Here are some closing thoughts on the five day, approximately 400 mile bicycle tour I just completed from Flagstaff, AZ to Barstow, CA – mostly expanding on logistical items I mentioned earlier, in case some readers may be considering a similar ride. Daily writeups (now with photos!) are in earlier blog entries – check out the Track My Tour website for an overall map and short tweets/photos at various stops along the way! (Post ride note: I also have a Ride With GPS map of the tour route.) Continue reading
Ludlow, CA to Barstow, CA – 55 miles
After yesterday’s long day, the plan was to sleep in today, have a relatively mellow ride back to the car, and drive back home early afternoon. Oh, the best laid plans!
The portions of Route 66 for all of today’s route are now the frontage roads for I-40. The weather was pleasant when leaving the motel room a little before 9AM. I went under I-40 and caught the frontage road on the north side. It started going uphill – no surprise, since the whole day would be a gradual uphill to Barstow. Continue reading
Needles, CA to Ludlow, CA – 113 miles
Yesterday I alluded to my concern that I would not be able to ride the distance in the available daylight. I didn’t want to start at sunrise and put myself in a position where I would have to do the night riding at the end when I may be more fatigued. Instead, the plan was to get an hour or two of riding before sunrise, so that I could be assured of finishing in daylight. Continue reading
Kingman, AZ to Needles, CA – 71 miles
Since today was going to be a relatively short day, followed by a long ride the following day, I decided to sleep in and wake up when I felt like it – which ended up being 7AM instead of 6AM!
In my mad dash to ship the cold weather gear at the post office yesterday, I had accidentally threw in there my knee warmers. Oops. So it was off the to the local bike shop the morning, which was 3 miles north – i.e., 6 miles out of the way when you count the out and back. Good thing they opened at 8AM – real early for a bike shop. Continue reading
Seligman, AZ to Kingman, AZ – 86 miles
I forgot to mention that yesterday’s 77 miles was a little shy of my expected 84 miles. My cycling computer must be a bit off, or I must have used the most direct I-40 shoulder in a location where I had originally planned to use the old highway. Today’s planned route is 89 miles, all of it on the old Route 66 with no turns, so I would find out for sure whether or not the computer is the issue. Continue reading
Flagstaff, AZ to Seligman, AZ – 77 miles
Regular readers of my blog entries from previous bike trips know that I try not just to talk about the riding, but also the people and places along the way. But today was a challenging day, so this day’s entry is (mostly) about the riding. So deal with it! Continue reading
I forgot to mention that earlier today I had noticed that the heads on the stem bolts on the bike were starting to show a little rust. While it was fresh on the mind, I figured I’d go to the hardware store and swap these out for stainless bolts, and I’d also do the same for another bike that needed it. Yeah, that technically breaks one of the cardinal rules of bicycle touring (don’t make any last minute changes to the bike), but what could go wrong, I figured. Continue reading
Later today is the drive to LA Union Station to ship the bike to Flagstaff via Amtrak freight. Tonight I drive to another Amtrak station in the desert (can’t say where, I’ll ruin the suspense), stash the car someplace safe, take the train to Flagstaff, then ride back to the car to finish the tour. Shipping the bike from LA is necessary because shipping the bike as freight can’t be done at the other Amtrak stops along the Southwest Chief route.
The weather is forecast to be sunny all of next week, with highs in the 70s and 80s – with the exception of a chance of snow flurries tonight into tomorrow morning for Flagstaff, which is located at about 7000 feet elevation. I could delay the tour start by about a day to avoid the flurries, but I figured it best to leave tonight as planned and have an extra day in my pocket on the road. Continue reading