Follow by Email

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day 5: Gila Bend, AZ to Marana, AZ

Hooray for triple digits! We cranked out 100 miles today!

We woke up at 4:30 so that we could be on the road peddling at 5:30. Matt's best was watching the sunrise come up. It was beautiful with all of the tall saguaro cacti silhouetted by the sunrise.

It was a good thing we started so early because once it got to be 10:00 the sun was blazing. My worst for the day is my sunburn. I put on another layer of sunscreen at every rest break (about every hour), but I still got fried today. Tonight we're driving into Tucson to get some long pants and sleeves to protect us from the sun. For about the last hour of the ride today I had to pull on my pair of sweatpants. They're super baggy and so Matt taped them up so they wouldn't get caught in the gears. Not the cutest outfit ever, but it felt a little better.

My best for the day was a little miracle that happened. I had prayed that my wrists and hands wouldn't hurt today because we hadn't been able to get wrist braces yet and they didn't! It sounds like such a small thing but it was huge to me.

There were tons of geckos, rabbits, birds, squirrels, mice, chipmunks, etc. on the side of the road. And we saw a lot of roadkill too... a cat, a mouse, a snake, a falcon, and a fox.

Great day but excited for tomorrow (Sunday--our day of rest)!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 4: Wellton, AZ to Gila Bend, AZ

Well, we got decent mileage in (78 miles), but not as far as we were anticipating for today. Matt got his first flat tire. Thankfully we had a spare bike in the truck, but Matt's worst for the day was riding the Bianchi because it was harder to ride. He patched up the tire on his other bike, so cross your fingers and hope that the patch holds tomorrow.

We both agree that our best for the day was dinner. Grandma Gina took us to a restaurant and we all shared pizza, lasagna, and a hamburger. Dinner tastes so good after eating granola bars, bagels, and fruit all day. Tonight we're staying in a pretty ghetto motel. (The alternative was a $130 room... No thank you.) It's kind of neat how small this town is--it's like in the movies. When we went to get water from this grocery store the four aisles barely had any cans on the shelves, and half of the stores are boarded up.

We made friends with some fellow motel residents. Grandma Gina brought them spaghetti from the restaurant and they invited her to have a beer with them. She declined the beer but sat out in a lawn chair talking with them for a while.

Everyone warned me that my bum and thighs were going to hurt, but my worst for the day is that my hands and wrists hurt like crazy.  I forget about the bum pains, and the thigh pains go away after the first 10 miles of the day, but my hands and wrists hurt so bad that we're going to get wrist braces when we get to a town that has a pharmacy.

Matt's beard thing is starting to get pretty wild and woolly already. I can't believe he's letting it grow out the whole way.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 3: Calexico, CA to Wellton, AZ

The weather was perfect today! The wind was helping us out for most of the ride today so we covered a solid 96 miles!

Today was an adventure :) Matt and I got pulled over by a policeman on the freeway because we weren't supposed to be biking there. Luckily the guy was really nice and let us off without a ticket and even gave us directions on how to get where we were going. We had to slip through a barbed wire fence to get over to the right road.

The worst part of the day was going over really bumpy roads. It felt like a vibrating massage chair but it was more violent, it didn't feel good, and there wasn't a stop button. My hands/wrists hurt from holding on so tightly going over all of them.

The best of the day was getting interviewed by reporter Chris McDaniel from Yuma Sun newspaper. He talked to us about our bike trip and took some pictures of us. Here's the link to the article:

We're tired, but all in all it was a fantastic day, and we had a lot of answers to prayers! And we made it to Arizona!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 2: Cameron Corners, CA to Calexico, CA

Today we met a fellow trans America cyclist! She was coming from FL to CA and will be finishing tomorrow! Like us, she was not a cyclist before this trip. It was a tender mercy to run into her because it gave us a little reminder that we can do this!

The best part of the day was definitely being able to press the brakes for 5 miles when we were flying down the freeway on a 6% grade! I never realized this but the freeway has a really wide shoulder and it’s a nice ride. Matt’s least favorite part of the day was that it’s hard to get free Wi-Fi for cheap, and my worst was the strong head wind that decided to join us for the last 25 miles. (My second-worst of the day was when Matt and I passed someone’s yard and three really big dogs came and chased us for a little while. I don’t like big dogs… they kind of scare me.)
We were 100 yards from the Mexican boarder so we had to take a pic (below). It was crazy seeing all of the boarder patrol guys going around. One boarder station had a sign that said they've caught almost 8000 lbs of drugs this year!

We went through the Yuha Desert and it was pretty hot. We had to take frequent rest breaks to fill up on water and granola bars. Our diet thus far has consisted of the motel’s free bagels and muffins for breakfast, granola bars for fuel ups, ham and cheese sandwiches  for lunch, whatever we feel like for dinner, and lots and lots of water. Today we added a bottle of Gatorade during the hardest part of the ride.

Our ride ended at 4:30 today, and we went a total of 68 miles. After taking a long shower and eating 1/3 of a watermelon, I’m sitting on our cheap motel room bed, and I don’t really want to move. I think I’m going to hit the hay a little early tonight.

Quote of the day from Grandma Gina: “Whoever thinks the world is flat needs to bike across America.”

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The "Real" Day 1: San Diego Coast to Campo, CA

We started out the day (and the trip) at the San Diego, CA coast. The weather was perfect today... warm and the air felt great! Shortly after leaving the coast we hit the city and decided to bike through it without our clip-in pedals on since we were stopping and going so frequently at all the red lights we hit. The traffic was congested and we were glad to get out of the city.

We took our first rest stop at a little turnoff looking out over a beautiful lake. The next stretch was absolutely gorgeous with the blue skies and the green marsh to our right. We watched birds diving for fish and saw hawks perched on branches. Gotta love this beautiful country!

At 14 miles from the coast, we hit the mountains and spent the rest of the day climbing most of the mountains we're going to have to go over in CA. Part of the way up didn't have a shoulder--and it was too dangerous for us to ride on--so we had to get off and push our bikes up the mountain (a couple miles). We had our tires barely on the pavement and we were walking through the bushes. It's amazing how many treasures you can find on the side of the road (empty bottles, car parts, butcher knives, keys, etc.), but we decided not to pick any of them up.

We went a total of 50 miles today. Hopefully tomorrow we get less elevation and more mileage under our belts.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Change of Plans

So last night Matt and I went over to our Grandparents' house to prepare for Monday's trip, and we were met with solemn faces. We had no idea what they were about to tell us... As our #1 supporters we probably couldn't bear to have them tell us we shouldn't do the bike trip. But Grandma Gina and Pops went on to tell us that we couldn't do it without a follow car because it is too dangerous... And Grandma Gina said she would follow us! Wow. Matt and I were floored because two minutes earlier we were preparing to be freezing over the Rockies, and now we were making plans to drive to CA.

Today we drove from Utah to San Diego and will start biking from San Diego to Florida tomorrow morning. This was our original route, but when we found out that we didn't have a follow car, we had to change our route because the long stretches between towns down here would be impossible without a follow car in that kind of heat. We think that with a follow car this is our best route now, and we will have a lot better chance finishing the whole bike trip (coast to coast) in five weeks because we won't be trying to scale the Rockies.

When you're around Grandma Gina and Pops spontaneous things are bound to happen, and now Matt, Grandma Gina, and I are in a cheap motel in San Diego preparing for our "real" first day tomorrow morning. Thanks Pops and Grandma Gina (and Mom and Dad for the car)!