We made it to Apache Junction, but it was a long day. I awoke at 3:30 a.m. in order to pick up Brian and get to the airport in time for our 6:50 a.m. flight to Phoenix. The flight was fine, and we actually arrived ahead of schedule and had to wait for a gate in order to deplane. Our bags were the first ones off the conveyor belt—I hope we don’t have to pay karma back and wait forever when we get back to Philadelphia. Beth picked us up, and we were promptly back at the Marriott in Tempe (where we ended our trip last year) by 10:30 AM. I had my Bike Friday assembled and I was ready to ride in no time, but Brian had lots of trouble with his cable couplers, and he had to drop the bike off at a bike shop in Tempe. We ate a nice lunch and were riding by 2:00 p.m. Today’s ride was mostly in congested, suburban-type neighborhoods with lots of traffic stops and school dismissals (oof), but we arrived at the Best Western in Apache Junction by 4:30. Tomorrow will be a much harder ride to Globe—we will climb about 4000 feet over 55 miles.
With much anticipation and anxiety, we are starting the second leg of our cross-country bike trip: Phoenix to El Paso. This trip will probably have the most spectacular scenery but the most challenging cycling. We have to scale the Rocky Mountains. I have been dreading this leg of the trip since we first came up with the idea of riding from San Diego to St. Augustine. I hope I have it in me; we shall soon see. Last year I struggled the first two days going over the coastal range which hardly compares to the Rockies. I sure hope our brotherly rivalries helps to propel all of us thru the long climbs ahead.
I was able to assemble my bike without too much difficulty. There was one little trick that I needed to remember before I could get my handlebars on the frame. Gears and brakes seem to work fine today in contrast to last year. Brian had the most difficulty getting his bike back together. Thankfully there was a bike shop near the hotel that got things straightened out in his reassembly. Mark reminds Brian and I how easy his bike is to assemble.
Our ride today was like a tuneup; it was less than 30 miles of city type traffic over flat roads. Tomorrow is only 55 miles but it is almost all climbing: Apache Junction to Globe, AZ. It will probably take us all day. Queen Creek Tunnel is near the mid-point of tomorrow’s ride. It promises to be an interesting day. Early bed time for all of us. Good Night.