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Published: September 22nd 2015
FLAGSTAFF to MINGUS MT. Section 5 CANYONLANDS STAGE 58 Distance Kms 109.37 kms; Total Dist to Date 6485 kms; Road
Condition: mostly good, but last 3 km rough dirt surface; Weather Cold 4c start, then cooler sunny ride. Time in Saddle: 5.23 hrs Speed: av 20.3 kph. Max speed 51.3 kph Av Cadence 66 rpm Elevation: 1596m up; Total up to Date 59,866; 1400m down; down to date 50,991m.
This morning riding out of Flagstaff, the canyon scenery was very beautiful and the switchback descent was exhilarating. I felt that Flagstaff was very liveable, the most appealing town in the US to date!
We then rode through Sedona which perhaps was more liveable than Flagstaff, certainly a tourist, artisan town. Many buildings in the adobe style, with colours that blended with the natural environment. Continued riding on to Cottonwood, maybe the workers town south of Sedona. The real climbing then started. 30 kms at 10%!g(MISSING)radient. Sounds worse than the reality, a constant cadence and ascended at 11kph. The worst was the final 3 kms and extremely rough dirt stony road probably at 12-14%!g(MISSING)radient. In comprehensible as there was a camp at the road exit. Clearly
the TDA scouting staff were in a vehicle. Was feeling ropable by the time I reached camp. Calmed down quickly with a cold beer! On route passed through the village of Jerome, perched on the side of the Cinderella Hills. Seemed like it was a village out of central Spain or remote Tuscany. Very appealing artsy town but very steep road through the township. Good views back over the lower terrain. Now at an elevation of about 2400 metres, so it is cooler, with beautiful blue sky and sunshine. Maybe a cold night. Mingus Mt is 2430m!
MINGUS MT. To YARNELL. Section 5 CANYONLANDS STAGE 59 Distance Kms 100.75 kms; Total Dist to Date 6586 kms; Road
Condition: mostly good, but last 3 km rough dirt surface; Weather Cold 4c start, then cooler sunny ride. Time in Saddle: 4.10 hrs Speed: av 24.2 kph. Max speed 56.3 kph Av Cadence 72 rpm Elevation: 990m up; Total up to Date 60,856m 1800 down; down to date 52,791m.
Today was another pre sunrise start (4.45am
), at least to pack up, then breakfast. I believe it was to avoid the heat of the day. Leaves you tired
in the evening.
After breakfast we descended the mongrel hill (4km) we ascended yesterday afternoon. Not sure what TDA scouts were thinking as there was an RV camp at the base. Probably to save a dollar!!! The descent was tricky. Afterwards on the bitumen we had a marvellous fast descent, although it was pretty cold, still at 2100 m (6500 feet, just less than Mt Kosiosko)!
Later we rode 15 km on a mountain bike trail, wrong bikes, but very beautiful and tranquil, away from the noisy vehicles. A blue lake mid trail, with large blue heron looked idyllic. Reentered civilisation crossing some high desert terrain, before a great coffee shop stop at Prescott, which was a small but attractive town. Saw a fellow exit the coffee shop with a holstered gun on his hip. Apparently it is legal to carry pistols openly in Arizona. I had previously observed signs at coffee shop doors prohibiting guns in the shop. I just assumed it was a 'western' marketing ploy!!!
Afterwards more hills and great descents. Rolled through a couple of one horse towns before stopping at the last, our camp for the evening. At least
it has a good shower! Minimal shade and now very hot. Pushed it today, as my final day is quickly approaching. A week ago I was looking forward to the finish, now wish i was riding to Mexico City. Bloody visa issues!!!
YARNELL to SALOME Section 5 CANYONLANDS STAGE 60 Distance Kms 101.65 kms; Total Dist to Date 6687 kms; Road
Condition Good; Weather Fine and hot. Time in Saddle: 3.25 hrs Speed: av 29.7 kph. Max speed 63 kph Av
Cadence 70 rpm Elevation: 110m up; Total up to Date 60,966m;980m down; down to date 53,771m.
Today we started we a nice descent, then the road was flat and straight. Entered the desert today and the scenery changed dramatically, the desert was rimmed by distant lower mountains and the cactii appeared, some of which were 12feet high. They looked spectacular.
Rode through some one horse towns, goodness knows how or why they exist. Most shops were boarded up!
Arrived in Salome, not much bigger, staying in the grounds of a motel, owned by an ex roadie for PINK FLOYD. Fairly eclectically decorated. An extremely hot afternoon and most sat around in shade where it
could be found. Arrived at 10 am
, after another early start!!
SALOME to QUARTZITE Section 5 CANYONLANDS STAGE 61 Distance Kms 110.70 kms; Total Dist to Date 6799 kms; Road
Condition: Good; Weather Fine and hot. Time in Saddle: 4.21 hrs Speed: av 25.4 kph. Max speed 46 kph Av
Cadence 74 rpm Elevation: 275 up Total up to Date 61,241m; 585 m down; down to date 54,356m
A warm night. At 5 am
- 23c. The town comes alive at night and people were partying to the small hours. During the heat of the day it was a ghost town!
The ride was flat, uninteresting under blue cloudless sky which as the morning wore on became hotter. Inadvertently rode an extra 17kms after missing an orange tag that blended with the landscape. Others also missed it! Still not enough to get me to the magic 7000 kms. Doubt i will make it as tomorrow is my final riding day. Likely fall short by about 70 kms!! Saw many black buzzards circling, concerned that they knew something I didn't !!
QUARTZITE to YUMA Section 5 CANYONLANDS STAGE 62 FINAL DAY ON TOUR. Distance Kms 132.30 kms;
Total Dist to Date 6931 kms; Road
Condition: Good; Weather Fine and mild- 25c. Was expecting 40c. Time in Saddle: 5.42 hrs Speed: av 23.2 kph. Max speed 40.7 kph
Av Cadence 73 rpm Elevation: 310m up Total up to Date 61,551m. 520 m down; down to date 54,876m.
Today was my final day of my tour crossing both Canada and the USA from Anchorage, Alaska to Yuma, Arizona, on the US-Mexico border. It was a long ride of 7038 kms of which I rode 6931 kms, losing kms early in the tour, 60kms to a badly swollen right knee, and about 60 kms one afternoon to exhaustion. The weather was much colder than expected, it has only really been the last week, that upon rising you didn't need a jacket and gloves.
Feeling a lot of personal satisfaction as i did not have any flat tyres, the only rider on tour, hail to Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres, i did not have any bike related issue, hail a good service by Nerang Specialised, and i didn't require any seat moisturiser such as Vaseline.
I will prepare a data sheet of states over coming days. The tour team redeemed the company by doing a great job, however i think after Africa, long camping tours may lose their appeal!!
The ride today was boring desert landscape being mostly used as weapons testing grounds for the military and GEN. MOTORS vehicle testing grounds. Expected 40+ temps but the weather God was kind, only 25 C during day after a 28 c overnight warmth.
Yuma appears to be a major centre for RV TOURISM, with many people leaving their rigs here during the hot summer months. Ate a Mexican meal with Tom who is riding on to Mexico City, the border is less than 30kms south of Yuma. Cleaned and packed the bike ready for travel tomorrow. A long journey of about 26 hours ahead of me.
Tot: 1.927s; Tpl: 0.053s; cc: 12; qc: 29; dbt: 0.0191s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb