A Travellerspoint blog

Wouldn't you like to ride a dune buggy for a day

Rode through the Imperial Sand Dunes today

92 °F
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Day 28 is in the books with 88.1 miles having been ridden at 13.9 mph. The ponies were saddled up for 6 hours and 21 minutes.

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We started in the little town of Palo Verde and rode through Glamis, Brawley ( our lunch stop) , El Centro and stopped in Seeley, CA. The road became very tough because of the texture of the chip and seal...hope tomorrow lays a little smoother for the ponies.

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Day 28 did take us through the Imperial Sand Dunes and it was spectacular. We have a few pictures. Ev and I drove up to the overlook and had quite a time watching the dune buggies while we waited for our riders to pass. I tried to get a video of the riders winding their way through the dunes, but they look like little ants. I may try to post it anyways.

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( videos are in process so may be a bit before ready to view...thanks for your patience)
Tomorrow is the day we have all been looking forward to...or should I say dreading. There are six climbs scheduled ( two of which are CAT 2's.) This will be a new experience for our ponies and everyone is looking to conquer this task. By tomorrow evening's blog they will have been victorious and will only have the Prologue ride into Paris...I mean, San Diego. Pray for the team as they go up and down the climbs tomorrow. Pray for safety. Everyone is nursing along a few little things from fear to sore arms to numb fingertips to aching hips. The journey is about complete. We have a room booked in Alpine tomorrow night and then we will be celebrating at Sunset Cliffs on Sunday evening.

Our hotel tonight is a Best Western Plus and we all enjoyed the hot tub and then I cooked a southwestern chicken and rice dinner that was a winner. I am so thankful to be able to cook for a team that doesn't complain about the food or the cook. Proud to be a part of this with them!

Brenda

Posted by brendagerber07 19:15 Comments (4)

California Dreamin'

One more state to conquer

86 °F
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Before we get started on today's ride, I must let you see some of the pictures from the Golden Nugget last night. Rumor has it that this place is haunted, but we didn't see any ghosts. We did see an 1800's building with the original chandelier and name plaques of the rich and famous that came through this place. I guess Wickenburg is the halfway stop between Phoenix and Las Vegas. Here we are seated with Wynn's Aunt Marian and Uncle Herman.

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There were some beautiful mosaics around the hotel...Evelyn got a few of them.

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We also saw some fruit trees and cafes

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And here's a movie theatre for Karen.

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This was such a cute little town with many statues and such depicting Wickenburg history.

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As we travelled along we saw other things reminding us of bygone days.

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And I love the cacti.

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Today I passed through a town with my name.

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We finished our ride through Arizona by riding into Quartzsite and met up with the riders for lunch. Ev and I finally got to eat at a Carl's Jr. For lunch.

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And then a happy moment for all as we passed into our final state of California. The riders had a bit of fun and you can tell that they are sniffing out the finish line. It's getting real for them that the end is in sight, yet I've heard all of them say that they are not done, there is more to accomplish and that they must stay focused and stay upright!

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Tonight we are staying at a Regency Inn and Suites in Blythe, CA. The riders decided to blaze on to Pale Verde and be sagged back to base. The ponies want to shave some miles off of Saturday's ride through the mountains. Three more days to ride...

Today's stats include:
100 Miles (yep, another century) , at 15.8 mph. Saddle time was 6 hours and 19 minutes. We are under miles to go. Tomorrow finds us riding to El Centro.

I hope to get a pony rider to write tonight...we'll see!
Brenda and the team

Dan here:
Today was a perfect ride. I want to dedicate it to my dear departed brother in law, Dave Anderson. He would have said YIPPEE!!!!
Arizona was a great riding state. California has been a really good start so far. We did a Silver Wheels open ride for the last miles of our century today.

Wynn - after struggling different times during this journey, it is nice to reflect that our goal is near and today, we were really able to ride at the end of the day like we know how to ride on good old Lorain County roads. The end of day ride was very much fun.

Colleen: "rejoice with those who rejoice". It was a very good day on the bike and the exultation and happiness was shared by all and evident in big smiles and laughter all around. Today was a gift, thank you Lord.

Posted by brendagerber07 17:07 Comments (10)

Boring is better

Ride was long and flat today.

