Before I even get going here, let me just notice you on a correction to the title of yesterday’s blog post. Yesterday, I ended up in Tonto Basin, not Globe. I have corrected the title of the post on WordPress, but it lives on forever on FaceBook. Note to self: Don’t attempt writing anything when you are dozing off. It may not go well.
Today, I got a late start, owing to the fact that I fell asleep last night while working on the blog, then had to finish it under the gun this morning. I don’t even want to admit the time of my departure, but I will so I can demonstrate transparency, in case Donald Trump ever comes across my blog in all of his social networking. I rode out at 9 AM.
In may defense, Eric, the token youngster in our group, departed just a few minutes before me and arrived Globe later than I did. But who cares about that? Oh, our ride leader Ken does. He was irritated with both me and Eric, so announced a new rule today. The ride leader will depart with or without the last riders 1.5 hours after breakfast. I feel pressure.
A good part of today’s route had views of Roosevelt Lake, a place I have fond memories of. I used to go there with my best friend Jacki Paul back when we were single, and we honed our water skiing and beach camping skills. We learned some other things too, like how to change the color or our swimsuit by swimming in lake water (Jacki perfected the technique). Later on, I took Camille camping there a couple of times, as part of the long vacation she and I took together each summer. I hadn’t been back since then, and that must have been 12 – 16 years ago.
I was a little surprised by the beach scene–high end RVs and travel trailers, no modest little tents like the one Camille and I camped in, back in the day. Going further back, in Jacki’s pre-twin days, she and I cowboy camped on the beach. What has happened to the world?
Roosevelt Lake is over 22 miles long, and looking at it from every possible angle took my mind off the fact that we were riding into a headwind that entire distance.
Around the time Camille was born, I worked at Salt River Project, the company that manages the watershed and dams along the Salt River. A huge project was underway to raise the height of Roosevelt Dam 77 feet and to move the traffic that crossed over the dam to a new suspension bridge. It’s really pretty amazing to look at the end result. I mentioned that little bit of history to Ken, as we rode over the bridge, and he didn’t believe me.
When we had motored ourselves to the end of the lake, the road angled upward, and now we were climbing into a headwind. Okay, so it was a little tiring and slow going, but having a cool breeze on my face sure was nice. Better still was the fact that for a second day, the temperature topped out at 88 degrees. What are the chances of that?
I didn’t remember the amount of climbing involved in getting from the lake to Globe. You don’t notice things like that when you travel by car, as I had in the past. There was one really great descent that I was really enjoying until it got cut short near the bottom by a bungee chord malfunction on my bike.
The chord that held (notice my verb tense here) the large pot I carry for the group came unhooked on one end as we neared the end of the descent, and I started hearing erratic clicking around my pedals and the rear wheel. While braking, because I instinctively knew something was amiss, I glanced down to see chord bouncing back and forth and hitting the spokes–a disaster waiting to happen. And as happens with many disasters waiting to happen, it finally happened. The loose hook grabbed onto two of my spokes and started quickly wrapping around the wheel between the disc brake and the hub. I’m not sure if my braking or the bungee chord running out of chord to wrap around the wheel caused the bike to come to a quick and sudden stop, but I was relieved it was a stop and not a crash. But now the rear hub was tangled in a bungee chord stretched to its limit with both hooks jammed in sensitive places that could result in damage to the wheel or disc brake if they were not carefully removed.
Ken whipped out his handy little Leatherman saw and cut through the chord, but we could only remove part of it. The two hooks were still jammed up. I thought removing the wheel, if it would even come off, might help, so we tried that. It did help a little. He was now able to get at one of the hooks and weaken it by sawing on it, and we then were able to jiggle it enough to free it up and unhook it. Once all the chord and hooks were removed, we put the wheel back on and gave it a spin. The disc brake was not bent and the wheel was still true. Can you believe it? Just when I was thinking I’m unlucky, I found out that I’m lucky after all. I hopped back on the bike, tested the brakes and derailleurs, let out a celebratory “yahoo”, and hit the road again.
The remainder of the ride took us past ranches and mines leading into Globe.
Then we were on US-60 for 5 white knuckle miles of crazy drivers, but no bike lane–passing through a busy, hilly and winding business district. I made it to the Motel 6 by about 5:20 PM–alive, but wasted.