Two years ago on the Southern Tier Ride, I had the good fortune to be starting the ride (also without any build-up training) on the eastern end of the Florida panhandle. So, for nearly ten days, the highest (elevation) I encountered were the bridges spanning the rivers on my route. Not so here in SoCal! On this, the first full day of riding, my route took me up and over El Cajon Pass, elevation 4100 feet. I would be so happy to say it all turned out well, but that would be a major untruth. Those things may be allowed in politics, but not here on PFJ’s Blog. After 36 miles of continuous uphill, good sense triumphed over Irish stubbornness and I contacted Cathy to meet me at an exit about three fourth of way to the top of the Pass. My situation was not helped in the least by the fact that my “granny gear” would not engage. This was a big disappointment considering the fact I had my bike given a full “mech check” and parts replacement-as-needed trip to Scheels Bike Repair shop. In other words, I was expecting NO mechanical problems. I did bring along my own tools, so that situation will be addressed at tonight’s campground.
Cathy’s brother, Tom Greiner is the the world’s most knowledgeable train buff. He had alerted Cathy several weeks ago that Cajon Pass is where ALL east-west bound trains cross over the mountains here in Southern California. He (as always!!) was correct, and there was literally a “super highway” of trains lined up here taking their turns at using the triple set of tracks over the mountains.
There are many sections of this ride that are on the actual track of the original Route 66. All (except for a small section in Oklahoma) have been rebuilt, probably numerous times. When the track is the same, there are many markers indicating its authenticity, as this one cast into the surface of the rebuilt Mother Road.
My self imposed rule while riding is that if I see something that looks interesting or unique, others probably will think so, too. Concrete Holsteins “grazing” the suburban landscape falls into that category.
Weather forecasts are for a cooler day tomorrow, so the clothing choices will be more complicated. The elevation maps look more forgiving as well, so let’s hope for some long downhills!
Thanks for being along with us!