Stars and Spokes
Rest Day 1: How it's been so far
I've made it to my first rest day, hurrah! I write this summary from Globe, Arizona, up in the mountains just to the east of Phoenix. Feels like a good time to summarise the ride so far. Overall, I'm bang on track. So far, so good.
As expected, it's been a combination of epic scenery and very hard work! But then these things aren't supposed to be easy...
Having landed in San Diego on the evening of 15 March, I spent that night unpacking my bike out of its travel box and reassembling it. The next morning I was ready in all respects, and hit the road heading east. Next stop Florida, via a lot of other stops along the way!
Given that I'm covering 110 miles daily, the landscape changes every 24 hrs. Soon the beaches of California were left behind, replaced by shady slopes of pine forest, then blisteringly hot desert roads, across plateaus filled with cacti, past a good few cowboys, through the sprawling metropolis of Phoenix (fifth biggest city in the US, by population - who knew!), before finally climbing into the big hills of eastern Arizona. So much variation, and I'm only a week in!
And then there is the people I've met along the way. The Americans are a varied bunch, never shy about asking what I'm up to! The most common question I get is, 'where you headed on that bike?'. When I tell them I'm headed to Florida, it can take them a little by surprise! Many of them seem to think I'm crazy, but I think they mostly find it endearing. Overwhelmingly, folk are friendly and hugely supportive, always providing a boost to morale.
The legs feel fine at this point, testament to the 2 year training programme I followed before flying out. It will be interesting to see how they feel as the weeks tick by. I've never done multi day rides longer than 15 days in duration, this ride will be double that!
It's hard to know whether fitness will build as I continue, or the impact of cumulative fatigue will set in. The sports science opinion on this seems pretty split, sounds like it really varies by individual. I guess I'll find out in just over a week, just as I hit Texas.
Looking ahead, the next week is full of big hills to climb. The first third of the ride has most of the climbing, it's then into the rolling terrain of Texas (presumably more cowboys to be found there..!), before heading into the flat and humid Deep South.
As I said at the start; so far, so good. A long way to go yet, taking each day as it comes!
FOR INFO: My plan is to release a blog on each of my rest days, I just don't have time on my riding days as I'm in my saddle for 8/9 hours daily. I do release a very short daily summary on Instagram/Facebook (@starsandspokes). And if you click the red 'LIVE POSITION' button on the main page of this website, you can track my exact progress - it updates every 15 mins!
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