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4/9/99 - Day Six Posting - Brawley, California



If yesterday was a day of climbing hills; today was the day each one of us met our maker ---- or felt we were mighty close to meeting Him/Her. ......

We left our Mineral Springs Inn about 8:30 this morning after a fun-filled breakfast --- and we had lovely, gradual ups and downs for about five miles. At that point we entered the freeway (Interstate 8) (I had envisioned the interstate as being flat, busy, but flat ... and we were told we'd only be on the Interstate for 10 miles) --- so, no big deal, right? WRONG!!!!

No sooner were we on Interstate 8 than we began a downhill descent. Downhill is a very mild descriptive word. We lost 3,000 feet in 10 miles. The wind was blasting cross-wise and the trucks (big trucks) barreled by. It was the most frightening experience of my life! At times it seemed the gusts of wind picked up the bike and sent it sideways .... one member of our tour group clocked 45.5 miles on his bike! I was too fearful to look at my speedometer! Someone asked me later today if my hands were cold as I descended. I could not recall how they felt ... I am not sure if I was "in" the body or "out" of it! It was one screaming ride! Jan, who rode in front of me, sang all he way down. She thought the ride was wonderful. She just loved it .... I do recall praying-- (like my life was passing before me!!!) all the while she was singing!!

Russ, one of our members was so concentrated on keeping his bike on the road, that he "hunkered" down and went right past the cut off we were instructed to take. All the rest of us, did not miss the exit (it could not come soon enough for yours truly), but several of the group saw Russ continue on. Eventually we found one of the sag wagons and told them about our "lost sheep" ... Jan and I continued on the welcome, flat plain heading toward El Centro.

What a difference from our exhausting hills of yesterday! I looked down at the speedometer and we were "flying" at 22 mph ... with little, if any pedaling! (This experience is called a "tail wind" .... the darling of all winds for bikers!!! We covered 50 miles in no time flat! What an unforgettable sensation!!!)

Just as we entered El Centro, we saw Russ sitting at the corner of a road we were about to turn. We were so glad to find him. He used his head, and once aware of what he had done, stayed on the Interstate until it came close to El Centro. We stopped in mid-city El Centro for lunch and were ready to continue our journey.

A new adventure awaited us! While we were blessed with fantastic tail winds in the morning, the afternoon blessed us with fierce head and cross winds. Giant trucks created a vacuum along our path as we rode along. However, the terrain was flat and we just "hunkered down" and rode. Tonight our legs and arms are still complaining, but after a good night's sleep we'll be up and anxious for tomorrow's 89 miles! We hope the winds will be kind, but if not, we'll face them and enjoy the ride to Blythe, CA.

Tonight we have very comfortable accommodations at Brawley Inn --- and we enjoyed a great dinner this evening at a "Cowboy Restaurant" not far from our motel. On the way back to our motel, I rewarded myself with a TCBY or TBCY non-fat yogurt cone!!! YUMMMMMY!

(I must also report that those who saw me partake of the treat, decided to reward themselves with some, too!) (Is that called "leading others into temptation?

Kathleen


To read about Day Seven click here

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