Salisbury Beach

Salisbury Beach
Thank You Katie, Mary, Caitlin and Brian

Sunday, May 1, 2011

1 May 2011Fast America Day 8

Rest Day

Well, I caught up with some work stuff that I had to do on my computer. In a little while I will ride to a bike shop to pick up some miscellany.

I am eagerly looking forward to meeting my friend Marcia Jarvis this evening. She is driving down with her husband Ron from Pagosa Springs, CO, just to see me. I feel so honored; I did my first century with her husband Greg in 1972 or 3. And I did my first two day ride with her, Greg and Jerry Dutcher round trip from Manhattan Beach, CA to Hemet, CA, a ride that closely paralleled our Day 1. But I moved from LA in 1975 and we have kept in contact by cards and now e-mail over the years.

The riding has gone about as expected. But I am amazed at where the time goes when off the bike. I appreciate the words I got from Liz, who did a similar ride a few years ago: “All I remember is riding and sleeping”. Between that and laundry, taking care of the day’s wear and tear on the bike and dinner, there is not much time for anything else. Maybe on the 80 mile days in Kansas there will be.

Tomorrow; fear is not a good emotion to be feeling: Tomorrow’s ride is 135 miles, with 8,000 ft. + of climbing, between 5,000 and 7,750 ft. elevation, from Albuquerque to Las Vegas, NM. Tough enough, but it will also be about 26 F when we set out tomorrow morning and the weather reports are full of snow and high wind warnings. Normally, I set about a challenge with realistic concerns and not fear, and I am writing about it to help drive the fear out. I just said goodbye to Gregg in the hotel hallway and told him my fears. He certainly had the right response: “I’ve seen you ride; if anyone makes it, it is going to be you.” I’m feeling better already.

Some thoughts on the first week:

Traffic: It helps to know how to ride and to follow Mike’s safety rules, but it has not been a problem. I’ve seen a few drivers do stupid things, but nothing really dangerous yet. The closest calls have been school buses; the drivers don’t seem to know how wide they are (or maybe they do and that is why they think it is OK to pass you with 6 inches of clearance).

Luck: I know of at least 4 people, myself included, who have taken minor tumbles. But I cannot imagine doing this ride unsupported. Replacing a tube in a 40 mph gale is one thing, but sitting there and patching it would be something else. And what do you do if you have a nail go through your rim? Beside’s Gregg’s rim, the other casualty is Shelley’s bike. It blew over at the rest stop day before yesterday (lending credibility my theory that my sun glasses blew away) and smashed into a log. The verdict is not clear but it chipped a seat stay and we aren’t sure of the remaining integrity. She rode SAG yesterday and is getting a new bike built up (new frame, her existing components) at the Trek store 2 miles away from our hotel today.

Brenda: In our first day in Arizona, we had lunch in the town of Brenda, on S.R. 60. I wonder who Brenda is or was, and how the town got its name, but the town seemed to consist of three trailer parks, a gas station and café, and 12 trees. The town colors are gray and gray.

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