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Testing the nerves

Current location: Blythe, CA
Todays Trek: 75 mi (this number is a bit deceiving, details below)
Average speed: 10 mph

Today was a fairly taxing trek.

We started out in El Centro and headed toward Brawley with a good head of steam, the knee was feeling pretty good so we kept a speed of about 17 mph until we came across this billboard. Anyone who knows my brother will get a kick out of this one:


After we passed through Brawley, we hit highway 78 and a slight headwind. The wind was no good. It slowed us down to a crawl, about 10 mph and my knee started screaming. All of this and then the shoulder kept getting smaller and smaller...hooray! So we continued at this snails pace for another 20 miles. All the while, we were being passed by many, many motor homes and trailers. It turned out that this highway headed out to the Imperial Valley Sand Dunes anxd it was friday, the weekend. All of the traffic was weekend warriors going out to the dunes with their motorcycles, quads and cases of beer. As the shoulder shrank, we (Dad and I) had to ride off the pavement when there was a vehicle coming toward us and a trailer passing from behind. This got old and very frustrating quickly. At one point, Dad rode off the road into the sand and fell over into the road, luckily no cars or trailers were coming at the time but it was pretty scarry. The shoulder finally widened when we got to the dunes and we watched people speed around in the sand on motorcycles, quads and other creative vehicles with paddle wheels.


Our sag vehicle (Mom) met us in Glamis at the one small store and we had halibut sandwiches. My knee was getting pretty stiff at this point but the rest helped and I stretched out and trucked on. We hit a slight uphill for the next 15 miles but the wind died down so we were able to cruise at about 10 mph. When we stopped in Glamis, some dudes told us that the road got pretty bad up ahead so when we ran into another section with a tiny shoulder, we decided to pack in to the sag vehicle and bypass this section rather than risk our necks at this point. We drove for about 15 miles through rolling hills and windy roads with no shoulder until we finally came upon a nice wide shoulder where we put in our final ten miles for the day. At this point, the shoulder was wide, the wind was at our backs, the road was slightly downhill and I had worked through the breathtaking pain in my knee. We enjoyed our last ten miles at about 15mph and called it a night. Tomorrow we will pick up where we left off.

 

 



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Kyle Bryant

Kyle Bryant

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