Day 3: High Desert to Low Desert

 

Feb. 28, 2016

Jacumba to Brawley

Day: 72.5 miles; Total: 156.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,034′

Map Link: https://ridewithgps.com/trips/7993890

We started the day with a good genuine breakfast of eggs and fruit. We climbed a few hundred feet then left the high desert and launched into a great 2,000 foot descent into the low flat desert and the Imperial Valley. The valley is very dry until the irrigation canals begin. Then there are lush crops of hay, onions and lettuce. The air is very warm everywhere but around the canals and well-watered crops it is humid. The roads are straight and flat with either good smooth surfaces or very rough broken asphalt that shakes every part of the bikes and us. We ended the day in the Brawley, a small farming town. Tomorrow we head into a desert area with no services for 70 miles. We’ll probably end up camping Monday night so it’s unlikely we’ll do another post until Tuesday. Then we should have some good desert stories and photos.

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Support Canine Companions for Independence.

Donate at our event page.

See details about our Southern Tier route.

Day 2: Hills, Serious Racers and South to the Border

 

Feb. 27, 2016

Alpine to Jacumba

Day: 46.8 miles; Total: 84.1 miles

Elevation Gain: 5,763′

Map Link: https: https://ridewithgps.com/trips/7977936

 

After breakfast in Alpine with Wes and his friend Zee, we headed up the hill. Our route followed Olde 80 and a bit on Hwy 8, and then headed out into an adjacent valley. We met another bike tourist, an Englishman who has biked all over the world and he has just started his trip to see the southwest on to Yellowstone and beyond. Inspiring!

We were clearly in an area popular with cyclists and even ended up going slowly along the route in the midst of a serious race with very speedy pro cyclists who were flying up the hills. It was funny to ride past their cheering sections, of course going much slower ( and we were having more fun I am sure!)

We ended our day with a nice cruise down to our motel which is within sight of the border. It’s a casual spa and hot springs resort in this very tiny town and we were very happy to get here!

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Morning send off 

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Steve, bike tourist from England, meets Traveler

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A nice house in the mountains 

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The first in the Southern Tier barn series

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Racers!

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The border

 

Support Canine Companions for Independence.

Donate at our event page.

See details about our Southern Tier route.

Day 1: Good-by Beach. Hello Desert.

 

Feb. 26, 2016

San Diego to Alpine

Day: 37.3 miles; Total: 37.3 miles

Elevation Gain: 3,047′

Map Link: https://ridewithgps.com/trips/7965183

 

OK. Finally we come to the big day. Barb, Traveler and I woke up at 6 AM, grabbed some coffee and bagel sandwiches and rode our bikes from our hotel in Mission Bay to a handy, nearby launch ramp for the start-of-the-ride rear wheel dip. It was a beautiful San Diego morning with clear skies and glassy calm water. Our son Wes kindly met up with us on his way to work to shoot pictures and wish us well. We trundled off, getting reacquainted with riding fully loaded bikes. A mix of bike paths and roads took us east across San Diego and through the desert landscape of Mission Trails Park where we reached the city limit. From there our ride was a steady uphill until we reached the town of Alpine. This was a short day so we actually finished riding at 1:30 and checked in to our motel. Our next door neighbor is Pacman, a masters bike racer here for a road race tomorrow. We introduced him to Traveler and had a good time talking about our various forms of biking. Tonight Wes is driving out to meet us for dinner so we’ll enjoy a little more family time before rolling on into the desert.

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Dipping the rear wheels in Mission Bay

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Barb heads into Mission Trails Park

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Barb flies the flags

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Traveler meets a new friend at our lunch break

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Bike racer Pacman

 

Support Canine Companions for Independence.

Donate at our event page.

See details about our Southern Tier route.

Regal V ( Aka “Beegals”)

Before we get underway tomorrow, we want to introduce you to Regal V, the most recent Canine Companions puppy we raised. Two weeks ago , she returned to Canine Companions to start professional training. Our paws are crossed for her success. She is a sweet, smart, funny puppy who was fun to raise. Below are some photos of her turn in, which also coincided with the February graduation of service dogs with their new graduates. Very inspiring!

A note about our upcoming route: it’s clear that we are going to be cycling in some interesting but very remote areas.  Wifi and cell connections may be a challenge at times but when we are able to get connected, we will catch you up. When we can’t do a blog post, we may still be able to tweet (!) at @PedalingPRs.

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The very regal Beegals in her Halloween costume 

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With Regal on Matriculation day

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A family portrait: from the left half brother Froomin, Regal, littermate Reanne and Mom Thora, on the right

Packing Up

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Traveler and his luggage

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Bill’s bike all loaded

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My pile ready to pack

 

We are as organized as we are going to be on the homefront, we’ve gathered our things, gotten the bikes tuned up and we’ve made the drive to San Diego.  Having the route start here has the nice benefit of giving us a chance to visit with our son before we start off.

Tomorrow we finish final details , load up the bikes and then we will start Friday morning. Off to the east!

 

Back in the Saddles Again

It’s time to get on the road again to raise awareness for Canine Companions for Independence. We just turned in our beautiful Canine Companions puppy Regal V for advanced training and will be keeping our paws crossed for her. On Feb. 26 we will start riding east from San Diego on Adventure Cycling’s Southern Tier route. We will cross California, Arizona, New Mexico, a whole lot of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. If all goes well, we expect to reach St. Augustine, FL in late April or early May. If you want to follow our travels in this blog, you can click the blue “+ Follow” button below on the right below to receive email updates of our posts. We hope you’ll enjoy reading about our adventure.

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Regal checks out the Southern Tier route.