Current Location: El Centro, CA
It is day 4 of my adventure, a rest day. This morning we took the bikes in for maintenance and shopped for more supplies (lots of food). We visited a great bike shop called Finish Line, 560 Main Street El Centro. They told me that a group of riders had come in a couple of days ago and they were riding in support of their friend who has Lou Gehrig's disease. To find out more check out http://coast2coast4kalan.net.
The past two days have been pretty intense.
Day 2 consisted of climbing, lots of climbing. We started out on about a 4-6% grade for 16 miles. The road was not straight so we could only see the hill directly in front of us, but when we made it around each bend, we only found another hill in front of us...for 3.5 hours! We stopped for lunch at 230 and we stopped for way too long. My knee became really stiff during our brake. I rode for another 2 miles and had to call it a day because my knee was screaming. We still had 2 other riders other than Dad and me at that point so Paul and John took up the slack that day.
That night we stayed at Outdoor World RV Park which was lovely. The others drank some Coronado Brewing Company Islander IPA while I iced my knee.
The next day, we started off on a short climb then it was downhill to Jacumba, CA. Right on the border, Jacumba had a killer airport and a gas station. We had to be careful not to get hit by one of the many border patrol vehicles in the area.
If you look closely, you can see the border fence in the background
Leaving Jacumba was a slight uphill where we met the sag vehicle and placed our lunch orders (service with a smile). When we reached the peak we knew we were in for a helluva ride. Our side road ended at the onramp to the freeway and the bike path was just to the right of the rumble strip. This was the craziest ride (rollercoasteresque)! It was a 6% grade for about 8 miles. 30 mph while riding the brakes. I drifted onto the rumble strip a couple of times and it scared the ____ out of me. Not only was it loud and bumpy, but I started losing control and I decided to stay off. The gutter was on my right and everything was coming at 25-30 mph not to mention the semis that were passing just on the other side of the rumble strip, maybe Im being a bit over dramatic but it was crazy in the totally sweet sense of the word (does that even make sense)?
After that intense downhill we met the sag for lunch and did not stay too long this time. Got back on the bike and kept cranking. On this stretch we had a straight desert stretch just like you see in the movies, slightly downhill we averaged about 17 mph for about 15 miles, it was a lot of fun to crank out miles at a rate like that.
Then we turned onto Drew Road on the way to Seely CA, 8 miles to go. This was the bumpiest road ever. If the road had been smooth we could have cruised at 14 or 15 mph but I could not get above 9 because the road was so bumpy. For 8 miles we dealt with this until we reached the RV park again. We finished 56 miles by 2pm so we decided to crank out a few more miles while we were on a roll. After a brief stop at the trailer, Dad and I treked 7 more miles to El Centro. Sag picked us up and took us back to the trailer for the night.
Tired and sore, we took a dip in the hot tub at the park (livin' the high life) to try to cater to our aching knees. Had a great chili dinner, shot the bull a bit with Paul, John and Tyler and retired for the evening.
Paul, takin' 'er easy
Paul, John and Tyler left this morning. It was great to ride with those guys for a few days. It meant a lot to me to have John there because he too has his heart in this thing because his daughter Ashley has Friedreich's Ataxia.
And so we carry on, a few more pedal strokes closer to Memphis and a cure for Friedreich's Ataxia...