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 Paradise Valley (very upscale), and into Scottsdale. We joined a bike trail paralleling Hayden Road, with ponds created by the Indian Bend Wash. There were also playing fields, including some high school rugby. What a coincidence that my son Tim was refereeing a game back in Indianapolis at the same time. Guess I am just a rugby groupie!
At 30 miles, Warren and I turned west into Mesa, so he could catch the light rail back toward Sun City. He mentioned a nearby Asian market, and I was quickly drawn to explore.
Although tempted, I opted not to buy pig’s snouts for Linda to fix for dinner!
Hated to say goodby to Warren – great that the light rail can accommodate bicycles.
Continued the rest of the ride on my own, enjoying this statue in Mesa.
Mesa is more of a middle class area than those we rode through earlier in the day. As we pedaled east, the road was more ruted, and more trailer homes. But ahead we could see the Superstition Mountains.
Sadly, the final 6 miles of the day was along US 60, partially a freeway, then a divided 4-lane road. The shoulder was fine, and there were few trucks. Several of the cyclists ran into traffic headed to the Renaissance Faire just down the road. The cyclists were moving faster than the car traffic. I only saw some of the “actors” in the hotel corridor.
Our hotel is the Best Western in Gold Canyon, though our itinerary shows Apache Junction.
At dinner we enjoyed the sunset shining on the mountains. We need a good sleep tonight for big climbs to Globe tomorrow.
My roommate tonight is Helen Pagenkopf, from Wisconsin. She is a retired registered financial broker with 2 sons and 2 grandchildren. She has ridden 16 times across Minnesota on the MS TRAM.
My bike is stored in a hotel conference room, so I don’t have the day’s mileage. I do know I have ridden over 500 miles so far, combined cue sheet and ‘bonus’ miles.