Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Cycling Heroes Ride to the Grand Canyon

Lots of pictures and lots to tell you all about the ride, Genlte Reader of This Blog. Being on the injured list, Yours drove the Mystery Van. I provided junk food and ice water, moral and spiritual support to our Heroes: Alpha Dog Team Member Mike, and Alpha Dog Team Memeber Steve a.k.a. The Star of This Blog.

The ride was a challenge--limits were pushed and pushed some more. I mainly pushed buttons to adjust the swell air-conditioning of the Mystery Van--maybe so much so that my poor fingers became a bit tingle-lee. But that is nothing to compare to Alpha Dog Team Members fighting sleep deprivation, head winds, oppressive heat and burning sun, dehydration, hunger, five flat tires, cell phone service for shit, and my infamous horrific snoring.

First of all--I drive from Dog Mtn to Muledale. I say to Kim, to Mike, to Steve--I take a leak, and Kim gives me a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich for the road. We have a two hour drive to Prescott and we don't waist any time. Prescott is pronounced "press kit" or "biscut" Gentle Readers. What ever--I used both on this adventure.

Everybody wakes up at 4 a.m. The good news is that it was reported that my snoring didn't keep our heroes awake. That's also good because it means I'm healthier and the mononucleosis has pretty much run it's course.

My job will be to carry all the bags down the stairs, which will be about six or seven trips. But I'll go back to bed for a few hours then rendezvous with Steve and Mike in Chino Valley for breakfast.

Mike and Steve at appox 5 a.m.

The sun comes up fast. The lads have a strong tail wind--they are making good time. Here they are on Hwy 89 North.

One of many flat tires on this day. Maybe two flats the first 30 or so miles to breakfast.

Here's the breakfast place... The name should be changed to Iron Lung Restaurant: all the patrons looked like they had led hard lives--drinking, smoking, and bad diet. The poor souls were over-weight, bloated, and red-faced--diabeties and heart disease seemed the order of the day.

Steve's Denver omellett

Breakfast gets burned off pretty quick--the heroes are on their way to Williams, Arizona. That's where we'll have lunch. But first the guys have to ride on Interstate 40, heading east, for about 25 or 30 miles. Lots of climbing and truck traffic. I really couldn't pull over to take photos Gentle Readers--and anyway, Mike and Steve were feeling strong and taking advantage of the tailwind to make the difficult climbs to the lunch stop.

This is the parking lot of the Williams, AZ Dairy Queen, Gentle Readers. Mike and Steve decide to ride on ahead as there's some kind of car show going on and the streets are blocked off. I get the Chilli Cheese Dogs that Mike A wants so freakin' bad--and then I will rendezvos avec les Heroes. As I wait and wait and wait and wait, rain clouds appear.

In the meantime, the lads are enjoying a cool rain. They've ridden through Williams, and now are on Hwy 64 North to the Grand Canyon.

I'm following behind in the Mystery Van with lunch. Here's the sign to point the way.

With a tailwind pushing them right along, I'll drive up ahead to find a place to pull out for a stop.

All the way from Indiana for a Chilli Cheese Dog--vacation is complete!

This is Valle, AZ. I stop on the road. I'm actually across the street at the most expensive tourist trap in Arizona. The locals pick the pockets of the visitors as the head to the Canyon. The road you see in the picture goes on the Flagstaff--I can't recall the name right now--but one of my friends Bryan told me it was the most dangerous road in these parts. The locals take it, drive way to fast--mixed in with tourists, people crash and burn. I rode up this piece of shit road on the 600 km brevet back in May with Steve. It is a wonder we were not killed.

But hey we're on a good road! The Grand Canyon is straight ahead, Baby!

Inspired by Chilli Cheese Dogs, both nutritionally and spiritually--Mike Alexa c'et pret por adventure mes amis!

He look! It's Steve! Unaffected by DQ CCDogs. Bravo!

Entrance to the Grand Canyon. We made it.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

Good stuff Bruce. I recognize the scenery in just about every shot. Nice pictures.
My grandparents use to take me to the Iron Horse Restaurant all the time when I was a wee lad...I'm sure it hasn't changed a bit.