Bicycle Journey Progress

The journey begins on April 5th and ends on June 20, 2012

Ride Progress: COMPLETE!
Daily summaries:
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65
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75

quarta-feira, 23 de maio de 2012

At the rim!!!

We're now at the Grand Canyon's south rim!

Unfortunately no picture or movie can extend Grand Canyon's beauty beyond itself, but we will try anyways. =)














Sandwich time!!




At the IMAX

We'll now watch an IMAX movie about the Grand Canyon on the recently opened National Geographic visitor center!




Day 39 – 05/11/2012 – Tucumcari, NM

The day started easy with winds blowing towards West. We covered the first 26 miles very quickly maintaining a speed of 13.5 mph in average, but with many stretches of 20+ mph. While on the road a pack of Harley-Davidson motorcycle riders passed by us, greeting us one by one. Then we arrived to the midpoint of Route 66 which is located on a small city called Adrian. This city has just 169 residents, the smallest we have passed through so far.


Within that city most of the stores and gas stations were closed. The only place opened serving coffee and food was a nice café. We decided to stop by and eat something before moving on. For our surprise, all motorcycle riders were in the café as well, along with many other tourists. It was completely full, so we took the last available table. There was just one waitress for the entire place, and getting coffee and lunch ended up taking an hour and a half, but the food was good and having some time to talk and rest was nice too.



Once we were back on the road the miles passed by easily with the help of the wind pushing us forward. We soon arrived at a ghost city called Glen Rio located right in the border of Texas and New Mexico. We stopped to take pictures at the state line sign and, one mile further, stopped at a rest area to eat and drink something. We had chocolate milk, bananas and bread with us so we were able to put a small meal together. The New Mexico visitor center was nice with many guides and maps available for free, along with good coffee also free.


After eating and seeing the place we were back on the road. We still have forty more miles to go, but they were passing by really easily. Then, I had a flat tire. I was just too tired to fix that old tire and decided to put the new one on the rear of my bike. This new tires are puncture proof, so we should not have to worry about it anymore. We stopped by a gas station to inflate my new tire properly but the compressor was broken. A few feet away we found a tire shop, but they didn’t have a proper gauge or equipment to put the correct pressure for this tire which is 95 psi. They put the maximum they could - 60 psi - and we moved on.

A few miles later, my uncle had a flat tire too. He still wanted to use his old tire so, while he fixed his, I exchanged my front tire for the new one as well.

When we arrived in Tucumcari, our planned destination, we stopped to get food at a local supermarket. As many other cities we have seen on Route 66, this city was full of closed business and ghost buildings. A few places were opened and we found a cheap hotel on the West side of the town.


In the hotel room my uncle decided to put his new tires as well. We then prepared a nice dinner, showered and went to sleep early to prepare for the next day.



Day 38 – 05/10/2012 – Vega, TX

This was a day we had planned to make a long distance, so we slept early and woke up early. We improvised some coffee with instantaneous coffee packs we had taken from the last hotel room.


By 9:30 we were going out of the room when my uncle noticed his back tire was flat.


We unassembled the bike and exchanged the tube, but by the time we were back on the road it was already 10:50 am. From that point on we had a smooth ride. We planned all our way in the I-40 Service Road, following the Old Route 66 Highway. We rode the first 17 miles and passed through a small city with several grain storages. From there we saw the sign point out that Vega city was 13 miles away, so we decided to have lunch there before moving on.


When we arrived in Vega the first thing we noticed was that the city, despite of its small population, had three hotels. We looked for a place to eat and found the only restaurant in town, a Dairy Queen. There, asked permission to put out bikes inside so we could watch our stuff. There was a table full of old friends having lunch, and they all stopped to look at us. One woman got offended by us wanting to watch our things and said “Hey, no one steals in this city.” I told her we go everywhere so we are just used to this kind of precaution, but she didn’t like it and looked other way. Honestly, I was just hungry and somewhat tired so I didn’t care much.

Before ordering we got to talk with one of the cashiers and she told us the city we wanted to stay in, Adrian, had no hotels or anywhere to stay. The next city with a place to sleep would be Tucumcari, in New Mexico. Unfortunately, that was too far for us… another 80 miles from where we were.

With no other option, we agreed to stay there and move to Tucumcari in the next day. We found a small supermarket and got things to eat, then headed to the cheapest hotel.


To our surprise the room was fine and very clean. We eat showered, washed clothes and went to sleep 9:30 pm in order to wake up 6:30 am the next day.



Day 37 – 05/09/2012 – Amarillo, TX

This day we got out of the hotel late too due to the fact we did a big breakfast in the room with fried eggs and sandwiches.


I dressed wrong for the day thinking it would be cold, but it turned to be a warm to hot day. As soon we were on a less populated area my uncle stopped to take a picture and I used this break to exchange my heavy shirt by a lightweight one. We kept riding, and soon the pants I had chosen were also too hot for that day. As soon as we saw a few bushes on the side of the road we stopped and I quickly changed my pants by another one, much lighter.


We rode more 16 miles and arrived on a city called Conway. There we eat lunch and had one of the few good coffees we could find throughout the whole trip besides the ones we can get on Starbucks. We also called Brazil and updated the blog during that time.


The ride to Amarillo was smooth and without any hassles. The winds though made it harder to move forward. Even going on a totally flat terrain we felt like we were constantly going uphill.


Amarillo was a big city, but we didn’t see anything we were particularly impressed or attracted to, at least not on the places we passed by. We stopped at a Walmart to get food. There my uncle got a new seat for his bicycle, one that was softer and would make it easier to ride so many hours in a row.

We arrived in the hotel early and had a chance to make more substantial updates to the blog, and also have a good time resting in the hotel.



At a nice coffee house

Next to the Grand Canyon entrance! The coffee is good and the atmosphere is awesome!
Once we finish eating and making all updates we promised in the site we will get in and start exploring the area!





Yeahhh! WiFi!!

FINALLY!
We got WiFi at a coffee house next to the Grand Canyon park entrance!

We are seated now drinking some nice french coffee with delicious sandwiches, and will make ALL the updates we have promised before entering the park.

Stay tuned for lots of stuff in the next hour or so!

Cheers,
Eduardo & Gilberto