I got to Arizona on Friday. On the plane I had the pleasure of sitting next to another cyclist heading out for this tour, so that was pretty cool, we talked bike stuff for a good chunk of the way out. My bike and I got to Phoenix uneventfully. The day was spent assembling bikes and such. I had dinner at the hotel bar with a pilot, who I happened to sit next to, and was then was met by two gentlemen also going on this trip. So far the overwhelming majority of people going on the ride were well into their 50’s and 60’s. No matter… along with my occupational therapy degree I also have Certificate in Aging:) You never know who you’ll meet on these things. In any event, you know its going to be a group of other wackos whose idea of a great vacation isa long punishing bike ride so right there you have something big in common. And beside you aren’t working and you’re riding your bike. You can’t lose. That being said, I am definitely the baby of the group by a lot of years. I would say the next oldest person is 35.
I ended up spending most of today riding with a very warm, funny group from Alaska. I also spent a good 30 miles or so riding with this guy Kurt, he’s got kids about my age, he is super lean and we had TONS to talk about (I know, me? have something to talk about???). We talked bikes, life, fitness, food, sport psychology, etc. He has a ton of positive energy, I really enjoyed riding with him. We got to a SAG (where the ride coordinators give you food and drinks) and someone said the whole section we’d been on was uphill, I was like “it was??” We were having so much fun chatting I didn’t notice!
I felt pretty rough around the 15th mile and I was like “oh geez what did i get myself into?” but that sort of shook out by the time we really started climbing and overall i felt pretty good. The day was challenging but not too bad. This was I think 5100′ of climbing over 50 miles, with one steep switchback section. Absolutely gorgeous!!! Also I pet a burrow. I don’t know if I spelled that right. Its some kind of horse donkey animal. This was on historic route 66. Pictures to follow.
I went to dinner with the Alaska crew and we ended up sitting with a couple of other people from our trip as well.. .One of whom I had met once but could not remember her name. After introductions were made, she said something about her family. I asked if she had kids (I mean, usually when you’re like 45-50 and you mention family you’re talking kids, right?) She goes, dead serious “No, I never did get married and have kids. I have had many dysfunctional relationships with men though.” But this was not all. She went on “I saw my parents’ marriage and I just never had a good model for a healthy relationship.”
Oh dear. You just never know who you’ll meet on these trips!