Posts

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Win(d)slow Arizona (21 May) This little play on words lends to several interpretations: yes, it was extremely windy on the I-40, and yes, it did slow most of the group down considerably BUT Winslow was a cute contrast to slogging along the highway for 90 miles! The lady in the truck figures in the Eagles first hit single, Take It Easy, and is a big tourist attraction in Winslow. People come from all over - even Scottland, Wales and Switzerland - to be photographed in the Standin' on the Corner Park. Another attraction along the route were the many endless train compositions crossing the plains. Just imagine how many trucks it would take to carry the loads on those flatbeds! No wonder it takes up to four locomotives to pull the wagons.Below two photos that tell a little story about a certain group of Cross Roads cyclists. It appears that they got into some trouble riding the wrong way along the road and ended up behind bars in a seedy Winslow jail! They were eventually released on…
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Grandchildren and the Grand Canyon (20 May) We began our rest day with a Skype sitting with our daughter and her children in Switzerland. János, who will be seven in July, told us all about his first experiences as a new member of the Aegeri Bike Club. He goes to training every Tuesday after Kindergarten and enjoys learning new skills and practising racing techniques. Next Sunday he will have his second race in the EZK series for children. After a brief chat with his little sister, who will be having her first race, we said good-bye to everyone and took off for a day's visit to the Grand Canyon. We spent a wonderful 5 hours walking the Rim Trail from the Visitor Center to Maricopa Point (and back from the Village to Parking lot 3), about 8 miles in all. There were so many opportunities for taking pictures! Every time you walk just a few meters, you have another perspective of the Canyon. The weather was very pleasant and although there were lots of peope at the first overlooks, t…
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Spectacular Serpentines and Too MuchTraffic (19 May) On the way to Flagstaff today's route promised the gorgeous Red Rocks of Sedona and the spectacular serpentines leading out of shady Oak Creek Canyon up to the vista point offering a fabulous view back down the canyon. I was looking forward to travelling up the serpentines on the perfectly paved road. However, the traffic was typical for the weekend and there were no pullouts for me to make a quick stop to catch my breath or let impatient drivers get past me. So, with a heavy heart I decided not to ride. Mike beats Barry up the hill . The secret of his success, he admits, is that he started 30 minutes earlier.

Since the tour was one of the shorter ones, Emil and I had time in the afternoon to go to Absolute Bikes to try to get extry spokes for his very special wheels. We were able to get the spokes, but some had to be cut to size and the shop sent us on to Cosmic Cycles to have this done. This was a tiny shop and appeared to be…
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UP Mingus Mountain and DOWN to Cottonwood (18 May) Today was a great day for climbing, and a great climb to ride. Starting from Prescott, the group rode along busy Pioneer Parkway to Highway 89A and then began the 12 mile climb to Mingus Mountain Summit at 7,023 ft. The road was rather narrow but traffic was moderate and the views were stunning. There was time for refreshments and photos at the Summit. David, Mark, Emil and Pete graciously posed for a quick snapshot before enjoying the following 5 mile descent into Jerome.
Jerome was once a flourishing mining town with a history of great fortune (for some) and great disasters. There were numerous destructive fires as well as landslides caused by the mining activities beneath the town. Today Jerome is an attractive goal for tourists, who frequent the many shops and bars, and perhaps are sometimes astonished by the houses clinging dangerously to the steep hillsides. David directed us to a quiet place to lunch and the guys actively rel…
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"Where the desert breeze meets the mountain air" (17 May) Today was a tour for climbers: ca. 6,000 ft. The first big climb was up the Yarnell Pass (4,850 ft.). The wide road, good wind conditions and little traffic made the climb enjoyable. At the top the Cross Roads team was ready with drinks and snacks, so that everyone would be fit for the next stretch of road. This lead over undulating terrain and then in Wilholt began to climb seriously again. When the first group departed from the hotel this morning, I drove straight to Wilholt (at the 42 mi. mark), parked the car and cycled up the hill towards Prescott. On the way there I discovered what was meant by "false summits"! Several times a good climb was followed by a lovely drop, which however meant more climbing. I was more than a little disconcerted by these false summits, as I knew I had to ride  up them on the way back to pick up the car. And I had run out of food!
Luckily Tom passed me with the SAG truck, b…
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The High Desert Challenge (16 May) This historical marker just outside Wickensburg is a reminder of how dangerous crossing the high desert can be. In the days of the stagecoach, the Apaches were the source of some very unpleasant situations. In our day and age, crossing the desert by bicycle means keeping hydrated, avoiding sunburn and, above all, pacing yourself. David, Peter, Mark and Emil are ready to take on the challenge. At the end of the long (116 miles), hot day everyone had arrived safely in Wickensburg. Dinner tonight was in a restaurant close by and sponsered by Cross Roads! Thank you Support Team for the refreshing drinks and snacks, for the ice socks and the help along the road ... and for the wonderful dinner. Olga took the photo of Diane and me, congratulating Cathy on another great ride.
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Underway on the I-10(15May) With a certain amount of trepidation, the Cross Roads riders faced the challenges of the I-10 and the weather conditions of the high desert. What about the wind? How hot will it get? What about the conditions riding on the shoulder ... and what about those big trucks?! Well, the wind was kindly blowing from West to East, so everyone enjoyed a lovely tailwind, and the heat was manageable. The shoulder was - with the exception of about three miles - all right. BUT those three miles were really horrible, with great cracks, debris and potholes. Also there was a fair share of flat tires, but nothing to compare with that record 27 flats in one day! The biggest surprise was the great care with which the truck drivers passed the cyclists; often moving into the left lane to give them more room. As usual, the support was exemplary with tasty snacks, fresh fruit and plenty to drink at the SAG stops. An inventive method for keeping cool in the desert heat were the ice…