The Adventure Cycling Map Set for Biking Route 66 covers eight states, using six separate Map Sets. Today we crossed the Colorado river border of California and Arizona. There are 108 individual segments in these six map sets. Today, we “retired” Map Set Six after passing through Oatman, AZ and opened up Map Set Five, ending the day here at Kingman, AZ on map segment 88. I know, that’s a lot of info on maps, but they are the “glue” that keeps this expedition on track and coordinated. Cathy and I do a LOT of map recon to decide on stopping places for lunch, overnight camping, and “must see” places along the Route.
The ride out of Needles took us through the first ag land we have seen since leaving Santa Monica. It was primarily irrigated alfalfa and either wheat or barley, hard to tell at this early stage of growth. I was primarily focused on (avoiding!) the rumble strips that the Arizona DOT placed in the center of the 12 inches of roadway that I’m supposed to be riding on. I figured there must be some DOT commissioners that have moved here from Iowa and brought their “Don’t want bikes on the highway” mindset with them.
I can’t imagine how many acres it would take to support a cow and calf out here, but the ones I do rarely see seem to be in good condition. If the road ahead looks like it’s rising, that’s because it is.
Hair pin turns aren’t much of an issue when your forward speed is less than 4 mph! Cathy and the kids did a great job negotiating Bridget on this mountain. The posted speed limit was generally 20 mph, or less, and they would pull over (when they could!) and allow any cars/motorcycles to pass.
Nearing Oatman, AZ, Cathy was pulled over and questioned by an official Burro. She decided it was a scam when the burro tried to eat her drivers license. 😉
The burro obviously had some accomplices who were learning the trade. This was our “welcoming committee” as we entered Oatman, several thousand feet up from our start at Needles.
There was “shoot out” right smack dab in the middle of Route 66, in the middle of town. It didn’t end until there was only one of the three antagonists upright. Shocking!! 😉 Traffic was held up for 20 minutes until the smoke cleared. Which we thought was an excellent time for some ice cream snacks!
Yes, they were HUGE, which is why they substituted for lunch today.
I would like to say that I biked all the way up this long and winding and steep road, but my conscience wouldn’t allow that (and besides, somehow, Ken Brust would find out and, oh the crap I would take!). Let’s just say I went as far as I could.
This brings up another stark realization I made today. As I was cranking along on an”average” section of today’s ride and I realized the speed I was trying to maintain, 10 mph, was a full three mph LESS than I was doing on the same type of terrain on the Lewis and Clark Ride 14 years ago. Age takes a toll. And it’s measurable!
Cruising on down the other side of Seitlege Pass (4500 feet) wasn’t as affected as much by age as pedaling up the front side. Proving, I guess, that good sense isn’t necessarily affected by that Old Age Thing. This used-to-be-gas-station is still open, but they can’t sell you any gas. At one time, there were a half dozen “cottages” for rent here as well. I met Dale Walker here, a self-supported long distance rider who, he says, has been on the road without going back home (which used to be Ames, Iowa!) for over three years now. He has ridden as far south as Panama, and is currently, vaguely, on his way to Alaska. More power to him! He identifies himself as a “penniless Pilgrim pedaling for Peace”. It was a nice chat.
And, with that, a good evening to you all from chilly Kingman, AZ
Thanks, as always, for coming along.