Friday, August 30, 2013

Like we're on vacation

August 23, 2013
Mohave Valley, AZ to Parker AZ

Starting the ride this morning, we encountered more humidity than we have experienced in a while.  Almost immediately I had sweat on my arms and face--not very pleasant when you know it's only going to get hotter as the day goes on because you're in the desert.  We spent the morning following the Colorado River, also the Arizona/California state line.  

Lunch was in the touristy town surrounding Lake Havasu so there were lots of shops and places to stop.  

We grabbed first lunch, filled up our waters, and made our way to Starbucks.  After a well deserved Starbucks break, we found a point of access into Lake Havasu, thanks to a group of guys on our trip, and took a dip.  It was so nice and refreshing.  Boats with music playing were going by and it felt like we were on vacation.

By the time we left the water (we were there for a while) the temperature had risen greatly.  The rest of the ride was up and down big hills, and once we left Lake Havasu there weren't many places to stop and take cool breaks.  The heat was grueling but the scenery was pretty amazing with the mountains, desert, and the lake all in one view.

At second lunch there was barely any shade to be found except right next to the trailer on the hot pavement.  We did our best to hydrate, but the last 10 miles were almost unbearable.  I finally had to ask the group to stop about a mile from our turn because my head was getting so light from the heat.  We took a quick break in the shade, but it was already too late for me I think.  Once we got going again I was swerving a bit on my bike for the last 2 miles.  I made it about 50 yards from the site of the trailer in a county park where we were camping for the night when I tried to make a hard left, lost my balance, and fell to the ground hard on my left side.  It was an annoying way to end the day because I knew I could have prevented it if I had just listened to my body earlier when I knew I needed a break from the heat and more water.  Luckily we were staying right along the banks of the Colorado, so after a few minutes getting myself together on the ground I jumped in a cooled off immediately.  We're staying at a vacation type campsite on the river so they had a beach bar where we hung out at before dinner and then we ate dinner at a waterfront restuarant, compliments of an almost-alum (he was signed up to do Bike & Build, not sure which year, but then ended up not doing to accept a job offer).  It was a wonderfully relaxing night, but wake up is at 3:30am tomorrow to get our longest ride of the trip in--120 miles!  Maybe one day we'll all be back here and be able to relax and enjoy ourselves like we're actually on vacation.

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