Day 4: Calexico, California to Yuma, Arizona – 64 miles

A beautiful day today with a tail wind at our backs. No rain. Blown out to the first sag today. Long straight road that goes on for ever…

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We passed the Imperial Dunes State rec area.

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John had a flat while we rode the freeway. Plenty of good help. Lunch at the center of the world. Another eclectic stop along the road by the man that invented the rectangular parachute.

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There is a vastness to the land that eludes the camera and sometimes the imagination. The roughest road 5 miles coming into Yuma, which is in Arizona. This is our SECOND state already.

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Thanks for all the great comments from all my friends.

Day 3: Live Oak Springs to Calexico, California – 63 miles

Another overcast day with all our clothing on. We crossed the Tecate divide and it seemed like it just started to rain again.

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This day we had all our clothes on. The big downhill was very challenging with windy rain with gusts that were moving the riders. The pavement was slick from the rain. Our hands were getting sore from the cold and clutching the brakes. Lunch at the Red Feather Cafe. Cheeseburger supreme.

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I knew we were in the desert as I passed Crucifixion Thorn.

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Calexico is an interesting border town. 🙂

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Day 2: Alpine to Live Oak Springs, California – 32 miles

A wet night made for a cloudy morning. Off we went with overcast skies and a willing spirit. It is the shortest and the hilliest part of the trip. This was true. After a couple of miles the mist started and if you were not wearing your raincoat it came on at the vista stop.

imageIt was by far, the hardest 31.7 mile ride I had ever done. Tons of elevation with rain coming down harder as the temperature kept dropping. Then the wind began to pick up in blasts that would you sideways. This rider had a flat in the small flat on the last hill of the day with the wind just ripping by. Many thanks to fellow riders John and Jim for stopping and Coach, one of the mechanics on the trip. Got to the final stop freezing. Back in camp and clean, dry and ready for the nap of choice.
After the rainAnd now this is the later afternoon.

Day 1: San Diego to Alpine, California – 42 miles

The first day of the rest of our lives, maybe.  A stalwart group of 37 rider souls and 19 veteran previous cross country grizzled Bubba veterans as staff, waited with baited anticipation of the start of their own vision quest.  The start was slowly coming with a 9 am rear wheel dipping in the Pacific Ocean.

tres_day1-startIt was a really wavy day and this rider went down to the water, after the group picture, and stuck his hand in the water and dripped the water from the Pacific Ocean onto his back wheel. A fellow rider got caught in a wave up to his waist. SO that’s how it can go.

This rider 2 miles into the ride was out the gate early basically coming out of his shoes, too excited for his own good, got to do an extra 5 miles today. It would figure into a monster hilly day. This was one of the toughest days of the trip with another hilly day tomorrow but with less miles. image

Sunset in tent city:

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T minus one and counting

A lovely dinner with my brother Joe, the featured image, on the Queen Mary overlooking downtown Long Beach.imageWe strolled the promenade deck and saw some of the memorabilia that made the Queen Mary famous. imageThis artistic clock was on the mantle of the fireplace in the first class Grand Salon. The elegant wood and Art Deco trimmings and railings were amazing. I am packed and am ready to have Joe take me down to San Diego to meet my new “adopted” family. I am ever so grateful to my family and friends for the incredible generosity and support. My brother lives in this section of cycling and walking heaven. It is tough to go, spoiled I guess. Onward it is.

My roommate is Larry Sharkey from San Diego. He has done cross country solo. He is riding a Surly Long Haul Trucker. I got real fortunate. We had a big meeting with Bubba and staff.image

Downtown Long Beach with bike trails to bike shops

Hard to believe another chamber of commerce weather day. Took off again to Downtown on the LA River bike path and wandered through the downtown where they had begun set up of the Long Beach Grand Prix.

imageI went to a real collector’s bike shop in Belmont called The Bicycle Stand. It had all kinds of  Classic vintage bicycles, Italian Masi, Colnago to die for, Hetchen’s, Bianchi and others. Very nice shop with attentive staff. They were preparing bicycles for an Eroica ride in Paso Robles in April in the middle of the month. Check out the event poster. Very cool. Hard to believe I did not take a picture must have been too engaged. Ventured back downtown to see a hub of mass transit. Hello Hillsborough County.

Strong meets SoCal low rider at the Cog and Crank bike shop in Bixby Knolls. Queen Mary for dinner.

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LA river bike path and Bixby Knolls

Another gorgeous day in LA.  From the featured image above, the bike path is shared with horses especially at the busy roads when an underpass is used. On my ride, I experienced a horse rider waving from his dirt trail below. A 33-mile round trip north on the LA River bike path. A much more industrial corridor, but really a good plan for the freeway corridor.

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Underpasses makes all this work.

imageSome straight outta Compton graffiti.

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The trail just ended and it seemed such a shame.

There was a neat park in Maywood, California that had a cool presence on the bike path.

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Lunch in Bixby Knolls. Sweetness.

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