Downhill to Holbrook!

Written by: Dan Sheridan

On this Monday morning we had our longest ride to date. After enjoying a Sunday of sightseeing in beautiful Flagstaff, we left behind the friendly Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran church and began a 50 mile downhill, dropping 2,000 feet with a brisk tailwind. We had a snack stop at an intriguing roadside rest, with buildings that perfectly suited the ridges and mesas in the area. Huge red boulders were piled in the rest area, but signs warned us to beware of poisonous snakes and insects. This cycling dream was interrupted only by flat tires, as our tires picked up small pieces of wire from shredded steel belt radial tires. We persevered, stopping to do some “Standin’ on the corner in Winslow, Arizona”, as the line goes in the song “Take It Easy” (written by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey).

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Climbing to the Canyon

Written by: Dan Sheridan

Today was a relaxing day of desert cycling. We began our long climb out of the Valley of the Sun by pedaling up a steady 1% grade for about 25 miles. We’re about 1,000 feet above Phoenix, so it’s 2 or 3 degrees cooler here. It was a short day, 46 miles, with a tailwind. We started at about 5:30 am, about 10 minutes after sunrise, and the last riders arrived by about 10:15 am.

Tomorrow the climbing gets more serious. We will ride 68 miles and climb 6,250 feet. We will have some downhill too, but will end up about 3,000 feet above our current elevation. I think many of us are a bit nervous about the climb in the heat, but are excited to climb to cooler temperatures.

It’s amazing the hospitality that our church hosts show us. Peace Lutheran church in Peoria offered great hospitality, and today St. Alban’s Church in Wickenberg welcomed us with cool beverages, fruit, and comfortable places to spread our gear in air conditioned comfort.

We will continue our journey north to the Grand Canyon, where we will arrive on Thursday