Day 12: Gallup to Grants, NM

66 miles, 886 feet climbed

Much less time on the Interstate made for a more peaceful day, with one exception–five miles of bad road, as the expression goes. That was part of the otherwise nice frontage road which was in the process of being refreshed. It was at the stage where the top layer had been ground off, leaving teeth marks from the grinding tool. Extremely buzzy at the handlebars, to say the least. Going faster helped a little, but not much. The one bronze (not going to silver here) was that it proved the vibration reducing capabilities of my Cane Creek eeSilk seatpost, purchased after riding a different kind of bad road on the 2019 America North tour. My arms and wrists were feeling every little diviot but my butt wasn’t feeling any of it.

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Day 10: Flagstaff to Holbrook, AZ

96 miles, 807 feet climbed

Today was a fast day, the first half downhill the second uphill, though less steeply so than the downhill. Some felt aided by a tailwind but it felt more like a crosswind to me. Almost all of it was on I-40. I’ve now concluded that Arizona’s Interstates have even more tire debris than California’s something I thought impossible. Plenty of flats to go around.

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Day 8: Cottonwood to Flagstaff, AZ

47 miiles, 4849 feet climbed

I knew about today’s climbing because Melanie and I drove both up and down it about 10 years ago on a trip to Sedona. My memory of it was steeper than it turned out to be, though. That’s not to say that it wasn’t a significant effort as we were gradually ascending the whole day with a few brief descents along the way. And once we reached the top of the last climb, it was essentially flat into Flagstaff.

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Day 7: Prescott to Cottonwood, AZ

44 miles, 2674 feet climbed

More climbing in the west, with a kick-ass downhill to finish. For days like this, I’m going to start adding the elevation profile, copied from my phone’s app that downloads the data from my bike computer.

I apologize that there are no photos of Jerome, a former mining town, now a tourist destination. I seem to gravitate to the natural scenery, unless there is some irony involved.

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Day 4: Indio to Blythe, CA

69 miles, 2457 feet climbed, weather: comfortable to start, warm but not blazing hot, at the end

Today would have been a 99 mile day but for road construction, which made a 30 mile stretch of I-10 impassable (well, seriously unsafe) for us. Staff had to shuttle us between the second an third SAG stops. There we no complaints about the reduced mileage, especially when we saw the work zone (photo below). And I had no flats to fix.

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Day 3: Moreno Valley to Indio, CA

90 Miles, 1998 Feet Climbed, Weather-overcast/cool to begin, sunny and warm, but comfortable at the end

It looks like we’re going to have unseasonably moderate weather for a while. Today started cool, which made the major climb on highway 79 into Banning easier. We grouped up on the western border of the Morongo Tribal Reservation. Going through the reservation avoided a nasty alternative route. The tribe insisted that we go through as a group, not individually.

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Day 2: El Segundo to Moreno Valley, CA

84.5 Miles, 2493 Feet Climbed, Weather: Low 60’s, overcast to start, sunny after Anaheim, low 70’s at finish.

Today’s ride took us through old haunts and areas I still visit yearly; tomorrow’s will be a little more of the same. First off, some stats from yesterday’s orientation. We have about 25 riders and 7 staffers. They include folks from the Brighton, UK, Israel, and Vancouver, Canada. Two of the riders are apprenticing part time as staffers. There were a few scratches before the ride, whose places were given to a few riders who were registered for this year’s cancelled America by Bicycle tours.

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