Sunday, February 17, 2008

Meeting People on the internet

I had decide to do the Casa Grande 300K, but was feeling a little nervous about it. We had Santa Ana winds, and i felt like it was going to windy in Arizona, too.
I got the bike in the car and got on the road, It was windy through the San Gorognino pass and through the Cochella Valley. I was across a Sandstorm between Desert Center and Blythe. I had lunch in Blythe, and crossed the Colorado.
Once In Arizona, the Skies kept on getting darker. Finally, it started to rain. I had planned on driving in to Goodyear, but was debating on taking Arizona 85, which allows you to avoid Phoenix by going through Gila Bend. On the team Estrogen message board, RunningMommy had opened up a new bike shop.
I found Her shop, got some stuuf and introduced myself. We talk for a little while, and she gave me some luna moons to try. I had debated back tracking to 85, but pressed on through Phoenix. It rained even harder. I got to Casa Grande, and found where we were supposed to start. I then went to a restaurant next door and had supper. I was going to cross the street and get some snacks from a truck stop, but there was a long line of cars, so I skipped it.
I slept good, and woke Saturday morning, and drove into Downtown. I unpacked my car, and was talking to the RBA, Susan Plonksy. Someone came over and said "are you Fredwina?" . It was JulieB from another internet Hangout, At the appointed time, Susan used her truck as a pace vehicle to lead us through the street of Casa Grande. Before we knew it , we were in Coolidge. My brother had lived in the Florence/ Coolidge area for about 15 years, so I was familiar with where I was. We rode through some farm country , and eventually got on the Pinal Pioneer parkway (where the picture start). I was riding with Julieb and Lonnie Wolf from Utah
The first control was at the Tom Mix Monument. Susan had provided Breakfast. I had let Lonnie, Julie, and another rider go since I a =m a slow climber , and this was a 30 mile false flat to Oracle Junction. I caught up with Julie on the way into Tuscon, and rode with her through the city.
In the previous years, the rout had stopped at another "internauts" house, Bryan G from Bike journal. But, He has moved to Texas.
So, Instead, we did the rout of the famous Tour De Tuscon bicycle "race". Thankfully we skipped the section section where you walk your bike across the wash. I was hungry, so I asked Julie, if she would be willing to stop at a convenience store. I had a buirrito. We then climbed Rattlesnake pass, and roe down Silverbell road.
There were several large potholes on Silverbell (3feet wide by 3 feet across by 3 feet deep). hopefully these will be fix the time "el Tour" comes.
We then turned off the tour rout and started to climb up Gates Pass. Julie had told me to ride ahead, but she caught up to when I had stopped to remove some clothes. she waited for me at the summit in Tucson Mountain park. Susan was waiting for us again with supper. She also took a picture of me coming in to the rest stop
Julie and I had decided to ride at our own paces on the back to Casa Grande. I w=saw at a Circle k where I stooped to get some more water to make accelrade with.
I was doing fairly good despite the fact that it was dark. I was running about 17-18 mph (Yes, I actually get faster in the dark). The only problem, was that I develop Diarrhea. The route was on the service road of Interstate 10, and there was busy train track on the other side, which meant finding a "private place" was a challenge.
I made past the state Prison in Eloy without a problem. but had to make an additional stop at the final control to deal with my "runs". I managed to make it through Casa Grande without taking a break, but made a wrong turn ad found myself pedaling on the road to Yuma. I turned around and headed back into Town.
In the morning, I decide to drive through Yuma, and took a picture of the Glamis Sand Dunes before heading to the Spotlight 29 casino in Indio for an early birthday meal(My sister in law is from Twentynine Palms, so I have a soft spot for this casino.)
One thing that struck me doing this is if you mention Desert to most people, they would conjure up images like the ones from Glamis or on Pinal Pioneer. I was think about the driving out, I was noticing the Ocotillo plants on the side of the 10. if had driven 10 miles, they would have been replaced with Joshua Trees. In the US, The
Saguaro is only native to Arizona, It would take some one experienced to notice the variations. and like cacti, we come in all different shapes and purposes, be it people or cyclists

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