I am oiling the chain before leaving the Apache Gold Casino Resort and notice a broken spoke. Grrrr. OK, not really surprised, I have been slamming over dirt and rock and sand and cracks and bumps. It’s a good place to do this repair. I take off the front tire when replacing the rear to give the rear tire room to fall down.
I put the wheel back on the bike and true it using the brakes as a guide. But one spoke doesn’t pull! The thread is stripped! I must take it all back apart and replace that spoke. Grrrr
I decide to put a new Wal Mart tire on the rear. The old one has worn through it’s tread. I reassemble the bike, get it all packed and ride away. Something isn’t right. The back tire is flat! I must have punctured the thornproof tube while assembling. Grrrr
For the third time I take it all apart and replace the tube and reassemble it and ride away into the most beautiful cycling day I have had on this trip. I am riding passes with long grades and big rocks and canyons and peek a vistas.
Riding an electric touring bike makes these long 6% upgrades in the desert heat a pleasure. My focus is not on my remaining strength but on energy management. “OK, I know I have a lot of long uphill grades today, let’s limit the power burn to 500 watts and gear down while climbing.” I am sure I never want to be without electric assist when touring again. Without it I would be wiped and much less alert and safe.
Sherpa slurps up long grades like this:
I am delighted to see Sargaso cacti blooming.
I ride into the cute empty closed town of Superior and find a park and recharge and take a nap. It is desert hot. After loading up with water I ride a few miles out of town and find a road heading towards a lovely mountain range. I take it, and a mile back find a creek. What good luck! The creek is small and muddy and ice cccold. Little fish nibble my legs. Perfect!
Tomorrow I ride into Phoenix/Tempe, check into a hotel (with a pool!) for three days, and swap out the charging system. It’s going to be a challenge to do this in a hotel room without all the resources in my shop, but that’s what this trip is for- to test out new ideas.
The miles keep clicking by. Today I passed 3000. I am actually nearing completion of my first leg of the journey.