Friday, August 30, 2013

A day in the desert

August 25, 2013
Twentynine Palms, CA to Victorville, CA

Last night I went to bed super early and woke up when laundry crew came back. In my not fully awake state, I thought that it was already morning and time to start getting dressed.  Luckily, I thought to look at my phone and check the time and realized with was in fact only 10:00pm.  When I did wake up in the actual morning though (at 4:00am), my  legs and knees were the stiffest they've been all summer long.  Not the best way to start off a 90 mile day.  I rode with Jeff today, and as we made our first turn onto a road we would be on for a while he goes, "Don't look up ahead."  So obviously I do the opposite and look ahead and there is the steepest and longest hill ever.  Luckily we made it up and had a good downhill on the other side--that always makes the pain worth it.  The rest of the day was filled with tailwinds and steep uphills and downhills.  There were a few downhills that made you feel like you were on a rollercoaster because you would get close to the edge and still not see the road until you were basically going down it.  One of the uphills got so steep so quickly that I didn't have enough time to shift down and I ended up having to dismount and walk up the rest of the way.  It seemed like today we met a lot of people who had really good reactions when we told them what we were doing--they all basically thought we were crazy for biking all the way here from Maine.  We biked through the desert for most of the day and even saw an emu!

The day was hot and long so we just kept cycling and making our way through the 90 miles.  There was an awesome couple that run a BBQ place on the side of the road that we were biking on that flagged us down and gave us some cold waters.  When we finally got to Apple Valley we were back in real civilization with strip malls and stores everywhere.  We ended up staying in Victorville though just passed Apple Valley.  Victorville was a very sketchy place--right when we got in a few riders witnessed a fight on the street.  At the 7-11 we stopped at, the cashier greeted us with "Did you guys lock up those bikes out there??"  We also discovered this magical beverage (although we didn't try it).

Since the gyms we were supposed to shower in closed at 5, we had to figure out how to use the hose spikets on the side of the church.  So people don't steal their water, there was just a nut where the handle should have been to turn it on.  Using the handyman skills I've learned this summer, I used a wrench to turn the water on.  Matt had to help turn it off though because I was having a major struggle turning it back.  Tonight was also the last night of olympics!  The final event was a full team no smile dance off! Somehow it ended up being me against Matt at the end for what seemed like forever. Neither of us would crack!  Finally we called it a draw after a silent round, a solo dancing round, and heckling from other riders.  This meant that my chore group came in second place!  A long way from last place on the first night of olympics.  It's hard to believe we're about to start our last week of Bike & Build!  Not sure how this summer has gone by so quickly.

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