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  1. #1
    A shrinking member </intolerance>'s Avatar
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    Car free for a few months (Photos)

    I sold my truck yesterday. To commemorate the event, I rode my bike home from Casa Grande to Tucson, which was about 65 miles.

    We decided to sell the truck because we have a baby on the way. Apparently, it isn't safe to put a baby in the front seat of a pickup. That means we'll have to replace the truck with something else before she is born, but in the meantime, I get to live car free.

    Irene and I still have a Prius that we'll use when we go places together, but when it is just me, it's going to be by bicycle. I don't think we'll even need the 2nd car very often when our baby is born, but we need to have the option because Irene and I work such radically different schedules.

    I met my sister-in-law and father in Casa Grande yesterday morning at 6 a.m. to hand over the keys and title. That meant I had to be up at 4 a.m. to load my bike in the truck and head out. The sun just started to come up at about the time I arrived in Casa Grande.





    When they showed up we chatted for a bit, but I was anxious to get on the road. I checked my clock when I started and it was 6:17 a.m. and I had 65-miles of road in front of me.



    The wind wasn't too bad at first, but that didn't last long. My GPS broke the previous week, so I had no idea how fast I was going, but even at the early time of the day, I felt like I was going very slow.



    Picacho Peak loomed in the distance and was my only reference point to where I was and where I was going. I decided when I would have my peanut butter and jelly sandwich when I got to the base of the peak. But first I had to cross under the freeway on Highway 87 to Peak Ln, which was the street in the worst condition of any I rode on. It was full of cracks and holes, but sice there was no one on the road, I could weave and bob and zig and zag around the obstacles.

    At this point, the wind was starting to pick up a bit, but I was still doing OK. I apparently had 47 miles left to get to Tucson.



    It was on this stretch that I passed the most intricate of roadside memorials.



    This memorial was a little closer to Picacho Peak, which you can see in the background, well you can see part of it.



    I had planned on having my sandwich in the park, so I rode in, but soon realized they charged a fee to enter and since I wasn't really going to get to use the park much, I turned around and had my sandwich in the Dairy Queen parking lot. I sent a twitter update after finishing off the PB&J, it was 8:18 a.m. and I had only gone 24 miles.



    I got back on the road, this time on the east side of Interstate 10. The road was smoother but the wind had picked up and it was slow going. The stretch of road between Picacho Peak and Tucson is boring in a car and even worse on a bike. Because of the lack of people on the road, I felt safe enough to put one earphone in my ear and listen to music to try to help with the boredom. It was this stretch or road that I began to doubt how wise I had been when I decided to do the ride.

    As I kept going, the wind picked up and the temperature rose and I was going downhill, figuratively, unfortunately, not literally. Eventually I hit Tangerine Rd., which was my turn off from the frontage road. At this point the wind was less of a problem but the road has more of incline. I was hot and tired and didn't want to be going up.

    I was so tired, I even stopped taking photos, all I could focus on now was making it home. I stopped at a market to refill my water bottles replacing the disguting HEED drink I had in them. They tasted like Pepto Bismol, but worse. Most of the water in the bottles ended up going over my head to keep me cool and I continued to suck on the water from my camelbak.

    I finally got to Thornydale and started the descent into town. I never wished a stoplight was a particular street more in my life. I still had a ways to go, but at least it wasn't up anymore.

    The rest of the ride was pretty miserable, but I was determined to make it. I got home at sent another tweet that I had made it. It was 11:30 a.m., more than 5 hours after I began my ride home and 7 hours since I had gotten up. I was beat, smelly, relieved and queasy. I took a quick shower and then weighed myself. I weighed in at 167 pounds, which was 7 pounds less than I weighed when I left the house.

    Here is a map of the route I took. Click HERE for a detailed map you can move around.



    I think a lot of my problems stemmed from not eating enough because I felt a lot better after having something to eat. After a couple hours of napping, I felt pretty good and could finally say I was happy I did it.

    Despite how miserable it was on the road yesterday, I am thrilled that I can say I sold my car and rode the 65 miles home. It was very symbolic of the last year for me. I wish I could remain car free, but then again maybe I'll be able to sell my next car in Phoenix and ride home again. I'll just make sure it is January when I sell the next one.

  2. #2
    surfrider
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    Good job! From my experience with endurance events I'd say lack of calories probably wasn't the issue, especially if you had a good health dinner the night before (plenty of pie? ) and were in decent condition. I'll bet the fatigue was due to the exertion on the ride and the dehydration. Kind of tough to consume enough water in Southern AZ mid-summer heat (even in teh early AM).

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    wow first couple of pics are brilliant.

  4. #4
    A shrinking member </intolerance>'s Avatar
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    That is interesting about the water, it could very well have been that. I think I might have been overheating. I felt better when I would dump cold water over my head, but it wouldn't last long and I'd have to repeat.

    scorlandtb, thanks for the compliment.

  5. #5
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by </intolerance> View Post
    That is interesting about the water, it could very well have been that. I think I might have been overheating. I felt better when I would dump cold water over my head, but it wouldn't last long and I'd have to repeat.

    scorlandtb, thanks for the compliment.
    Yes, it sounds like dehydration to me. Also, perhaps you didn't eat enough.

    Your photos are wonderful, by the way. Perhaps next time treat such a ride as a tour and stop frequently for photos.

  6. #6
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Nice pics, I really like the one of the tractor trailer going by.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    Congratulations. Going car free is nice; it makes you tough. Once you do one 65 mile ride, the second one is easier. Stay strong.

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