Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Biking from Wickenburg to N. Phoenix March 7

54.75 miles in 3:54.....When Pam and I drove to Surprise to see the ball game yesterday, my impression was that I was going to do a lot of gradual climbing on US 60, heading south from Wickenburg. I swear, that's the way it looked from the Jeep, but when the ride started, it was mostly downhill, all the way into the Phoenix Metro area. The weather said I was going to have some winds, and they might be headwinds. With this in mind, I figured 55 miles would be a good workout. Pam had a real hard time finding a campground in Phoenix that had openings, so I thought it would work out well. I'm going to hit most of the Phoenix area on Sunday, because traffic will be at its calmest Sunday morning I think. It is about 100 miles from northwest metro Phoenix to southeast metro Phoenix, which is really BIG!
 The 55 mile ride turned out to be a breeze. The wind was a tailwind, if anything, and the gradual downhill helped matters along. I rode US60 for about 30 miles, to the Surprise city limits. Great, wide, shoulder, although it was dirty in places. The scenery was typical.... lots of desert, saguaro cactus, with mountains on all sides of me. This left some time for me to watch for retread wires, broken glass and such. I stopped two times to pick up pennies that I saw. 
When I got to 163rd St. near Surprise, things began to get more interesting. I plugged the RV parks address into my phone, and let it do the work. That, was an adventure. The google maps took me off onto a dirt trail, the Mariposa Trail, which was really hard to find. After riding around in circles for a while, I stopped at a fire house, and asked the two firefighters there, and neither one could help, so I just headed down the dirt road, into the wash, out of the wash, and along a dirt road under some really big power lines. The GPS was talking to me, so I knew she knew where she was, which made one of us. I was bumping along, when I went over onto a private ranch road, which was paralleling the trail, a wash, and the power lines I was riding. Soon, there were horses all around, under the power poles, and I don't have a clue what they were eating, because I was in the middle of the desert. Then it got really wacky, with a real WTF moment. I started getting 'stung' by bees, even though I saw none. I was swatting at air, around my ankles, my hamstrings, my hands, but I still saw nothing. Then I realized what was happening! I was getting shocked because of the power lines, every time I came close to a metal   part of my bike! Every rotation, my right ankle got 'arc' when it came close to my derailleur guide, my hamstrings were getting it from a metal seat post mount, and my fingers were getting it from metal screws and pins holding my elbow rests and front bag in place. I was getting zapped every time I moved! This only went on for six miles! Soon, it just felt like  the TEMS electric stim at a physical therapist. At least it wasn't bees! But, it makes me wonder how comfortable those horses were that were grazing under the lines all the time. After six miles of dirt roads and physical therapy, I came to the huge electrical transfer facility, and followed a dirt road out to a main highway. I knew it wasn't Interstate 17, because there were no fences, so I jumped on and started to ride. By this time the female voice on my GPS was stuttering and changing her mind a lot, because I wasn't supposed to be where I was. She finally settled down, and got me to the campground. All the roads I was on had bike lanes, and they were really wide, reminding me of Santa Clarita, where my cousins live, and I enjoyed riding there. I was near Peoria and Scottsdale, both suburbs of Phoenix. I was riding along one main road, with very little traffic for a Friday afternoon, when I came upon multitudes of TV trucks and cameramen. It turns out that a 16 year old boy had just shot his girlfriend and killed himself. It was the news headline on all the channels that evening. After a boring start, it turned out to be a very unique day.

Railroad bridge

The "famous" powerlines

Electrical power station

The cactus are starting to bloom

The news cameras

All the news vans

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