leader sprang for only enough beds for 2 to a queen sized bed. In reality, I expect people chose for the bed and some got the floor. This trip is all about roughing it.  I had no idea how rough it could get. I'd rather be in a tent except for the heat. It doesn't cool off till very late in the evening.

Folks are breaking things and shipping stuff home. Yesterday in Phoenix, a large contingent went on pilgrimage to REI to replace heavy stuff with lite.

I am purging, not purchasing. I can still trim more and it makes sense to do it earlier rather than later.

We do a bit of serious climbing tomorrow from Superior to Globe but thankfully most will be in the cool of the day.

These towns all appear to be hanging on by a thread. This town has a copper mine which reopened recently, but a fluctuating copper price is playing havoc with the local economy.

There is a thing which motels and campgrounds do which is pretty tacky relative to their advertised WiFi access. They provide a password but fully half the time it doesn't connect. Then they shrug their shoulders and say it works for them. I have a phone and a tablet and there must be another 10 - 15 devices throughout the group. We can't all have misbehaving devices. In truth, these places aren't even up to the high standards of a Motel 6. I'm pretty certain that I'll wind up with bedbugs at some point but bedbugs with WiFi is better than bedbugs without, if you see my reasoning.

I'm spoiled. I know this low end mad-dash of southern US won't kill me, but it's a little madder than I'd imagined. I'm wondering if an exit in Austin might be a thing to do. I could spend 2 or 3 days by a pool considering my situation and then proceed along the same route, but at my pace. I don't need to get to St Augustine, ever but I do want to get to Linda's parents in Zepher Hills. If I divert rather than go to S.A. I could save something like 5 days of riding. I could make my way from Austin to Zepher Hills at a slower pace staying in a few towns for a couple of days each. That's the theory at least.

I'm not entirely sure I understand the point of speeding across the country on a bicycle. I'm feeling rushed. Perhaps getting through the west quickly is the best way to do it. But once I'm in the south, it would be nice to see something, eat something other than carbs and maybe hear some music. The breakneck speed of this tour precludes much of this.

It's not going to take much convincing. I just need to work out the dates.

Linda gets to ZH on November 14. It would be nice to get their on or before then. I think I can work it out.

More after I look at a calendar.

WiFi courtesy of the local public library!

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