We stared riding at 6:00 a.m., which was before sun rise, due to heat we expected and the distance we were riding. We are riding west to east so one of the problems with an early starts is staring into the rising sun. This causes a problem for us riders as you can imagine. We have a hard time seeing where we are going, but it is also an issue for cars being able to see us. We have to be very careful.
The first 5 miles was fairly flat but then we climbed the next 30 miles. It wasn’t a steep climb but due to the heat it was hard. Then we had luck on our side with a nice tail wind and down hill to flat terrain.
By the end of the 90 miles the temperature had hit 106 degrees.
Most of the team is staying at a small church in Blythe but Ed and I wimped out and checked into a hotel. It is great, AC, a shower and free breakfast at 5:00 a.m. tomorrow. We did go back to the church for dinner, which the church graciously provide. The people at the church are great but we are old and we didn’t want another garden hose shower. The church shower only had hot water. And we later found out this was also the case at the hotel. The locals told us that they have had heat as high as 120 + degrees so cold water is not readily available.
Now to bed early again.
Sorry I didn’t get the blog written yesterday but I went with Ed to the bike shop in Brawley. One of his cables broke and he couldn’t shift gears on the his front derailleur. Due to this problem he could only use his small sprocket.
Then we had to do our laundry and go buy food for our rest stop food. Needless to say by the time all these things were taken care of, I was ready to go sleep.
Todays ride was a lot of fun. Parts of our downhill sections were on Interstate 8. For the first time we were on I-8 for about 2 miles but the second time we were on I-8 for about 10 miles and it was all downhill. We were flying down the road for about 3 miles when all of a sudden we were hit by a strong cross wind. This made us hit out breaks hard and hang on. We continued down I-8 with a much more controlled descent.
Once we exited I-8, we started riding on California S80. After about 1 mile on S80, the road was closed for construction. We found out it was closed because there was a bridge under construction but we were able to walk our bikes around the construction area and continue riding on S80.
Highway S80 is the worst highway I have ever ridden on. I was rough with constant cracks which bounced us all over the place and this continued for about 20 miles. The temperature was rising during this section also. We finally got off S80 El Centro and we headed to the bike shop here also.
Once Ed’s bike was repaired, we road 12.5 miles to Brawley in 105 degrees heat.
The church that we stayed in was very nice. It had a swimming pool, that was just a few degrees below hot tub temperature. This church even had showers, what a great relief. We went to bed by 8:30 because we are going to have an early start tomorrow.