Saturday, February 25, 2012

The road ahead


This truck was parked next to our campsite in Death Valley. If you look closely on the middle left of the tailgate, you'll see a Route 66 sticker, Chicago to LA. (Click to enlarge photo.)

The truck belongs to Gary Kern, fellow Supper Tourist. The last night of the trip Gary and I got a chance to talk about Route 66.

Last year Gary and a friend attempted to ride all of Route 66 without support. The friend went home after 3 days. Gary persisted for 3 weeks, but he said there are no route sheets to speak of, to help with navigation. Often by default he ended up riding all day on the interstate. Also, it was May and hot as heck. He took long breaks in the middle of the day to survive.

Not really what I wanted to hear!

Somewhere in Oklahoma he saw a bicycle go by, then another. It was Lon and Susan's group riding the Eastern Half of Route 66. Gary was so glad to see other cyclists that he rode and hung out with them for a couple of days. Lon was great about it - sometimes tours are not so accepting toward independent tourists. Lon is very knowledgeable about the non-interstate routes, which live in his head at the moment.

Whew!

Overall Gary was very encouraging and said I'd be in good hands.

Still, reflecting on this conversation as well as the rides of the past week... I might have underestimated the difficulty of riding 60 miles a day, 17 days in a row. Time to mentally prepare for the road ahead.

Also, it's pretty ambitious (or maybe crazy) to ride 400 miles down to Santa Monica before starting the trip. Danny suggests leaving a couple of days to recover before starting Route 66. Might have to do that!

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