Today was a day of 6 flats, multiple climbs of almost 2000', heat, rain and darkness.
What got us through? John Ogonoski for whom today's
Ride was dedicated to/for.
Departing Colton at 7:15AM (wanted to leave at 6:30AM) we rode through the streets of
Colton eastward. In Loma Linda, Bobby had to "bail" due to Achilles tendon problems
and rode in the RV...thank God for that! Once out of Loma Linda the "fun" started.
We were on a two lane country road with no shoulder climbing over a period of
25 miles about 1600'. Our speed: 10-13mph. Once we were near Banning the CHP
picked us up and off we went. We rode through orange orchards and deep canyons:
wonder full scenery but because of time and distance to go could not stop for a
photo. Once through Banning and the Banning pass and an elevation of close to
2000' the fun started! Downhill! For a period of about 15 miles we traveled on
a road that paralleled I-10 and our speeds were in the 35-40 mph range! Quite
cool. We traveled on the I-10 for about 5 miles and then went back to a frontage
road till we picked up route 111 to Palm Springs: again more down hill past
windmill generators and into Palm Springs.
In Indian Wells at the country club,
we had lunch with the Palm Spring Rotary. Must do this more often! Chicken,
potatoes, and veggies and lots of water. Once on the road we picked up I-10
in Indio. We had a climb into the "high desert" of over 2000' in a 26 mile
Ride.....not pretty! The grades were over 6% for most of the way! But, we made it
and once up: you got to go down. We had a light downhill grade and were able to
get up to speeds nearing 30 mph for most of the way, on the flats we were able
to maintain about 21 mph.
In Desert Springs, a different CHP officer joined
us and stayed with us till about 20 miles out of Blythe. He made us leave
the interstate for our own safety: it was dark, wet because of the rain
and obviously not the safest place to be. We exited the interstate, got
in the RV and drove 15 miles down the "road" to the next exit that had a
frontage road to Blythe. Did the last 10 miles in the dark with the smell of
orange blossoms, the barking of dogs and the whinnying of the horses.
Today was special: over 165 miles and all along the way people were waving,
honking their horns, and even the railroad trains the parallel the I-10 for
miles and miles honked or "blasted" us. Yes, John
got us through, just as Chic got us through yesterday.
Tomorrow, Thomas McGuinness will get us on our way
with an early morning "get up" (5:30).....we are going out to ride the part
that we had to this evening in the RV.
It's the mission for the 33: get the job done! The other things that got us
where we are the bikes: the Jamis Xenith team made all the rough spots seem
smooth and the hotel deal with Hampton: no sleeping in the RV or in the desert!