Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ride Day 23

I left the civic center Rv Park in Globe AZ this morning at first light. I had a good day of rest at the RV park. I had not intended on resting there but for the last three nights I have not been able to sleep because I have had really high pain and cramps at night. The pain is not from the riding, I have it all the time but it goes up and down for various reasons. The main thing that makes it go up for me is walking. Almost any amount of walking will cause me to have pain later that day and night. I finally resorted to sleeping aids last night and got a good nights sleep.
On the way out of Globe I stopped and ate breakfast at Jack in the box, now I remember why I don’t eat there very often, sorry Jack. I headed out of town with a somewhat full but not satisfied stomach. The road was uphill at the beginning and would have a nice shoulder to ride in then all of a sudden the shoulder would disappear and I would be in the same lane with big trucks and speeding cars. I did survive without any real close encounters. Road engineers clearly don’t give a rats ass about bicyclists that is obvious from the jack ass way they provide for us then suddenly don’t. How would car drivers like roads to switch from two lanes to one lane suddenly with no warning and then back to two lanes? I don’t think they would put up with it. For a bike rider it is life and death because our vehicle weighs less than thirty pounds and a car is at least 1500 pounds for the smallest one and the big trucks are fifty thousand pounds. So needless to say a collision between a bike and a vehicle is always bad if not deadly for a bike rider. Please improve the roads for bike riders.
I rode hard with my fairly fresh legs after the rest. I was in top gear when I hit my first downgrade. It was a long slow downgrade and with a good riding shoulder in sight I cranked up the speed. It took me a couple of hours from leaving my camp to make it to the first city. I stopped there and took five minutes rest then hit the road again. There were more rolling hills on this stretch of the road than I had expected. People had told me it was all flat or downhill to Safford from Globe. I found it to be a lot more work than I expected. I still made very fast times. On the downhills I pushed it and on the uphills they were short enough to tire me out but not so taxing that I had to stop and rest.
I saw one heavily loaded guy riding west but he did not acknowledge my wave. I understand that mindset when you are working hard. A bit later I ran into two young girls riding from Louisiana to San Diego. They had been riding for 25 days which was about the same as myself. We talked for about fifteen minutes about road conditions in both directions and motives for riding. They were happy and friendly and I enjoyed running into them.
I made it to Safford by noon. My map said 86 miles but my odometer said 102 miles. I felt like it was 102 miles. My odometer and the state road signs that appear every mile and tell you how far from the state line you are both agreed it was 102 miles all together. I considered riding the alternate route to the Coolidge Dam but after reading the map description of rough roads I skipped it. I have seen the dam before and also been to the Gila Cliff Dwellings previously so I am skipping them both.
I stopped at Sunset RV Park in Safford for the night. The lady in charge, Starr was very nice. She let me stay in the Rec Room instead of putting up my tent. They also had showers and a full kitchen and a laundry that were all available to me. I took a long shower, put my laundry in and wrote this.
Tomorrow I head for the continental divide and after that to Emory Pass at 8228 feet. I saw snow up on the mountains today so I guess it might be cooler up at that height. More later.