Interbike 2013: Welcome to Watsonville

Sunflowers just off a bike path in south Flagstaff.

Sunflowers just off a bike path in south Flagstaff.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (MDM) — OK, so it’s Flagstaff. But whenever I see sunflowers, I think Graham Watson. So sue me.

I’m at the Hampton Inn & Suites this year. It’s a nice upgrade from the nearby Motel 6, which last year had devolved into some class of a Superfund site for the storage of toxic humans. I have a small kitchen, a living room and two TVs that I have yet to turn on. Fat city.

Still, there are downsides. At breakfast this morning my fellow travelers were all performing sun salutations over their smartphones with their third eyes glued to Al Roker. How fortunate for us all that I no longer travel armed, as I was sorely tempted to chlorinate the gene pool until I got a couple cups of java down me.

Now, the good news: En route I saw a touring cyclist just east of San Fidel on Interstate 40. He was enjoying a brisk tailwind and 75-degree temps as he rolled along this giant ATM for the highway-construction industry. Like the Golden Gate Bridge, I-40 is always being worked on, and the work will never be finished.

And over dinner at Beaver Street Brewery, I read in The Lumberjack, the newspaper of Northern Arizona University, about a student who rode his bike from Canada to Mexico this summer. Sophomore forestry major Matthew Riggens had never cycled more than a couple dozen miles in a day, but he made it all the way to Mexico, and plans to tackle a trip from Washingon state to Maine next year.

So don’t give up hope. Not everyone is trading their eyesight for a giant pair of thumbs. Still, you should probably leave the guns at home when you travel.

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5 Responses to “Interbike 2013: Welcome to Watsonville”

  1. weaksides (@weaksides) Says:

    If it’s any consolation Patrick, I-40’s being worked on here on my end of it- specifically the interchange with I-77. It’s only been there since the 60’s, so maybe it’s a bit past time for an upgrade. Enjoying the posts from the road…here’s hoping it stays safe and fun for you the rest of the way- there and back again.

  2. sharon Says:

    Beautiful blue sky too. Gorgeous photo of the sunflowers.
    Just returned from NYC to see friends and a couple of shows. Rented bikes and rode the bike loop through Central Park and also most of the bikeway around Manhattan. Not a bad 20-mile city ride – a real surprise – 70 degree temps were a bonus. Glad to be back home though. Love to ride out in the great Texas outdoors – in spite of the hot 100 degree temps. But I’m waiting for fall to come. Hope it gets here soon.

  3. md anderson Says:

    Given the amount of interstate truck traffic I-40 will always need work somewhere. My daughter just started her second year at NAU and took my second best bike with her. (Well, third best now that I’ve recently added a new one to the stable.) Flag is bike heaven compared with Santa Fe. Stroll around campus and you will see dozens and dozens of bikes in front of each dorm.

    And speaking of bikes and floods, check this out. I guess if you’ve got to evacuate you might as well have fun doing it.
    http://boulderrealty.blogspot.com/2013/09/my-favorite-flood-evacuation-video.html

  4. bromasi Says:

    great vid, loved the guy on the uni, awwww to be young again.
    thanks for the vid

  5. Patrick O'Brien Says:

    Road trip! The Mountain biking in that neck of the woods is great. We stay at the KOA on I-40 right just East of Williams. Just ride over the intestate from the campground, and hundreds of miles of forest service roads and single track beckon. Bikes never touch the rack until we leave.

    Picked up the ES today. Sweet.

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