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4/11/99 - Day Eight Posting - Salome!

Can it be true that we have been "on the road" for a week? (Time sure flies when you're having fun!) And we are having fun? We are having challenges, but always in the spirit of adventure, and with much gratitude that we are able to participate in this great trek across America.

Today began with a series of "goofs" --- little did we realize at the time they were foretelling things to come...

I ran late this morning, and I had failed to pack my gear last night (I had been so tired I just flopped in bed after the 90-mile trip) ... so, I was frantically stowing gear, dressing, etc. when we received a request to present ourselves in the motel lobby for our usual morning run of the day's route. So we listened attentively to our one-handed leader, all the while he is patiently trying to prepare us for the day's ride, he was chided about his "moguls" of yesterday. We all complained bitterly, long and loud about his definition of a mogul that was really more like a Mountain! This was all in good fun, as Al is the most conscientious and caring guy. He really wants us all (each and everyone) to enjoy this trip.

Jan and I had just begun to ride when she felt a dripping down her back... her camelback had not been properly closed, and the water was running out and down her back. We stopped and fixed it. Shortly afterward, she felt the water again. So we stopped and checked and decided that the residue of the first flow was still dripping down. We stopped at a service station just before the freeway and she bought a bottle of water to replenish all the lost water.

Today was another day we would ride the interstate. We rode I-8 for a short while in CA, but today we were on I-10 for approximately 21 miles... it really wasn't too bad ... the trucks especially, gave us a wide berth, and traffic was fairly light. Shortly after we entered the interstate, we were in Arizona.... so most of our interstate travel was done in the fine state of Arizona. We enjoyed a very wide lane for bikes along the interstate - we had some climbs, but they weren't too bad. We had a very nice downhill going into Quartzsite!

Near Quartzsite my room mate, Nadine, realized she was a pretty sick puppy, and she had the good sense to repair to the sag wagon. She was eventually taken to an emergency room and the x-rays revealed she has a bad case of bronchitis. She received a shot of penicillin and some medicine. She will help on one of the sag wagons for the next several days, and we all hope she'll be bike ready when we depart Phoenix. We are all in great admiration of Nadine, who never complains about her health. She has been sick several days (probably since the beginning of the trip) but she is always ready to get riding. Only her coughing has given her away until today.

One of our group had 3 flat tires today, our tandem riders have been having a running problem with their back tire, another rider had a flat tire today, and about 10 miles out, Jan realized she had a flat tire. She has never changed a tire, so I said the three women who were riding together at the time, would just "do it" I had a little training at Missing Link classes, and that was the last lesson son-in-law Jamie gave me before the trip. So we were able to remove the rear tire from the bike, remove the tube, and were in the process of finding the thorn, which we finally proved was the cause of the flat tire, when the sag wagon drew up. Jan decided that to save time (the other sag wagon being at the hospital with Nadine), she would just get sagged in to the motel where husband Al would be glad to make the repairs.

When we - the last riders in today - arrived at the motel (to the appreciated cheerleading duo)--- the front of the motel looked like a bike shop!

It seems that for one reason or another, this has been a "hard" day for most of us.... but all in all, a day that any traveler must expect.

We enjoyed it - but we do hope the head winds and crosswinds soon change into tail winds! We battled the winds again today, though I suspect they weren't as bad as yesterday and the day before...

Today we met three young men crossing on their heavily laden bikes from L.A. to Washington, DC. In the picture they are Calvin, Dan and Jared. Some of our group also met up with 2 women from Australia traveling from L.A. to N.Y.... (both groups are camping along the way!) Each rider is loaded down with supplies. One of the men even pulled a little "TRAILER" behind his bike!

Since our departure from Newport Beach a week ago, we have traveled more miles than I have ever traveled on a bike.... and we have many miles yet to travel! May they all be as good as the past week!


To read about Day Nine click here.
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