Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Desert Surprises

I went to Surprise Arizona knowing that the sudden and unexpected would happen, otherwise naming somewhere Surprise would just be silly. Here are a few of the revelations I had over the three days.

When a road is flat and straight, and by flat I mean really, really flat and by straight I mean really, really straight, you can see a really, really long way. You can see all the way until the earths edge and it looks like you can ride all the way there too! Since you can see for miles and miles and mile and miles ahead of you when you think you see a biker up ahead, you may be seeing a mirage. You also may be seeing a biker but it is hard to tell because the sign posts on the side of the road kind of  resemble bikers too. So, when you finally get close enough to see that it really is another person on a bike, you might get a little more emotional about it than you normally would. Of course, it is a relief to have chased down an actual rider rather than another sign post. Naturally, the other rider is just as thrilled to see you as he too thought you might have been a mirage.

Really, there is a guy up there on a bike, REALLY!

The act of chasing someone down for almost an hour makes you feel quite bonded to them and instead of just riding by  (And by riding by, I mean dropping it into a bigger gear and flying by with a slight nod that says, you just got chicked as I proceed to go into my red zone to make sure that said rider knows I caught him and now I am going to drop him all while showing him how little effort it took) I pulled up next to him and started to chat. Shockingly, a straight, flat and slightly boring ride became the opposite. The fella I was riding along next to and chatting with looked like just a regular guy out for a bike ride but I found out differently. He wasn't normal at all, he is training to Ride The Divide  this summer. I LOVE it when I meet seemingly ordinary people who are living extraordinarily! (for those of you who didn't follow my link, that is 2745 miles from Banff Alberta to Antelope Wells NM along the Continental divide.)

When I had ridden half the time that I wanted to ride I turned around. Surprise! All this time I had been riding I had thought it wasn't windy. The wind is always blowing over the flat barren land and if you think it isn't, turn around! Luckily, I remembered turning around, otherwise I wouldn't have known I was going back (except for the constant wind in my face) because the view seemed unchanged.

Not even a glimpse of another rider to chase:(

On my hour and a half run I had a major revelation. (other than 90 mins of running is a long time) It is very dry in the desert. So dry that one might want to consider taking some water with them. Luckily, my route took me by a golf course and at the golf cart crossing I was greeted by a drinking fountain. Oh, and because I didn't learn the desert ways enough the day before on the bike, when I turned around on the run I was once again shocked to learn that the wind was in fact blowing. I think that lesson has finally been mastered, until I am in the desert again and flying along with little effort.

They say each turn in the road can reveal a surprise, but even when you can see where you are going you may come across a desert surprise!

1 comment:

  1. Have fun! I'm still laughing at your red-line paragraph :)