82 °F
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82 miles at 13.9 mph and the riders were in the saddle for 5 hours and 52 minutes. Four more days and our bikes will hopefully be touching the Pacific Ocean. The ride from Phoenix to the starting point was through rush hour and it took us an hour to get our start. The riders took off and Ev and I headed back to Phoenix. She took a few bike tubes back (we had bought 10 thorn resistant tubes and that was too many and too expensive. So she returned a few. ) We got back on the road to find the riders for lunch. They were having a really good morning and had easily passed our lunch spot. We ended up eating in a driveway with dogs barking at us. The riders had one flat today (Colleen's rear tire) and we ended up picking them up and sagging 32 miles back to our hotel.

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We saw our first real longhorn in a field today.

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As we were ride along, we try to get individual shots of our riders. We saw the hotel that we were trying to get a reservation with...the Burro Jim Motel. It was suppose to be bike friendly. It was thankfully closed for remodeling. I'm so thankful that we didn't have to stay there! We are at a lovely Best Western in Wickenburg. We stayed right across from the Golden Nugget. A lot of famous people have eaten there and I will put up more on that tomorrow. We met up with our Uncle Herman and Aunt Marian from Prescott for a meal. He footed the bill for all of us. Thank you both!! We had a lovely meal and visit. I sure hope the National parks get opened by the weekend for your twentieth trip across the Grand Canyon.

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Every once in a while the riders come upon other cyclists making their way from here to there. Many of these have panniers attached that appear to be heavy. I think our riders are glad to have a SAG along to carry the extras.

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Our hotel tonight sports a Southwestern motif with many mosaics and a homey feel. I will show more from this picturesque town tomorrow.

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So goodnight to all. Tomorrow's ride looks flat and straight and the winds seem comfortable. We will be entering our last state tomorrow- Sunny Calfornia. Pray for us as we look to complete the task and achieve the goal. We will need to keep our adrenaline under control and stay alert and aware of all that's happening around us. We are glad for those still leaving the occasional comments. The riders really enjoy hearing from you.
As Colleen said, today was a rolling recovery day. Hopefully we'll get another one tomorrow!
Brenda and the Ponies

Posted by brendagerber07 20:18 Comments (9)

By the Time I Get to Phoenix....

The ponies are rolling now...5 days to go!

84 °F
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"Hi friends, here we are with just a hair over 400 miles to go. Amazing. I've told my co-conspirators this, and now I will tell you our precious blog followers. I liken this entire trip to how I felt on my wedding day, thrilled and wanting to savor every moment but its all happening so fast. Today we made" it past Phoenix.
If I could sum up this Pony adventure in one word, I would have to choose the word "humbling". Essentially all of my riding experience has been on the pastoral rural roads of my lovely Ohio. So with my limited experience I projected this trip would be a lot like what I had experienced previously. The cycling itself has stretched my capabilities every single day, distances, terrain, grades, descents, traffic, surfaces. I have much to learn. If not for the continued assurance and encouragement of my two amazing riding partners and our exceptional support team I could not have made it this far.
We are now on the official Adventure Cycling Association southern tier route and I see loaded tourers struggling up 8% grades and it boggles my mind to imagine it.
In short, I am so grateful to be able to participate in this adventure. My respect, admiration and appreciation of every member of this team grows daily. We depend on your prayers. Not everyone on the road is happy to see us hugging the right side of the road and trying to navigate through "their" roads; though by far and away those we meet are gracious and accommodating. "

So today's blog started with the musings of Colleen. The ponies started the day with the tunnel and a terrific downhill. Colleen decided to sag this first part and so I gave her my iPad to take pictures of the tunnel. I must say, I created a monster and I have to warn Greg and the kids that she's gonna want one for Christmas! All that to say, the pics today are courtesy of Colleen and Evelyn. Here is the video that we shot going through the tunnel and then here is one that Wynn shot on his helmet cam...

I also want to put a bunch of photos up from scenery along the way.

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I loved the cacti along the way and the huge rock formations and bridges. One of the fun things we saw was a family of wild pigs called Javelina. They were along the side of the road and stopped quickly. Ev and Colleen jumped out with cameras and tried to get a shot off. I will include the best shot of the day. You should have seen those little piggies run all the way home.

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We also had a good time taking a few pics of the tunnel. Dan went through with a couple of trucks for company, but Wynn mostly went through alone.

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Then we got a call a little further up the road and Wynn had a flat. He had one on his bike when he got up in the morning and had changed out his back tire. Then this was on his front tire. We arrived with the better pump and they changed out his front tire. When he got back on the bike, he felt his back tire go out again...he must have hit something with both tires. So, he changed three tires today. It would have been easy to be irritated and complain, until he thought about all the climbing and descents and the tunnel that he safely rode through today and how harmful it could have been if the flats would have happened at any of those times. God is good! Ev and I easily found a bike shop and stocked up, buying ten new tubes. Hopefully we will continue to be safely covered throughout the rest of the trip.

