Dolly's Bike Blog

Musings about fun between my legs

2013 Southern Route USA

Since at least 1997, I had yearned to attempt a cross country bike ride. That summer, my friend Warren rode from LA to Boston. He called me from Winslow, AZ; I rode with him when he passed through Indiana, and I celebrated his accomplishment when he returned. But I, too, wanted to “explore” the USA. I had always loved Charles Kuralt and his tales of small towns off the interstate. What better way to see our great country?

With children, a job, and a widowed mother in failing health, the dream was put on the back burner of life for 15 years. Early in 2012, when I asked my husband if he was interested in such an adventure, he declined without hesitation. And I “discovered” WomanTours – a wonderful “girly group” that seemed to have great support (before and during the ride) and reasonable daily miles (reasonable if I train well).

So in March 2013, the dream – and adventures – began!

I turned 65 while on the ride – it seemed like a fitting way to celebrate – in El Paso, Texas, where my 100 year old mother passed away in December 2011. I think she would have been nervously excited for me.


  • March 14, 2013
    Riding into Wickenburg
    March 14, Salome to Wickenburg: We spent the entire day on US 60 – not as bad as the interstate, but still plenty of trucks and motor homes. It would appear that some of the snowbirds are headed back up north and/or spring break has begun. Just outside of Aguila, about 30 miles into the ride, I ...
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  • March 15, 2013
    On to Phoenix
    March 15, Wickenburg to Phoenix Again we started our ride on US 60. After 8 miles, we turned east on SR 74, with signs suggesting road work ahead. We had a brief pause for one lane traffic, then discovered that the road had recently been paved – a wonderful wide, smooth shoulder. I did become curious ...
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  • March 16, 2013
    Riding with Warren
    March 16, Phoenix to Gold Canyon: We really were in the greater Phoenix area all day. The morning was pleasant, with light clouds to keep things cool. Warren had decided to ride the first 30 miles with the group, which was a special treat. We headed east from the hotel, enjoying the urban environment. We biked through ...
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  • March 17, 2013
    I made it to Globe!
    Guide Carol warned us last night about the climbs and the lack of shoulders on our route today. I was determined to forge ahead. It was a WONDERFUL day, though the uphills were challenging. As another rider said, “I spent a lot of time with Granny” (the lower gears on the bike). The road was flat ...
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  • March 18, 2013
    Apache Country
    March 18, Globe to Safford, NM Thank goodness today was less challenging than yesterday – several times my legs reminded me they had worked extra hard yesterday and were not full strength today. Left Globe via US 60, but quickly transitioned to US 70 where we spent the rest of the day. After just six miles we ...
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  • March 19, 2013
    Land of Enchantment
    March 19: Safford, AZ to Lordsburg, NM After rough pavement and lots of trucks, our ride on US 70 today was delightful. We left Safford under cool overcast skies. I noticed fields being prepared to plant cotton: After US 191 separated from US 70, it sometimes seemed we had the road to ourselves, few cars or trucks, ...
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  • March 20, 2013
    The Wind - and the Divide
    On the cue sheet, it was a 46 mile day…. Carol warned us about the false flat for the first 14 miles. She didn’t warn us about the 30 mph wind at our right shoulders for that distance. I was able to keep the bike upright at 3.4 mph, though we walked part of the way, ...
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  • March 21, 2013
    Rest Day
    March 21 – Silver City, NM I rented a car today and with 4 fellow cyclists drove to the Gila Cliff Dwellings. Beautiful scenery and interesting historical site. Also made it to the chiropractor to be “realigned.” More details tomorrow. So, a few more details. My fellow explorers today were Helen, Susan, Flo and Pat. The route ...
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  • March 21, 2013
    When I signed up for this trip, I read that others, in the past, have used this journey to raise funds for various charities. In our current group, cyclists are fundraising for ALS, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, among others. I chose to try my hand at seeking donations for ...
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  • March 22, 2013
    On High
    March 22: Silver City to Kingston, NM Forget the mundane details of the ride: in summary I climbed over 5,200 feet in 48 miles to Emory Pass, elevation 8,228 feet, the highest point on my cross country ride! I took the 16+ miles of uphill in two mile increments, using the road markings to give me ...
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