Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day #54 - From Sea to Shining Sea!

It's hard to believe but after nearly 4,000 miles, Kevin and Emi HAVE ARRIVED in San Diego! Back tires were dipped into the Atlantic Ocean at Montauk Point on September 23, 2011 and front tires went into the Pacific Ocean on November 15, 2011. A journey of 54 days with only a single day off in Austin, TX.  To date, through your support, Kevin has raised $52,432 for the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization near and dear to his heart.
Smiles all around as they get ready for the final ride!
They started the day in Alpine with a mere 40 miles ahead of them.  Though the morning started chilly in the 40's, by the time they hit the road the sun was shining brightly, the sky was crystal clear and it was already warming up.
With only 40 miles to go, mostly down hill, it seemed like they got there in no time at all.
Thank you to all who have followed along on this wonderful ride.

Day #53 - The Home Stretch

This is it folks!  Monday was the last FULL day of pedaling - and it was ALL UPHILL!  Guess that's going to make Tuesday's descent into San Diego all that much sweeter!  Kevin and Emi left Ocotillo in the morning well aware of the challenges ahead of them but smiling none-the-less.

After spending the first 10 miles on the Freeway (Interstate 8) they moved onto Route 80 for the remainder of the day. 
Skirting Mexico one last time in Jacumba then up, up, up into the mountains the day was one BIG climb!
Did I mention it was windy too?
When you see a wind farm you KNOW you're in for it!
Despite the constant climbing and wind, the terrain was beautiful and just has to be appreciated.  
After a day of upward mobility Kevin and Emi started their descent through the clouds into Alpine.
Some fun sights along the way included a be-goggled dog named Zig and a hilarious warning sign!
From Ocotillo to Alpine the pair climbed a total of 60 miles.  Tuesday 11.15.11 they will coast to the coast!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day #50, 51 & 52 - California Here I Come!

VETERAN'S DAY 11.11.11
On Friday Kevin started probably the most meaningful day of this ride - Veteran's Day.  How appropriate that a ride dedicated to Wounded Warriors included Veteran's Day.
Since the day was 11.11.11 Kevin wanted to ride 111.1 miles in honor of and with deep gratitude to all our Veterans.   Emi wrote about the history of Veteran's Day on her blog: Veteran’s Day commemorates the unofficial end to World War I on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.  Though the war did not officially end until June 28, 1919, it was on November 11, 1918 that the fighting ceased and an armistice between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect.  On Armistice Day President Wilson proclaimed, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”
Veteran's Day began in Surprise and ended in Quartzsite, AZ.
SATURDAY 11.12.11
A beautiful blue sky greeted our riders early Saturday morning as they left Quartzsite and began their last day in Arizona.
By mid-day they entered the final state - California!  I could not believe it when Kevin sent me this picture.  It just seems like these past few days they have been flying through the miles.  I'm sure it's different from their perspective but all of a sudden this incredible journey is almost complete.  All that separates them from the end is a desert and some mountains... They ended the day on Saturday, after 75 miles, in Glamis, CA.
SUNDAY 11.13.11
The desert.  I've always seen pictures of the desert with massive sand dunes and on Sunday, Kevin and Emi rode through them - well rode on the road than ran through them!  This is within the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area.
Evidently riding through the desert on a Sunday isn't such a great idea as all the weekend dune buggy, quad, dirt bike, and 4-wheelers pack up their campers and head back home with little regard to human powered 2-wheelers...
In addition to nearly being run off the road, Route 76 was actually the worst road they've ridden on during this entire trip.  That's really saying something after the awful roads in Texas.  
Through the desert, past Brawley and across El Centro, they stopped for the night in Ocotillo, CA after pedaling 89 tough miles.  Ocotillo, only 98 miles from the Pacific Ocean, is situated at the foothills of the Jacumba and In-Ko-Pah mountain ranges.  
The mountains.  Monday should be the 2nd to last day of the trek and will include approximately 4,500 vertical feet of climbing before the final descent on Tuesday!  
Stay tuned...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day #49 - They Went TO Phoenix Arizona

They departed Apache Junction yesterday morning in SHORTS!  That's a good sign after days and days and days of 30 degree temps!
Yesterday was a day of city riding - through Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Pioria, Sun City and ending in Surprise!  The map looks a bit confusing but evidently there are tons of bicycle trails through these metropolitan areas.
One trail ran alongside the Arizona Canal.  Though it's dry now, when they get a few days of rain in the area the run off turns this arroyo into a raging river.
Even bike path underpasses, like the one they rode through yesterday, can flood.
Convenient bike rest stops are provided.  It appears Arizona actually encourages "green" transportation.  How great is that?
They stopped after 66 miles for the night in Surprize, AZ and "camped" in the Trader Joe's parking lot! Tomorrow it will be:  They went FROM Phoenix Arizona but not all the way to Tacoma, Philadelphia, Atlanta, LA... Sorry Mr. Miller, I didn't mean to destroy your lyrics!  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day #48 - Arizona Rock-N-Roll

What a beautiful day it was leaving Peridot, AZ on Wednesday 11/9/11.  Look at the sky!  So blue!  After the obligatory morning photo session, Kevin and Emi were off and pedaling. The day ahead called for mountains and lots of 'em.  Throw in a tunnel and a bridge along with some gorgeous scenery and there you have a day for the books!
I don't necessarily get the order of things correctly, but I get the gist of it.  During the day, they traveled from Peridot, through Miami and Superior, AZ on route 70 and ended the day in Apache Junction off Route 60.  The total mileage tipped the odometer at 75 miles.  At this point, with less than 500 miles left, they are AHEAD of schedule!  Congratulations!  That is no small feat.
Passing through Miami they went by another copper mine.
After Miami, Kevin and Emi waited on line to pedal through the Queen Creek Tunnel.
Through the mountain, they then headed over the Queen Creek Bridge!  What spectacular beauty!
Onward to Superior.
Saguaro Cactus dotted the landscape.
During the day Kevin, Emi and Jim said goodbye to Jeff Gregor as he headed back home. Jeff, we thank you for all your help these past few weeks.  You will be missed!
Looks like these Bugs had a fun day ahead of them.  Makes me wish I didn't sell my old '68!
Hello Apache Junction!  Tomorrow on to and through Phoenix.  Wish the riders luck - that's a crazy place to drive so I can only imagine how biking will be...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day #47 - Forest Gump

Day #47 was a VERY productive day!
From Three Way to just East of Peridot, AZ, they biked a total of 93 miles!!  
During the day they rode down the road that was used in the movie Forest Gump.  It was on this road Forest Gump stopped running and said, "I'm pretty tired. Think I'll go home now." Since this is ALL the information I received on yesterday's ride, I guess that's all I got to say about that...

Day #46 - Arizona!

Weather reports for Monday weren't promising with warnings of thunderstorms and wind but Kevin and Emi decided to brave the elements and forge on.  
First they rode through Silver City, NM, where they saw this bike(?) at Silver City Hike & Bike. 
After hitting the Continental Divide they started a long downhill descent that brought them into Buckhorn, NM.
The vistas in this part of the state were wide open and beautiful, 
even as the dark clouds started shading the road before them.
After stopping for a lunch break the storm clouds really started rolling in.  
Within 5 miles the rain hit but they continued on though it in order to reach their goal for the day - ARIZONA!
They stopped for the night in Three Way, Arizona...  I'm just going to leave that one alone... 
A total of 78 miles were pedaled on Monday and the crew entered their second-to-last state!