• 84°

Day 8 for Freeze brings trooper, tunnel and more climbing

Day 8

Beat the day before!

That is one of my personal goals and I also use it for my personal training clients. But so far, this trip seems to be setting the bar higher and higher every day. I started the issue late last night, and you will see what developed.

Last night, I was reading the route maps after I had submitted my story and photos. I read that many cyclists might consider exchanging United States Bicycle Route 90 for the next segment of Adventure Cycling’s map. I decided to do it about 10 p.m., partly because I had already used U.S. Hwy. 60 before.

So, I collected my damage deposit early this morning at the Econolodge and hit the road at first light again, planning to get out of Phoenix before another hot day got started. I looked at the USBR route and jumped on U.S. Hwy. 60 first thing. About 8 miles in, you guessed it, I got my first-ever visit from an Arizona state trooper. He sat behind me in his car and told me to exit the freeway immediately on his loudspeaker, which I was not going to do without talking to him. He came up the bike and said, “So, I’m going to write you a ticket!” I calmly explained what I was doing and that cyclists had used this route numerous times. He didn’t like that and went back to his car telling me to wait. For 15 minutes I stood there, getting hotter in two ways. When he was ready to talk, he pulled the car up beside me and said, “You rode that thing to Alaska?” He had changed completely and told me what he suggested I do, which was to follow a very long city street until the freeway ended and then join U.S. Hwy. 60 again. I did that and was not hassled anymore, but I even had the cycling agency’s number for him to call.

Back on Hwy. 60 and losing time, I didn’t really know what to expect. It was steady climb from the time I left Phoenix and getting hotter. The first town was Superior and I was toasted pretty well by then. After refueling and already at 3,000 feet, up from 1,100 that morning, I climbed for the next four miles to use a tunnel to go through a mountain. Then a rainstorm hit, dropping the temperature at least 20 degrees. Expecting easy riding on the other side of the tunnel, I continued to climb and eventually topped out at 4,600 feet, highest yet.

Very slow with the continued climbing, I had no service to let the motel know that I was still coming, but thankfully he held the room anyway. I am in the Belle Air Motel, very high tech in some ways with the owner in his early 30s.

Towns visited today included Superior, one of few with a stout uphill right through town and beyond. Then Miami, Claypool and Globe, where I am spending the night. All of them run together, with Miami in the process of cleaning up from a Saturday flood.  I saw spectacular mountain scenery this afternoon, including Devil’s Canyon. Today’s mileage totaled 75.

I’m expecting less climbing tomorrow on the way to Safford, which will set me up for a long stretch the following day without supply points. Tomorrow in this area should be less than 100 degrees, first of those in a while. The elevation helps. New Mexico is just a couple days ahead.

Peter Asciutto and Vac and Dash in Albemarle support Rowan running in various ways. He is also a regular sponsor of my rides.

Last thing I did today was stop by a grocery store and cram a bunch in already full bags. I hope to not be as late getting off the road tomorrow night. See you then for what happens on Day 9!

David Freeze is riding from the West Coast to the East Coast along the southern border. Email him at david.freeze@ctc.net.

Comments

Crime

Defense witness gives tearful account of deadly shooting in Fishzilla murder trial

News Main

High school football: Hornets easily handle unbeaten Thomasville, plus the local roundup

Elections

Judges strike down state’s voter ID law

Crime

Jury finds Robert Durst guilty of best friend’s murder

Crime

Jeffrey MacDonald ends release appeal from infamous 1970 slayings

Business

State unemployment rate falls to 4.3% in August

High School

West looking like a post-season contender in 49-14 rout of Carson

Coronavirus

Outside experts back COVID-19 booster shots only for seniors, high-risk individuals

Crime

China Grove man jailed for possessing child pornography, assault, kidnapping

Crime

Spencer man arrested for rape

Crime

Blotter: Boy served with juvenile justice petition for shooting

Education

North Rowan High student creates artwork for Community Care Clinic

Kannapolis

Rugby coming to Kannapolis on Sept. 25

Education

RSS superintendent talks to Chamber of Commerce about renewal, state of public education

Crime

Prosecution in Fishzilla murder case introduces more witness accounts, handgun used in shooting

Local

Volunteers needed as High Rock Lake to host fourth annual Clean Sweep event on Saturday

High School

High school volleyball: West back on track after sweeping Carson

Local

GOP candidate, Lexington attorney Jim Snyder dead at 76

Nation/World

Judge says farm workers’ union law provision is unconstitutional

Coronavirus

For second day in a row, six new COVID-19 deaths reported in Rowan County

Local

Main Street repaving scheduled to start Monday evening

Crime

Sex offender faces new charges for living too close to Head Start in China Grove

Crime

Salisbury man wanted for August murder on Carpenters Circle

Local

One-of-a-kind barn quilt goes up in western Rowan County