I am really getting into this vacation of mine! It’s a little like hiking in a group. You start out hiking with one person, and over the course of the hike, as people stop to take pictures or slow down to catch their breath, you end up hiking one-on-one with most of the people in the group. It’s a great way to get to know people better. So far, that’s how the days seem to go on this ride. Over the course of today, I ended up riding and bantering with 6 different people, which really helped pass the time.
And two of those riders were having mechanical problems. As part of preparing for the tour, I knew I would have to be self sufficient mechanically, so for several months, I took every repair class offered by the Global and Performance bike shops in the East Valley. Today, I was able to apply it. Neil’s front disc brake caliper was dragging the rotor, following the descent of a super steep hill, and I actually knew how to adjust it. One of the Tom R’s tires looked really low on air when he stopped to take a break, so I insisted he check it out before we moved on. He had been running on less than half the normal tire pressure for his tires. Potential crisis averted.
When we got to our camping spot, a mobile home park that rents some empty space to campers, the guys who arrived before us had negotiated to get us out of an open dirt pad with no shade and lots of stickers and into the shaded patios and yards of a couple of raunchy mobile homes. Pretty bad digs, if you ask me. I set my rain fly up on the concrete porch and will be cowboy camping tonight. A couple of the guys were so turned off by the accomodations that they rode 10 miles up the road to stay in a motel.
I ended up taking over dinner prep duty from one of the motel dwelling fellas, whose dinner duty assignment was tonight, and this is where I should have shot some photos. Two of us are assigned to cooking duty each day, which involves emptying panniers on arrival at the camping spot, cycling to a store to buy the groceries for one day, starting with dinner; preparing dinner not later than 6 PM; then, in the morning, laying out breakfast food (cereal, Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, juice, milk, and coffee); lunch fixings (bread, peanut butter, jelly, cold cuts, fresh fruit, energy bars, cookies, chips and salty cracker); and cleaning up after all meals and prep.
Ed Craft and I worked together on the best meal the group has had yet: a green salad and spaghetti with marinara sauce that was loaded up with meat, tomato chunks, onion, green peppers and zucchini. We started off not even having a place to prepare or eat dinner, then I talked the site manager of the park into letting us use the swimming pool area (the pool is now closed for the year) to prepare and serve our meal. We had to set our two stoves up on the ground and lean over them to cook. If I hadn’t been so busy, I would have a taken photos, but i was really distracted by coming up with enough food for a small army. I have dinner duty again tomorrow night, so will try to get photos so you can see what chow time looks like.
About the Route
After backtracking to get to where we left Historic US 80, yesterday, to get to our campground, we had to ride on I-8 for six miles. Six really slow steep miles with crazy traffic and long haul truckers blowing by us. We were glad when we finally exitted the interstate and were able to ride on normal roads for the rest of the day.
We left the Cleveland National Forest, passed through the La Posta and Campo Indian Reservations, and summited the Tecate Divide. The miles and elevation details below are incorrect, due to my Garmin turning off during one of our long stops, and thus not auto starting when we began riding again. A couple of the guys who had their Garmins on for the entire route told me that the actual miles were 34.5 with an elevation gain of 3671. That’s the equivalent of making 2.5 trips up South Mountain. Let’s just say, it’s a lot of climbing.