Day 1: From San Diego to Alpine and The Willows.  42 miles with 3,343 feet of strenuous climbing.    See the ride and terrain on relive  


Day 2: From The Willows to Boulevard Ca.  Another over 40 mile day with at least 2,500 feet of climbing with two major exhausting hill climbs.  Lack of water, battery power and failing lights riding in the dark were major obstacles.  


Day 3: From Boulevard to El Centro, Ca.  The intrepid riders followed route 8, or Kumeyaay Highway from Boulevard through Ocotillo and finishing the day with a nice long downhill into El Centro that lifts the spirits.  Today was a 60 mile day and the downhill made it tolerable.  Check out visuals of the ride!





Day 5: Day 4 was spent exploring El Centro.  Day 5 started early to prepare for the 65 mile ride through dry rugged terrain From Boulevard to El Centro, Ca.


Today was our longest ride so far st 65 miles. We started at 6am to avoid the midday heat. The ride was mostly flat and uneventful. Coming from Michigan the scenery is new an unique to me, miles of desert scrub and a few cacti. Purple mountains in the north and the Mexican boarder just to the south. We passed through Date City and saw a large date plantation, while I was eating dried dates - one of my favorite bike snacks. We saw lots of boarder patrol again today. One sight like home was the southern edge of Imperial Sand Dunes. We crossed the mighty Colorado River and then crossed into Arizonan, our first state crossing on the trip. We arrived about 2pm with temperatures still below 100. A great day!




Day 6:  Change of plans.  The team decided to take another route to Phoenix.  The first step was to ride east to Yuma  From there the route will continue on to Walton, Dateland and Gila Bend.  


Yuma to Wellton 

Today was spectacular in so many ways, even my estimation of the distance (wrong can still be spectacular). 

We departed Yuma about 9am with temperatures in the high 70s.  We crossed the Colorado river and worked our way northeast from Yuma.  We saw many large irrigation systems watering plants in the desert, we could feel the humidity as we cycled by.  The roads were mostly smooth and very low traffic (and very cycling friendly).  We came across date pickers andnd I watched and photographed them (gopro video to follow).  They use what looks like a bucket truck that has 3/4 a circle with 5 folks on it.  They raise this up to the dates and hand pick them 10 to 30 feet in the air.  Very cool to see!

We cycled by many more date farms and then on to Luguna Dam where we stopped for a snack.  A nice couple out fishing offers us cold beer and water, J.R. and I accepted the water.  I am always blessed and amazed by the kindness of strangers.  Next up was the Yuma Proving Ground Army base.  This is a huge complex that we went around and through (military road opened to the public, patrolled by MPs).  It was about here where we figured out the correct distance ☹️.  J.R. went to the gate and refilled has water.  It was also about this time we were heading back south and a storm was blowing in from the southwest at 15-20mph, some words were used…. We crept along into the wind and light rain until the wind picked up and we saw lightning.  Jim made a good call to stop at a house.  I knocked on the door and was offered water and a place in their barn to hide from the storm.  The wind died down and we were able to continue to Wellton a few minutes later.  We found the Penguin Bar and Grill and had a beer and nice meal outside.  A spectacular end to a spectacular day.  Bubba.

Check out my ride on Strava.


Saturday, September 25, 2021

Wellton to Date City - great scenery - questionable camping

Today was an easy 40 mile ride without any bonus miles (unplanned miles).  The scenery was mixed desert Witt purple tinted mountains in the distance.  After a bit of riding the mountains were nearby, gagged and beautiful.  We passed many east and west bound trains near our route, some seem to stretch on for miles with engines in the front and middle.  Along with the scenery and easy route we were blessed with a man from Texas who pulled over and offered us to cold waters.


We arrived in Date City and had a pizza lunch/dinner and bought a few beers for the campsite.  After a shower they took the edge off the road.  We have 50+ miles tomorrow so early to bed and the plan is to ride at sunrise.


Date Land to Gila Bend

The Date Land RV Park was aged and the bathroom was a reminder to update my tetanus shot.  On the plus side the location was good and the price was right.  As far as sleep, I got little between the heat an trains running through every hour or so.  We woke at 5am for a 6am departure.  The air was finally cool when we started riding to Gila Bend.  The ride was the quietest so far, I think Jim and I were just sleep deprived.  At the 20 mile mark we found “The Middle of Nowhere Gas and Market” and stopped for 2nd breakfast.  This is a 40s gas station with nice staff and the essentials.  The rest of the ride was uneventful, we did see a solar collector system that was the large enough to take 10 minutes to cycle past.


With 50 miles down we arrived in Gila Bend before noon.  Our space age hotel was not ready so we stopped for lunch.  After getting into our room and a quick shower, I went on the hunt for a few fruits and vegetables.  The hunt resulted in buying out the Gila Foot Mart of all their fruits and vegetables- 4 bananas.


We stopped at a local Italian restaurant, I ordered lasagna and the food was good and filling.


*The two things I have found as we pass through small towns:

1)  Fruits and vegetables are hard to come by

2) Food in these small towns costs multiples of the same items in my hometown 


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Gila Bend to Buckeye and a rest day

We had breakfast at the space age Best Western in Gila Bend and then biked towards Buckeye AZ.  The ride was uneventful and not very long (40 miles).  Again I am amazed at the kindness of strangers, we were on a two lane with a shoulder and a semi behind and one coming towards, the hang on moment when the wind hits.  Instead the semi behind us slowed then moved over to pass and give a thumb up.  We have had far more experiences like that then the alternative. We found a hotel (Holiday Inn Express) and booked on-line at a gas station along the way.


The staff at the Holiday Inn has been great, even  allowing us to was the bikes!  We are taking a rest day before heading to Phoenix where another friend will join us.  One of the nice things by the hotel is a grocery store where I can buy fruits and vegetables - my lunch both days with a bit of turkey.  We also used the laundry machines, they work much better than stomping clothes in the batht



Buckeye to Mesa, rest and Ron



We had a rest day in Buckeye and spent time checking the bikes and relaxing, knowing we also had a few rest days in Mesa so we could meet up with Ron who was flying in.  The hotel gave us a few OLD towels and access to a hose to clean the bikes.  First bath of the trip!  It was also nice to be out of the small town food deserts, I bought and consumed many fresh fruits and vegetables!


After our rest day we headed across the Phoenix area to Mesa, traffic was heavy and some of the listed bike lanes were nonexistent. The ride was not fun to say the least.  We arrived safely and found lunch and Jim looked up canals paths for a fun ride on our next rest day.  We also found Boulder Bar and Grill, good food and beer!


Jim and I rode about 45 miles around Mesa, Phoenix and Scottsdale in parks and canals paths, every city should have this type of bike/hike trails!  Great exercise!  Two majors:  Found the first great coffee shop of the trip & helped a guy land a catfish from one of the canals.


In the evening I met my cousin Patrick (first time since 1977) and his wonderful wife Nancy. They took me out to dinner and we caught up for a few hours.  What a wonderful experience.  Looking forward to seeing them again when Renee and I travel in the motorhome.



Rest day two was laundry, bike maintenance, shopping and meeting Ron.  Tomorrow we Ride for Superior AZ.  I hope it’s the easy 50 miles that it looks like.


Empire State Building

350 5th Ave

NY 10118