Thursday, August 22, 2013

The first In-n-Out

August 21, 2013
Seligman, AZ to Kingman, AZ

Last night was insane. Most of us were sleeping in tents while others were on porches. Around 2am, the winds were gusting close to 30mph! The tents were shaking and looking like they were going to bend in on themselves. People hurridly scrambled to bring things inside before it started raining. Luckily everything survived through the night. In the morning I found the bikes like this. 

Mine is the one all the way on the right--the only one still standing! What a strong bike. It ended up falling anyway when we started to pick up the other bikes, but that's not important. Before we left Seligman to spend our whole day on Route 66, we stopped at a diner that had been recommended to us for its carrot cake. Needless to say, the carrot cake was delicious, albeit a bit dense and very large. 

Route 66 ended up being relatively flat from Seligman to Kingman, despite the fact that we descended close to 2000ft. Unfortunately for us bikers, the road was poorly paved so that almost the whole ride was bumpy. It's hard to ride on pavement like that for very long because it makes any part of your body that is touching the bike get all tingly and numb. It's almost painful! Luckily, as always in Arizona, the scenery was beautiful.

For much of the day, we were riding the white line of the shoulder because that was the smoothest part of the whole road.  Let me just say, trying to ride in a straight line was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  It reminded me of a balance beam, but luckily nothing too terrible happened when I "fell off" it.  There wasn't much going on on this section of Route 66 until we got to a small town called Hackberry. Pretty much all they seemed to have going for them was a very touristy general store that we all explored.  

We're getting very close to the Mojave Desert so temperatures are rising, especially as we descend in altitude.  By the time we reached second lunch, I just want to douse myself with my water bottle to cool off.  Leaving second lunch, we encountered a major head wind that lasted the last 20 miles of the trip. Luckily I had David to pace line with and we switched back and forth every mile or so.  Kingman is home to the most easternly located In-n-Out burger joint.  Lots of people on the trip were super excited about this and most everyone made plans to get there.  David and I headed there even before we went to the host site.  It was 4 miles past the hose site but completely worth it.  I got a burger "animal" style from the secret menu and I have to say it was pretty good for a fast food burger.  Fat Boy in Brunswick, ME will still always win though.  

Biking the 4 miles back to the host site post In and Out (which brought my total milage to 90 today!) I rode right into the sun setting in the West.  I can't believe in just 10 days we'll be on the Pacific coast watching the sun set over the ocean!

Tonight the teams competed in the second Olympic challenge--the Laundry Burrito.  Basically, every third day a group is responsible for doing all of the laundry.  We all put our laundry on laundry loops and then throw them on a large tarp.  The tarp is then folded into a burrito like thing and placed in the van and taken to the Laundromat.  Tonight the challenge was to see who could fold the burrito, put it and your whole group in the van, and then take it back out of the van without losing any clothes.  It was absurd how fast some of the teams were able to do it!  The stakes are high and the competitive fire is strong.

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