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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sexta-feira, 8 de junho de 2012

Day 55 – 05/27/2012 – Kingman, AZ

This day we woke up with the sun warming up our tents considerably. I had plans to sleep a little longer, but by 7:30 am we were both up and disassembling our stuff. Everything was harder due to the fact we had no access to a restroom. We managed to wash our faces and brush our teeth using a little of the water we had for the trip to Kingman, and a nearby tree worked just fine as our restroom.

We eat a few slices of bread and started riding. To our surprise, a just a mile down the road we found a nice gas station and got some coffee. We got to talk with the food mart’s attendant and he let us use the employee’s sink so we could brush our teeth one more time after the coffee.


Once we returned to the road we had no major problems other than the heat, but we were used to it at this point. We saw rocky formations and mountains all around us where there were a few usual cactuses with blooming flowers. My uncle stopped a few times to take pictures.

After a few miles we crossed two small cities, one called Valentine where there wasn’t much other than a train crossing and a few houses, and another called Hackberry where we found a great Route 66 stop. There they had several items such as old gas station pumps, stickers, frames and pins of all types, all related to Route 66. They also had an incredible red 1957 Corvette which is the symbol of the Route 66. We spent about an hour there, had coffee and then resumed the ride.



 From there the way to Kingman was not too hard except for the heat. We again encountered several downhill stretches. In that part of the ride we saw a few isolated communities in the middle of the desert. It was impressive to see how they survive in such arid and hostile environment, many even without running water or electrical power.

When we arrived in Kingman we passed by several hotels, but we wanted to get food before checking in the hotel. On our way to a nearby Walmart we found a Domino’s pizza place and stopped for a large pizza and a few bread sticks. Then we got what we needed in Walmart and headed back to the hotel without any issues.



Day 54 – 05/26/2012 – Truxton, AZ

We started the day with the objective to reach Kingman, AZ. We left the hotel as early as we could, around 8:30am and rode towards a small food mart to get something to eat on the way. Upon entering the street to go the store we noticed something that was not in our plans: very low temperatures and very strong West winds (against us).

We didn’t really say anything to each other until we were on the store, but when the time to hit the road arrived we started talking about whether riding 60 miles with cold strong winds against us was a good idea.


A few people gave us advice and told us not to enter the interstate 40 towards Kingman but instead use the Old Highway 66 which had a less hilly terrain and was much more scenic. The only problem is that the total distance through Route 66 was twenty miles longer, and with strong winds like those we would not complete the path before dusk.

We were even considering staying in Seligman one more day. That’s when my uncle had a great idea: go through Route 66 but look for a hotel in the middle of the way, and then make it to Kingman in the next day. That’s what we did: we set out towards a small city called Peach Springs just 39 miles away where the GPS showed three hotels.

Route 66 was very scenic indeed. Once we got started we entered a very special area with opened fields of yellowish, almost white wheat surrounded by giant and deserted mountains. The whole area was so isolated and very peaceful that I wanted to buy a lot there and build a small house on top of one of those mountains.


The whole ride was very pleasant, except for the cold wind that insisted in blowing sideways. We had lunch on a place called Grand Canyon Caverns where they had a restaurant, a motel, an interesting store and guided tours to see the caverns which, judging by the pictures posted on the restaurant, looked more like abandoned mines than caverns.

Once we entered Peach Springs we noticed the city was in very bad state. The whole place was close to what a ghost city would look like: old houses with lots of trash on the yards, almost no people around and many abandoned buildings. The city is located on the Hualapai Indian Reserve. Unfortunately, like most Indian Reserves, this was a poor one.


We found the only market in town, so we stopped and got some groceries. Next we rode to the hotel which was across the street. To our surprise they had no available rooms! Also, they said there were no other hotels working on that city anymore and that the next hotel would be in Kingman, forty miles ahead. We were tired and ready to go rest and that was really bad news.


Fully loaded with our grocery bags we decided to keep riding forward and see what happens. The sun was setting and the temperatures started to drop even more. We rode seven miles and, just before the sky got completely dark, arrived in a small rural area called Truxton.

There we found a small motel, so we stopped by to get a room. Once more, to our surprise the lady there told us it was full as well! Thankfully she was nice and let us camp on her backyard for free.

We improvised a few sandwiches and chocolate milk and then pitched our tents. Unfortunately, there was no shower or us that day. That was not a good experience… we had to sleep with a lot of clothes due to the very low temperatures so showering before that would be really nice.

That was a tough night, but it could have been worst if we had no place to camp. In the end we were very thankful to the motel owner for letting us camp there and rested as much as we could before the next day would start.



Day 53 – 05/25/2012 – Seligman, AZ

We left the hotel room in Williams fairly late, around 11 in the morning and headed straight to a nearby supermarket where they had a Starbucks. We got too large coffees and set down outside to talk and drink the coffee. We had a great time. The temperatures were not as low as in the previous day, but it was very windy. Of course, as usual, the winds were blowing against us.


Once we were done with the coffees we left the city and starting riding towards a small city called Ashfork where we were planning to have lunch on. The first eighteen miles were pretty much all downhill, and despite of the strong winds holding us back we had good progress without too much effort. Once the downhill ended, though, things changed.


We started inching forward as slowly as it gets. Sometimes our speeds would not exceed the 4mph. Getting to Askfork as hard, but once we did we had a good opportunity to rest. There we found a small restaurant and set down to have lunch. The waiter was nice and the food was good too.
Then we resumed our ride, one more time against the string winds. At some point we saw two wild boars running by the side of the road.


When we arrived in the crossing where we would exit to enter Seligman we decided to stop at a Subway and have diner. It took us quite a while to get our food due to the long line at the counter, but we eventually managed to eat and go. By this time the temperatures were much lower already and we were shivering. We rode two more miles before entering Seligman’s urban area.

We found a nice little place to stay called Romney Motel. The guy on the front desk was very friendly and we spent several minutes chatting before heading to the room. Once we got there, I left some of my bags there and went out to buy chocolate milk and juice at a nearby gas station. We then did the usual: showered, washed clothes, had dinner and prepared to sleep.



Wind turbines are not good news

It turns out we decided to stay in this little city called Tahachapi,CA instead of moving forward to Bakersfield.

The winds were so strong we progressed just 20 miles in 5 hours riding.

Tomorrow we'll wake up early and get to Bakersfield no matter what!!





Frustrating winds

With speeds up to 50 mph, it took us 3 hours to cover just 10 miles... That's slow as walking!! :(



Departing now

Today towards Bakersfield!

It's hot already and we have some hardcore elevations in our way so we're prepared for a hard day.