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The day ended with the team riding for 5 hours and 46 minutes. They rode 82.4 miles at 14.3 mph. A lot of today's route was through the cities of Mesa, Tempe and Phoenix. They actually rode right through the heart of Phoenix. We picked up the riders as traffic was starting to pick up and sagged them back to the hotel in Tempe. Tomorrow we hope to beat the majority of traffic out of town and will head toward Wickenburg. The team was sitting at a QuickTrip gas station under this sign...

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Indeed we have been in a safe place all trip long. Keep up your prayers as we finish the last five days. Tonight, Wynn and I had dinner at the Olive Garden with Wynn's cousin, Todd. What a wonderful visit we had sharing a meal and conversation together. We got back to the hotel and found that Ev had also been able to connect with her second cousins that lived in Tempe. Perfect timing for us all. Tomorrow night we plan to meet up with Todd's folks, Uncle Herman and Aunt Marian, in Wickenberg. It is such fun to meet up with company along the way. The riders enjoyed a hot tub at this hotel and we are all ready for bed. I'll end with a couple of short videos that Wynn shot in Phoenix. Good night for the team!

Posted by brendagerber07 17:19 Comments (9)

Globe AZ -Typical mining town for gold and copper

Crazy drivers here

79 °F
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Good evening,
The team had another great riding day. I think they are like a dog sniffing a good bone...they sense the finish line is near and they are all hungry for the win! The team rode 91.3 miles today, averaging 12 mph. They spent 7 hours and 36 minutes in the saddle today. There were four major climbs today, including two 6 mile long CAT 3 climbs. Dan said, " The drivers here are insane, that is all I have to say!" Being on the edge of a new time zone, the ponies were on the road by 6:45 pm. They had lunch on the Apache reservation before entering Globe for their afternoon break. We are staying at a Knight's hotel and it was on the route, so they could easily stop in to get off the seats for awhile. The morning passed pleasantly with everyone taking their turn at the lead. There were two climbs before lunch. I now know that the riders split up and take the climbs at their own pace. Dan is usually up the hill first. Wynn and Colleen like to look up and spot him there, like a statue showing them that the climb is done. Then they all enjoy the trip down the mountain! The last few miles past Globe were very nerve-wracking. The cars and trucks were whizzing by and many stayed in the right hand lane, even though there were two lanes available. Please continue to cover our cyclists in prayer-that they would remain steady, that the road would remain smooth and that the drivers would not be so angry and rude. I have mini melt downs when I let my mind go to these drivers and how close they sometimes get to our riders.

Can you believe that tomorrow is Day 25 of riding? We are still hoping to ride into the Pacific on Sunday. We'll see...I love this team and am so glad that I have been able to participate from the SAG wagon. Ev and I have found many and numerous ways to organize the van and I think we are doing a pretty good job of it. Tonight we had a meal idea from Colleen...Middie Mash Bowls. (Thanks to my alma mater for this idea!) mashed potatoes, corn, orange chicken, gravy and cheddar cheese..oh my. Then a pint of Ben and Jerry's (chunky monkey) and what a feast we had. Tomorrow the plan is to get as far through Phoenix as possible.

Tomorrow Wynn and I plan to meet up with Wynn's first cousin, Todd. Several years back, Todd's Dad helped lead our family on a rim to rim walk through the Grand Canyon. Wish I would have known about Traveller's Point.com back then. Oh the story we could have told. We are looking forward to catching up with Todd tomorrow night after our ride. Tomorrow also will be the Tunnel ride into Superior. Again pray that our riders come through in good shape with good memories of that part of our Pony Ride. I will end by including some pics of today. Some will be scenery, some will be sights that Ev and I took in when the clerk of our motel told us to check out the Pickle Barrel because we would just love it! Also want to throw in the pic of a spider that was crawling across Ev and Dan's ceiling. I'm glad they saw it in the morning and not right before they tried to go to sleep. I'm glad it was in their room and not mine! (Ha)

Sleep well tonight and thanks for joining us on the Ride. Also it was so good to talk to my good ol' college buddy, Crystal, last night. I miss her and wish we could have gotten together, but a daughter's birthday it too important to pass by...love ya, Crystal!

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Posted by brendagerber07 18:36 Comments (7)

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