Tuesday, March 9, 2010

90 Miles of Living A Dog's Life (March 8: Day 5--Blythe, CA)

Now I know just how a dog feels as he sticks his head out the window of  a moving car, ears flapping, tongue lolling and a look of sheer bliss on his face.  Perhaps my ears weren't flapping and my tongue wasn't lolling, but I definitely had that look of bliss, for the ride from Brawley to Blythe, CA was a 90 mile cyclists' dream!  .....sunny, 65 degree weather, pavement as smooth as ice, light traffic, rollers and and a tailwind!  Woo-hoo!!  I laughed out loud as I rode those hills.  Sailing through the desert, the miles ticked off easily.  It was quite surreal, flying on my bike while surround by fine, tan sand.
Look closely and you'll see some of our riders.

Shelley, aka Canada

At one point, we rode parallel to a huge strip mining company and with the bizarre equipment in the distance, I felt like I had been dropped into a scene from  Star Wars.

But, just as the dog's ride must end, so did this one, and we emerged from the desert into the flat, flat (did I mention it was flat) valley, and the lovely tailwind became a crosswind, then later a headwind.  Our pace slowed...20....19.....17....  settling in around 15 mph for the last 20 miles or so. And the dog's ride began to become a dog's pant as the winds blew and the 18 wheelers threw big, sucking gusts at us when they passed. (white knuckle alert).

Riding through these small desert towns caused me to pause, and I count my blessings.  Here was a side of America that I rarely see--folks just barely making it, living on the economical edge.  How blessed and fortunate I am to be able to afford this kind of trip, riding a bike that could pay their bills for months and have the good health to do so. It rather shakes one back to the reality of the world, and not just the bubble with which one has grown comfortable.  Don't mistake these thoughts for pity: it is most definitely not that.  The people I have talked to and enjoyed are, for the most part, jovial, happy and optimistic. They are also proud, as indicated by the sign I saw at a store where I bought water. (Their bathrooms were clean, too). 
The core values of the people I am meeting reminds me of the core values with which I was raised--do unto others as you would have others do unto you....(and expect nothing in return).  In this world of high technology and human disconnection, this value is getting lost.  What a wonderful lesson of which to be reminded.

Being in the desert, I made it a point to stay very well hydrated.....which meant I had to go...a lot...   Now being in the desert, there just aren't many of places offering a polite method of relieving oneself of all that fluid, so I scouted the areas that offered the best coverage....You boys have it so easy!

So, just as I was living the dog's life, blissfully happy on my ride, so I was living the dog's life in other ways.  And just like a dog,  I fell to sleep in the blink of an eye, and dreamt of rides to come.

90 miles


  1. That picture is hilarious!

    Sounds like you had a whirlwind of a day--from having a perfect ride with tailwind (my favorite!), to the ride becoming tough, to having a unique glimpse at some people whose humble pride can bring you back to your own roots. I'm so happy for you to be having this experience! Once in a lifetime....

    Now, in the interest of seeing you again in my lifetime, I think you should check out this website and maybe pack a few things that could prove vital.....

    <3 your secret friend.

  2. Love the picture of you behind the bomb sign! haha!