Having received numerous comments telling me to be safe, I want you to know that I’m doing my best. To illustrate that, I’ve thrown in a video one of the guys shot of me a couple of days ago.
Pretty exciting, eh? The flashing front light hopefully gets the attention of people turning and pulling out into traffic in front of me. Too bad The video doesn’t show my back side, which was lit up like a Christmas tree. There’s a multi-beamed led light on my helmet, another on the pot I carry for the group on top of my rear rack, a good sized reflector, custom made by Jay Stewart from a portion of a highway sign, on my rear rack, and two slow moving vehicle triangles mounted to the cooking pot and one of my panniers. I am doing more than any other person in the group to be visible in traffic. If you have other ideas you think might help me up my game, send me a comment. End of subject.
Stopping to smell the roses and take in the sights along the way keeps us entertained as we move down the road. And the small group of riders I’m hanging with stops fairly frequently to check out interesting things we see and to take photos. An added benefit of the stops is that it gives our bodies a much needed break from peddling. Today was a day with lots of those breaks.
After leaving Palo Verde, and passed 20 more miles of lush farmland before arriving Blythe, where we stopped at a local diner to celebrate our upcoming crossing of the Colorado River and entrance to Arizona. Yee haw!
There were signs on the pedestrian bridge discouraging jumping and diving into the river, so we shelved any ideas we might have had about cooling off in the water. After several photo ops, we got back on the route, which was a now I-10.
I love Arizona, but,where I was riding today, we sure do a poor job of keeping the emergency lanes and shoulders of our freeways clear of debris that could potentially flatten a bike tire. About 16 miles of today’s ride felt like an obstacle course of glass and steel belted radial fragments.
Our route took us through the corner of the Colorado River Indian Reservation, then we found ourselves in the Sonoran Desert again.
After climbing the Dome Rock Mountains, ducking under freeway underpasses to cool off ,and passing miles and miles of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, that in the winter is blanketed with winter visitors in RVs, we arrived our quarters for the night at the Quartzite Yacht Club.
After showering and changing, we hopped on our bikes to grab some ice cream from Mcdonalds, then headed down Main Street to see the town. This town basically shuts down in the summer months, so hardly anything was open. We stumbled upon a book store, Reader’s Oasis Books, that none of us will ever forget, no matter how hard we try. My friend Lloyd Porter put it this way: “You can’t unsee it.”
***** WARNING! DO NOT READ BEYOND THIS POINT IF YOU AVOID PG-13 MEDIA *****
The proprietor, Paul Winer, is a talented, 74-year-old honky tonk musician who recorded his most recent CD just 3 weeks ago. He also is an exhibitionist who operates his business wearing only the male equivalent of a G-string, minus the string. He has a great collection of books, at least a couple of which I would have bought for myself, were i not on a transcontinental bike ride with no extra room for souvenirs.
Paul uncovered a grand piano that is disguised as a book shelf and display table, then played one of his recent compositions for us. Here is a short video clip of his performance. Being the divorcée that I am, I confess that I love the lyrics, but beyond that, I am scarred for life by the visual of this guy, and I truly can’t unsee it.
After our tour of Main Street, we went back to our motel and met up with the rest of the crew for dinner at Silly Al’s.
A couple of super delicious 20 inch pizzas filled every one of us to the brim. Then we headed back to our air conditioned quarters where we slept really well. A break from camping and the early morning sounds of people tearing down camp was awesome!